London, Personal

Hyde Park

Mother’s Day 2005. Thanks for all of our moms and grandmothers and great-grandmothers.

I’m thinking of the last time I leaned against a tree in the park and felt the sun, a wave of heat, paint my face. Wind blowing its story through newly green leaves above my head. Kids tossing bread crumbs to the birds. Writing my thoughts on paper. A place all to myself, but warmer than this. Bangkok. Queen’s Park, next to Emporium.

Today, I sit near Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, London. Eyes closed. Fingers trying to massage the ache out of my head. Speaker’s verbalized thoughts carry in my direction but the words are garbled into the back drop of a pretty city as my mind exists elsewhere in its own thoughts. I use my hair as a shield so my headache doesn’t pound as I strain my eyes through the brightness of the sunshine. I take breaks from recording my thoughts when the wind sends me a message and turns my page for me. The wind is cold and although with my eyes closed, leaning against this tree, I know I am not on Saipan or any other island beneath a palm tree. Toes sipping water washed upon the shores. The wind sleeping and the only whispers heard are those of the waves. This is another time and place as I try to bask in this London sunshine, dressed head to toe in black.

I don’t like it when the sun takes a siesta behind the clouds. If we had a place to live, I would have stayed at home to nurse my headache or just read bundles beneath bed covers, not having to compete with the clouds for sunshine. Places for me to be on my own when I want to be are lingering in all corners of a new city awaiting my discovery. A park when the sun is shining and the wind sleeping is fabulous. A bookstore big enough for me to get lost in and read or a coffee shop that doesn’t mind if I sit in the corner and write. A free museum: locating and wandering through it. I don’t have the desire or energy to wander through the main streets window shopping for things I can’t afford too much at the moment, although I thoroughly enjoyed wandering from one music shop to the next down in Soho with Ali and Rol yesterday. Hiding out from the wandering rain clouds.

I need to take a pee break. The kids are chasing birds towards me and the sun is hiding more frequently.