Sunday, 18 August 2013
As the train speeds through the tunnel, music floats into my ears. Scenes from earlier splash into my mind and begin to overlap: My friend's sweet little boy roaring like a monster, her lovely twin daughters randomly discussing Hula Hoops, us reminiscing about days gone by, and the rain that began to fall lightly over our picnic, making us pack up and call it a day...
Then I suddenly remember the old man playing a piano in the main concourse of St Pancras station just moments before we said goodbye. We stood there transfixed, watching him lost in his music, us getting lost in him.
My reverie speeds up time, and before I know it, I am standing on the wet evening platform once again, close to home. I watch the train disappear into the distance and suddenly realise that there is no one else around. I feel the light drizzle on my face and stand looking up into a darkening sky. Right at this moment, my friend and her family are speeding out of the city, whilst the piano man is settled in his seat, dozing peacefully as his train sways onwards.
And as I walk down the length of the platform towards the stairs, a thought occurs to me: even if I had wanted to, with all the will in the world, I couldn't have orchestrated this exact evening: The piano man, the picnic in the rain, the moments we laughed; all set against a dark blue, late August sky.
And all it takes is a second...a second to stop, a moment to realise, that we have so much more to be grateful for than we will ever know.