Something I realised when I arrived home after a much-needed break in Munich, an old habit of mine that was washed aside with all the troubles of the day. I was sitting in an underground station after a glorious day at the zoo, having bated breath in seeing for the first time silvery gibbons, elks, wood bison and arctic foxes. There was a row of four seats facing the train track to where I was heading next, my steely mesh seat back to back to another four seats for passengers heading west.
I pulled out the kindle fire that my son had scraped his few shillings together to buy me for my birthday and checked to see if I’d managed to capture any useful footage on my day out. Being a tech rhino, it was, for the most part, my footsteps that I caught. My fortunate son is like me in more ways than one. I thought about heading to the museum but thought again, I had been to the toy museum in Marienplatz and felt too happy and free to bother looking at a load of old war relics. Getting away from all that bellony was what I needed. I’d overheard a mention of Teressa May joining America on Syria, at least that’s what I made out of someone else’s plaudern (‘chat’ in German)
So I’m sitting there, kindle fire closed over as I listened to the sweet whines of a young child and out of nowhere her father began to whistle, a symphony, start to finish, to perfection. Beethoven’s Ode to Joy! I sat in stunned silence as the untainted whistle touched every note. I knew there and then that this was the highlight of my visit, the sonnet rendered twice and concluded in perfect time for the approach of the rumbling train in its tunnel.
It was later at home when I relayed the event to Elaine on the phone, one of my dearest Dublin friends. We recalled the sessions in Aaron house in my mind’s eye remembering with baby Tierna waddling his way through a forest of legs. There we chatted over songs all night until the music hit a spiritual awakening and soul satisfied everyone headed home.
With her it hit me, all those years of travelling alone, I had a habit. Indifferent to my situation when that moment occurred, something I expected from every place I visited. When it hit a high note I was gone, sometimes leaving all behind me but the few quid I had in my pocket. How did I forget that? When did I stop being a free spirit, and why?
My beautiful mother had always wanted me to travel. Sometimes she visits me in my dreams, it’s a rare occasion, but I’m so happy when I wake. I try not to wish it to happen the next night, though I might spend the day listening to the Joni Mitchelle track that binds us. Something is won and something lost in living every day. ( Zoo footage to follow when I have the mind to figure out how to upload it from kindle to here) Good morning.