Today it rained all day long. The chill in the air ignited a strong need for a cup of coffee as a means to warm up rather than a force of habit. Rain falls steady, yet soft. Just enough to keep everything significantly wet, but not soaked. The air is chilly, but does not bite – its more like a nibble to remind you the summer heat is not to be taken for granted. Bright umbrellas light up walkways, hoodies hide faces, and those without either run for cover. Young couples hold hands and huddle close, while old pairs share an umbrella and walk arm in arm. Chivalry is not dead, just evolved.
Londoners watch the tourists squirm and melt in the rain as they go about their day. A few drops of water never stopped life before – they go on as if the sun were out and with their umbrellas open as though it were an extension of themselves. The more prepared visitors don plastic ponchos or carry Union Jack umbrellas both so flimsy, the next gust of wind will spell the end of their efforts to stay dry. All wander aimlessly for a place to go for a roof and warmth.
Being a tourist, I must admit my feet are wet, my umbrella a joke, and I am questioning why the water just keeps falling, but the experience itself is not one of irritation. London is a bustling city full of busybody natives and scampering tourists that would likely implode if one group or the other never slowed. The rain seems to persuade an attitude of respite and wins against even the most stubborn personalities. Perhaps, the reason for so many coffee houses and pubs in London is to satisfy the rain’s demand for a tiny bout of peace.