As a Londoner I should love the tube but as much as I appreciate the tube and all the glory that come within it- my favourite is the turquoise daughter called Dear Little Rabel- DLR. I know, I do feel a little bit as a traitor when favouring the DLR over mature and well connected TFL but when commuting nearly 8 months on DLR it thought me a quiet important lesson.
Some days I'd sit facing backwards, I'd sit right at the back in the last carriage and I would admire the well exposed in East London-rising of the sun. I would then admire how beautiful is my morning travel. The sunrise would have the stunning colours of the rainbow. The shot of the rainbow colours would struck my eyes and be a way better awakening than a morning espresso!
Sitting backwards to the train’s direction, would give me a plenty of time to keep staring at stunning view of the O2, and Emirates Air-line and pure art of urban architecture that turned East London into a trophy of modern city design. However, sitting backwards would only allow me to see what’s behind me and there was no way of coming back. The train would continue it's stubborn journey to the City of London, despite the passenger's hunger to keep looking at the beautiful sunrise. The journey had to carry on- despite me dwelling in the views that were becoming only more distant. The journey would be beautiful, sentimental and Awakening.
On other days I'd sit facing forward. The front seat would usually be already taken but the side seat would still do the job. I would be passing by the views I already know, leaving them behind. I'd look forward to see what's ahead of me. Sitting facing forward would inspire me and make me wonder what else is ahead of me. I would now be excited about the next stop ahead of me. I'd no longer face or turn back to admire the rise of the sun, not because it bored me but because it was behind. And does not matter how hard I would have wanted to keep starring at the sunrise- it would still have become more distant. Only my imagination or illusion would keep the sunrise alive in my eyes.
I wanted to be present in the moment. I wanted to enjoy the reality rather than being stuck in the illusion of what's behind. Therefore I decided to continue sitting facing forward. Everyday, when I was looking to what’s ahead of me I'd find new features of the London commute journey.
And isn't it the same with life? When we keep facing the life journey backward, we get stuck in memories, imagination and illusion. We're missing out on the present moment when we keep dwelling in the past, despite knowing that we’re still on the journey moving forward. When we stick to the past in our memories and illusion, we loose on the present of the present. Life is what’s happening when you get stuck in illusion, is what’s around you when you try to drag the past from behind you into the present moment of life.
I scrapped that. I now sit forward, in life and on the DLR journeys. I appreciate the past, as it shaped me. But NOW I want to enjoy the presence and the butterflies mingling in my stomach as the next stop is approaching.