Trafalgar Square is located in the heart of London, right next to the National Gallery and in the midst of bustling business district. I had first been to London as a 5 year old child. I don’t have a lot of memories from that trip, except being in Trafalgar Square and feeding the pigeons. This was one of first childhood memories, and I was hoping to relive it, during my trip to London last week. Much to my disappointment, I learned that you can no longer feed pigeons in Trafalgar Square. Since there were no pigeons to be fed, and I had not seen London by night, I had decided to take a stroll of the city, with Trafalgar Square being on the night route. In a lot of urban setting, the feel of an area changes so much between day and night. Trafalgar Square which is very busy by day, takes on a quitter life at night. With a slower flow of traffic and surrounding buildings light up, there a surreal vibe to this area. The few people that are here, have made the deliberate trip and are just enjoying the moment. There is peace and a liveliness all at the same time.
The Square if fairly large with Nelson Column in the front. As I was walking around trying to take a picture of the full width, I noticed a few people sitting on the base of the Nelson Column. The Column starts over my head, and I was trying to figure out a way to climb on top. Since I couldn’t find the steps, I asked one of the people sitting on top how they got there. They told me you just have to jump and he offered to give me a hand. Even with the help, I was struggling to climb the base. Another total stranger sees this and grabs my other hand, and both of them physically lifted me on base – all this so a stranger to get a great pic. Thanks to these strangers I was able to capture the essence of Trafalgar Square – both in this night lite beauty and in the spirit.
After I took a few pictures and sat, soaking in London, I started to make my way to the edge trying to make my way down. My athletic abilities are limited, and taking the literal leap down 5 + feet was giving me anxiety. There was a group of girls sitting on the Column, who noticed my hesitation and they climbed down and give me a hand on the way down. Again, total strangers offering me help, not because I asked, but because they noticed a person struggling. This night, like many other incidents on this trip, have taught me that people are just amazing. People are good, people are thoughtful, and people genuinely care for another human being – even if that human being is stranger they will never meet again. It’s moments like this that make the word gratitude seem insufficient. It restores my faith in humanity, and wants me to be a better person. It’s said, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This picture however, would be incomplete without the story of the strangers who made is possible. Looking at this picture will now let me relive a different memory, that will forever warm my heart!