After a brief stint of overnight snow last weekend, the temperature in London took a dip and danced around the freezing point for the remainder of the week. It was only when I headed down to Victoria Park for a much needed dose of Sri Lankan chai (following several hours of mind-numbing lectures) that I realised how cold it really was. The West Boating Lake had partially frozen over.
My mug warmed my trembling hands, but watching life on the lake warmed my soul. Ducks, geese, seagulls and other waterfowl continued with their usual fanfare at a negligibly greater elevation than most days. They were clumsy little creatures, tripping and stumbling all over the place as they attempted to tread over slippery surfaces. I observed them silently as I demolished my brownie. The mallards seemed to struggle the most with every step they took, while the coots appeared condescending in their rooted positions. Only the wise swans knew it was better to stay out of the lake altogether.
As the sun grew in intensity, the smooth surfaces began to lose their solidity and move like satin again, creating ample opportunity for the cormorants to dive freely. I wasn't particularly sad at that point in time, but I felt like a weight on my shoulders too melted into the lake. It's important to learn how to go through life mindfully. Recently a friend told me that, "happiness is when you live in the present and let go of all your troubles, of negativity, and just enjoy the moment".
In today's hectic world, most people, myself included, spend too much time contemplating and worrying about future events and where life will lead us. During the time that's left, we reminisce what we think were better days or wish to change some regrettable action of the past. How many of us can say that we take time out to just be?
Overlooking the sparkling lake at one of my favourite cafes, I felt happy that frozen afternoon.
Shots of myself by Vanessa Low.
Wearing: Zara - Shirt, trousers, scarf // Topshop - Coat // Bally - Oriano sneakers // Givenchy - Nightingale bag
Pavilion Cafe is located in Victoria Park, Corner of Old Ford Road/Grove Road, London, E9 7DE, UK.
Contact: +44 (0)20 8980 0030