Dreams Come True

London bridge is (falling down ) -3x is one of the rhymes I can’t forget. As a little boy growing up in Benin City, every time I sang it, I often wondered in my kid’s mind what London was like. I would fantasize about the bridge. Somehow, I developed the picture of a bridge and later in my youth, I added a mental picture of the London bus after I saw the movie ‘Summer Holiday’. Summer Holiday is a 1963 British CinemaScope and Technicolor musical film featuring singer Cliff Richard. The film was directed by Peter Yates (his debut). It is the story of Don (Cliff Richard) and his friends (Hayes, Green, and Bulloch) who were bus mechanics at the huge London Transport bus overhaul works in Aldenham, Hertfordshire. During a miserably wet British summer lunch break, Don arrived, having persuaded London Transport to lend him and his friends a double-decker bus. This they converted into a holiday caravan, which they drove across continental Europe, intending to reach the South of France. However, their eventual destination was Athens, Greece. On the way, they were joined by a trio of young women (Stubbs, Hart, and Daryl) and a runaway singer (Lauri Peters), who initially pretended to be male.

I loved the fun-filled adventure they had and dreamed of visiting London. I had often wondered what it would be like to sit in the front seat on the top deck. Will It be scary? Will I feel superhero? I thought. I know I had so many imaginations and wishful thinking in my youth but riding in the London bus wasn’t one of them; instead, it was a dream. I made it one of my goals.

“If you can dream it, you can do it”-Walt Disney. Later in life, I embraced a career in Photography and a major in Art Photography. I upgraded my goals and exhibiting in London was one of them. My dream took me from Ekpoma a rural city to Lagos an urban city in Nigeria. I was already making a career in Lagos when I had the nudging to move to Benin. Some friends and colleagues laughed at me, some called me foolish. I was confused and doubted my move but I went back anyway. In Benin, It was like my career took a turn pulling downward at an uncontrollable speed. Each time I spoke of my dreams I could see the unbelief in the eyes of listeners. Only a few believed that I could exhibit my art but I kept the focus. It wasn’t easy anyway but events led to opportunities and I landed at Heathrow airport London.

I was 39 years old but still felt like a 16-year-old!!! While on the plane, I had checked the time at intervals. The 6-hour flight seemed to have exceeded 9 hours in my mind. I couldn’t wait to get to Gagliardi Gallery, London for my Exhibition. However, I was more anxious to ride on the bus..lol. In fact, when I couldn’t communicate with my brother Izy who was my host, I tried to exit the airport. I had followed the sign that led to buses just to catch a glimpse of the bus…lol. Not so fast though. I was only a few steps into that journey when I heard Izy call my name. I turned around to see him accompanied by my cousin Gbolahon coming from the opposite direction.

That evening, we had set out to the Gagliardi Gallery located at 509 King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0TX, UK for the opening ceremony of the exhibition.The Gagliardi gallery hosts a collection of traditional and contemporary work presented in the setting and style of an old-fashioned and homely art gallery. With over 35 years on the King’s Road, it passes as one of the oldest contemporary art galleries in London. It is inextricably entrenched in the buzzing cosmopolitan parade that is the King’s Road in Chelsea, one of the most prestigious and dynamic areas of London.

Due to time constraint, we couldn’t afford to go to my exhibition by bus. The train station was just a walk away from the house. On the way, for the first time in my life, I saw the London BUS. Even though it was very different from the one in the movie, it was still an amazing sight. I literally froze for a second as memories of my childhood flashed in sequence like a queued movie. I was taken aback to Uwa Street where it all began. I remembered Edokpolo Grammar School, and how we had discussed the movie in class. I saw the faces of my classmates. Daniel, Bidur, Edwin, Effiong, Ochuko, Ugo, Joel. It felt so good.

“We have to go now if you don’t want to be late,” said Izy as he patted my shoulders. That brought me back to reality and onwards we went. The next day was a morning session of my exhibition. Izy had to work. That left me with the opportunity to explore. I embarked on the journey to the gallery all by myself . You already know my choice of transportation….the ‘London bus’. It was raining and I couldn’t wait to sit in front, on my dream seat, on the top deck. As we embarked on the journey, I had an unusual feeling of fulfillment with a little pride. I felt like a prisoner who had just been declared innocent. I felt like I should scream and shake hands with the stranger sitting beside me and say “Yes, I made it”. I was motivated afresh and took this photograph. Titled “ Too Many Spotlights in London”. The art was exhibited in Italy the next year where it won an award.

Everyone of us was born with opportunity. We are equal in opportunity but unequal in our ideas, decisions, education, motivation, demands, philosophy and backgrounds.The human brain was designed for survival, to protect us from danger. Therefore it will consistently prevent us from trying new things, especially where it perceives stress. It prefers the comfort zones. But true happiness eludes the comfort zones. This makes the brain a barrier in living the happy life. We need to transform our brains by the renewing of the mind with the creative thoughts of possibilities, for the mind controls the brain. Romans 12: 2.

We also need to take time to get touched, take time to be moved and to take time to reflect. As was said in the Bible about Jesus Christ, He was always touched and was moved. Then he performed the miracles. If we pay attention to our experiences, they become a currency in the future. However, we have to act now for without action reality eludes us. As Jim Rohn puts it,

“Activity is the vessel in which we pour the drama of our life so that it performs the miracle of creating reality.”

Originally published at www.mindandcapture.com.