Wednesday, 21 September 2011

All good things must come to an end...

That's what they say, right? Well, I truly think that after 19 days of holiday, the four traveling Babbitts are ready to go home.

But not before we spent an afternoon with lots of dead poets, kings, queens and soldiers.

On our last day in London Matt and I escaped for one more sightseeing experience. There is so much to see in this amazing city, you simply cannot do it all in a week. But I could not bring Matty all this way and not take him to my favorite place in London, Westminster Abbey. We arrived an hour early to be sure we would be first inside the magnificent church. Even standing in line, waiting to go inside there was so much to admire. The stain glass in the windows, the carvings in the molding, the archways over the doors. This place is a work of art unlike any other I know of. It gleams white in the sunshine, a sharp contrast to the deep golden hue of parliament that resides just one block over. It is a place of peace in the centre of a city in motion. Stunning and lovely.
We entered beneath the rose window in the north ambulatory and were immediately silenced by the reverence of this majestic church. It is a living pageant of British history with the tombs of people whose names I feel I have always known. Henry VI, Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, Robert Browning, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy and on and on. The further we wandered into the Abbey the more immersed we became in the wonder of a country whose history seems to stretch further than my mind can contemplate.
We spent well over two hours wandering the corridors, the nave, the chapels and the cloister. We paused in silence to observe a moment of prayer as the clock struck two and then again at three. We bowed our heads at the grave of the unknown warrior, buried here in 1920 and respectfully reflected at the memorial of Winston Churchill.
We stood at the very back of the nave, at the doors through which Princess Catherine walked only a few months ago on such a happy occasion. The same doors that Diana's coffin passed through on a markedly more somber day. This place has seen celebrations of life and mournings of tragedy. The energy here is palpable. My heart was full and I am not ashamed to say, at time my eyes were glassy with tears of awe and reverence. History is an emotional thing and I loved feeling it inside me today in this place. Really there are no words I could type to relay the feelings here, you will just have to go and see...and feel.
As our day slipped away we made our way to Charring Cross Station for the last time. We found our train and rode to Lewisham where my Uncle Richard met us and took us back to the house on Blackheath. We enjoyed our last english meal (fish and chips, of course) and a last visit with Maggie, Richard and Jake. It has been over 20 years since last I set foot in that house so for me it was like stepping back in time and seeing my own history replay. It is amazing what our minds can remember and what it choses to forget. I loved seeing Noah and Eden play happily in the same rooms I visited as a small child. It was truly wonderful.
Tomorrow we head home. Back to Canada, to routine and order. To cooking and cleaning and school work and driving. I am ready. But this has been one wonderful vacation. We are so lucky to have had this opportunity and to have been able to share it with Mum and Dad. I am certain they have enjoyed it too. I can tell by that grin on my Dad's face.

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1 comment:

  1. ......I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog everyday....but I must admit.....I CAN'T WAIT! Safe travels home, see you soon.