Five Weeks

It is hard to believe that five weeks have passed but so they have. I leave in the morning for Memphis. England, particularly the North of England, and York have deeply affected me. I am descended from mainly British stock and in some ways I have been preparing for this journey all my life by reading English history and fiction about England. Nevertheless I am surprised at my reaction to the place.

I am stuck by the compactness of the British Isles. There is enormous history in a very small place. England is about the size of Mississippi. Suppose that Mississippi had 43 Cathedrals with Men and Boy Choirs.

One thing that frankly shocked me was the ubiquitous appearance of Jack Daniel Tennessee Sipping Whisky. The young adults are absolutely wild for it. No one ever told me back in Tennessee that this was the case. Someone has earned their marketing bonuses.

I sat this morning for an hour and listened to the bell ringer’s in the bell tower of York Minster ring the changes. What a sound. Last night I went to a concert in the Chapter House of the Minster. It may be the best place for music I have ever heard. What’s not to like in a eight-sided stone and glass structure with a tile floor and hard ceiling. It is fine. After attending Eucharist at the Minster this morning I had to leave it. That was harder than I would ever have thought.

I will come home tomorrow but a bit of me has taken up home in England.