Wednesday, June 25, 2008

personal details

A year ago today, my school term began in London. I had no idea how much fun was coming. Nor could I have guessed that my time there would change me so profoundly. I wish I could explain or describe London, but instead... I just sit here and cry out of gratitude and love for those two months at 27 Palace Court. It was an absolutely singular adventure that I have thought about and missed every day since. To those of you who were so wonderful as to let me be part of your life there, thank you. I love you. I miss you all.

I saw Rod Stewart and his wife at Harrods. I saw Stonehenge. I saw Rosemund Pike after her performance in Gaslight. I'm pretty sure I saw Ashley Simpson at the Topshop on High Street and Kensington. And I saw the only known sample of John Milton's handwriting. I saw so much in London. But more important than everything I saw was the way everyone saw me. Every Sunday afternoon, I would go to a bench in Hyde Park and read Dickens, or Keats, or Austen, or Shakespeare and just let a few hours pass. At 4:00 a priest from the Greek Orthodox Church down the street would walk with his wife past my bench. By mid July, they would smile and wave as they passed. The photo guy at Boots knew my name and always asked what we were reading. Most of the time, he could quote something out of our readings (he had studied English Literature in India before he came to London). The Greek grocer on Moscow road always laughed when I said "Efcharisto" for my yogurt. And I felt like I was part of something. Like I had, of my own volition and desire, made myself a part of their community - and they liked having me there. But even more dear than the wider community was the group of people I came to love as my family. The people in my program saw me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 2 months. They saw it all (and no thanks to the shower doors, some people really saw it all). If I was happy, sad, lonely, or excentric, those beautiful people took all of me and loved me. So more than anything I saw, I was grateful to be seen for who I was. I could be myself, and I was enough.

4 comments:

  1. I'm missing London and everything it means.
    Normally, this is where I would say "Let's go back," but deep down I know that it could never be as exhilarating as last summer's initial visit.
    One year ago today is when I first met you.
    What a good year.

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  2. i miss london so much. even more specifically, i miss palace court, bayswater, and queensway.

    i miss so much about everything we chose to be and do there. london life was good.

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  3. I MISS LONDON!!!!

    i really wish we could all just live there FOREVER!! every single one of us living at 27 Palace Court in Kensington.

    Let's go back!

    now!

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  4. I'm with Sean. Let's just buy Palace Court from BYU and move back in. We could round up about 10 million, right?

    ReplyDelete

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