There’s many things I’d like to write about–experiencing the Eucharist at St. Paul’s Cathedral underneath the golden domes, laughing till I cried at “The 39 Steps” on West End (surely laughter can cure all), stealing away with Madison and Genevieve to explore Exeter–but writing, like any passion, takes time and commitment, and lately, I haven’t had much of either. With classes starting up on Monday, intimidating new reading lists, phone calls to make, and a string of golden day trips to introduce my friend, Maddy, to England, hours slip out of grasp and I begin feeling uprooted from Bristol and far from home.
Perhaps that is why I was struck deeply by the view of Plymouth’s Sound tonight. Maddy and I left Bristol bright and early to spend the weekend along England’s coastline in Devon, and after checking into our room, we didn’t feel like doing much of anything. But we decided to stroll down to The Hoe. We didn’t speak at all as we drank in the view. The beauty of England was in full glory as the sun slowly fell into the sea and the vivid green hills turned dark. The clouds stretched over the water and hills, ever morphing into intangible outlines. If a view can be sublime, this certainly was.
We walked closer to the shoreline, rain soaking our hair and dripping down our skin, till we walked into a little restaurant not even a stone throw from the water. After a glass of wine and pint of cider, we began to feel warm and turned our attention again to the view. After hearing mixed reviews of Plymouth from my British friends, I stepped off the train with lowered expectations, but the view of the water, rocky cliffs, and rising green hills, quickly changed this city into the most beautiful place in England. At least for me. I felt as if I’d suddenly fallen down a rabbit hole of some sort. Could this be so close to Bristol and yet feel so utterly removed? The night didn’t need to get better, but it did. Maddy and I visited with a friendly ‘Plymouthian’ woman who insisted who go out on the town tomorrow, ‘You pair go out and have a right laugh down at The Barbican.’ I needed to pinch myself when she left the restaurant and her Scottish boyfriend walked over to say goodbye to us and said, ‘I love the sea and I love her very much.’
It made me miss Brady more than words, but at that moment, I wouldn’t be anywhere else.
Exploring Cornwall in the morning.