One of the most wonderful things I’ve experienced here is something that I’ve heard about, something I could describe, something I’ve read about so often I thought it was cliche… spring. Right now in California the weather is typically California: 70 one day, 90 the next, 80 after that, sunny, rainy, cloudy, humid. I never knew what spring was. I now understand why countless English poets and authors have found an unquenchable fountain of inspiration in this amazing phenomenon. Every day is a little warmer. Every day a few more daffodils bloom. Every day I hear birds singing earlier in the morning and later in the evening. These words are indeed cliche, but the experience of spring is something that could never get old.
I just got back from a weekend in Oxford. How refreshing to be back in that city! Such a different feel from London. Everything is so close. I miss walking on those streets, surrounded by history but fully participating in modern culture. I visited my friend Kate and we had a great time. The Oxford Literary Festival was going on so I got to indulge in looking at all the newest books published and write down some titles to hopefully buy cheaper on Amazon later 🙂 Also, there was a chocolate festival! Free samples, yes please. We ate lunch at my favorite tea shop, The Rose, and had dinner at the famous Eagle and Child (the Bird and Baby, as it’s known colloquially).
This morning we went to church at St. Aldate’s, a charismatic, contemporary Anglican church. When I was at Oxford I preferred not to attend there because it was a little too close to normal. I wanted to experience the rigid, reverent traditions of the high Anglican churches. And that was perfect for me at the time. Today, I needed the homey comfort of a contemporary service. The most important thing was that I felt the Holy Spirit in those people, and I experienced fellowship, which I haven’t felt since I’ve been here. It just reaffirmed how important a church family is, to gather with people not just for the sake of socializing, but to share in experiencing God together and encouraging each other in our personal relationships with Him. They held an infant baptism, and I was able to share in the joy of that congregation welcoming a beautiful infant into the church. Again, spring. New life. Nowhere is new life seen more than in the church.
I’m back now in London at my home for the next 16 days. I’m anxious, impatient to go home. This internship has been awesome and I would love to keep doing this work, if only I could be wherever my fiance and family and friends are. I’m starting to get excited about planning my wedding. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve always been excited, but London had to happen first. Now that it has and I’m close to finishing, I’m looking ahead to what’s next. Just a few more days.