Ok, I know you all have been wondering if I really made it! Yes, I did. The travels all went well, and the only reason I haven’t posted earlier is that I wanted to settle in a bit first: otherwise my posting would be filled with those jet-lagged, surreal, over-excited initial impressions, which may or may not turn out to be very relevant in the long run. Don’t worry – I still wrote these down, because they are fun and interesting, and can be illuminating to look back on.
So much has happened in these few days that I feel like I’ve been here for weeks. But by the time I go, it will feel like it has only been a few days. The relativity of time again.
It is just unbelievable how wonderful it is to return to a place you’ve been in the past that was so magical that it has turned mythical in your mind. I knew it would be great. I could sense that it would be. But it’s been better than great. (As you can probably tell, I still am a bit over-excited.)
The rhythm of life here is wonderful. I love framing the day in Meeting for Worship. I love the opportunity to meet so many interesting people, from all over the world, at meals and tea.
And one of the biggest surprises is how much I feel "at home" here among British Friends. It was rather a long time ago that I was here before, but that was such an important year for me, and I can see now how it was here that my own Quaker identity was formed. No wonder I feel like I've come back home.
There's a way that British Friends have a respect for the Christian heritage of the Religious Society of Friends that is very different from even Christocentric Friends in the U.S. I'll reflect more on this and will probably write further about it in the near future, because I find this very interesting.
But now, in respect for the wonderful rhythm of my days, I must go to the library and work on my research!