Postcards from England

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It’s been a month since my body arrived back in Colorado from my time in England. My mind and soul have taken a little longer to settle back in the circles of ordinary life. But this doesn’t phase me, because I’m not restless, or angsty, or resistant to normal life. It’s more as if the taste of my time away tinges my time here at home. The peace of it lingers. I’m loathe to let it go. Who knows, maybe it will stay.

Maybe the time I spent wandering amidst long, sheep-starred, dapple down hills

and the mornings spent staring into an upside down bowl of limpid, blue light,

and the early hours spent in reading, in pondering, and in a hushedness of thought I have not touched in months,

changed me.

Gentled my hungry soul. Calmed the striving of my heart.

The blaze of my questions…as to future…to life…to purpose…died down.

But a new warmth came. Like the crackle of a well-made fire in a cottage on an autumn day. When you come into a room and know yourself home. Home, as much as any body can be in this world. And for me, this time, it wasn’t yet a physical place.

It was a state of soul. A healedness of sight. A gentlednesss. I found a bunch of truths that I had dropped amidst my struggle to figure out my future.

That God is lovely. That the poor in spirit are blessed, that I am blessed when I need God’s help most. That the humble inherit God’s earth. And that God’s good earth sings, and thrums, and speaks his heart afresh each day into the people whose existence he wills, and holds, and never forsakes.

That love—of God, and his people, and the beauty he has made—is the great, burning work to which we humans are called.

That all else really is naught compared to him. (But I needed to quiet to say it and know that I meant it in truth.)

And the joy of it all is with me still.

Sarah Clarkson is the author of several books including the best-selling The Life-giving Home, which she co-authored with her mother, Sally Clarkson. Sarah is currently studying literature at Oxford University where she's not only a brilliant thinker and writer, but is also the president of the C. S. Lewis Society.


10 Comments

  1. Nick and Susan

    Ah, I do love that you were here. The mixture of words and photographs does me good and echoes my own experience. My tangled thoughts are hushed when out in the countryside.

    Susan

  2. D.S. Martin

    Yes, this reminds me of my own trip to England a year ago. It’s the consciousness of rich history, and the unhurriedness of such a pilgrimage, that makes it feel as though this joy is more allusive at home. It’s the distractions of our everyday lives that get in the way. If I were visiting your Colorado, or you were visiting my Ontario, we would be more open to such wonder. It’s delightful, though, that we can bring that feeling home with us to experience anew — and can generate it in the peaceful places we too often neglect.

    Don

  3. Catherine

    I have recently returned to the States from half a year in England. This post has done my heart well. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Amber Leffel

    Amen.

    “the grace that kissed your eyelids” ~ a lyric Starbucks just gave me. and that last picture. mm. God bless you, sister.

  5. HRH Queen of Cornwall

    Thank You, Sarah.
    A little piece of me just traveled with you to my favorite peace of Earth!
    Joy and Blessings to you.

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