Neat fences around glowing medieval ruins plus a bench to sit and stare at it all and feel the history slither all around you. At some point, guys in robes wandered the grounds where we sat, muttered incantations, and occasionally had to leave the abbey in a hurry if their gout started giving them problems. But where the heck were the bathrooms? Bathrooms hardly ever survive the ravages of time.
Rambling from Minster down the dark York Museum street, we stopped by the Oratory. It was shadowy beyond the metal gates, but the entrance seemed to be the onslaught carvings of some historic dude who was super deft with a chisel. Back at the hotel, brought up the light in the photo and WHAM. Shadows and light and more holiness than you could shake a stick at. Magnificent.
Oh England. Scotland. Your historic old churches are magnificent, and they last forever. Why do your holy folk get to live so large for so long while I make do with a city loft in some neo-modern brick and glass city? The locals told me that in England, what makes a concentrated population/location classified as a city–vs a town or village or what have you– is the presence of a grand church that lords over every other building shorter in stature. Mission accomplished, York.
Before the good citizens of York, United Kingdom tear this post apart for the blog title inference that they are akin to a certain breed of yappy dog, I assure you I was more along a line of thinking that maybe–just maybe–if rowers were angry rather than athletic, too many pints before an evening in the water could result in Viking-style water combat.
My first trip overseas since my pre-pandemic visit to Virgin Gorda in 2019. First stop, the pre-medieval town of York. The trip was ostensibly supposed to be a work thing. I annoyed all the engineers with the camera and its cannon-size lens hanging at my side at all times. I hastened across the bridge to get to the Cut and Craft and join the boss and a few colleagues for pickles and a pint, when I looked left and saw the picture laid out for me. Simply lovely.
Mt Tamalpais, that stalwart guardian looking down on San Francisco, so named from the indigenous Coast Miwok people of the San Francisco area to mean merely “West Hill”. I’m rediscovering its many meandering hiking trails with forest minded friends. Typically, we start in Muir Woods under canopy of towering redwoods and make our way upwards through the forest, and all along the way there are waters that gurgle and flow and fall over rocks. I’ve no capability to meditate in the way that so many do, yet I can say that my head is plenty crowded with good and happy thoughts to the physical tune of of my legs as they churn upwards. The temperature is a crisp 46-55 degrees Fahrenheit, and in the shade of these ancient and mighty forest denizens, the mist keeps a pleasant chill on our skin.