9.15 am: A separation and departure: love and pride were expressed. From Waterloo Station, I took the tube to St Paul’s.
As I approached the cathedral, via the walkway by the churchyard, the bells were ringing. There’s a sweet spot, close to the entrance of Pater Noster Row, where the peel reflects off the wall opposite the bell tower. The effect, on me, is consummate. I can hardly bear it. At such times, I reach to heaven; I want to dissolve and be taken up, then and there.
I attended Sung Mattins (Morning Prayer). I was in the company of strangers who shared the same faith, as well as a conviction that our soul’s rest would be found only in its abandonment to that love bestowed. God, not I, is at the centre of my life, as he is, indeed, of all things. Too often, I ‘strut and fret’ as though I lived in a pre-Copernican universe. There’s a far, far bigger picture. It’s much more intriguing than I could ever imagine. At this time in my life, I’m learning the height and depth of that principle for the first time.
After the service, I took respite, and wrote, in the crypt’s cafe. (‘Did the Apostle Paul really sup latte here?’) I was among friends. Clearly one celebrated patron had been overwhelmed by the size of the bagels.
On my way to the railway station, I visited another Paul, nearby (shrewd marketing), to buy exquisite pastries for my ‘helpmate’ back home.
I left Marylebone Station at 1.10 pm on what, on Sundays, can prove to be a perilous journey. (Rail works abounded.) The train was delayed by 45 minutes in ‘the Dodderidge area’. I had 12 minutes to get from Birmingham Moor Street to the New Street station for my connection. (‘Why am I always running somewhere in my life?’) I returned to my door, via a bus service from Machynlleth to Aberystwyth, at 7.40 pm.