I’m loving living in England.
It just struck me as I was walking back from our quaint old town centre where nothing much ever happens. Our town is populated with zombies. I do not mean that in a bad way. Most people I see wandering outdoors in the daytime hours are either being pushed in a stroller or a wheelchair by their caregivers. Many of them have vacant expressions on their faces, either because they don’t remember who they are or because they’re still trying to figure out what went wrong in the morning to elicit such a tantrum from their now-serene progeny.
I realize this may sound unkind, but no. I’m trying to tell you how laid-back and quiet my country town is. These people have nowhere to rush to. The moms are out because their homes with only them and their toddlers together all day are claustrophobic. I would know; I’ve been there. The oldies are out because they’ve lived their lives and being inside reminds them that there’s nothing left for them to do but wait.
I’m in the twilight zone. Neither them nor them. Most people my age work outside the home. I see them sailing gaily on to the couple of restaurants we have “out for lunch”. I see them standing in clusters outside their office buildings catching up on gossip over a smoke. I see them harried and busy, barking into their phones, clinking their heels on the pavement.
And I observe.
Surrounded by period architecture, hundreds of years old buildings, parks with secret entrances harking back to their times. In the land of the Saucepan Man and Sherlock Holmes and Mister Darcy. In the country where the very air seems to carry a scent of history, the trees bear memories of generations past, and the fog shrouds each enigmatic morning with a promise of a day filled with secrets to discover should you be so inclined.
England is the setting of the books that defined my childhood, so I feel like I know her. And if I don’t, I have a thirst to drink her in as much as I can while I’m here. So, even though I’m still very much an outsider and barely have any friends, I’m not lonely. My heart is quite full.