This is the last birthday of my twenties. In just one more year and it’s all down hill. To get the ball rolling the common theme of this years trip to London has bee death and the after life. For instance I went on a ghost walking tour of London and that was exciting and today I went tromping through a grave yard in the pitch of night, but let me explain.
The man I claim for my want and desire to be a writer is C. S. Lewis. After I read “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” in the third grade I’ve wanted to be an author. Since then I’ve read all of the Chronicles of Narnia and some of his religious studies but… Those are not my cup of tea considering I’m an atheist. (Haven’t always been.) Regardless of my dogmatic views I value the man more than anything. So for my birthday I wanted to take a day trip to Oxford. It’s where Lewis studied, taught, and lived. We went on a bus tour which was lovely up until it began to rain. To escape the wet weather I forced my husband into the shelter of Blackwells book shop where I bought a journal he swears will sit unused and two autobiographies I can’t get in the states. I had intended to buy another copy of “the lion…” But my husband asked “how many copies would that make?” “4.” Yes that’s excessive but it was purchased in Oxford! Whatever.
Finally I ate dinner at the pub he, Tolkien, and others of the Inklings met every Tuesday to discuss their literary works. And serendipitously it just so happens to be Tuesday. And to top it a off, the table I chose at random was 12, which holds no significant meaning to Lewis as it does to me. (It’s my lucky number.) After our meal I was ready to go. It was getting dark and my plan to visit his grave seemed like a pipe dream. So, I accepted the pub visit to be it, but my husband attempting to make my birthday special offered to walk to the cemetery where he had been buried. I warned him that it would be a long trip but he assured me that it’d be fine.
Before we had gotten even a quarter of the way there it was night, since it gets dark at 4:30 in the United Kingdom. Fun. And hoofing it at our quickest speed wasn’t cutting it so luckily we caught a cabby and he took us to the Holy Trinity churchyard. He dropped us off and backed out the long single lane drive.
Using the light of my phone we searched the cemetery reading every headstone. After going to every single market it wound up being the final one. Isn’t that typical? I said a few silent words thanking the man for giving me a dream and held back the tears. There’s nothing more than my husband loves than to see me cry. He’s a freak. (Says the guy who wanted to spend his birthday in a cemetery searching for the grave of a man he never met.)
At the end of it we are both exhausted, but it was fantastic and a trip I won’t soon forget.