My energy is coming back slowly…. but before I start in with new walks and adventures, I want to finish telling you about our New Year’s Day outing. Once the swans were fed (and Lucy was coaxed back into good humour at the playground), we drove out to the parish church in Canewdon that I showed you briefly back in October. I had wanted to see the stocks just outside the gate that we hadn’t known about on our first visit, but it turns out that they are hidden in a shed for their own protection, so there was little to see – and even less to photograph.
Walking back through the churchyard, however, we found the church unlocked, so we went in for a look around. The earliest record of Canewdon church dates back to 1086, but much of what we see today was built in the early 15th century – still old enough to boggle my mind. Something happens inside me when I visit these old churches, and I am aware of the many people who have come to this spot for all manner of spiritual reasons. I have a sense of time and progression as I think of people whose daily lives were punctuated by events in that church – baptisms, weddings, funerals, and Sunday sermons. I slipped into one of the wonderful carved box pews, wondering about the people and stories who had rested on that same bench over the years.
I wasn’t the only one indulging in flights of the imagination. Seven-year-old Lucy was quite captivated by the skull and crossbones chiseled into a grave marker out in the porch. Jeff and I know that it is a common enough motif representing death and resurrection, but Lucy was convinced it marked the grave of a Pirate King. And why not? We were very near the coast where all manner of seafarers most likely came and went over the centuries. I’m sure that her imaginings were just as valid as mine, and our day felt richer and more personal because of them.