We took a train to London. It was a quick trip. What to do? We stayed near the London Eye, across the river from Big Ben and Parliament buildings. You can feel the power of London. We felt small.
It helped to stay near a central location, close to the tube. We took it everywhere we went, or walked.
I especially wanted to see the Westminster Abbey. We got there just in time for the last tour. So much history. I especially wanted to see the memorial to Wilberforce.
After we left, we walked around the city a bit. In the park along the Thames River there is the Buxton Memorial, commemorating the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833. It was donated by Charles Buxton MP in memory of his father Sir Thomas F. Buxton, Wilberforce, Clarkson, MaCauley, Brougham, Dr. Lushington, and others.
Our grand adventure coincided with the 100 year anniversary of the start of World War I. It was both moving and sobering to visit some of the war memorials in Scotland and England. The Tower, Castle in London, was especially moving. On one hand the ceramic poppies spilling out of windows of the castle walls onto the grassy moat was so beautiful. On the realization that each individual poppy represents a British military death during the first world war is astonishing. There are so many, and then it looked like blood.
These memorials, and others like it, remind me that some things must be fought for. The sacrifice is so great! It makes me so thankful for those who have fought for freedom, love and justice. What each person chooses and does is important.
At the end of our adventure we leave for home, changed, blessed, wanting to make a difference, and looking forward to being at home, in our community with people we love and care about.
My favorite place in London that we visited is the British Library, the permanent exhibit, The Art of the Book. I couldn’t take photos, so what I took with me, I took inside, and it is already influencing my perspective and art. My experience there, along with the book-art exhibits at the Dublin Castle and Trinity Library have caused me to value personal journals more than I ever have. That encourages me to value my own journals more and see the value in chronicling the life journey. Each person’s story is important.