25 April 2011

Ode to the Motherland

Hiking in Yorkshire

For me, I think, it started with a Fox.

A fox of the Robin Hood variety, that is. It was the accent that did it. And the debonaire style of rescuing fair vixens. And the arrogance. (And the cross. . . dressing. . .?)

What am I referring to? My hard core sense of Anglophilia and extreme love of England. It started with Robin Hood. It moved on next, I believe, to The Secret Garden. And so on and so on. I grew up thinking that England was, and would always be, the greatest place on earth. I was (am) convinced that I was born in the wrong country. I spent nearly the first two decades of my life wishing and praying that I would get the chance. But I knew (or suspected) that I'd never be able to see the England I wanted to see most of all - because most people go as tourists and see the requisite number of things in London and take the appropriate pictures and then move on - but that wasn't good enough. I wanted to walk through fields of sheep. I wanted to watch the sunset in Cornwall. I wanted to wake up in the morning and see the mist over the moors.

Then I found out about the England and Literature study abroad. I applied. I made it. Four years ago today, I boarded a plane and flew overseas for the first time in my life. And for two and a half wonderful months I lived that dream. I hiked through the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District, the Moors, the southern coast. I've seen more of England than the majority of the English.

Since the trip ended I have written about it in an essay that won me lots of money, I've talked about it more times than my family and friends would ever want to hear, and I've dreamed about going back. For today - I'll settle for some pictures in honor of my fellow Englanders and sing a round of "Will You Go, Lassie, Go" and the John Bennion song while eating a Magnum Bar.

Lake District
Robin in Wordsworth's Graveyard, Grasmere
Christ Church College, Oxford

Southern Coast
Kensington Gardens
On the beach in Weymouth.

Top of Ben Lomond

1 comment:

Sarah Moeck said...

:( I Miss you and skinny dipping and feeling cool wet air on my face, and smelling animals and eating chocolate and wearing skinny jeans.