Cogitation 20 Saturday 19 May 2018 What a day. I woke up just in time to watch the Royal wedding on television. Following the ceremony I loved the pealing of the church bells at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
It’s a day where, at home in the US, I’m still tuned somewhat to the rhythm of life in the United Kingdom.
Hardly a day passed in the Duchy of Cornwall, for instance, where I didn’t huff and puff at the physical exertion of walking the steep gradients of paths and pavements (sidewalks).
Even as I watched the wedding of Meghan and Harry, I mused happily on how Marty and I celebrated our wedding anniversary a week ago that included a walk in the rain through the towans (sand dunes) bordering St. Ives Bay at Gwithian. More celebration awaits this side of the Atlantic.
The physical effort of walking in Cornwall could be captured in the expression: KEEP CALM AND Huff and Puff. Or: KEEP CALM AND Huff and Puff Right Out of Your Chair. Or: KEEP CALM AND Smile Even Though In Huffing and Puffing You Swallowed Your Dentures.
Some people behind the scenes at the Royal wedding must have been huffing and puffing. Everything was marked by split-second choreography, no dilly-dallying, formality interspersed with informality, a sense of intimacy even with the 600 invited guests and the 100,000 people lining the streets of Windsor.
It was a unifying event among the peoples of Great Britain, the USA, Canada and other Commonwealth countries.
Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry added a touch of African-American heartfelt currency in his remarks about the redemptive power of love. He said the power of love was evident in the marriage ceremony by the fact that “a young couple fell in love and we all showed up.”
Bishop Curry added, “Love God, love your neighbor, and when you’re at it, love yourself.”
The music moved me, as did the spoken words. And the background peal of bells, like the bluebells that graced our walks these past weeks and months.
Bluebells sound their own appeal
I end with a quote from a fine Cornishman, Sir John Betjeman, who died May 19, 1984 at the age of 77.
I heard the church bells hollowing out the sky,
Deep beyond deep, like never-ending stars,
And turned to Archibald, my safe old bear,
Whose woollen eyes looked sad or glad at me.
Summoned by Bells, (ch 1, 1.37)
Betjeman was a poet, writer and broadcaster. In Who’s Who he described himself as a “poet and a hack.”
As you’ve guessed from the poem, Archibald is a teddy bear. Betjeman once said his stuffed toy, Archibald Ormsby-Gore, was the one person who never let him down. Betjeman himself was regarded as the nation’s teddy bear.
CARRY ON AND Bear the Bell. Be the best.