The other day while the class was on its way to see a play, we stumbled across a lovely little church near the Thames, and decided to stop in, as we had extra time. What we didn’t know as we entered was that this pretty little chapel also happened to be Shakespeare’s old parish. It had his image carved in stone under a stained glass window. The church had a service going on, and the parish minister was giving a reading.
The timing was perfect, as I’d found out the night prior that my father was in the hospital, and so while we were there, I was able to light a candle for him and say a few prayers.
Afterwards, I thought about London, and what kind of a city this is. You can walk around, accidentally stumble in somewhere, and it just happens to have tremendous literary significance. That is such a foreign concept to most Americans, I think. For me, it was such a happy accident. I knew that I was standing somewhere that Shakespeare had stood. Now, I not only share my birthday with the Bard – I have been to his old church, passed through the same doorways, and stood in the places stood. Where he put money into the collection plate, I shelled out a few pounds for commemorative keepsakes. But money for the church is money for the church.