"Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard
12.08.2010 - 14.08.2010
We have come full circle.
We are back in London this evening to see Agatha Christie’s, The Mousetrap, at the St. Martin’s Theatre in the West End. I recall approximately five weeks ago reaching into my bag as we were leaving for this trip and pulling out an Agatha Christie for the plane ride to London. Now, in a satisfying burst of literary symmetry, we are ending this journey with the same author with whom I started.
I have asked my children frequently to reflect on what they have discovered on this trip. I expect them to have some sense of being mere specks in the world but this does not seem to occur. Instead, they talk about the negative way American’s are perceived overseas and their own efforts to present a different impression. They talk about the delight they get from observing human expression and humor in everything from the Rosetta stone to a door knocker in Venice. And they mention that teenagers in Europe, just like America, still check you out to see what you’re wearing. “Is it possible that people are the same everywhere?” they seem to be wondering. It is a good question.
For Analiese, this trip has solidified that there really is no place like home. She longs for her own bed and for easy access to friends and familiarity. For Langston, however, it has opened the door to other ways of life. I saw his internal wheels turning as we walked the streets of Europe and I would not be surprised to find us someday making cross Atlantic flights to visit our grandchildren. Time will tell.
As for Scott and me, we have simply loved being together as a family. Watching our children make new discoveries and grow in the ways that only travel can facilitate is a quiet thrill, and we have felt pride in both their courtesy and in their curiosity. We will not forget this time together.
Agatha turns out to be great fun and on our last night in London, we are pleased to be part of the 56 years of audience members who have agreed to never tell whodunit. We leave the theatre and join the throngs of patrons who are strolling the streets in search of after show refreshments. There are so many lights from the theatres that it almost feels like daytime, and we end up in a crowded restaurant where we are reminded afresh of why the English are not necessarily known for their cuisine. Afterwards, we leave this whirl of activity and descend down the stairs to the Piccadilly subway and catch the tube for our hotel. We are due at Heathrow tomorrow at 11:00am and we have bags to pack and schedules to figure out. We hop on the subway and listen to the swoosh of the doors as they close on our journey.
When will be back? I don't know for sure but someday...someday soon.