I have made the journey many times. This week, I committed to making it several times a week. The bus rolls into London, passes familiar haunts; comes within several feet of the house where I grew up. Hanger Lane. Please slow down as you enter the tunnel. By the time we’re through it, we’re leaving the house behind again.
Through it and out the other side, again. Each time, the whispers and echoes of the past envelope themselves around me. London is not a happy past. Waiting with school, for the tube to take us to the Natural History Museum, the zoo, the theatre, from Park Royal. Rushing along the A40 at speed, while my parents rowed our way to the coast. Family time. The friend’s house where there was that six year-old’s birthday party. Invited but not invited. Parents’ prerogative.
But, amidst the echoes, the journeys are peaceful. They slow me down; give me breathing space. Time to be and time to think. Time to pray. The journeys are promise. Promise of what is to come, as I am wanted there now, wanted for work in London. Teaching at the university. I go through the past, through West London, to a future in the East. Where the sun rises. I am wanted, and I want to be there, no matter what happened in the past. God has made a place for me there.
I am making the journey again today. Not for work this time, but for Taizé. I can rest in the knowledge that (yet again) God had my back. Knew what was going on. Rest, knowing that the next few months are sorted. Rest and pray, and be. Through the journey and the destination. In manus tuas Pater, commendo spiritum meum.