A Walk to Grantchester

As I walk out of Cambridge, the red brick walls of the colleges soon give way to small, ivy-covered houses. A cat sits in the walkway of one of the residences and looks at me, tilting his head as if to ask me what I am doing on his street. I continue walking, every once and a while pausing to check my paper to make sure that I am on the right street. Soon, I arrive at an unmarked road that according to my directions must be Grantchester Road. I am a little unsure because I don’t see a sign, but I don’t see any other roads that look like the right one, so I start walking down this road. A small part of my brain is confused because this is definitely not a pedestrian road, but this is what the map had said. There is no sidewalk, so I walk in the grass on the side of the road, alternating sides when the tall hedges block my path.

After about fifteen minutes, I round a bend in the road and see a small black and white sign marked “Grantchester.” I pass a big house with a blue door and I wonder what is behind it. Even more, I wonder what was behind it. How old is that house and who has lived there before? I keep walking, passing an inn, a pub, and the town hall. I keep walking and come to a church. I am curious. As a Catholic myself, I attend church regularly, and I am interested in learning about the differences between Catholicism and Anglicanism. The door to the church is open, and I quietly walk inside.  I like the quiet peace that fills the building. I walk back outside, and decide to stroll through the cemetery outside the church.

And that is where I find myself now, listening to and feeling the sun and wind. The breeze blowing through the trees makes a background noise of a soft continuous rustle of leaves. In the distance, I hear the faint sound of the freeway and the distinct whine of a motorcycle as it speeds by. For a quiet place, there sure is a lot of noise. Suddenly, a bird comes flapping out of a tree. Children yell and giggle in the distance. The church bells signal the hour with six short chimes. I feel the sun warm my skin and the sky is clear blue with not a cloud in sight. The breeze blows, just strong enough to counter the heat of the sun.

It feels good to be here by myself. I feel a peace in just sitting, in the escape from the hustle and bustle of Cambridge. Although I am not very many miles away from Cambridge, I feel very far away from the city. Less than an hour ago, I set out with a piece of scrap paper with written instructions of my route according to Google, and now I sit here, still, peaceful, and in another world.

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