I had one of those “I’m sad I finished this book” moments this past weekend.
Saturday’s events in Charlottesville, and a rather frustrating phone call, led me to the decision to cancel my evening plans and stay home.
After dinner of lamb burgers and cold potatoes dressed in lemon and olive oil, I made a quick trip to the market for a few odds and ends.
And then at about 8.30 p.m. I sat down with James Woodforde‘s The Diary of a Country Parson.
On the Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral choir tour last summer, many of us learned of this book as we were in Norwich, England, where Parson Woodforde was the rector of a parish in that dioecese.
I’d started this book in June, and had picked away at it. Since it’s a diary, and the entries are short, one can easily set the book aside. But this past week I’d been more intentional in reading the parson’s account of life in Norfolkshire.
After about an hour, I had finished the last 100 pages, and found myself with tears in my eyes.
In offering the book to other folks on the tour, I wrote “What a wonder, this little tome! The parson unwittingly has provided us a cultural, dietary, fashion, social and economic history of his age. And for anyone who loves history, this is just a fun read.”
So Parson Woodforde’s diary is now in the hands of Lenette, who will pass it along to Joyce, who will likewise pass it along.
I found in Parson Woodforde a bit of myself: some of the melancholy, some of the impatience and even intolerance with others, so of the simple piety (I hope).
Thanks be to God for good and faithful servants like James Woodforde, for slices of life from centuries ago, and for the reminder to be thankful for the comforts we celebrate now.