The Old Church

The sign said Romney Marsh, so I turned into it. I had a vague memory that Romney Marsh was where Pip encountered Magwitch in the opening scenes of Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. Google research does not, however, bear this out. Not knowing that yet, I persevered.


It was a beastly hot day, and I hadn’t figured out the air conditioning in the car so finding no marsh I turned into the little parking lot of an ancient church. This picture was taken before I realized that the shutter on my trusty Canon camera was sticking. It looked like a cool place in which I could find the instructions for activating the air conditioning. I grabbed the car manual and headed inside. Sometime later, when writing Ghosts of the Heart, I send Sophie inside as well:

The church was cooler. Old, with thick stone walls, it had two slender windows that kept out most of the bright sunlight, some of which streamed through a small inset of stained-glass full of blues and greens, creating a puddle of underwater light. Sophie sank into a pew where no light fell. Peace swept over her like a blessing as she rested her eyes on the blue-green ripples that played on the stone floor.