We followed the story of redemption through faith from the west rose window (representing creation), through the clerestory windows, to the sculpture of Christ in Majesty at the High Altar. A word about those windows . . . they’re amazing. The search for freedom, Lewis & Clark’s travels, Apollo XI, and more are all represented in jewel-toned pieces of glass. (The space window incorporates a piece of moon rock, how cool is that?)
We take special note of the window depicting Jesus’ feeding of the 5 thousand. Did you know the boy with the loaves and fishes is a picture of the artist’s son? His (the boy’s) name was Nate Saint; he grew up to be a missionary pilot and was one of the men who died with Jim Elliot.
We also learned about “grotesques” (you may know them as “gargoyles”), which are around the outside of the cathedral. I never knew they had an actual purpose: they direct rainwater from the roof away from the walls. The National Cathedral is probably the only church in the world with a gargoyle depicting Darth Vader. (Who knew the old boy went to church?) They held a contest for children to design a gargoyle, you see, and Lord Vader won.
It’s such a beautiful day that we can’t stay in the dark confines of the Cathedral for long…not with this glorious garden to explore.
There are 59 acres surrounding the Cathedral, much of it designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., the son of the man who designed Central Park in NYC. The garden includes plants of historic interest, plants of the Bible and Christian heritage, and native American plants.
Besides, today is Lavender Day! The Herb Garden is having a special event with lavender everything: herbs, lavender tea, and cake. We’ll pass on the cake; those lunchtime doughnuts are too fresh in our memories. I will pick up a birdhouse from the delightful little shop, though. My front yard is home to a plethora of feathered friends and it’s a nice souvenir of the day.
After all that, it’s time for the 4:00 Choral Evensong. Jill and I join in (where directed—decorum is in order here) and more-or-less-humbly acknowledge a few admiring glances from our neighbors. (That’s just what happens when you put two Dallas Symphony Chorus singers in the congregation.) After the service, with a song in our hearts, we leave the Cathedral behind. Jill to dash to the airport (even her virtual self has to be back at work tomorrow) and me to the hotel for an evening of room service and Iron Chef. Tomorrow, another adventure beckons. Join me, won’t you?