An International Affair: Right Here In BDO*

Jul 11, 2022 | 0 comments

*Beautiful Downtown Oysterville, of course!

It’s not only during weekends this summer — in fact it’s not only during summer this year — that we find our Oysterville streets filled with tourits.  Most arrive in cars (though bikes, motocycles, RVs, and buses are also a daily occurrence) visitors soon find a place to park and begin exploring on foot.  It’s the very best way to see the village and absorb the ambience of bay and meadows and historic homes.  First stop: usually the church where, in the vestibule, the guest book awaits their signatures and free walking tour brochures are available for the taking.

Yesterday, as I was walking across the street, a couple approached me asking about the Music Vespers sign.  “What is vespers?” they asked.  I told them about our Oysterville version of the ancient service — the evening prayer of thanksgiving and praise, dating as far back as the 1st century BCE.  “Our summer Sunday services emphasize music,” I said, and I told them a little bit about the muscians who were performing — Katherine Claire from Portland, Oregon and Margot Merah of Amsterdam.

“And where are you from?” I asked.  “Shropshire, England,” was the response.  “In the middle — near Wales.”  We talked a bit longer about traveling and the serendipity parts like coming across a Music Vespers Service in a tiny Washington Coast town.  And I urged them to stay.  And they did!

Afterwords, they came and thanked me for suggesting it and I couldn’t help thinking about the couple who had encouraged Nyel and me to attend a choir service in France years ago.  It was in the Loire Valley at Solesmes — a Benedictine Abbey where the monks still sing Gregorian Chants.  We never forgot the experience.  Perhaps our Shropshire visitors will remember yesterday afternoon in Oysterville as fondly.   I hope so.


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