This was one of our favourite paths on Bodmin last weekend. Imagine it looks similar still given the amount of rain that has fallen.
We trod carefully having walking boots on not wellies, not always knowing how deep the water might be or boggy the ground.
This is an obvious metaphor for life, and I look to tread carefully which is different to timidly! Looking, planning, plotting a way ahead and being mindful of what you might encounter is generally wise.
I am also mindful of the importance of treading carefully with others. Most of us will have been wounded in some way by people trampling all over us and not taking the care that we all deserve.
So today, how can youbtread carefully, even when the path looks a little hard to navigate?
We are away this week and early yesterday morning I looked out over the roof tops to the sun rising over the river.
I love the hope of dawn. Early morning is my favourite time of day and yesterday was full of hope, a day off, time by the sea, my favourite bacon sandwich and fish and chips!
Obviously not every day pans out like yesterday. Challenging things happen, life doesn’t go to plan, but as I see the sun rise it reminds me that God’s faithfulness is new every morning and God will be with me if the day brings rejoicing or weeping or both!
One of the books that stands out most from my undergraduate study 40 years ago is Richard Titmuss’ book The Gift Relationship about blood donation. It is a key text on social policy and represents something that reflects the best of humanity. Some of us have our lives saved by something given freely by a stranger. It is one of the most altruistic things we can do.
Today’s picture is some public art in Derriford Hospital, it is celebrating organ donation, an even bigger commitment than blood donation and something else that is free in the UK. I have written about organ donation before and this is another encouragement to thinking through your preferences and making them clear to your next of kin so they can honour your wishes.
I am not sure if the wood is sinking or the lake is rising but this as a reflection of how we feel probably isn’t helpful!
I ama proud of myself for cancelling something this week. Too often in the past I would have battled through feeling unwell and carried on not wanting to let people down. But I have flu like symptoms and little voice or brain so in getting me for a training event they would not have got the quality of input or presence I would hope to offer.
I am becoming more and more mindful of health, wise choices, resting and allowing recovery and wonder a little how I ended up with a less thana helpful mindset.
Another photograph from Newman University, this sculpture is outside the main entrance.
I love the words on it, these struck me particularly this time as I continue to ponder anad refine what it is I do…
God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another.
There are many things which bring me joy and give me life vocationally, some my unique combination of gifts seem ideally suited for me, other things many people could do. I become more mindful as I grow older that I make best use of my gifts amd experience.
Storm Arwen came through quickly and caused so much damage. This is one scene a year on. Still a lot of debris and clearing to do.
I and quite a few people I know have experienced metaphorical storm damage in recent times. An experience uprooted us and there is still quite a debris floating around. It is not easy, perhaps possible or helpful to just try and clear up and restore. It is not possible for things to go back the way they were mostly.
Others may not know, see or agree that this is what has happened to us but our internal landscape may still feel like the photo. I have experienced and believe that God heals my inner wounds but it has never been instantaneous, it has been a slow journey of rebuilding and restoring and scars remain that sometimes still give me twinges.
So I try to be gentle with myself, appreciate the hope I see in nature as new life emerges, things are repurposed or feed the life around it.
We are on a writing week so I have had time to think and reflect as I plan a book on stickability in ministry and am grateful that I have made it through the storms although not undamaged.
A lovely student arrived back from the coffee shop with a wonderful black americano for me in this cup.
Enjoying the simple things, noticing, naming and acknowledging them is a way of focusing on gratitude and punctuating the day with what brings you life.
For me they are things like the first hour of the day when I ground myself with spiritual practices and set up the day. Another is my first cup of coffee. Watching the birds on our feeders is such a joy. A daily walk is another simple thing I enjoy. My lunchtime bowl of home made soup is a simple meal but feels so nourishing.
I love seeing a path of light across the sea. Even more special when it.is moonlight but struggle to capture that on a phone and in the summer to be still up when the moon rises!
I have been seeing quite a few posts about paths recently and appreciating the way people are using it both literally and metaphorically.
What I realised commenting on one such post was that my path has remained quite similar in very many ways but the scenery has changed. Given a choice I would always walk by the sea but most of the time that is not possible and I have learnt to appreciate much more other landscapes too.
I have also been reminded of the Gate of the Year poem in recent days and appreciate Minnie Louise Haskins words about stepping out holding the hand of God. There are times when we see no light, they are the most challenging.