I wonder why this church was built here. In the old days when you may have had one Vicar to a church how wonderful it would be to say morning prayer and then go for a stroll on the beach! However, God has not called me to the seaside so it would only be wishful thinking to imagine that but the sea does nourish and sustain me and visits to it are part of my rhythm of life. I find it amusing that God has called me to live and work so far from it! I read and reread various pieces of writing about the sea as well as surround myself with pictures of the sea – this is one I find apt:
When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.
– Rainer Maria Rilke
I know where this goes as I took the picture and as it happens it goes to one of my favourite places – a path leading to views of Godrevy lighthouse and the seals. However, a lot of time at the moment it feels like I am on a road and I am not quite sure where it is going. That is not necessarily a bad thing but as someone who prefers certainty and likes to know what is happening it can feel like a difficult place to be. But just as I always need to remember that the Bible is addressed to communities I am also feeling the same sort of insecurity about where the road is going big picture. I have voted at every possible opportunity since I turned 18 and do so as I have often said before with a sense of gratitude for those who campaigned and made sacrifices for me to be able to do so safely and easily. I was very despondent to see that the turnout for the Mayor was under 30% and I wish that you had to vote as is the case in Australia then at least there would genuinely be a mandate as opposed to the claims that are currently made which relate to minorities of the population even if a majority of those who voted. Please vote.
This was an image we saw in Stratford upon Avon yesterday. Isn’t it a beautiful sight? The swan was sleeping only a few yards from the path we were walking on near the river. The swan took no notice of us as we walked past, then stopped and took photos. I am not sure that I have ever been allowed to get that close to a sedate swan before. The feeling of peace we received as we watched was over whelming, I was even slightly envious. What was interesting was the swan was so unusually still, we did speculate if it was ill. On reflection, isn’t it interesting that if one of us was that still, we might first wonder was was wrong rather than assume they were in a place of rest or contemplation. I need to look for moments to embrace that peace and stillness – even if they are fleeting as to sustain the times I am more active I need to have corresponding times of rest.
Our polling station yesterday was a school. Along the wall in the hall were these pictures, I would be fascinated to know what they do with the pictures, who chose them and who devised the summary thought underneath.
Some of my images that have shaped my thinking about God and faith come from my childhood, I wonder what impact these will have on those that see them every day.
This garden was one of last week’s discoveries. There are some places you go to that feel like a place of refuge, where the values and ambience feed your soul as well as feeding your belly with good cake! On the back of the menu are these words:
We hope this will always be a place where people will enjoy spending their time – working, learning, relaxing, playing, eating and making new friends…
Who wouldn’t like a place like that!
They rely on volunteers to help them with the project and Fridays is come along and garden day. We bought a small pot of herbs so we had a little bit of this wonderful organic garden with us in Birmingham. I came away thinking yet again, I wish I enjoyed gardening – those who do have created a very special place.
Coming back from a writing week in Cornwall, Sally and I stopped off at Buckfast Abbey. We enjoy going into the chapel where this is the window at the end – the size of the side of a house! The most common thought I have as I reflect on the outstretched arms of the image of Jesus, is one of welcome, come spend time aside with me. The second is commissioning, go, bring in the kingdom, work with me to see the desires of heaven expressed on earth . Both are important at different times, in different situations, needs. I take time for discernment for what is most necessary .
Today I sensed both, simultaneously, come and go, let’s do both together. Sounds about right, let’s have a try of doing it that way, sounds fun!
Legend has it that these nineteen stones were young women who had the temerity to dance on a Sunday and were thus turned to stone as a punishment. While clearly this is one of those myths to explain a strange phenomenon it does grieve me that it is one which by association reflects negatively on God. All these things have the capacity to subtly influence thinking and while I enjoy myths and legends they are not benign.