Today's reflection comes from Jane Hobbs
I have lived in the village of Carew for thirty plus years and I love the way it looks different in every season. During the Autumn, the hedges are full of sloes and I keep meaning to pick some. The Celtic cross stands tall and proud and there is a mellowness creeping into the air.
These days, the seasons are less defined and, even though there is a chill in the air during the Winter months and the path is icy, snowdrops start to poke their heads up. The tidal mill pond has its usual residents including little egrets, gulls and the majestic heron. Then, as Spring arrives, you start to hear more lively singing from the birds as the air warms. The geese can be heard up above heralding their departure and it’s a time for looking forward. In Summer, we are treated to an acrobatic display of swallows and house martins swooping and diving around the old mill and there is the overpowering smell of wild garlic.
I feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the world. Furthermore all these things are free and to be enjoyed. This year, during lockdown, Graham gave me a few lessons on identifying butterflies and flowers. Nature has played an important role in making us all feel better. God created a stunning world and gave us charge of it. I thought I would post a meditation I wrote ages ago which I am hoping will cheer us all up, given that the news always seems so depressing.
"It was Springtime. I heard the first cuckoo. I felt the earth starting to warm up. The cheeky sparrows were squabbling and chattering. It was a hive of activity as birds started to defend their territories and build their nests. My heart felt glad as the nights began to draw out and I thanked God.
"Then came Summer. I felt the intense heat of the day. I enjoyed sumptuous picnics with ice-cold long drinks to quench my thirst. I sat in the garden until bedtime because it was light until late and the evenings were long. Excited children cycled past, bells ringing. I felt at peace.
"Autumn was soon upon us. I trudged through the crisp, crunchy, bronze leaves. The air smelled musty and I picked some hedgerow blackberries so I could make delicious sweet jams. I bought some home-made chutneys and pickles at the Harvest festival sale and prepared my larder ready for Winter storage. I felt ready to embrace the next season.
"Finally, Winter arrived. The crisp, cold air chilled me to the bone, hands numb. The ground felt hard and slippery. I lit pine-smelling candles and sat by the warm, cosy fire with my sweet hot chocolate, snug indoors. I wrapped my presents for my loved ones and got ready to celebrate the coming of the Christ Child. I felt so very thankful and eagerly waited for the Prince of Peace."
You spoke and the Heavens and the earth came into being.
How amazing your works are.
How lovely it is to gaze up at a blanket of blue on a Summer’s day.
On the third day, at your command, up rose continents and islands;
weird and wonderful plants burst into life.
Thank you for the sun that rises every morning
and the moon that lights our way at night.
You gave life to the giant crashing whales and all the creatures of the ocean –
best of all is the sweet song of the blackbird.
On the sixth day you crafted humans in your own image, intricately woven.
You saw that it was good.
Finally, you rested.
Help us to be mindful of the responsibility
of caring for your stunning creation
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.