Sunday, 2 August 2015

Lammas




It’s been a happy weekend. Lammas, and the Bible reading set from the Gospel of John – “I am the bread of life.


The Badger was preaching, speaking about motivation, what people hunger for, what makes them get up in the morning.

In my own study reading, the question ~ what do you long to see come to fruition in your own life ~ what is your soul’s harvest?

At chapel, the preacher asking ~ when you come to church, what feeds you? What are you looking for?

Such good questions all. Food for thought indeed!

And today, a tribal gathering at our Rosie’s. She and her partner Jon have lifted a huge old Victorian wreck of a house out of dark grubbiness into a glowing, comfortable home of generous hospitality. Children pottering about happily in the garden, Grandad wandering down with his stick to look at the vegetable patch, the next-door dog coming to the fence to have her ears rubbed. Twelve people sitting down to a glorious feast that included potatoes and onions from the garden – not bad seeing they only moved in just before Christmas!

And tomorrow is our Alice and Hebe’s birthday. Thirty-two! Glory! Where did that go? I sat in chapel this morning, watching them playing fiddle and flute, thinking about the first day they came to worship there – three days old, I think they were. The preacher welcomed them, said what their names were; then at the end of the service, an elderly and rather deaf saint from the formidable and decidedly senior choir, way-laying me to demand ~ “Dallas and Who?”

Church, eh?

It’s been a weekend of beautiful sunshine. Our neighbours over the road, devout Pagans, had their handfasting ceremony last year, then this weekend, a year-and-a-day on, after their tradition, their marriage. It was on the Friday, Lammas Eve, under a blue moon – very special! The Badger went to their huge and happy party on the Saturday afternoon; not being a throng type, I abstained, but they send across a little piece of the spicy cake they’d made together, symbol of the life they are making, full of kindness and hospitality. God bless them.

So, it’s really felt like Lammas – the first of the two harvest festivals, the one that opens the harvest, time to put the sickle in. The beginning of a season of fruition that ends with Michaelmas and the stories of the angels of the Last Judgement when all is safely gathered in, and St Michael points silently down the year to the coming days of darkness, reminding us to prepare.

But, for the meantime, after the wet and turbulent weather attending the blue moon, the land basks under the benevolent sun, the blackberries shine like jewels in the hedgerow, the apples are growing plump on the trees, and our greengage has a heavy crop again even though it managed loads of fruit last year.

Every night, the vixen comes for her supper, and leaves a little signature, a discreet pile of dung, alongside her dish to say “Was here. Got it. Thank you. Lula Fox. xx” In fact one day last week, the crows didn’t finish their breakfast, and so well have I managed to convince the gull families that it’s not theirs, it was still on the plate on the garden wall come evening. And Lula Fox – I wish I’d been there to see it – climbed up on the garden wall, ate the leftovers (Tasty fish heads. Yum!), and contrived to leave her small signature of dung in the centre of the licked-clean dish on top of the garden wall. That must have been a sight in the execution!






Monday, 27 July 2015

Not a Quiet Day. Just a quiet day.



All day long, as far as I know, nothing is happening.


It’s not the day for grocery shopping.

I visited my mother yesterday, and she has no doctor’s appointments, needs no forms filling in, has milk in her fridge, and my sister is visiting her today.

No visitors are coming.

It’s not a day when I’m needed to give a lift in the car.

The magazine article deadline was yesterday – done, sent in.

It’s not the day to go to church.

There are no postal deliveries expected.

Nobody is needing extra attention because they are leaving or coming home today.

We have no builders.

There’s nothing to take to the post office.

I have no proofs to read.

These last months I’ve been writing writing writing, every day writing writing writing – and yesterday I finished the second of two novels written this year and sent it in, with all support documents – the ninth book in the Hawk & the Dove series, the last of that series. I have nothing else planned, contracted or scheduled.

I am booked for no funerals.

I don’t have any laundry worth doing.

The wild rain storms have stopped, there’s a breeze and a beautiful sunrise.

Other than feeding the crow family, the fox family and the badger family (the wild furry woodland one, not my husband), I have nobody who can’t get their own meals, here.

The house is clean and tidy.

I have everything I could possibly want and don’t need to go shopping.

There are no charity kerbside collections to get up and put things out for.

It’s not garbage collection day.

It’s not recycling collection day.

I (finally) drove out to Catsfield to drop off various people’s unwanted books at the charity book bank.

I’ve fed the young trees and the rain storms have watered them.

This week, nobody has a birthday.

I have no speaking/preaching/retreat leading engagements.

Nobody I live with cries several times a day, needs their bottom wiping or can’t tie their own shoelaces.

I don’t have a dog, watching me, waiting . . . waiting . . .

There’s nothing I feel guilty about because I ought to be going to it and don’t want to.

The others who live with me have tended the garden.

This whole day there are no plans or obligations and nothing to worry about, nothing to dread and nothing to accomplish. The last time I can remember that happening I was four.

Well, hallelujah, eh?