Wednesday, 19 March 2014

This bit.

I have had times in my life of sorrow, terror and bewilderment, times that took all I had and tore me apart, changed me forever.

Reading this article, and many others like it, I can see such times are coming again for us all:
“. . . a number of other more empirically-focused studies - by KPMG and the UK Government Office of Science for instance - have warned that the convergence of food, water and energy crises could create a 'perfect storm' within about fifteen years.”

We aren’t doing much about it, are we?  Think of the possibilities open to us – for example, we could be decommissioning nuclear power stations and nuclear weapons now, while we have the technological capacity still to do that.  We could be saving seeds and planting every corner of every public park and garden, every railway siding and roadside verge, with fruit and nut trees.  Every new house build could be required to include a huge underground storage tank for the rainwater that falls on the roof.

But no.

I am afraid, when I think of the future.  I have faith in God, but I am still afraid, because God is not afraid to allow us to pass through the most terrible suffering, if that is our choice.  He is with us, but he lets it happen.

But because of what I have been through and what I see ahead, I cherish with every fibre of my being this bit – what I have now – and I am not willing to let it be ruined by anything.

By “this bit”, I mean the cherry blossom just appearing in the garden, the sound of my daughter singing, the fur of our black cat glinting in the sunshine, the peace and fragrance of an open fire, the cry of the gulls wheeling overhead, the green brilliance of moss on the wet stones, the comfortable ordinariness of our home, the kindness that is here – the way we look after each other and take care of one another.  My grandaughter’s eyes shining with delight at simple bouncing games and little toys, my grandson shouting excitedly about the sand monsters in the garden.  A loaf of new bread.  Baked potatoes.  Homemade juice.  Gathering wild garlic leaves for salad. 

The unexceptional domestic peace that characterizes our lives is not an accident, it was fought for, hard won and patiently built.  It is there because we defend it, nurture it, understand it.

Life is beautiful.  Oh, I treasure this bit so much.


“There is only one question: how to love this world.”           (Mary Oliver) 



Annie Brewer said...

Thanks for this. I too am very happy with "this bit"
Annie xx

Bean said...

Corporations control everything. I listened to a radio 4 interview with the head of a bank, the woman at the top makes four million pounds annually. That is over seventy six thousand pounds weekly. I thought who needs this much money,and how many of the frontline workers at the bank branches are making a low wage that probably barely make ends meet.
The middle class is being destroyed and we will end up with the ultra wealthy owning everything while the rest of the population struggles to survive.

beth said...

Thank you, Ember. Feeling a bit low this morning but knowing that when I step outside into this spring morning, my bit - pear blossoms, wren song, wet earth smell, and the conversation of friends with whom I will go for a walk - will lift and remind me of the goodness of God. Needing that just now.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello friends -

Beth, God's blessings on you and what makes up your world. xx

Annie - waving - our bit is a good one today - the sun, the sea, the breeze. xx

Bean - the worst of it is they don't seem to grasp that we really are all in this together; the heavier the greed, the faster the whole ship sinks, with them on it right there with all the rest of us. xx

gail said...

Ah yes, greed!
John 10 : 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Why can't they see this? Why won't they listen?
Yes Pen, I will continue to look for the joy in "this bit", but isn't it sad that something that could be fixed is just let decay. How does that song go. "They take paradise and put up a parking lot"
Blessings Gail

rebecca said...

My "this bit" is pretty limited to looking out the window to a grey sky. One small, bare tree catches a bird or two that seem to be trying out their "spring wings".

Tomorrow I'll be trying out my own when (God-willing) I return to my home. My husband will come to retrieve me after church. He will become my new nurse as we figure out together how to navigate this next part of the healing journey.

Life IS beautiful. Learning to love it is a fascinating education.

Pen Wilcock said...

Gail - I guess the way forward is each to look to our own responsibilities; to do the best we can with what has been entrusted to us - though the decisions are not always easy. x

Rebecca - Your view of the birds and the grey sky reminds me of when my husband Bernard was is hospital. A man of the hills and woodlands, he felt very confined and out of place in a hospital ward. Then one windy day when I came to visit him, I found him quite cheerful and animated. The window of his ward looked out onto the parking lot, and at the far side of it grew a line of trees. He said that at first when he came there, from so far away the trees had not been able to recognise him in so unfamiliar a setting. But he said that morning, at last, one of the trees had spotted him there in his hospital bed, and waved to him from across the parking lot, and it had made him feel more at home.