Saturday, 31 December 2011


Here we are again at that point in our lives
when we visualize ourselves crossing
into new opportunities and challenges.

I must say that New Year had never made much sense to me
as I've always seen time as a continuous "now",
and it's marking and breaking into segments,
a human invention born out of necessity,
but of no concrete reality.

You will guess then that making New Year resolutions is not something I've ever tried.
From what I hear they go something like this.

Still and all, I know that this is a meaningful time for many
and certainly it was strange how last New Year
almost straight after midnight we were pitched
into some hard experiences which continued
pretty much over this last twelve months.

It did make me review the times I've dismissed it 
when I've heard people say,
" I,ll be glad when this year is over",
and realise how they felt.

There surely are differing seasons in life,
how ever we view the marking and passing of time.
So on the eve of 2012 
I wish you and yours
A Blessed , Happy , and Healthy New Year.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Earth Marks - What do we leave in our wake?

Today I walked through Abbey Fields, Kenilworth.
The sky was pale blue,
with the occasional cloud scudding across the wintry sun;
the wind stinging my cheeks,
 stirring the trees tops to a sea-like surge,
and rustling the crisp fallen leaves like milk
poured into a bowl of cornflakes.

As always I am fascinated by the multitude of footprints, 
paw marks, scuffs, and tyre tracks,
imprinted not just here but in so many places.

Soft sand beaches where our beautiful traces
are washed away with the tide, 
or muddy ground,
where they glisten damp, soft, and squelchy, or 
having baked, dried, or frozen,
ridge hard under our feet.

Even the unyielding pavements,
and town or city stone are not immune, 
the dark imprint of wet on dry appearing with the rain.

I am absorbed by thoughts of the many feet,
small and large, well shod or ill.
The feet that hurried or laboured on.
The wheels that have swished
or heavy pedalled along this particular spot of earth.

And what of the owners of those padded paws,
the feather dropped,
the claw marks where wings have come to rest?

In this place, - these Abbey Fields,
it's no hardship to remember feet from long ago
covering this same earth.
Monks and lay,
sacred or profane,
they too have come and gone.

It's not merely the physical trails we leave that fascinates me,
or our impact on the material environment.
I wonder what real impact we make;
what indelible mark our being here has?

What do we leave in our wake?

God Bless

Friday, 23 December 2011

It's Almost Here

 Of course I did get around to decorating the house for Christmas, 
and humble though our little tree is it pleases me
that I didn't give in to the feeling that it was really 
all too much to manage this year.

As I'm going into hospital straight after the New Year 
it will all be coming down rather soon 
and it was tempting to think 
it wasn't worth the expenditure of time and energy.


True it was a slower, more meditative process 
than it has ever been,
 but perhaps it was this that made it
an even sweeter time than ever too. 
The cheap little wooden figures I bought so many years ago
come out every year
and never fail to take me back to my family roots;
to the winter's day in Monmouth when I bought five boxes of them.
I each for me, for my mother, my daughter,
and my then infant granddaughters.
Once the doors of your heart are opened
the thoughts of loved ones from many times and places
 come flooding in.

Given the unhurried pace I was taking,
 these reminders seemed to turn to thanksgiving and prayer 
of their own accord.

After the determined effort it had taken
to unearth the makings and start the job,
it became a time of sweetness and encouragement.

After that I knew writing the cards, 
and buying the presents in time,
would also be possible.

So I sit here with just the wrapping to be done tomorrow,
and two cards to be taken to folks I want to hand deliver to.

There have been other,
unforeseen things that I've been called upon to do
that I would never have believed I had the strength or energy for,
but they too have been possible by God's grace.

One of the most pleasurable of those things
was to have our four year old great grand son 
with us overnight last night,
and part of today. 

It is a real joy to be woken by a little person 
who is dancing from foot to foot
at the side of your bed, 
and chanting
"I love mornings. I love mornings" 
A couple of hours later we had eaten, 
read, played, sung, and
he was still joyously on the move.
I was a little less so.
Sometimes it's very easy to see 
we've been given strength and carried along!

Wherever you are
 may you be blessed by a wondrously

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Advent Waiting

If you are wondering where I am in these days leading up to Christmas...

I've not been madly decorating,
or Christmas shopping,
though I will have to engage with all that soon.

As it is the days
have been full of lots of comings and goings.

Family birthdays.
Hospital appointments.
Day to day necessities to be seen to.

There have been,
and are,
at this moment
griefs to come to grips with,
difficulties to be faced and overcome, 
and I am wearied
and wanting to opt out.

 If I knew what I could opt out of 
and where to "op" to
I would.

My thoughts twist and turn, 
 my strength ebbs...

An unreasonable quietness rises
to hold me firmer 
than my doubts and unbelief
before the next battle.
It is not I who hold on.
I am held despite myself.

I am
just keeping as quiet as I can,
and waiting,
just waiting,
for the holy,
and the deep:
that moment
when Christmas really comes,
though I live in the truth of it while I wait.