It was early on a summer Sunday I took myself walking through small enclaves of meadow and marsh, pondering how my love of England has grown as I’ve grown – from the petty resentment and boredom of teenhood where everything disappoints, to the middle of life with twenty years’ spiritual practice behind me.
Since the Mystery Plays chart the story from Creation to Last Judgement, there is only God at the beginning – God with a Yorkshire accent. There’s a certain kindliness, a kind of certainty to a Yorkshire God – you’d probably know where you are with Him. He’d be firm but fair.
It was here before, just so –
the long straight avenue
parting luxurious chestnut trees
and families of deer browsing
up to the Burges church
festooned with gilded angels
and parrot-coloured windows.
One of the very (very) few German words I know is the one for hedgehog. I don’t remember where or why I learned it, but it stuck in my head because igel sounds like eagle, and there can be no two creatures more dissimilar.
This year Easter came early, so I spent Good Friday at home, baking hot-cross buns and filling vases with daffodils and purple tulips. In amongst spring freshness and the cosy aromas of spice, I did leave time for reflection though.
It felt homely to be back in Wales, if only for a weekend. I’d forgotten how fond I am of the atmosphere. There’s a magic about it, a friendliness, a deep self-certainty in the people that I’ve not noticed anywhere else.
Do little people still read Dr Seuss nowadays, or am I showing my age? I loved taking time in those imagined worlds of the Cat in the Hat, Fox in Socks, Green Eggs and Ham – where everyone talks in rhyming couplets and looks a bit fuzzy round the edges.
My family is in the midst of an almighty clear-out. There’s nothing like the buzz of giving things away, especially to people who even recognise what they are and thus how they could be useful.
I always try and take a short retreat in winter with the Sri Chinmoy Centre. These Christmas Trips have always been a significant source of inspiration for me, but this time the contrast is extreme.
I just found this enchanting short film, written and directed by Sai Selvarajan. It caught my attention by connecting India to Queens, New York The artwork itself is brilliant, and the story heartwarming.
With all the workings exposed, the wheels give out an honest and percussive rhythm. A driver appears at the open cab in cloth cap and overalls, trailing a great billowing cumulus behind that muffles the edges of the present day.
Do you ever stop to think what an achievement it is that you and I – metaphorically or metaphysically – are sitting here? Perhaps you do. Perhaps I ought to do more often.