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August 2022 - an update from your benefice priest

Dear Friends,

This month, it feels like the beginnings of Ramblings from the Rectory as my thoughts have flitted between one idea and another. It’s always hard to write for an article that will be read in a month’s time and we don’t know what the situation in life is going to be by then. Indeed, as I sat writing this month’s article in the rectory garden, I kept being distracted by the bees who are enjoying the flowers (my knowledge is not yet good enough to name them all!!), the pigeons, who think it’s okay to live rent free under the solar panels on the rectory roof and the calling of the birds in the trees and fields around us. I love sitting in the garden and finding a sense of peace, but as I said, it can also be a great distraction.

Nic has made some great improvements to the garden already; he’s extended the patio and removed a very overgrown flower bed that seemed in the wrong place; the vegetables are growing and we are already eating the lettuce and have managed to dig up one lot of potatoes which were delicious. The flower beds nearer the paddock hedges keep surprising us and, other than weeding and digging out the never-ending brambles and ivy, we are letting things be – to show us what they are. The purple irises have made way for orange day lilies and a mass of green leaves that we didn’t really like the look of are apparently a type of anemone which will flower in August, so that’s exciting. We have a beautiful array of oxide daisies too which just lift the garden from all the greenery around it.

There is something new to discover every day and I can see that each season will change the appearance of the garden and its atmosphere. It reminds me of the song ‘Turn! Turn! Turn! by the Byrds:

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

and a time for every purpose, under heaven.

I wonder how many of you will now have the tune of that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day. The song continues with: ‘A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap.’ These words do fit the garden analogy very well but the whole song is actually taken from the Bible. It can be found in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, chapter three, verses 1-8. The song has rearranged the words slightly but they are essentially the same.

The Bible text says: ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens’, then goes on to list what those times are. The meaning of this passage is about learning to live in some form of harmony, recognising that in our lives there are times of joy and times of sorrow, that the realities of life are not straight forward and that, even when we have a clear idea about most things, there are also those unexpected moments that take us by surprise – either in a good way or not. How we deal with them is up to us when we are in a place to do so, sometimes because we have our own resilience and sometimes because we accept help when we need it. My hope for the month to come is that you find ways to look for the things of beauty in your life, even if it only seems like a tiny flower bursting through a bed of tangled weeds. And I’ll let you know what else we discover in the rectory garden over the summer.

With every blessing


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