The computer is humming away to itself
while the wind sways the trees ....
After several days of rain the garden was refreshed
but now the clay soil is dry.
Our climate seems to be as unstable
as the present world situation.
At Mass some days ago we had a reading
from the book of Genesis 12
which seemed an appropriate description of the
present state of the world :
Yahweh said to Abram,
Leave your country, your kindred
and your fathers house
for a country which I will show you ..
Abraham was not fleeing from persecution
but seeking the Promised Land
in which he and his family could settle
and freely worship God.
At present the atmosphere is different,
as recent events have demonstrated.
There is much religious conflict,
resulting in violence and death.
We are all urged to be cautious.
Many people are afraid because of the circumstances
in which we now live.
A SIGN OF HOPE
Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of Saint Benedict,
the Patron of Europe.
It has been raining steadily after
days of very hot weather.
The solitary squirrel comes periodically for bread
and the vixen, now very slim, quests for something
better to eat. ... like the remains of cat food.
It is the flowering time for Japanese anemones.
They are now mostly mauve in colour
but some are white.
White Japanese anemone
During Morning Office yesterday
we sang part of a canticle from the Book of Sirach 2:1-18.
My son, if you aspire to serve the Lord
prepare yourself for an ordeal.
Be sincere of heart, be steadfast,
and do not be alarmed when disaster comes ....
Whatever happens to you, accept it,
and in changes that humble you be patient .....
You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy;
do not turn aside in case you fall.....
For the Lord is compassionate and merciful,
he forgives sins and saves in days of distress.....
Those who fear the Lord keep their hearts prepared
and humble themselves before him.
Let us fall into the hands of the Lord,
not into the hands of men;
for as his majesty is, so too is his mercy.
Yesterday itself was washed clean by torrential rain
as it fell unceasingly on the dry earth.
It is a relief to know that birds have outer water-proof feathers!
Today the sun shines again and the cats venture forth
into the garden.
I have just come in from the garden
where I wandered around seeing new growth.
For some plants it is now seed-time.
The eating apples look green but promising
and one of the pear trees is bearing more fruit
than ever before.
The meadow is lush with wild flowers,
some almost as tall as I am,
and the dominant flower-colour there is now white.
Elsewhere one can see glimpses of purple and yellow
amid a countless diversity of green leaves.
I even heard a solitary bee questing amid some blossom
on plants bathed in rain.
Elsewhere birds called a warning signal
as our long-haired ginger cat came into view ...
The rose-bushes close to the conference room,
which I dead-headed are doing very well,
and new buds form and flower.
It is a relief to find such freshness in nature
when the world-news becomes ever more depressing.
In an article in The Tablet by Richard Leonard SJ
commented on this fact.
But the writer also quoted John Henry Newmans words
To live is to change,
and to be perfect is to have changed often.
We can but hope that this will be true for us.
Could one say that the weather
in this country is as
unpredictable as the political situation
throughout the world?
One day the sun is shining,
and the wind blows gently through the trees,
and on the next day the rain falls without ceasing.
Even our cats find it confusing !
However, the birds still search for food,
protected by their outer feathers.
We are fortunate if we can be clothed in hope
amidst all this instability
The afternoon became very hot -
at least for us who wear monastic habits!
Our cats also retired into the shade of large,
cool flower-pots standing on square paving stones.
But at least we knew where they were ...
Our garden is lovely now, with cleared areas
under the bushes which also provide spacious privacy.
NB This month I decided to use illustrations
from the inner circle of some larger mandalas,
even if the topics written about did not relate to them.
They seemed appropriate for this season.
Tomorrow is the Feast Day of Saint Mary Magdalen.
I found a suitable card for our Sister Magdalen
and asked Sister Clare
to scan another one relating to Easter.
(Mary Magdalen was the first of the disciples to see
the Risen Lord on Easter Sunday.)
She initially mistook him for a gardener.
It was only when Jesus called her by name Mary
that she recognised him.
This reminded me of Genesis 2 and the words
Yahweh planted a garden in Eden ....
and there he put the man he had fashioned.
From the soil, Yahweh God caused to grow every kind of tree,
enticing to look at and good to eat,
with the tree of life in the middle of the garden,
and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
(From the New Jerusalem Bible.)
We had torrential rain last night
and our lower pond was almost flooded!
However, it was a blessing as our clay soil
was cracked from the strong sunshine and the lack of rain.
It looks as though it is going to rain again.