July 2017

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 father’s 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.  


Helleborus Seeds



10th July

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

 12th July

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.


 15th  July

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 Newman’s 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.


 Purple Pansies


 17th July

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.


 Cultivated Cornflowers

 21st July

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.)


22nd July

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.



July Flowers