During the last week we have had readings
from the Letter to the Romans.
Some days ago the words from Chapter 6:2
were a revelation to me:
"You have been taught that when we were baptised
in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death;
in other words, when we were baptised
we went into the tomb with him
and joined him in death,
so that when Christ was raised from the dead
by the Fathers glory,
we too might live a new life."
The Jerusalem Bible.
Sometimes the readings simply
flow over my head - but not like baptismal water !
I mentioned this at one of our pre-Vespers
meetings, and was delighted to learn that other
Sisters, too, had had similar experiences
at different times.
The Word of God is never static -
it really is alive and active.
Even after many years of monastic life
God remains the God of Surprises .
Primula now in bloom
The weather is very unsettled.
The gulls seem to have gone out to sea,
as they do in stormy weather.
This means that the garden birds are better fed.
The sun shines occasionally, the wind blows,
and the harlequins and ladybirds
are leaving their winter quarters indoors.
I have just taken a harlequin outside.
It ran to the tip of my middle finger
when I opened my hand
and, like a miniature aeroplane,
launched itself into the air.
It was marvellous to see this
most unexpected take-off.
Perhaps this is something from which
the makers of aeroplanes learned aerodynamics?
Another skein of geese is now flying overhead
in their V formation.
Where are they going ?
Ladybirds and harlequins
Photographed by C.C. some years ago
During Morning Office these lines from Psalm 103
drew my attention:
I will sing to the Lord all my life,
make music to my God while I live.
May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
I find my joy in the Lord.
Unfortunately my thoughts are not always good
and so the joyousness fades away....
It is now Saturday 11th February
and my week in the kitchen is almost over.
The day is overcast and for a short while
snow fell before turning into rain.
The gulls are still around, and cat Murphy
came somewhat late for food.
He has now consumed a fresh packet of Felix
under his bench on the recently cleaned path.
He is still squatting there, hoping for some more food.
Does he not get fed elsewhere ?
When I was still quite young I asked
one of my teachers how it felt to get older.
She told me that she felt just the same as always.
I am now at the age when I can confirm this for myself.
The only difference is that I get tired more easily...
The daffodils have pierced through the earth
with their green spear - buds.
Snowdrops are out everywhere and hyacinths
are forming above ground from hidden bulbs.
My brother and I, being born in February,
often had hyacinths for our birthday,
specially grown for us by our mother.
It was difficult to find suitable presents for children
during the Second World War.
Sunday 12th February
We are now in the third week before Lent...
The Morning Office reading from Genesis 1,
The creation of the world
was complemented by the Hymn to Gods omnipotence
from Job 36: 25-30
"... the greatness of God exceeds our knowledge,
the number of his years is past counting.
It is he who makes the raindrops small
and pulverises the rain into mist.
And the clouds then pour this out,
sending it streaming down on the human race.
By these means, he sustains the people,
giving them plenty to eat.
And who can fathom how he spreads the clouds,
or why such crashes thunder from his tent?
He spreads the mist before him
and covers the tops of mountains.
He gathers up the lightning in his hands,
assigning it the mark where to strike ...."
Friday 17th February
The japonica in our garden is now in flower,
and the first primroses are in bloom.
The hyacinths, which were planted out many years ago,
are emerging opposite the garden crucifix.
White hellebore is now visible, and rhubarb
is emerging from the soil - amid many weeds -
more kindly and truly called wild flowers.
Human beings are strange - what we dont want
to grow in the garden amid cultivated plants,
although they are more truly part of it,
we term weeds and try to do away with them.
This has made me think of indigenous people
who have been treated so brutally by invaders
throughout the centuries who seized their land.
Now other people are fleeing for their lives
and we, the former invaders, give them scant welcome.
Wednesday 22nd February
During the night the wind blew and rain fell.
It continues to rain, reminding me of a story by Giovanni Guareschi.
His son was asked by a teacher to describe a certain day.
It happened to be raining that day and the youngster
wrote "It is raining. It is still raining. It is raining."
He obviously lacked his fathers creative skill !
(It was Guareschi who wrote the Don Camillo books
and a light-hearted book entitled
"The House that Nino Built".)
It was a great pleasure to have Hazel Stephen here again
for a few days, helping Sister Monica with the preparation
and filling of lavender bags, thus allowing Sister M.
to concentrate of the designs for them.
They sell very well at Buckfast Abbey.
Hazel made contact with us after the showing of
SUBURBAN SISTERS on TV in 1996.
when Michael Symmons Roberts
was in charge of the programme on site.
He was then a youth with ginger hair.
He has kept in touch with us ever since
and is renowned as a poet and writer.
Raindrops continue to role down the west-facing
window-panes, and cat Goldie slumbers on my bed.
It is a rather dull day for the cats and I ...
Our gardener Dave came today, despite the rain,
and decided to tidy-up the shed.
Small violets are in bloom
and daffodils are bowing their heads.
Crocuses have emerged from the soil
and elsewhere primroses reflect the pale sun.
We awoke to a howling gale and a raindrop dance
on the window-panes.
I learned that this was caused by a storm force 10,
which is known as a "whole" gale.
The evergreen trees are doing a dervish dance,
the movements are known to them alone
as they follow the guidance of the shrieking wind.
Dead branches are breaking from the deciduous trees.
If any birds are already nesting
one can only pray that their young are safe.
These thoughts come from inland -
how much more dreadful at sea for fleeing refugees.
23rd February 2017
Wishing you every blessing this Lent.