September 2017

Once again the trees are swaying against a dull sky.

The weather is uncertain,

with short periods of sunshine and longer periods of rain.


Thursday 7th September

Dave has been working in the meadow area,

slowly cutting down the shoulder high plants

and helping the meadow to become a meadow again.

The three apple trees are doing well,

and the one with an injured bough -

due to the weight of the apples it bore -

is now carefully held  in place and we hope it will survive.

While he was carefully mowing the area

Dave found two frogs, and moved them to another place.

He also heard the sound of a natterjack

but did not see it.

The natterjack is a British species of toad

with a yellow stripe down its back.

Friday 15th September

This last week has been busy as there was an order

 for cards from Buckfast Abbey Book Shop.

This kept both Sister Monica and I well occupied !

The order was for 365 cards.

I did the printing and cutting down

and Sister Monica inserted the envelopes into each card,

and later adding the transparent cellophane covers.

The parcel now awaits collection in our silent hall.


The weather here has been very strange lately.

It rains heavily in the night

and intermittently throughout the day.

The wind has been very strong, too.

A heron has been visiting the lower pond,

seeking nourishment, and flying away

when human beings are detected in the vicinity


We are re-reading


and Other Parables by Margaret Silf.

On the back cover of the book these words are found:

“Today, no less than in Jesus’ day

everyday incidents can show us

what the Kingdom of God is like.

In The Miller’s Tale and Other Parables,

ordinary experience reveals shafts of God’s mystery,

tracing creation’s story, from original blessing,

through brokenness and restoration,

to a vision of a new and never-ending Kingdom

in which we are called to be co-creators.

In this unforgettable book, we discover God’s meanings

in the words and pictures of our human stories.”


Sunday 17th September

The days are drawing in - a rather strange expression -

rather like drawing curtains at nightfall -

and the sun rises later and sets earlier.

After days and nights of torrential rain

and strong wind, when trees swayed

and the wind howled,

we seem to have reached a calmer period of time.

Would that this were equally true of the world at large,

which is ravaged by unexpected attacks of violence,

with storms and hurricanes

reaping a harvest of destruction, desolation and death.


The activity in our garden is not so harrowing.

A young fox is seen now and again

in the early morning, when the birds are being fed.

After supper on most days some food remnants

are put out for creatures which forage in the night.

The grass is now patterned with early falling leaves

from gently wind-tossed trees.

The day looks rather dull.


19th September

A solitary lesser black- backed gull

was foraging for food on the lawn this morning.

We first noticed these birds in the June of this year.

The day is misty and cold and the Welsh hills

are not visible.


20th September

Our magnolia tree has grown tall and strong.

We went out in the afternoon

 to look at  the red seed cases.

A ladybird rested on one of them,

enjoying the afternoon sunshine.

While we watched it raised its protective

wing shields flew away.

Friday 22nd September

My calendar tells me that  Autumn begins today.

The day began bright and promising

but by early afternoon the weather was overcast

and it began to rain.

Dave was able to cut the grass

while the sun was shining.

Only some of our trees are glowing

with autumnal colours.

The old horsechestnut tree would win the prize.

The autumn flowers are beautiful :

some have golden petals

while  others are opening their seed-cases

and allowing the seeds to fall into the

receptive soil.


This reminded me of the

The Parable of the Sower.

Matthew 13

“That same day Jesus went out of the house

and sat beside the sea.

Such great crowds gathered around him

that he got into a boat and sat there,

while the whole crowd stood on the beach.

And he told them many things in parables, saying:

“Listen! A sower went out to sow.

And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path,

and the birds came and ate them up.

Other seeds fell on rocky soil,

and they sprang up quickly

because they had no depth of soil.

But when the sun rose, they were scorched;

 and since they had no root they withered away.

Other seeds fell among thorns,

and the thorns grew up and choked them.

Other seed fell on good soil

and brought forth grain,

some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Let those with ears listen.”


Sunday 24th September

The weather has become warmer

and the colours in the garden are brighter.

Some of the lily-in-the valley close to the House

have orange berries and remind me

of my own small garden patch when I was a child,

and we lived in Worcester Park, Surrey.

Our garden was close to a railway line.

It is surprising  how soon one can adapt

to the sound of trains.

Some flowers still remind me of my childhood,

and so do certain poems.

The photograph, taken by Sister Monica,

shows the nibbled edges of the leaves,

possibly eaten by small snails.


The lower photograph

shows the aspects of autumn beauty

in a flower-bed close to the lawn

at the front of the House.

We are very fortunate to have such variety

in our acre of land.