Dancing…

I took this photograph because of the juxtaposition of the willow tree coming into leaf, and the whispy clouds above. It has the sense of the tree dancing with the clouds, out of sheer joy. Creation praising the creator….

There is a time for dancing,..

a time for thinking…

a time for praising

and a time for stopping.

Halting and hanging on to this

second, minute, hour.

Seeing; believing; understanding.

Voices in creation thanking

the Creator.

Stop and hear

Stop and pause

Stop and enjoy.

Whisper,….

thank you…

to the dance teacher!

Open or closed?

These shutters have seen better days. They were photographed in a French village about 7 years ago. I think I was captivated by the one open and one closed shutter. The open one has seen better days and is almost hanging there for ornament, the other firmly shut and not moving.

Their purpose has been re-purposed! A bit of a parable of life methinks! I’m curious about what lies beyond the opening; not very inviting but drawing me in!!!

This is bit like faith, in my world. I cannot profess to understand how faith works, but it has something to do with seeking and being open to suprise. I would have needed a ladder to get through the opening, but the easier route might be through a ground floor door. But still no guarantee of what’s inside. The upper floor may have collapsed. So many thoughts and not easy answers. Faith again! That’s why I find religious faith so fascinating and frustrating, all at the same time!

Sometimes all we can see is the building; what the eyes see and how our inner self interprets the scene. Complex…you bet! Often the only certainty we have is a series of never ending questions…and that is the blessing and the challenge of faith! I sometimes leave the shut door where it is and look for openings; chinks of light, even hunches, in other places.

I’m sure you have your own challenges and ways of dealing with them. Faith is an amazing journey, taking one step at a time. Even if it’s just looking at an open shutter in a French willage.

God is truly a ‘God of Suprises’. Enjoy the journey!!!

Arise!

This morning’s sunrise. No storm, no heavy sea, just a gentle moment. Words seem too much of an intrusion, so I shall simply offer a prayer.

In this moment of reflection, at the beginning of the day I bring who I am into your presence, Lord. No demands or questions, just thankfulness, for being able to observe the beginning of the day.

What the day may bring, is in your hands. My trust is in your profound compassion. May the light and indwelling of your Spirit raise my horizon to sense your movement in my life and others.

Amen

Heavenly light

The interplay of stained glass and light is always energising, I’m sure you will agree. The skill involved in creating it in the first place, and the stories that it tells. Medieval crafts people leaving their world view for later generations.

Heavenly light

transmitted by human craft.

Bold statement of life here

and beyond.

Visions that hold

our sight and reach our soul.

Stop us for a moment

to reflect

on our light,

God given,

and offered

in faith, to others;

seeking the light

in our seconds and minutes

and hours.

Heavenly light

drawing us on

and guiding our

journey.

Now and forever

Sun, sea, storm

There’s a rather old fashioned hymn that popped into my consciousness as I wondered what to focus on this morning. It was written in the mid 19th century and the first line is…’Will your anchor hold in the storms of life….’ You will now have the tune and words running through your thoughts all day…sorry!

The whole premis of the hymn is to get us thinking about faith, and we we place our trust. The picture above was taken last evening as the sun set. There was immense energy being let loose by the storm; water, sky and land were all brought together in a cacophony of sound and scene, which was constamtly changing.

Nature is a great teacher, which is why Jesus used it to illustrate profound truth. Those immortal words as the disciples cried out in fear of sinking on the Sea of Galilie; ‘Peace be still’….and all became calm.

Finding Inner peace is a big industry today, and illustrates the human quest for that point of calm..both within and without. Not always easy to find, and sometimes even when found, hard to hold onto!

Just reflect on those simple words of Jesus, I noted above; ‘Peace, be still’. Without that still point, however we discover it, we are always bound (and I include myself) to be constantly searching; even on a metaphorical calm sea!!

I think my phrase for this week will be ‘Peace, be still’! Time to let it swirl around our consciousness, and seep into our souls!

Blessings and peace be with you!

Profusion…

This year seems to have been a very good year for fruit. Apples seem to be in abundance and the other day I had to take this photograph of sea buckthorn berries; they were just proclaiming..’Look at me!!!’ Helen and I had to stop for a moment just to almost draw breath. A gift in and from creation.

Nothing held back; the profusion of berries stopping us in our tracks. I’ve heard many people say that during the pandemic, they have begun to see things differently, taking time to ‘notice’ what is around them. Perception changing. Giving each moment, time to reveal itself. Either outwardly, like the berries above, or something within our soul, which draws our attention.

I think the days we have passed through and are passing through, make us refocus our priorities and our view of ourselves and the space we inhabit.

Blessings and peace be with you, always.

Hmmm!

I honestly couldn’t think of a title for this scene! So Hmmm is the best I can offer!

I’ve often reflected on light and shadows as a metaphor for life, including our own inner journey. However we regard faith and belief we all have to deal with our own mental map , Sometimes this works well, other times, because of life circumstances we get a mixing of light and shadow.

Just take some time to look at the photograph and see what phrases, impressions, feelings rise into your consciousness.

Here’s my reflection;

Light and shadow

draws out hope and fear.

Holds it to the light

of longing

and waiting.

Colours and shades

reality and shadows.

All mixed into

our seconds and minutes

hours and days.

Still point of reflections; light and shadows…

No answers, just questions

are enough

for each moment.

So, rest my soul

and Hmmmmm!!!

Spiralling…

This picture which a took a few years ago, got me thinking about my thought life! Quite often I can find myself being turned back to a particular worry or thought pattern, which I seem unable to break out of. Very frustrating.

The spiral staircase somehow made me think about those choices we make every day; the things we obsess about. Spiralling on a stream of consciousness and never seemimg to break free. What strikes me about this picture is that it takes us first to the dark part of the staircase, at centre left, but then the eye is drawn upwards to the light, and the promise of a different perspective.

Isn’t that true of life in so many ways. Perspective change can take us from frustration to new ways of seeing or thinking. This can happen imperceptivly or dramatically. It is about trusting the insight, no matter how ridiculous it might seem! God has many ways of reaching each of us. The still, small persistent nudge, through a change in perspective or thought pattern. Simply a move from darkness into light. Taking a step towards light and hope and leaving behind darkness and uncertainty.

Easier said than done, I admit. As I often say, I am first of all speaking to my inner self in these blogs, and hope that it also might resonate with you.

The picture has a very hopeful vibe to it. Thank you, as always, for taking time to read my musings.

Reaching out

Moon rise yesterday; a proper harvest moon! Whenever I see the moon in all it’s glory, It reminds me of the first moon landing in July 20th, 1969, when I was 12 years old. It utterley captivated me on all kinds of levels. Humankind walking on another world. The promise of so much. Excitement and dreaming.

I remember discussions later on with the astronauts who landed and walked on the moon on successive missions. One of the recurring questions was about whether they has ‘spiritual experiences’. Some were able to articulate spiritual ‘encounters’ others nothing.

It just gets me thinking about ourselves and how we perceive spiritual moments in our lives? How do we understand them; how do we categorise them; can we actually talk about these moments. Is it a case of language falling short. Perhaps it is an impossible thing to articulate?

But I belive that ‘Reaching out’ is a good first step. Not into a vacuum but with the assurance that making a step is all that is required, and the response will be heard by our Creator. We like to make things complex; the moon landings were very complex and challenging. But what brought the whole thing to fruition was profound faith and trust by all involved.

Exactly what we need as God reaches out to us and we make a response in our own unique way.

At one time the idea of a moon landing seemed a pipe dream, Faith can sometimes feel like that. But that is OK. Because faith, to be real, has to be challenged. God wants to hear our questions; even the most difficult. Because through this process we begin to understand ourselves and reach out to our Creator and sustainer.