‘the falcon cannot hear the falconer
things fall apart; the centre cannot hold,
mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
the blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere
the ceremony of innocence is drowned.
The best lack conviction
while the worst are full of passionate intensity.’
We live in turbulent times at present and every time the news comes on things seem more and more uncertain over Brexit. There seems to be no end to the disagreement; the anger and frustration; the fear and anxiety that is pouring out of Westminster and across the country at the moment.
I had hoped that whilst we were away these last few weeks, things may have settled a bit but it appears it’s even worse now and, as I sit in my office typing this letter to you, my thoughts stray back to the simplicity of our get away in rural Limousin.
Simplicity – every day begins at sunrise and the farmers and villagers’ way of being moves with the gentle rhythm of the day, the times and the seasons. We don’t need a watch as we know that Bruno will drive down the impasse in his tractor at 7.00am – return for his lunch at 12 noon on the dot and set back out again at 2.30pm -returning in the evening around 7.00pm. We know it’s Wednesday as the market is at Piegut or Friday because it’s at Brantome. We know it’s summer as the stalls are weighed down with local grown melons and tomatoes, strawberries and squashes. It’s autumn when it’s garlic and onions and chestnuts and mushrooms. Apart from the odd car or lorry transporting huge trunks of wood, the roads are deserted and the only thing you can hear are the birds and crickets and the sound of mirabelles falling off the tree as Marcel’s son shakes the branches collecting the ‘prune’ to make the ‘eau de vie’. Jean Claude’s home-made tractor goes down to the ‘lavoire’ to collect water for his veg patch. As the sun sets and ‘golden time’ begins, the light reflecting on the leaves with a midas touch, we wait for the bat’s first flight as dusk begins and for the first star to appear. And then the miracle happens and heaven comes to earth as millions upon millions of stars and the smudge of the Milky Way surround us – there are no street lights – and in the sound of silence we realise how small we are in the vast scheme of things. I hold my hand out to touch a star.
Don’t misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that we bury our heads in the sand but it does leave me thinking that we need to reconnect with a simpler way of life – to become ‘grounded’ again. That we are called as God’s children to be good stewards of this world, so we need to reconnect with that beauty and wonder; that we need to remember we are not ‘the masters of the universe’.
We stand on Holy ground and we all, including our parliament and government, need to remember that.
So why don’t you wrap up on one of these autumn evenings and instead of watching TV, go outside, look up to the heavens and watch the stars and, in the stillness, breathe deep and recognise your unique place in the universe.
With every blessing and grateful thanks to Denise Woodward for the quote from Yeats