Minister


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Rev Michael Dadson

Tel: 01663 611444

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Let's see now …


… just how evocative the warmth of Summer might be

Writing this on a warm and dreamy afternoon – the weather certainly looks lovely, through my window! – and thinking about what hymns to sing at the Blessing of the Wells (on August 10th), I find myself feeling quite 'flowery' and rather reflective.

I'm sending you two opportunities to use the outdoors as a setting and a prompt for your own reflections.

First, a verse from one of our hymns – 'Moods of Summer', by Sydney Henry Knight – which paints a picture of something I have found myself doing quite deliberately of late, prompted by colleague and friend Sarah Tinker:-

When, beneath the trees of summer,
Under leafy shade I lie,
Breathing in the scent of flowers,
Sheltered from the sun-hot sky;
Then my heart is all contentment,
and my soul is quiet and still,
soothed by whispering, laze breezes,
like the grasses on the hill.

Now of course I realise that lying down on the ground beneath a tree is not something that every one of us is prone to doing (see what I did there?!), here is a meditation by Alan Epstein that you can take out and put to use one … or several … of these fine Summer days.

If you do — and I hope you do — enjoy!

Spend time in a flower garden. Stay there as long as you wish, but make sure your visit is long enough to take in the various charms that the world of blossoms and petals provides.

You can stand quietly, wander slowly, or sit in a chair, but however you choose to spend your time, be aware that you are a guest in someone else's home. You are Nature's guest, so act accordingly.

If the day is warm and sunny, savour the rays and imagine how the flowers must feel at this very moment. Look closely at the variety of blooms; look at their different shapes and colours; look at the way the individual blossoms grow out of their leafy sheaths. Now use your sense of smell to take in the stunning array of fragrance, all of which can be divinely overpowering.

Keep an eye out for the varied animal life that also inhabits the garden: the birds and squirrels, the insects that fly, the ones that crawl. Notice how intently they go about their business, how they move from place to place, trying not to notice you but in fact finding that task just too difficult.

Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the garden: the chirping and humming, the movement of the stems and leaves in the gentle breeze.

Now see if you can transcend your individual senses and feel the presence of the garden inside you. Try to become just another flower, at home in the garden as if you were in your own house or place of worship.

"The prayer of the heart is the source of all good, refreshing the soul as if it were a garden."

(St. Gregory of Sinai)

Love, Michael