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The weather has been more than a subject of polite conversation. In the past few weeks we have experienced extreme heat, some severe gale force winds and today is a perfect summer’s day. And so, the impending autumn, the uncertainty of the weather and the rewards of gardening are just some of this week’s Words of Connection.
The spiritual side of inclement weather is definitely something worth contemplating, and we have a magnificent prayer by the Rev Dr Barbara Glasson of the British Methodists. We also have Julian of Norwich’s ideas about being a gardener. Our third reading is a poem of the Sacred Season of Autumn by Edward Hays. The closing reading is a Gaia Passage, which was read at a Quaker Meeting last Sunday. Please stay in touch with your ideas and contributions. As the season changes it is important to stay well, at this most uncertain of moments.
With very best wishes,
LORD OF OUR WINDSWEPT LIVES
Rev Dr Barbara Glasson
Lord of our windswept lives,
shelter us today
in the lee of your presence,
still our blustering insecurities,
our stormy protests,
our billows of indignation,
our squalls of regret.
Give us harbour-time
in the deep, calm, safe water
of your grace and love.
BE A GARDENER
Julian of Norwich (1343 – 1416)
Be at gardener.
Dig a ditch,
toil and sweat,
and turn the earth upside down
and seek the deepness
and water the plants in time.
Continue this labour
and make sweet floods to run
and noble and abundant fruits
Take this food and drink
and carry it to God
as your true worship.
by Edward Hays
O sacred season of Autumn, be my teacher,
for I wish to learn the virtue of contentment.
As I gaze upon your full-colored beauty,
I sense all about you
an at-homeness with your amber riches.
You are the season of retirement,
of full barns and harvested fields.
The cycle of growth has ceased,
and the busy work of giving life
is now completed.
I sense in you no regrets:
you’ve lived a full life.
I live in a society that is ever-restless,
always eager for more mountains to climb,
seeking happiness through more and more possessions.
As a child of my culture,
I am seldom truly at peace with what I have.
Teach me to take stock of what I have given and received;
may I know that it’s enough,
that my striving can cease
in the abundance of God’s grace.
May I know the contentment
that allows the totality of my energies
to come to full flower.
May I know that like you I am rich beyond measure.
As you, O Autumn, take pleasure in your great bounty,
let me also take delight
in the abundance of the simple things in life
which are the true source of joy.
With the golden glow of peaceful contentment
may I truly appreciate this autumn day.
Read at A Brighton Quaker Meeting
Breathe deeply the air that surrounds you;
Let it massage your heart;
As it beats with the energy of Gaia and the cosmos;
Let the light in the space within;
Offer promptings of love and truth.