There are certain times when I find myself able to reflect more deeply about ‘life, the universe and everything’. Often it is in the Quaker Bible Study Group which meets monthly, or the time in silence on a Sunday morning at the Quaker Meeting House, or in the early hours of the morning (or middle of the night)! These periods interact with each other and with the time I spend thinking about and writing my blog.
So my thoughts this week are about the gift of moments of joy. I began thinking about this on Sunday morning. I was anticipating sharing in a wedding by Zoom in the afternoon. Normally, of course, this is a joyful occasion, and indeed it was. But there was a bitter-sweet element to it. The mother of the bride was diagnosed earlier this year with an extremely debilitating disease. She has lost a lot of weight and may not live much longer. The wedding had already been brought forward to October this year rather than sometime next year. Then with the new Government restrictions on numbers at weddings it was brought forward again so that there could be thirty guests present as well as others online. So it was a strange experience, yet through it all there were smiles and good humour. It was, I am sure, for all of us a moment of joy received as a gift.
The day before had been a ‘walk in the park’ – literally. We met up with my youngest daughter, her husband and two children in a park. It was a delight to see each other and to watch the children run and jump and play. We had a picnic and a stroll around a lovely lake, where there were ducks, geese and swans and around it the trees were just beginning to turn to their autumn colours. We are not the only ones to have enjoyed the gifts of joy in the parks during this pandemic.
My allotment as you will know is a lot of work. I cannot keep up with the growth of the weeds. I tackle one section and clear it, but by then there are two other areas that have become overgrown. However, there are the moments when I can bring home the harvest. Picking the raspberries and blackberries gives me the chance to sample them when they are still warm from the sun. The jars of Borlotto beans are multiplying and so are those holding the Cannellini beans. The butternut squashes this year are truly huge, the spinach is superb, and the cucumbers, grown outside, have outperformed those in the greenhouse. So, now and again, I sit on my bench and give thanks for those moments when I can rest and appreciate the gift of joy that comes from the natural process of growth.
I hope this week you have at least a few moments when you are gifted with joy.