Seeing, touching and Thomas
This strange weather continues - the bright sun, the blue sky, the white cumulus - and the sudden arrival of heavy dark clouds and little storms of snow pellets that bounce around on the ground and then vanish. However, it means getting out, and not being soaked, and this fits so well with my need of outdoor exercise that I'm not actually complaining. And actually, I had another lovely photo of a glen, a burn, a little beach and that same piled high sky for today - but I decided to stick with my origin intention and use a photo I took after church today.
So many of my church photos are empty, because they're taken when we're rehearsing, or recording, or because we've been outside passing by. This one, however, if full of life because the service ended about 10 minutes previously and people are either waiting for the space to move their cars out of the challenging car park or - more likely - enjoying being together, even for a short time and in the chill shadow of the church building.
Near the centre of the picture, still robed from the Eucharist, is Canon Paddy, our lovely retired priest who'd just delivered the best sermon I've ever heard on Thomas, the disciple who needed to see the risen Christ for himself rather that take the word of the others for it. She linked it to our need to see each other, our longing to be able to touch once more, the importance of personal contact as opposed to the online meetings we've had to put up with for so many weeks now. And it struck me powerfully this morning how lucky I am to have this community of diverse souls to meet up with, now that restrictions have been slightly eased, and that the lack of the easy acceptance into such a group would be a huge loss. Whatever it is, this strange spark that ignites such a gathering, whether heteronomous or subjective, cannot be ignored as a force. And here, today, it was so clearly a force for good.
I shall probably see only two of the people in this photo during the week to come, and one of them is Mr PB, but there they are, lightening my day, lightening the grey of this interminable pandemic, laughing in the morning sunlight among the parked cars. Towering over them are the huge trees that dominate our hill, and behind them the church porch.
I'm going to take this chance to remark also on the community of which this post will form a part - as the first crazy year morphs into a second of uncertainty and hope, the journals I follow have become a series of anchors as we share the dreams (bad as well as aspirational) and low points of our lives. I'm a bad keeper-upper because I leave it too late at night and then - as now - can barely see the screen, but community is so important, real and virtual.
Did you watch Line of Duty tonight ...?
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