Friday, 14 May 2021

Let us remain open to love and hope

THREE things have happened in my life during the past week which initially seemed quite small but, on reflection, have taken on a much wider significance. 

To begin with, my husband and I went along to the surgery in Goring for our annual flu vaccinations and, having been advised of the procedures being followed in this somewhat difficult year, were fully
prepared. 

However, what we found surpassed our expectations and is worthy of many thanks and praise.

The organisation and preparation, which had obviously required much forethought and consideration, was superb and, in perpetual rain, the work of all those involved was done with efficiency, skill, care and friendliness. 

I understand that 700 people over the age of 65 were vaccinated on that day alone — remarkable.

Our second foray into the wider world was a trip to the supermarket, something we have only done twice in the past six months, but which was something of a treat and perhaps gave us a little taste of normality.

 Just being out and about allowed us to think that nothing much had changed. 

Not so, of course, as we were constantly reminded by the fact that (almost) everyone was wearing a face mask, although that very fact helped us to see the glimpse of the “new normal” as it comes to be simply a matter of course. 

One family in the shop were accompanied by several children all wearing face masks in the form of various animals, which was a source of great delight.

My third encounter was a phone call from one of my older cousins which lasted well over two hours.  Usually we only exchange birthday and Christmas cards but I had sent her a little booklet on autumn produced by Lindisfarne Scriptorium as it has a hedgehog on the cover and she has always loved them.

During the call we covered so many things and I discovered a lot more about my family history and how things have moved on since our childhood, but mostly it was so good to just talk together.

My reflections allowed me to understand how this virus and its consequences are prompting us all to look and see more in ourselves and in our environments; how we, as human beings, are already beginning to adapt and to change in so many ways; summed up in three consecutive words: observation, adaptation, evolution.

Naturally this process is happening all the time but it can take something extraordinary to bring our attention to it and I’m reminded of verses in the lovely hymn by John Keble:

New every morning is the love our wakening and uprising prove;

through sleep and darkness safely brought, restored to life and power and thought.

If on our daily course our mind be set to hallow all we find,

new treasures still, of countless price, God will provide for sacrifice.

Such love and hope in everyday, may we remain open to them.

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