Last October, we spent two weeks travelling in the deserts of Utah and Colorado. I wrote this piece as a response to camping and hiking in that dry, dry terrain.
The vast, ancient, red-rock, high desert wilderness of southern Utah speaks of life on the very edge of possibility. Sunlight in abundance, and heat – but water is scarce and precious. Without it, nothing lives – yet the desert has clever ways of hanging on to what little there is for future use.
Hiking and staying in this desert is conducive to reflecting on creation and its amazing capabilities. How do correspondences come into play? It’s very clear that without any water/truth there is no life. But is an over-abundance of heat/love harmful? They say ‘love is all you need’, but I’m not sure that is precisely correct.
The Lord’s truth is vital for the order of things. Even a very little bit can be treasured, and saved for future use. A tiny drop of water can be stored in the desert dust, gradually increasing its capacity to keep more water, leading to tiny plants being able to establish and grow, until full clear life blooms.
Here are photos of life – living things – growing in what would seem an impossible place. And yet there it is!
Isn’t it cheering that communal celebrations happen? I suspect that just about everyone, for instance, loves attending weddings.
People have their own favorite reasons for a party…. England recently celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee – 70 years on the throne! – with all sorts of special events throughout the land. In May we went to lots of studios during Oxfordshire Artweeks, to celebrate the creative skills of artists throughout the county. As I write, we’ve just been to a nearby village festival to watch steamroller printing: large lino-cut images printed by a steamroller engine riding over them! Later this summer, a favorite local music festival will have its ‘Last Hurrah’ after taking place for almost 20 years. There’s New Church Day, with pageants and picnics and presents for children. And American Independence Day – parades, fireworks, more picnics.
Continue reading Celebration! →
Now and then I make fairly hopeless attempts to reduce the ‘stuff’ our kids will need to sort through once I have left this world – objects, photos, and old letters and emails that capture intangible thoughts and ideas, and recall friends. Some say that ‘the present is all we have’, but all our earlier moments have made us who we are; they are evidence of how we came to be.
‘Every moment of a person’s life has a series of consequences extending to eternity.’ Secrets of Heaven 3854
Keepsakes can be both physical and ephemeral. Intangible things are just as real as tangible ones – maybe even more real, from eternity’s viewpoint. ‘You can’t take it with you’ only applies to objects – it doesn’t necessarily apply to what you treasure.
Continue reading Keep or Cast Away the Keepsakes? →
‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moss and dust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ Matthew 6:19-21
My mind has been travelling across ages and times just lately. History, place, other worlds, imagination, reality, things ephemeral yet real.
One of my mother’s oft-used phrases was ‘Time and space, time and space!’, spoken when the lack of both caused frustration in her busy life. Now that she’s in the next world, time and space are different – non-existent, even.
I’ve recently had a week’s holiday in Llwyn Celyn in Wales, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. This ‘medieval hall house’ was built originally in 1420 and has hardly changed since around 1690, though it was still inhabited until about 10 years ago. Then it was taken over by The Landmark Trust, which has restored it to how it would have been in 1690. Time and space became rather fluid for me there, gazing at the many honest repairs in woodwork, beams, doors, window frames, floors, stonework – pondering how human life has changed (or not) through the centuries. Early each morning, the only sounds were prolific birdsong and bleating sheep and lambs. The view from the front door was timeless – sweeping valleys and tall hills, bucolic in the early sunshine.
Through the evenings, I read The Little Prince to my 8- and 10-yr-old grandchildren. The little prince travelled through time and space, learning important things about people, and about what truly matters. ‘We can only truly see with the heart. What is important is invisible to the eyes.’
Continue reading Time and Space →