Reflection from Ann Hair
A GARDEN IN LOCKDOWN

We have been enjoying Rev James Hair’s reflections on Fridays. Today it is the turn of Ann Hair, who following yesterday’s blog, writes about ‘A Garden in lockdown’

‘I pray that according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his spirit and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love’
(Ephesians 3:14-17)

Over the past months I have been extremely grateful and blessed to have a garden. Listening to the birds singing and the gentle rhythmic sounds of water cascading into my neighbour’s pond it is easy to forget the current pandemic threatening our lives.

The recent spell of sunny weather has brought out the bees buzzing around their early pollen supplies and the garden is coming alive with the sounds of summer.

Due to our enforced ‘lockdown’ my garden has become even more of a refuge and haven than usual. The pace of life has slowed and a snow like hush has fallen over our immediate world. There have been times when I have wanted to hold my breath lest it should intrude on the silence of nature. Even my footsteps across the grass sound uncannily loud. In these currently unsettling and challenging times the natural world offers us such solace and hope for a brighter future.

I have been enjoying planting seeds and waiting for the miniscule signs of germination to appear. Next the excitement as the tiny shoots begin pushing their way through the soil.

With each new shoot comes the promise and expectation of the mature plant but there is also trepidation that a lot can happen to prevent it reaching maturity.

As gardeners we are required to lavish much care and attention on the seedlings. Tending, watering and protecting them as best we can against the marauding garden pests that lurk hidden just waiting to lay their eggs or the slugs and snails seeking to satisfy their ravenous appetites. Sometimes we can do nothing to prevent the seedlings demise and with it our hopes for the beautiful display of summer flowers we had anticipated.

In our gardens everything has its place and purpose despite our wishing that it was different. If we tolerate the slugs and snails we may be rewarded by a hedgehog taking up residence or the tiny aphids might become a banquet for the chirping sparrows. All we can do in our gardens is to wait patiently and allow nature to be as she will.

During these days of lockdown some of us have been given the priceless gift of time to ‘be’. Instead of feeling the frustrations of waiting we have been blessed by turning those moments into oases of calm. When ‘waiting’ is accepted as gift rather than with irritation then a wonderful spaciousness can open up into our lives. Time slows and we become aware of all that surrounds us. We no longer take cursory glances at the beauty of nature but instead gaze through sacramental eyes on that which God has so lovingly created. In the Celtic Christian tradition creation is read as a book revealing the essence of God to those who read it.

Watching and waiting in my garden for all that is planted to come to fruition I cannot help but reflect on the image of God as the divine gardener of our hearts. In the stillness and silence associated with waiting God is to be found planting the life giving seeds of his love in the soil of our hearts. Here he tends and nurtures those seeds until they blossom forth into the fullness of his love.

 

ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS

DOCTORS: Damian Mayo, Jenny Mayo, Charlotte Cox
NURSES: Caroline Frost, Penny Hensman, Ruth Tunski, Jenny Olding, Stephanie Smith
POLICE: Tom Wrenn, Scott Brodrick (RN)
FUNERAL DIRECTORS: Ian Parker
NURSING HOMES: Jemma Frizelle
RETAIL AND FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Chris Jones (Sainsbury’s home delivery driver), Christine Horton (BP Garage, Portchester), Nick Knight (Tescos at Cosham), Natalie Ejemai (Tescos at Fratton) Debbie Foster and
Wendy Castle at Morrisons, Horndean, Keith Fleming-Brown (preparing hot meals for distribution to the
community)and Mark and Wendy Pyatt (delivering food through Portchester Community Centre to the community)

If you have a special prayer request we will put this on the page and ask for your prayers. Contact the Vicar on irev@ymail.com or phone 02392 375422.

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