These past few weeks have caused us all to adjust our lifestyles a great deal. Perhaps, also, to slow down a little and consider the important things of life.
For many years, one of my hobbies has been walking and, during the fine April weather, I’ve taken my daily exercise roaming the many and varied footpaths around our town. Some of these were familiar, like old friends, whilst some I’d not walked for many years yet still, they seemed to welcome me. There were even a few which, surprisingly, I’d never walked at all. Now, I’ve lived in Frodsham all my life and like to think that I know the area reasonably well. I even lead walks for the local health walking group: Frodsham Walks.
But, during this difficult period, my mind has been reawakened, fine-tuned, to the beauty of the English country side which surrounds us particularly at this season of Spring, of resurrection, of hope and new beginnings. I’ve seen things in a different light, with a new clarity and sharpness never perceived before, noticed things I’d never previously accepted and given grateful thanks. Be it the wild flowers or the call of the lapwing, the quiet glades or the hillside paths, the countryside is there to enrich, reward and to truly restore the soul.
I would like to share this prayer which comes from the Carmelite Sisters at Wood Hall Monastery, North Yorkshire, and is one of my favourite prayers:
Help us, Heavenly Father
always to see and find you
in the beauty of our English Countryside
on hills, woodlands, streams, and wild places of the moor,
villages, lanes, the ploughed fields with their varied crops,
sheep on the green slopes, kine in the hollows,
churches that have called your people
to prayer, through the centuries –
all the work of human hands and minds
inspired by your spirit of Wisdom and Love –
and make us always grateful. Amen
The reflections here are written by members of our congregation.