Friday, 9 December 2016

Advent time out

Thursday slipped by with nothing remarkable happening. Perhaps this is what happens when you don't have a project or a work plan, and at the moment, I have neither. I'm not resting, or putting my life on hold, but waiting to recognise and respond to whatever comes towards me next in life. I refuse to think that all I can do, having reached three score years and ten, is to wait for rigor mortis. 

Retirement from regular employment with a modest pension for security simply set me free to work in new ways, as I have come to appreciate over the past six and a half years. Finding priestly things to do is never a problem, but this doesn't occupy the whole of my life. It's time now for me to move on and do something different. What this is, I don't yet know. It's strange territory to inhabit, and in a way this is just right for the season of Advent, a time of waiting that offers us an opportunity to see everything in our lives in a different light.

Today, having finalised my Sunday sermon, and done some digital tidying - the best way I can describe making my archived stuff intelligible and accessible - I walked the longer route through Bute Park and back, and saw a dozen Magpies gathered in the same area of grass. I believe the collective noun is 'charm of magpies'. Can't  think why, but am pleased to see so many in our City Centre parkland. The same is true for Crows, Gulls, Pigeons, but also, surprisingly enough, Tits. Walking down the tree lined path to Blackweir bridge, I saw a family of a dozen long tailed tits, plus a few others, working their way quickly through each tree in turn, searching for insects, so quickly that I couldn't get photos of them despite bare branches stripped of leaves. I also saw two pairs of Jays, also too quick for me. Even so, it's a delight to know that there are still so many birds in our wintry parkland.

Owain came over from Bristol to have supper and spend the night. We drank good wine and talked until late on politics and culture and social vision, as well as career matters. I feel very blessed that we still have so much to talk about. I have so much to learn from him.

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