…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint...
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Rowan Williams - Silence and Honey Cakes: The Wisdom of the Desert
Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, takes us through some key questions that many of us will be asking when we are isolated in lockdown.
He looks at:
How can we discover the truth about ourselves?
How do we live in relationship with others?
What does the desert say about our priorities?
How can we create a fearless community?
It may seem strange that to look at how to live with others, and how to create community, Williams looks at a group of people that went to live in isolation in the desert. But those men and women, that continue to inspire people 1,700 years later, discovered something in isolation that helped them understand God, themselves, and others in a way that has been hard to relive since.
This book is beautiful, and also beautifully short.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Covid-19 Dawn Chorus
by Caroline Bailey
Sleep landslides away.
Awake, I stumble on shaky ground.
Early hours elastic,
Bed pressed, head stressed.
Tap tap tap the screen.
Check recheck the news,
How many, how long, how will we do today?
How steep is the curve, when will the downward swerve begin?
Stories pour in, we lived, they died.
Are we still surprised?
Tap tap tap the screen.
Check recheck family.
Check recheck friends.
Tap tap tap.
Check recheck the bank balance,
Calculate, evaluate, designate, eliminate.
Pip pip pip, pip pip pip...news flash!
Robin redbreast is confident and upbeat
Announcing that hope is on the rise.
Melodious lilt of blackbird,
Slows my tempo,
Sets my pitch.
Pheasant squawk and wingbeat flurry,
Fans cool mind's rush and hurry,
Tap tap tap, tap tap tap!
Steady woodpecker drum
Drills and thrums an ostinato,
Foundation rhythm calms my heart.
Cockerel's crow breaks seal of dark,
Start of this new day.
Small birds sequin,
Trills and chirrups jewel stud the air.
Pure sparkling sound drops
Spray and arc before the rising sun,
Glitter flash a rainbow of promise.
I lie still,
Listen to the beauty of it all, then
Up I fly, carried blue high
Amongst the twitter, chatter and
whistle call, then
Trailing peacock scream brings
Strange echoes of hazed dreams cut by
Sharp falling buzzard's cry to
Soar, scan and sweep the sky.
I settle with the familiar
Hu-hoo hoo! Hu-hoo hoo!
Soft woodpigeon coo
Wraps around, comforts and soothes.
I drink it in, like the smooth heat of the cup of tea
My husband will make and bring to me.
Day grows and the birds keep singing.
Their Spring songs expand me until
Inflated I rise, floating free,
To trust, to hope, to love, to breathe.