…or are we losing the plot, or have we done a simple task which is providing us with a simple pleasure? Let me explain…
Over the past few months, Karen and I have taken the opportunity to do our daily exercise by going on a variety of walks from our house. There are several trails which we have explored around our neighbourhood and beyond, and as a result we have got to know the surrounding area a bit more. We have found ourselves on paths through Ash Green Meadows, along the discontinued Ash Green Halt Railway Line and Station, and we have found Tongham Wood. It is the latter of these areas, Tongham Wood, which is the focus of my comments.
The path around Tongham Wood forms a shape a bit like a horseshoe. It is not a particularly long walk around the wood and there are the usual array of brambles and stinging nettles, along with other wild foliage with displays of white, yellow, and pink flowers. (I keep saying to Karen that I will Google the flowers when we get home, but it still has not happened). Part way along the path is an area of clearing. Here there is a six foot by six-foot planter situated, providing a home for a few different kinds of weeds of varying heights and leaning in all directions. In mid-June, whilst Karen and I were walking through the Wood we passed this planter and it prompted me to suggest that we could plant some sunflower seeds there, with a view to ‘see what happens’. The next time we walked that way, that is what we did. We regularly watered the seeds and they began and continued to grow and produce yellow sunflower heads.
Here are some observations and thoughts that we have encountered together or individually as we embarked on our exercise walk to water the sunflowers a few times each week (all are 100% true):
• David’s thought – I have questioned my own state of mind for suggesting we take on this commitment. Surely, we could have planted sunflower seeds closer to where we live rather than 2 miles away?
• Both David and Karen on frequent occasions – “We’re going to have to stop again as I’ve got a stone in my shoe.”
• David “Shall we have gammon, egg and chips for dinner tonight?”
• David to Karen and vice versa “Watch out for that bit of doggy doo.”
We saw a large bird land in a tree 100 yards ahead of us. Upon getting a little closer, we realised it was a Red Kite. It proceeded to swoop down from its branch with the minimum of effort and glided past us on its way.
This reminded me of Chapter 40 verses 28 – 31 of Isaiah (NRSV):
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
During this period of our lives let us remember that our Lord really is the everlasting God, and he is with us in everything we do.
David Tuson – Church & Community Worker