whispered love
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November 2nd 2006: Heading Westwards

A friend amused me by saying she thought a baby picture of me looked so similar to a current photo of me.

I took a look and, yes, we are alike I guess. Half a century and yet the memories and personality are still in connection. Strange and wonderful!

What weather. We have an anti-cyclone over us and the forecast is five clear days of blue-skied sunshine and frosty nights. On my way to school, each blade of grass was lightly touched by frost, the fields in the valley white, the morning fresh.

And tonight I really feel the smell of the frost in the air. It is two and a half miles from school to Berkhamsted, and I often take the path over the hill, but this evening I decided to walk along the canal that cuts across the countryside, inexorably west toward my home.

The light was fading rapidly, the sun long lost, but a beautiful sky of shadowy orange glowed in front of me - last light reflecting on the still, cold waters and rows of narrow-boats, silent and still in the dusk.

I walked this path when I was small, fifty winters ago, and - like the photo - it seemed as though I was simply there again, in the quiet presence and the spontaneous loveliness.

A woman approached with her dog, emerging from the growing shadows beneath some trees. I called a cheery greeting in case she felt afraid, and carried on. The light was almost lost now, the evening so deep and mysterious, the night stealing over the countryside.

Behind me a bright moon was shining, casting stronger and stronger moon-shadows before me as I walked. I saw the silhouette of a heron just in front of me, standing sentinel in the absolute stillness. As I approached Berkhamsted the first stars were peeping out in the sky - and I felt such peace and happiness.

Leaving the path, I strolled up the lane to my church and quietly prayed. The rhythm of the seasons continues, the nights drawing in, and autumn turning to winter once again. The rhythm of prayer like a connection too.

All our lives we journey westwards, journey homewards. To get back to our beginnings. To get back to our beautiful homeland, our beautiful God.


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