MOST RECENT POSTS

In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Mothering Sunday/ Mothers’ Day


In the three parishes where my wife and I help a hard-pressed, part-time Vicar, during
this crisis, this small leadership team are going to be producing ‘one side of A4’ articles relevant to the time, the situation and sometimes words of encouragement.

    Pam, my wife, who is a priest has written the first of these specially for today.

Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday has always been one of my favourite festivals! As a child, it meant an especially nice tea! On ‘Mid-Lent’, ‘Mothering’ or ‘Refreshment’ Sunday my mother - who kept Lent faithfully - always took advantage of this  Lenten pause. It meant Simnel cake, something chocolate, flowers for our Grannies.  As I became older and Lent had more meaning for me, I too enjoyed the respite; although I have to admit that returning to some Lent rules, after a traditional breaking of them, was sometimes quite difficult. I particularly remember the year I gave up sugar in my tea! It was really, really hard. But, when I drank tea with sugar that Mothering Sunday, I hated it. And never returned to it! I had to find another Lent discipline after that.
This year Mothering Sunday faces us all with difficult challenges. It is always a Sunday with great paradoxes. Terribly painful for those who have been denied motherhood, for a myriad of complex reasons. Also painful for those whose relationship, either with their mother or with their child, is fractured, or damaged, seemingly beyond repair. Sad for those of us whose mother has died, particularly when it is the first Mothering Sunday after that bereavement. But this year, with so many older people in enforced distance and isolation from family members, many of us will have to find new and different ways to celebrate that special mother/child relationship.
Finding new and different ways of celebration and commemoration is also important as we reflect upon the other meaning of Mothering Sunday. Originating in the sixteenth century, it was a day for Christians to return to their ‘Mother Church’: their parish church or cathedral. This became the Sunday when young people, in service (sometimes as young as 10) were allowed to go home to see their mothers, collecting wild flowers on the way to take a posy home. 
Visiting our ‘Mother Church’ is just not going to be possible this year, but neither is visiting those who cared for us as children, nor will we receive visits from our children if we come into the vulnerable category. 
Christian ministers of all denominations have been agonizing about how to care for their congregations and communities at this time as the terrible news of the corona pandemic has unfolded this week. Maybe, this Mothering Sunday, we can commit ourselves to some time in remembering in prayer those who cared for us and nurtured us as children, but also for those people, men and women, who have cared for us and nurtured us as we grew in our Christian faith. Many of us are feeling bereft that we won’t be ‘in church’ on this or any Sunday for the foreseeable future. However, the church remains alive, and praying, and every one of us can be part of that prayer. The church buildings in Fen Ditton, Horningsea and Teversham are very precious to us all, but they are emphatically not the church. We are the church, every one of us. Let’s use this time of isolation and seclusion as time to deepen our faith, and to return to Mother Church in our minds and hearts. This will all end, and we will be back to worshipping together, and in the meantime, let us spend time with God, who mothers us every day of our lives, and who will give us the care we need in these weeks if only we allow him to! 
God our challenger and disturber,
help us to confront 
all that makes for death and despair
in our lives, our communities, our world.
May we never lose sight
of the possibility of transformation
and be continually surprised
by people who believe in one another.
Iona Community, March 2020

Cascade of Stars and Gas (Imagined image: CGI)

Cascade of Stars and Gas (Imagined image: CGI)
Cascade of Stars and Gases. This image will take you to the meditation 'Deep Silence'

Wildfires: Evidence of Climate Chaos

Wildfires: Evidence of Climate Chaos
Wildfires: Evidence of Climate Chaos

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Nativity Star (CGI)

Nativity Star (CGI)
Nativity Star: This image will link you to the collection of new Carols on this site. Also, the image can easily be copied onto an overhead acetate and used as a window decoration. Easy for children to achieve. Note the cross at the centre of the star.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Celtic cross candle (Photo)

Celtic cross candle (Photo)
Celtic Cross and candle' linked to the poem 'Awesome, Wonderful Creator'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'

My Mesh Mask for Radiotherapy

My Mesh Mask for Radiotherapy
This is the mask which was moulded to my face to ensure the radiotherapy I had in April 2017 was precisely targeted. You can read more by clicking on the image

Double Celebration

Double Celebration
Pam, who has been magnificent in caring for me since my Cancer diagnosis in October and I celebrate the end of Radiotherapy and our 36th Wedding Anniversary (Note the return of some hair!). Click on the image to read about the treatment - and waiting.

St Neots Sunset (Photo)

St Neots Sunset (Photo)
Surrounded by beauty: Whie 'Evolution and Beauty' became one of the most viewed poems on this blog, Pam, my wife took this gorgeous picture of a sunset over the flatlands of Cambridgeshire UK. Click on it to go to the poem

Gabriel - written/painted by Pam, my wife in 2015

Gabriel - written/painted by Pam, my wife in 2015
Gabriel began the Christmas story with his visit to Mary. The story is told in our Christmas collection in the Carol, Go to Nazareth My Great Messenger. Click on this image to take you there.

Maple Leaf Nebula (CGI)

Maple Leaf Nebula (CGI)
IMAGINARY IMAGE TO CELEBRATE CANADA DAY: Click on this his imaginary 'Maple Leaf Nebula' to take you to a poem entitled 'Nebula' (image not to be confused with NGC 2024, the Flame Nebula which is also known as the Maple Leaf)

Beauty in the Garden - June 2016

Beauty in the Garden - June 2016
Beauty in the Garden - June 2016

Aurora Imagined over Iona (Watercolour & pastel)

Aurora Imagined over Iona (Watercolour & pastel)
First posted here on Adomnan’s day (23rd September) 2015. An imagined natural phenomenom that could be seen to resonate mystically with the idea of Iona being a ‘thin place’ where heaven brushes earth.

Assisi Sunset

Assisi Sunset
Assisi Sunset

Thinking about the Brain

Thinking about the Brain
This image is formed from a small section of neural pathways posted by the Koch Institute, clipped, part inverted and stitched together. It is intended to impart a sense of our extensive, but still partial understanding of what goes on in that awesome part of our bodies, our brains. By clicking on the image, you will be taken to a celebratory poem/song ‘For Amazement by Beauty’ about all of our senses.

Source (CGI by Trevor Thorn)

Source (CGI by Trevor Thorn)
Source: Expand the image to reveal its heart

Rainbow spiral (CGI)

Rainbow spiral (CGI)
'Rainbow Spiral' to accompany 'Darkness,Illuminator' . Find the poem by clicking on the iImagined mage

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'