This weekend is an important anniversary… 100 years since the end of the Great War; and here in Scotland there is much going on in preparation for it; knitters all over the country have been working hard to create poppies, in many shades of red, (and purple, blue and white) which have been used to create astonishing displays, marking the century; marking the pain and loss… and my first suggestion for your reading today, takes us to a reflection on Armistice by Tony Mitchell… it includes the poignant dedication in his grandfather’s diary, and his simple  entry for 11th November 1918.

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Poppy display at Earlston Church, Scottish Borders; JMR2018

Deep in the Southern Hemisphere, Maren Tirabassi writes beautiful poetry; her litany takes us from dawn to dusk, in New Zealand, as she writes about taking leave, and returning to California; she finishes reflecting with stories of love and family, and responding to her grandsons’ request for stories of New Zealand begins… (accompanied by a picture) “a pukeko made me laugh…”

Elaine Besthorn writes at The Edge is Here most days; and her reflections are always worth reading; she (like me) loves poetry and her #contemplative posts are lovely; on Thursday she posted short verse from Hafiz, Contemplative:Morning is worth a moment’s pause.

I have books! This may not surprise you at all… in fact I’m pretty sure, if you are reading this, you too have books… many, many books. I was struck by a post simply called Five Books… (what? five?!! hah!) so had to go take a look; Quantum Theology, is the blog of Michelle Francl-Donnay, professor of chemistry and “sometime scholar at the Vatican Observatory”. Her challenge was to choose just five books on chemistry; now I am not a chemist (though I studied it at High School a million years ago) but her list and descriptions whetted my appetite (who doesn’t want to know the chemistry behind why asparagus make our pee smell?!) –  please just read the five synopses, even if you don’t have room for five chemistry books!

And finally, in a full circle sort of way; as we contemplate the death and destruction and true cost of war as Armistice Day approaches, I came across a post about the Flowers of the Field; wild flowers; flowers we see, but most often ignore. Sue Pickering, as she prepared to say goodbye to two dear friends, picked wild flowers, and wrote of them. She concludes: “For a brief time they bloom and bring the fullness of their uniqueness to add beauty to the earth. And so do we. And that’s okay.”

That’s ok… whatever you are doing this weekend; remembering; commemorating; spending time with family; or praying over the news headlines… stop for a moment, look at the flowers, the trees, the dawn or the sunset. And give thanks for the wonder and joy we share; unique beauty – that’s, you, and me, and that’s ok.

 

 


Julie Rennick is a Church of Scotland minister serving a village community in the Scottish Borders; she blogs at A Country Girl, intermittently, with mostly sermons; she is a contributor to the RevGals Book; and a number of Wild Goose resources books.

 


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