|Lichfield Cathedral December 2014|
Here I am sitting at the desk in our loft bedroom, which used to be first of all, Matt's room, then Alan's. So many memories contained up here.
I'm looking over the rooftops and trees in the fading late afternoon light.
The birds have already gone from the garden, and apart from the pink-pink-pinking sound of a lone blackbird, everything is still.
The low sun, now sinking slowly on the horizon, is catching the rooftops and tips of the trees with a warm deep-golden glow.Some rogue rays glinting on the edge of one of the houses in the distance.
The sky was a piercing cold blue earlier today, producing sharp edges and well defined outlines to trees and buildings in the clarity of the sharp air.
There was a glorious sunset last night, heralding the frost to come.
As I watch the light fade, wisps of white curl up into the atmosphere here and there, meaning most homes will be warm tonight.
The year has begun to leave us, just as December arrives.........
And with it the Christmas season begins in earnest.
|Minster Pool. Lichfield December 2014|
Time to breathe, time to reflect, time to be thankful for all that we have, when so many, many more have far less.
I love giving presents, and, yes, receiving them too, but not the the commercialism of Christmas as it appears today.
It will soon be dark.
We are moving towards the shortest day in this part of the Northern hemisphere, when we pass the darkest point, and begin to move on into a new year and gradually lengthening days.
Last weekend was the start of Advent.
A time of preparation, in the church calendar, including the remembrance of Christ's birth in Bethlehem.
We went to the Advent service in Lichfield Cathedral, last weekend, on a clear, cold night. The Cathedral partly illuminated against the darkness.
At the commencement of the event, all the lights were extinguished. and we waited for the first candles to be lit.
To sit in a totally dark, packed Cathedral, in silence until the first flickering flame appeared, was a very deeply moving experience. Gradually through the service, as the choir moved to different points in the nave and chancels, to sing each piece of music, symbolising the coming of Jesus, and His promised return again, more and more candles were lighted, until the ancient stones were bathed in their soft glow.
Darkness to light so beautifully visibly demonstrated.
Extract from Advent 1955
by John Betjeman
" An interchange of hunting scenes
On coloured cards, And I remember
Last year I sent out twenty yards,
Laid end to end, of Christmas cards
To people that I scarcely know -
They'd sent a card to me, and so
I had to send one back. Oh dear!
Is this a form of Christmas cheer?
Or is it, which is less surprising,
My pride gone in for advertising?
The only cards that really count
Are that extremely small amount
From real friends who keep in touch
And are not rich but love us much
Some ways indeed are very odd
By which we hail the birth of God.
We raise the price of things in shops,
We give plain boxes fancy tops
And lines which traders cannot sell
Thus parcell'd go extremely well
We dole out bribes we call a present
To those to whom we must be pleasant
For business reasons. Our defence is
These bribes are charged against expenses
And bring relief in Income Tax
Enough of these unworthy cracks!
'The time draws near the birth of Christ'.
A present that cannot be priced
Given two thousand years ago
Yet if God had not given so
He still would be a distant stranger
And not the Baby in the manger."
|Morning light through trees. 3rd December 2014|