Dear Friends and Parishioners,
This is a time for many to make a holiday. The term comes from holy day, feasts of the Church all over Christendom, when you didn’t have to work or go to school. Some countries still keep up the tradition. Now of course it tends to mean days or weeks away from home if that can be afforded. Twenty-five years ago and for several years I would rent the gatehouse of a farm near Aubeterre in the Charente in south-west France. All around were fields of sunflowers; and it was fascinating to see the flowers facing east in the morning and south in the evening. The Tournesol. Actually every evening meant a stroll to a different small farm for a glass of Pineau de Charente; and if you didn’t visit all the neighbours in turn, next year you would be chided.
But I loved the sunflowers, destined to become oil. Far nicer to my taste was local walnut oil and a drop on a lettuce leaf takes me back to lovely meals after a swim in the river. Once living there between posts for three months I often had maize and wild mushrooms – very slimming. The sunflowers though have stayed in my mind and a planting of them for game birds takes me straight to heaven.
‘and that will be heaven
and that will be heaven
at last the first unclouded seeing
to stand like the sunflower
turned full face to the sun
drenched with light in the still centre
held while the circling planets
hum with utter joy
seeing and knowing
at last in every particle
seen and known and not turning away
never turning away again’
‘And That Will Be Heaven’ by Evangline Paterson (20th c.)
May I wish you holy days and holidays in the weeks to come.
The Rectory, Langham 01328 830246