Finding rest in our song

Autumn light catching a tree in shadow

All week, I have been drawn to Wendell Berry’s poem, Sabbath I. It wasn’t because I was exhausted and in need of physical relaxation. Yet, sitting with his words, I realised my need for a deeper rest. And gave in. Letting a poem speak to your soul is profound because it does not simply offer … Read more

Choosing something beautiful

Fading pink hydrangea, including skeleton petals

Yesterday, while pondering the choices we make, this extraordinary contemplative poem dropped into my inbox from Steve Garnaas-Holmes. FATE Sometimes it seems life knows what it’s doingand then suddenly forgets, or maybe gets distracted.You’re just going along, we say, and then suddenlyeverything changes in an eyeblink. A kid is born. Tires screeching on pavement, a … Read more

Pause for Peace – a midweek blessing

White swan on the edge of the lake by the rushes

The last of the swans left early yesterday morning, leaving only the long-term residents of the valley in place. It reminds me that peace is a long-term endeavour. And our desire for peace requires “a long walk in the same direction.” So here is a blessing For Peace from John O’Donohue. Because we need this … Read more

On being bringers of peace

View across the tumbling water to the reeds.

To be bringers of peace, we have to be carriers of peace. Yet, this isn’t something we can put on like a coat or a mask. However beautiful. So, how and where do we replenish our reservoir of peace? Yesterday, I turned again to the farmer/poet Wendell Berry to reset my heart. THE PEACE OF … Read more

We have now

Close-up of Welsh Cob ponies on the hilltop

I think a lot about being present, yet my intentions and lived reality often diverge. But I don’t want to continue ruminating on things that have gone wrong in the past. And then find myself having a little pity party. Likewise, I want to live free of the fantasy of ‘if only…’  or ‘when…’ And … Read more

Keeping vigil in a midweek pause for peace

sheep on the horizon seen through the barbed wire fence

Last week, Steve Garnaas-Holmes published a profoundly beautiful poem, Vigil, which seems appropriate for our midweek pause today. VIGIL As darkness descendsyou hold your candle,your frail light,but it is not little.It is the flame of “Let there be light,”the big bang of hope.Your light orbits through the darknesswith all the other starsin a great galaxy … Read more

On the peace of where to stand

By the brook after the storm

Yesterday, the girls chose to shelter from the storm in some unexpected places. They have a superb knack for knowing when and where. And later, on the hillside, I stood out of the wind between gorse bushes to think about what to write. We sometimes need to relinquish our ‘heroes of the world’ capes. And … Read more

Your breath is the hope of the universe

Striking pink sky at dusk above the dark hillside

This beautiful blessing from Steve Garnaas-Holmes yesterday felt particularly timely. As we develop our rhythm of pause, especially #Pause4Peace, let his words seep into our souls. BLESSED ARE YOU Blessed are youwho guard your joy so tenderlybecause you’re also heartbroken for the world.Blessed are you who, in passing moments,feel a flutter of dreadfor what is … Read more

Compassion and courage to see differently

Close-up of raindrops on a water lilly pad in shadow

One word can make such a difference. ‘Sawubona’ – I see you – encapsulates a profound sense of being seen and heard. Yet you can’t do this without compassion and empathy. Because it means being present, not just glancing in passing, seeing beneath the surface and recognising both sameness and otherness. And this takes time … Read more