iggandfriends

Life, crafty stuff, long walks, thoughts, and little oddities.


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2nd February

The phone-call leads to a dash across the hills, then a rapid drive down into the next valley. The roads are not pleasant, but passable. Onwards to Aberdeen. Playing the waiting game for news, I head down to the sea. The waves are whipping up and over the seafront, and the rain hits with stinging force. Further out, the ships are queueing to come into port, hoping for a safe haven against the coming storm.


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11th January 2021

An escape to the seaside today. A hospital visit combined with a walk on the promenade. The tide is full in, and the wind whipping the waves, so that they come rolling in with a crash and a thud, sea-spray reaching up and over. The icy rain grips my breath, and freezes my nose. On the embankment, a flock of dunlins dances in and out of the incoming tide, seeking sustenance, puffed up against the cold. I huddle further into my coat as I stride along, trying to outpace the worst of the weather. I pause and turn to face the incoming tide, arms outstretched, balanced on the wind. Aware of the power pent-up within. Closing my eyes, I stretch hearing and sensation until I am only aware of the boom of the tide, the lash of the wind, and the creeling of the gulls overhead. Time passes, until with a final nod to the tide, I must move on.


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6th January 2021

The temperature has stayed firmly below zero the whole day. My arthritic joints have been creaking in protest, despite the heating puffing away. The old oil-fired range was disposed of a year or so ago, along with single-glazed windows. The house stands a chance of getting warm now. The new boiler is outside the back door, in its self-contained metal box. On cold days – as today – it puffs away, looking like a dragon from the distance. A big green monster gobbling up black gold.

It is too icy underfoot for a walk. The slight melt has frozen, creating a glazed surface, glass-like in its smoothness. So I content myself with taking down the Christmas tree and hauling it outside to prop in a sheltered corner. In a day or two I will hang it with some of the wrinkled apples from the fruit bowl, add some fat-filled coconut shells. Provide food and an element of shelter for the birds, and a small delight for me.

Once the Christmas tree is out, the advent wreath is dismantled, and the Christmas cards are taken down and examined anew, it is time. The door is chalked for the New Year, the house is blessed, that all who come here may also be blessed. The wise men gather round the crib with their gifts. The stars hang up in the windows, and my diamond jewel lights gleam in the darkness. The Christ-child is revealed, Emmanuel, God with us.


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The White Wolf and the Black Wolf

The story of the white wolf and the black wolf is, I’m told, an old Cherokee story. I’ve seen and heard various different versions. But in this time of unrest in the world, it gives us an important question. What wolf are we choosing to feed inside ourselves? Why don’t you read it and decide?

There was once an old and wise grandfather, who had a grandson he loved. Each day, the grandson would come and spend time with his grandfather, and talk to him about the events of the day. One day, the grandson came with a look of anger on his face. ‘Come’, said the grandfather, ‘sit and tell me about your day’. The child sat on the floor and leaned against his grandfather. Looking up at him, he said, ‘I went into the town today with father. He had promised me a present, as I had helped him so much recently. I was so happy and excited. I went into the trading post and there we found a small knife, just the right size for me. So father bought it for me.’ Here, the boy fell silent.

The grandfather placed his hand on the boys head, ‘Then what happened?’

The boy said ‘I took it outside to look at it. But some older boys saw me. They called me names, and teased me, and said I had no right to have the knife. Then one of them knocked me over, and another took my knife, and they ran away with it’. Here, the boy paused. Then, looking up at his grandfather he said ‘I hate them! I hate them!’

Grandfather sighed deeply and said, ‘I have also suffered. There have been people who have taken without asking, those who have called me names, who have fought and bullied. I have felt great hate. But hate hurts only you. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. In the end your own soul will die. I have struggled with this. It is as if there are two wolves inside me, a white one and a black one. The white one lives in peace with those around him, and does not take offense where none was intended. It looks for good and not evil, it welcomes, not rejects. It only fights when it is right, and only in the right way. But the black wolf is full of anger and hatred. He is focused only one himself and his wants. Anything that is against his will sends him into anger. He fights everyone, all the time. He looks for the negative, not the positive. He cannot think because his anger and hatred are so great. It is anger that destroys himself. Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both try to rule my life.’

The boy looked up into his grandfather’s eyes. ‘Which one wins, Grandfather?’

The Grandfather smiled and said ‘The one I choose to feed’.

Galatians 5:19-25

 


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Called

We are called

Called to walk from the brightness of dark

to the darkness of the Light

Surrounded by cloud that veils our view

Not knowing where the journey will take us

We are called

Called to be obedient to the silence within

to trust, to walk with God

Even when his presence seems far away

When obedience is a step of faith

We are called

Called to listen to the burning passion inside

to the fire which drives us ever on

Testing the urge which will not quieten

The silent whisper in the night

We are called

Called to sacrifice our lives on the altar

Trusting that God will accept the offering

Called to submit our wills, our hearts, our dreams

To the God who calls us on

We are called

Called to proclaim justice

To reach out loving hands

To speak God into the world

To love and laugh and hope.

We are called to be.


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Merry Christmas! Nadolig Llawen!

Angel whispers

Brush the mind

Strange promises

Full of hope

Waiting

The world holds its breath

Until the creator is birthed

Not to cheering crowds and waiting press

Not in explosions of light and sound

But in the night

Hidden away

The darkness hours

Are lit by light eternal

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For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

A blessed and happy Christmas to you all.


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Angels wings

I wake with a mind full of angels

Of white feathers and halos

And of more.

Swords and fire

Fierce love.

Messages from heaven

Protection.

Adoration.

I rise, mind still buzzing

Glance out the window

Watch in wonder

As three swans gracefully swim past

Floating serenely on the sea

White feathers gleaming in the sunlight

Heads dipping in among the waves

This year’s cygnet protected

With a fierce love

I watch and wonder

What message God will send

By his angels

This Michaelmas tide.

swans at michaelmas

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.  Psalm 91:11


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Butterflies and brambles

Under a brooding sky the butterflies play, busy about their business.  A flash of red and orange as a small tortoiseshell flutters past, coming to rest on a bramble. I take a slow step, then a second. A twitch and up they fly – not one or two, but clouds of butterflies, spiraling round overhead. Bright in contrast against the rainclouds gathered. Blissfully ignorant of the approaching storm they return to sip, getting heady on nectar and sun.

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NB – back up north this week, attending an interview for a post up here. If prayer is your thing, then please pray for all those being interviewed and all those doing the interviewing, that God’s hand will direct us all to the right decision for this group of parishes. Thank you.


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Silver sun and rainbow cloud

Silver sun played across the sea today, chasing waves with shimmering light. The seagulls whirled and skirled in celebration, dancing in the gentle breeze. Out at sea a gannet dives, black silhouette against the brightness. And above a cloud shares its rainbow, rejoicing in the summer’s eve.

 

cloud rainbow