thanksgiving day!

I’m becoming a keen student of city parks. They are so vital in these densely populated, hard surfaced warrens we infest.
The better cities have taken great care to ensure that whatever they are continually evolving into, they include swaths of nature, areas of relative fresh air and quiet. Children can play, couples can woo,  dogs can be walked and sometimes let free, old folks can slowly but surely take their daily exercise, joggers can jog, families can picnic, frisbees can be hurled back and forth…..

Especially during the working week, they can seem gloriously underused! So though they are clearly not wildernesses, they can be peaceful oases where nature-at-work predominates.

So today I’d like to thank city planners. Theirs is a profession that borders on the disreputable, as the blame for the dark side of urban dwelling is so often laid at their feet. Yet at some point in the early days of our favourite cities, it was decreed that there would be no unbridled building on these certain plots of land, but rather they were to be left as they are.

In real estate terms, the traders, landlords and vultures of today would be unable to allow themselves such luxury. Can you imagine how much the building land value of Hyde Park, Bois de Boulogne, Central Park and such might be?……….the deal of the millennium!

So thank you for city parks, and thank you to all the birds, beasts, trees, plants, earth, rocks and water for continuing to do what you do!

lost turret?..monolith?…unmarked grave?…

perhaps it’s the top of a large house, the rest of which is buried underground…
or did it fall off the back of a lorry?…
there’s no writing on it…no forwarding address…no next of kin….
was it there yesterday?…
what are the odds its a perfectly formed rock?…
it has a porous quality, maybe it’s a loofah!…
it doesnt make much of a seat….and there are plenty of benches…
it might be a court for a very singular form of ping pong….
whatever it is, one presupposes its made by humans…
I’m foregoing the extra-terrestrial intelligence option, for now…
so what in tarnation is it?…
answers on a postcard to

lil’ donnie trump,
the rose garden,
washingturn dc
the disunited state of america

it probably won’t do any good…
but it wont do any harm either….
might make the postman laugh….

merci Fecamp

This is a sort of ‘beyond the yardarm’ moment through the window of where I’ve been staying in Fecamp for the last week. I’m going to miss it.
A little harbour town on the Normandy coast with its own unique flavour and history. Once a busy fishing port, and home to some talented boatbuilders, its local economy now relies on tourism and summer holidaymakers.

From walking around some, singing in the street on Saturday morning, going to a couple of cafes, and food shopping most days, who’s to say how I accurately I have gauged the mood?  I get a taste of sadness common in many Northern European seaside towns that have outlived their original purpose. But like in many of them, there is also a resilient spirit and quiet wisdom….and plenty of laughter!

Being by the sea is its own reward.

Twice as a child we lived right by the sea, once in Broadstairs, Kent, and once in Gordon’s Bay, South Africa. Then at the time my daughter Ruby was born, in the early 90s, we lived for 3 years a couple of miles from the Devon coast. Now I’d like to be right by the sea again.
My new plan is to find some kind of home, near the sea somewhere. For now, I’ve got a nice rhythm at which my daily life unfolds. And it likes unfolding by the sea!

Tomorrow I leave for Belgium. I may well have yet another new plan next week, but I’m not abandoning this one.

radical way to meet new neighbours

On Monday, I awoke at 2.45am, got myself together, and drove to Dover from Cambridge to get a ferry to Calais. Eschewing the toll paying roads, it then took me several more hours to reach the seaside town of Fecamp, where I am lucky enough to be staying this week.

By the time I got to this street, I’d been battling to stay awake for some 50kms, determined to get there before I took a nap. That’s my excuse…

My destination was less than 200m behind the camera, and I had overshot…so whaddya do? I quickly became stuck, and no amount of wheel spinning was going to get me out. Miraculously, what seemed for a moment the end of the end, turned out to be a heaven sent opportunity to meet the locals….

Within 2 minutes, a small car came down the road towards me. I put on my best traffic cop, and directed the young lady driver through the narrow gap. She then obligingly got out of the car, telephoned her friend, ‘le garagiste’, who 20 minutes later arrived with a tow-truck and had me free and running within minutes.

Did I mention how charming and helpful these 2 people were? And while we waited for the tow-truck, a couple of residents on a walk stopped and kept me company, and 2 other neighbours came along and passed the time of day with much compassionate chin stroking and philosophy. Angels, every one of them….

So thank you Lord. I’d pray that You continue to move in mysterious ways, but I can already depend on it!

if it’s not love, them I’m letting it go

‘If we will set our hearts on the discipline of prayer and give up the things that keep us from living wholly dependent on him, we will see God in action, recognize him at work, and have the courage to go out and proclaim his presence with great rejoicing.’
—from the book Who Does He Say You Are? Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels by Colleen C. Mitchell

When I can, I go out walking. I could say I prefer to walk in remote natural environs, but in truth I just prefer to walk. We are where we are. For me, walking is the most natural state in which to pray. In motion. Just as the universe we are all part if is in motion, evolving and growing…not static.

I’m tired of my inclination to separate myself from reality. Rather, I wish to validate my part in reality, on a moment to moment basis. That is Christ consciousness…walking in love…walking…

Occasionally Jesus travelled by boat. Once he rode on a donkey. Mostly Jesus walked everywhere. He even walked on the water!

At the best of times its not me walking, but rather I’m being walked.

Walk me home Lord, walk me home…..