From The Rectory

Dear Friends,

I found a very refreshing comment in a book that I am reading at the moment. The author said that those who had read the book, or been to workshops that he had lead often commented that what he said was something they felt they had always known, deep in their hearts, but had not always out into words, or into practice. What I found refreshing about that was the author’s willingness to make clear that he was not claiming great new thoughts – but encouraging others to see clearly what they already knew. His words have encouraged me to take as a theme for this letter something that many people have said, and we probably all know in our hearts: that it is good to make time for gratitude, for counting our blessings.

I am writing on a glorious spring day – everything is bursting into life, there is blossom on the tree in front of my window, all around the valley there is the miraculous light green of the budding trees, the sky is a perfect blue and the air is wafting in warm eddies through the open windows; even the seagulls are elegant as they arc above Lee Road. What a blessing to be here, right now!

I am also writing in the middle of a long “to do” list, plenty on my mind to try to do by the end of the day, but, what a blessing to be here, right now! There is something about feeling gratitude that changes our outlook, helps us notice what is really important around us. You notice it when you talk to a person who has an attitude of gratitude – they see the good in things and give it space to grow, they allow themselves wholeheartedly to receive even the small gifts life has to offer and they are generous in sharing good humour with others.

Valuing gratitude is not about pretending life is easier or better than it is, many of us are carrying challenges in our lives that are really hard; but often it in the midst of pain and grief that small blessing become most clear, and most important, in keeping us going. Being a person who gently holds on to gratitude for others is a gift to us all too. In these longest days of the year can we cultivate gratitude in our hearts: gratitude for this place and its beauty, for each other and our communal spirit and for all the unexpected blessings we weren’t looking for!

God bless



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