The Creed Of Quercus.

We are a family.
The family of divine guidance.
Robust deciduous and evergreen.

In the beginning, I weep for Deborah.
Holding her body beneath my roots.
Final resting place.
Breath renewer, death keeper.
Created, planted.
Humble Servant, creation holder, life giver
Forest maker.
Through  renewed growth, through robust strength
I make things new.

Isaiah speaks my name “ayil”  strength and power.
Pillar-like my twisted frame holds wisdom and life.
Catching whispered conversations that blow on soft warm winds.
Yet I am strong enough to carry you through the toughest storm.
Tall enough to cast rooted sunlit shadows.

In death, I follow the sunrise.
Brine waters cling to my uprooted oar.
Carved into a reimagining, I am renewed.
Journey maker, power giver, communicator.
In the midst of the seas, my wisdom is not lost.
In the depth of the oceans, I will be with you.

I plant acorns of hope ploughed into Gods creative garden. Cups of treasured potential rooted and grounded in love.

We believe our family differences are a gift. Growing in a rich substrate of equality and inclusion.
We believe our canopy is a place of shelter and rest for all of creation.
We honour all those that have cast colourful shadows before us.
We take joy from the stories and legends that carry our name.

We believe in the wilderness, our roots will reach water. We believe when we grow on the margins we will be nourished.
We acknowledge that growing is painful. We acknowledge this pain breathes Gods generous gifts across the landscape.
We look to the ruler that shares it’s bounty of acorns amongst the kingdom.

ef9115d3-78ee-4312-a7fe-64aebb7e9a9c

Advertisements

Muddy footprints saturated in love

Marginal plants are those which grow around the margins of a pond where the water is shallow. They usually have their roots and crown underwater, and sometimes their lower foliage as well.

This is especially true of the skunk cabbage ( Lysichiton americanus ) . You very quickly learn to see past it’s unpleasant smelly yellow flowers, and it’s unflattering name. It really is a magnificent wonder of a plant .

Many years ago I purchased two small skunk cabbage plants . Planted with love and care in the best environment I could create within my garden. They survived have produced some insignificant flowers and have no significant growth. I ignored my horticultural inner voice of reason. Followed my eyes to desire a plant that would never grow well in my garden.

The reflective pools and springs in the Bishops palace gardens, provide the perfect conditions to grow marginal plants. Architectural leaves of the Gunnera , bright yellow flowers of the Skunk Cabbage, Ferns, Hosta’s, Primula all carpeting the edges of the reflective pools / wells.
The still waters bouncing back the images cast by these beautiful plants perched on the waters edge devoured my thoughts and held my emotions.

The deafening silence that surrounded the waters edge was profoundly comforting. My heart was plunged deep into the soil inviting me listen and follow.
Freedom to travel within myself to the edges of the well, to those that lived on the margins.
Wondering with Jesus into a fresh beautiful individual way of learning. journeying with the one who knows and loves me, looking no further than my heart.
Listening to the familiar voice of the head Gardner. The voice of love calling and challenging me to go to the margins to those living on the edges of our society .

This unique environment is not self sustaining, it’s unpredictable fragile and vulnerable .
God already loves those on the edge, on the margins. When Jesus walks with us to the edge we reflect Gods love .
God’s love is sustaining and supporting everything that exists in the universe – every person, every plant or creature, every mountain or river or sea, every planet, star or sun, every moment of every day. All of it is held together, sustained and supported by God’s love.

Love

God’s love lifts the blinders from my eyes and shows me his presence and activity in the world. LOVE that holds everything together.
It’s slippery muddy and dangerous on the edge. I need to learn to tread carefully and thoughtfully as I walk with love. Balancing on the edge is dangerous and often ugly. This is never going to be an easy walk.
When I look beyond the danger I see the God’s LOVE who has brought all this into being and who is now holding it and caring for it. LOVE that never changes. LOVE that never fails us, forsake us, or forget us.
It’s Gods remarkable love that transforms and changes lives. It’s the voice of reason that outlines my shadow . Listening and walking in Gods love will sustain me as I tread gently in the boggy ground.
As I learn to plant seeds of full of endless possibilities . Leaving muddy footprints saturated in love.

3F8396FE-052A-4FC7-8799-B5B8A8780C75

John 4-14
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”

Unity is misplaced, harmony is alone.

Reaching out, touching what I cannot see .
Feeling the safety of the warmth that surrounds me.
Dazzled by a love that calls me.
Saddened by loves pain.
It’s within us all.
To change .

If all the world stood still at the same time.
We could hear creation groaning .
If we all stopped long enough to sit with open eyes we could see creations pain .
Sitting with closed eyes we become oblivious to our messy groaning world.
If we listen to the beating heart of love .
We change.

Anticipation of change brings adventure.
Good choices ease loves pain .
Empowering us to listen
Enabling us to change.
Prayers for courage wisdom.
To protect preserve and enjoy.
Harmony restored to creation.
Unity a spirit filled Joy.

1E9B75F1-6B37-46FF-831B-339903421FFD

Apples.

The first seeds I remember planting were the pips from an apple.
They grew.

They reached maturity and produced their own harvest. I have to admit the apples produced by our trees had little resemblance to the parent plant.
They where sour tasting apples hardly fit for eating. I remember the screwed up face I made the first time we ate our harvest. Trying to convince myself they where good.
I grew up watching these trees change with the seasons. They out grew the pots on the kitchen window seal. Became rooted into the ecosystem of my Great Aunties garden . They saw me though school, marriage and the birth of our daughter . When auntie died the apple trees in her garden remained firmly planted in my memory.
When I opened my hand as small child I received two apple pips. My plan was to grow apple trees to produce apples we could eat. Apples that would taste as good if not better than the parent plant.
We could have never seen the world of wonder that these seeds would grow.
This blog is not about growing apple trees, it’s not even about bad tasting apples but about the plans God has for all of us.
I think about Gods plans for us and how they are often so very different to our plans.
I wish I could say that God’s plan will always makes sense, but it doesn’t. I wish I could say that God’s plan will always make us feel good, but it doesn’t do that either.
I wish I could say that God’s plan will always make our lives easier and more comfortable, but I am fairly certain that’s not the case.
God’s blessing doesn’t always come as Red sweet tasting apples.
It might even come in a harvest of Red bitter tasting apples. Grown with love and memories that will live on in my heart. Memories that have helped me to see who I am, and where God might be calling me.
IMG_9568.JPG

Psalm 104 The Message (MSG)

24-30
What a wildly wonderful world, God!
You made it all, with Wisdom at your side,
made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.

It’s a wonderful world!

Imagine my delight to see a delivery of manure on the allotment . Yes I’m blogging very excitedly about a large pile of crumbly well rotted horse poo.
IMG_2180

Theirs a Richness to this manure. It’s full of potential, nutrition and fertility.
Beneficial bacteria, fungi and other organisms have the job of breaking down this organic matter.
It’s hard for some to imagine this transformation as beautiful. But it truly is!!
Fungi Mushrooms represent rebirth, rejuvenation. Fungi transforms and generates soil that gives life.
It’s a hidden microscopic miracle that is constantly happening, causing our world to change around us.
Curiosity takes us on journeys of discovery, awakening us to the world we cannot see.
Viewing this beautiful transforming changing world can only happen when we stop to learn its language. When we make ourselves available to enter the world in which the invisible inhabits.
Opening our minds takes us on a journey through the diversity of creation, that in turn opens our hearts to God.

Genesis 1:31 The Message (MSG)
31
God looked over everything he had made;
it was so good, so very good!

Choose life.

This is the first of five blogs;  Reflections from my retreat weekend at Hilfield Friary.

Hilfield’s vision statement shares and reflects many of my own personal values. It’s a place that’s Rooted – seeking to live simply and gracefully, caring for the land that we have been entrusted with.
It’s Christain – Following Christ caring for the poor and marginalized of our society and all of creation. It’s Family – welcoming all people and creation.

These values are choices that we choose to live by.
My first reflection is from a guided time of prayer “ choose life”

Choose a vision.
Choose a cause.
Choose a different way.

Choose to respect the past and the present.
Choose to look for the little things in the places you would least expect to find them.
Walk bare footed in dew laden grass.
Choose to plant.

Sow in context.
Choose to wait.
Choose new paths.
Choose to see what happens.

Choose to love those awkward shapes.
Choose to listen.
Accept we all make bad decisions.
Choose to change.

Keep pathways open for conversations.
Choose to stop .
Choose to ask for help.
Choose to be fruitful.
Choose to accept gifts.
Embrace the hidden path ways of the journey
Choose to be rooted and grounded in love.
Choose God.
Choose life.

IMG_9516.JPG

I’m tired.

I’m tired of holding it together.
Being the one that has to be strong.
Fighting for the simple things and feeling I don’t belong.

I’m tired that I am trying
To be the best person I can be.
I’m worn out by my limitations.
That keep on holding me.

I was tired when she prayed for me.
Cried when she held my hand.
She whispered I was good enough
To step into this strange land.

IMG_9500