Some Aoradh folk met today for our monthly time to eating a meal and worshipping. 18 of us sat around our garden table- including some of Michaela’s family who are visiting from Nottinghamshire.
As ever it was great. We ate, laughed, the kids played and danced.
And it was Paul’s birthday! Hope it is a good year…
After the meal we spent some time thinking about setting out on new journeys- letting the wind of the Spirit blow- and remembering the old practice of peregrinatio.
To help us visualise this, we made paper boats, wrote prayers on them, and set them sailing on the Clyde. Watching them disappear out on the mighty river was magical. We hope this compensates for the little bit of extra flotsam (or is it jetsom?) that we added to the old river.
We read some poems, and a prayer together. I loved this- borrowed from Mark Berry (here)-
Three loads I carry as I walk,
Three packs I balance on my back.
Each one I meticulously packed,
Each I carefully stowed and strapped down hard.
Not one I felt I could leave behind,
Not one could I do without.
Three weights I feel dig in my shoulder,
Each one present and distinct,
Pulling me in different directions,
Making my way harder than it seems,
Causing me to miss my step and trip,
Yet often they feel as one,
So tightly are they bound together,
So long have I carried them.
At times they feel alien jabbing and ripping me,
At times they are part of me.
They are things of great value to me,
Things that make me who I know I am,
Things that give me place and time,
Things that though at time they give me pain,
One great sack carries all I hold of worth,
All that I think I love,
All that I hope never to lose.
How could it be possible to leave this bag?
I could no more cut off my arm or leg!
This I bind closest to me,
I wear it next to my back,
This load gives me stability,
It sures me when I feel feeble.
It is my frame, yet still it is heavy.
One carries all my certainty,
That which I have no doubt is ordained.
In each part a word or thought,
A prayer or poem which gives me purpose,
It is what keeps me on.
It holds my map, my itinerary.
How could I abandon all this,
For whom should I walk,
Which way should I go,
How would I know, how could I be sure?
One load binds all three,
It wraps around the other two,
At times holding them,
At times pushing them sharply into my skin.
My fears I carry in this last bag,
My fear of losing the others,
My fear of walking alone,
My fear of being lost.
My fear of being pointless,
Of going nowhere, of being no-one.
All this speaks of me; my loves, my faith, my fears.
My scale of what is valuable,
My sense of what is good and right,
I am content in each step and yet I count each mile,
I want to pass, to savour each view,
To go the places I could not plan to visit,
I want in each to leave something of me, something good behind.
Somehow, I don’t know how,
I know I must risk leaving parts of me by the road.
I must give up my load,
Lay down my pack.
Not in wild abandon,
But in faithful surrender.