First day of lent…

In the unfolding year, it always seems surprisingly early, like snowdrops…

Our kitchen reeks of pancakes after last night- I think I must have cooked about 100, for family, friends and house group in order to mark the beginning of a time when we need to get serious, intentional and reflective as we move towards Easter. For some this is marked by doing without- fasting from a food, or an activity. For others, we mark this time by doing something extra- committing ourselves to some regular meditation or act of service for example. Marking these yearly rhythms is increasingly important to me, not least because of the influence of a friend.

Over the last few days we have had an old friend staying with us, Maggy Cooper, who is a retreat leader at St Beuno’s Abbey, a Jesuit spiritual centre in North Wales made famous by the BBC programme ‘The Big Silence‘. Some of it has found it’s way onto you tube if you missed it- and it really is worth watching for anyone who is at all interested in the power of ancient traditions (I have blogged about it previously here.)

When we meet with old friends, we find ourselves looking back over our shared journeys. All those years where we have been challenged, encouraged, and laughed together. Also all those more subtle ways in which we influenced one another- the convergence of ideas and opinions, and ideas that, once shared, take on a deeper significance in our lives.

Maggy is one of those people for us, and it was great to see her again…