New year photos…

So, another year is on us. Welcome to 2010. It has a nice look to it as a number does it not? What will it bring?

Last night, there was a partial eclipse of the moon. The sort of thing that our forebears would have regarded as an Omen. For good, or ill- who knows?

We had a lovely evening last night- music, laughter, conversation, whisky, friendship- all the right ingredients to see in a new year in.

Oh, and we did the sky lantern thing again to send some prayers/resolutions into a clear cold night sky…

New year meditating…

So- Happy New Year to you all. I hope your celebrations tonight are suitably exuberant, whilst still sufficiently mindful of the potential damage to your liver…

Our house is filling up with old friends and their kids, up here for Hogmanay. To those who could not make it- you will be missed.

Many of us use the turning of the year as a period of reflection- over what the old year has been, and what the new one might become.

Time enough for resolutions (and then no time at all- which was the point of my last post!) perhaps we would be better to spend time just reflecting, and meditating.

And if I might suggest a theme for such ponderings, I wonder if you might find these questions helpful- which I have mentioned before– the stuff of ‘soul friendship’…

How goes it with your soul?
What is draining you lately?
What is recharging you lately?
How have you felt God speaking to you?
How have you been able to see and serve Christ in the elderly, the poor, the young, the needy, or the rejected?
What has been a spiritual high point? Low point?
What challenges are you facing in the coming days?

And in all these things, in these days, may the peace of God be with you.

2009- it’s here. Rejoice.

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I have had a lovely few days of celebration, music and laughter.

Every year, out house fills up with friends for a NY house party. Rooms accumulate gatherings stratified according to a fluid set of gender/age/interest divisions. Someone is perpetually brewing/ cooking/playing music/theologising or leading a party of kids out for an expedition into the great outdoors…

Nights become well used and long, sleep is snatched only when necessary, and we eat too much, and drink not a little- but, to be honest, as we are mostly too prone to hangovers- tea is the favourite tipple these days.

Highlights for me this year were;

  1. Walks into the hills with kids. We gave out digital cameras, and instructed the groups to take photos of things beginning with every letter of the alphabet. Some very hilarious and creative offerings followed- my favourites were Z for Zit (plenty of teenagers, so no probs finding one!) and Q for queue. Andy put the photos in a slide show, and we showed them on a big screen later.
  2. Music. Sometimes when you try to make music together, it is hard and difficult. Not this time. We had keyboard, guitars, bouzouki, flute, fiddles whistles and percussion. Oh- and perhaps most of all, we had a room full of kids who loved every minute of it! ‘Wild thing’ and ‘In the Jungle, the mighty jungle’- dreadful songs both, with live long in memory.
  3. And talking of memory- I really think that experiences like this create collective memory. things that, once shared, become something of who we are. It seems all the more special that it involves the kids.
  4. Kids plays. this years offerings were ‘the monster in the cupboard’ who just seems to enjoy killing children- very blood thirsty, strong on characterisation, but not on plot development. Then there was the talent show- ‘Williams room’s got talent’. Let us just say that I thoroughly deserved minus 2004 points.

There was one other more complicated part to the gathering. Neil, who would have loved this weekend, was not here. But to have the chance to have long conversations with Sheila, his wife, was precious.

So my friends, far and near- may 2009 be a blessing to you. May you construct good memories that build health and life. And may you remember the difficult broken things with love and care. And may you move forward…

In hope.

Some photos;