Blenheim Palace is one of the most photographed buildings in England. Many pictures also encompass its lake with the Grand Bridge. At first sighting, we think that it is made of solid stone. But it has a secret. For, inside the bridge are many rooms that were used to entertain the guests of the Dukes of Marlborough. Today, these are closed to the public as some are full of rubble, others are submerged in water, and one needs a boat to enter.
Christ didn’t see people differently, he saw their hidden ‘rooms’. He perceived secret strengths and abilities in others that we overlook. That’s why he asked Peter to found the church with his unseen leadership and determination. He wasn’t disappointed.
I wonder what he sees in me?
My home is in the countryside surrounded by fields. Yesterday, the local farmer had obviously thought it was time to harvest her crops and sow seed for next year. She had also read the weather forecast for rain and, as a result, she and her hands worked through the night. Even at dawn, their tractors could be heard toiling away.
Christ talked a lot about harvesting crops. While he didn’t refer to the weather much, he did tell us to read the times. Then and only then, could we know what he wants us to do.
These are difficult times to read but the headlines are obvious. It is especially clear that our planet is reaching a crossroads environmentally. Maybe then, God’s word is to think carefully what we are doing so that future generations will have the privilege of harvesting any crop at all.
Last night’s movie was ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’. It’s a very dark story which must be quite scary for children. Not least that the hero dies. But in a scene set in a heavenly King Cross Station, Harry asks the dead Dumbledore, “Is this all going on in my head or is it real?”. To which the sage replies, “It can be going on in your head but still be real.” At the saga’s end, Harry does rid the world of Voldemort and they all live happily ever after.
Today, there are a few who have created nasty worlds in their heads and are striving to make them a reality. the killing of innocence personified in a 7-year-old boy and the waving of a flag which over 80million died to defeat are good examples.
However, there are others who have a vision of a better planet of everyone and are valiant in trying to bring it into reality. Indeed, Christ talked repeatedly about ‘the Kingdom coming’. He had that better place constantly in his mind. With him, the quest then goes on to make it a reality so that more of us can live happily now as well as ever after.
Together the surveyed Hardwick’s glassy lake. Reflected in it, was their constellation far up in the starry sky. They had seen it often and as a couple, they would gaze at it again. For they together had weathered their own storms and days of darkness. And so, as one, they were forever bound.
But it was time to move on. Their young had grown, found wing and fled. The year too showed signs of turning and the earth tilting. At dawn, they made ready to leave for a warmer season elsewhere.
Out, out into the waters, they swam. Soundlessly, they wished each other well. They pushed through the leaden water, gained speed until they were free in the air. Flapping their long wings, the Hardwick pair stretched their necks towards the rising sun.
A bystander watched with breath held tight, thinking only of the elegance of paired swans in flight.
Through the illness, this moment kept him going. He unearthed his bike and dusted it off after long disuse. He mounted and the wind breathed on his face. Down the main street with a few early shoppers barely glancing at the lycra-clad figure speeding pass. He, however, enjoyed being on a surfboard weaving easily around […]
via The Cyclist’s Fight — Tayview’s Blog
“I am a blue balloon,
I am a blue balloon not a red balloon,
I am a blue balloon living in a world
Of red balloons.”
Perhaps because it was a blue balloon, it was let go. Even the wind was not keen to take it. The balloon bounced along the ground before a gust lifted it grudgingly into the air. It soared higher, hungry for freedom. It was away from that mean town with its traffic aggressive in pushing through narrowness.
The balloon gained height and passed over a park with souls below escaping the shove of their existence. But only the geese looked up and envied its ease of flight.
A motorway, a castle and a patchwork of fields followed as the balloon picked up speed on a freshening breeze. Village, farm and hill passed by in the crystal light of that crisp day. No one looked up at the growing balloon skipping high above.
Before long, the coast appeared with the blue of the sea flecked with boats braving the tides and waves. Then, just as the balloon knocked on the door of the stratosphere and bloated with expanding gas, it burst asunder. It gave its blueness back to sky leaving the world to the held-fast red.
Its battlements stand tall above the Warwickshire countryside. The high towers and stout walls of Kenilworth Castle tell out England’s turbulent history. The ghosts of knights, squires and damsels walk the bowers and cellars.
Today, this mighty citadels lies in ruins with its portals toothless, its doors gone and the cannon ports empty.
Yet one feature remains and it is a testimony to love not war.
For, in July 1575, Robert Dudley played his final card in wooing Elizabeth the First. Not for him roses and chocolates. Instead, when she arrived at his home at Kenilworth she was greeted by actors making speeches and trumpeters ‘trumpeting’. Similar acts of extravagant devotion when on for 3 weeks. All to no avail, for the sovereign remained unwed. However, she was grief-struck when Dudley died 13 years later and kept his last letter with her ever after.
Nowadays there is only one witness to this overindulgence. It is a beautiful garden kept just as the Queen saw it those centuries before.
I was thinking of the love between Elizabeth and Dudley as I sat eating an ice cream on the castle’s green when a lady visitor from the United States approached. She wanted to talk to my dogs. She had 3 back home and she missed them very much. Perhaps then whether we live in a grand palace or a humbler house, the greatest motivation of creator and created is love. Since it alone makes life a garden or an empty shell.
The artist opened her paint box, dampened her brush and started. Before her was a handsome half-timbered house complete with moat and gatehouse. She worked on in that hot summer’s day. The picture developed but did not show the many visitors who trooped passed. She disliked their intrusion with garish tops and shorts into this piece of Tudor history.
Then she sighted an old man in straw hat and linen jacket stop and gaze at the house. He was perfect for inclusion just at the bridge over the moat.
Soon she finished her work as the shadows drifted towards afternoon. So, she collected her gear and arose. To her surprise, there beside her was the gentleman she had portrayed.
They talked, and she asked if he knew the house well.
‘Yes’ he replied ‘many years ago I lived here’.
‘My uncle once owned it and I stayed each summer as a boy ‘. ‘Do you miss it?’ asked the artist.
‘Yes, but you can’t turn the clocks back. Now it’s the property of the tourists who pay for the upkeep’.
He paused and said: ‘Why don’t you paint it again including the visitors-that’s the picture of the future?’
A few minutes later he left with the first picture and the painter started again remembering that time runs in only one direction.
Lord, be with me
when I cannot face change.
Come me if I must change.
Inspire me to change
for the future,
our future together
The woman sat on the deck chair looking out to sea and imagined a far-off ship going to the tropics. There it would find the warmth she had never experienced. She enjoyed a good life in a material sense at least. In personal relationships, she had been less fortunate. And so, she could buy a gift for anyone but had no one to give it.
A child run across the beach carrying an inflatable ball. Something attracted the youngster to the woman. So, she threw the ball towards her. Affronted by the girl’s forwardness, she was tempted to retreat into her book with a glower. Instead, the woman sent the ball through the air and into grateful hands. For a minute, they amused each other as they played out a game. Then the girl gave a shy smile and ran off to somewhere unknown.
Brightened, the woman looked around and saw couples, families and groups enjoying shared companionship. She should have felt excluded but somehow, she had reconnected with the human race. That was enough.
The ship upon the grey ocean dropped below the horizon.
Lord, when we are lonely,
Send us companionship.
When we are alone,
be at our side.
When we are in company,
Hear our thanks
Taken from Summer Postcards available free at Wattpad.