Two thoughts hold my attention at the moment. One is ‘give thanks’ and the other is ‘it’s Autumn’. I’m not giving thanks for Autumn, though that would be good to do. I’m giving thanks for my life now, as it is, and because I’m not nagging and fretting at it and myself, trying to change what I cannot change in the circumstances of myself and Mrs Llew: regretting what I could have changed and did not, what might have been different and will never be. Blaming myself.
We are believers in our family, though not formally observant these days. We have lively consciences and there is always a sense of having failed to meet the mark ( I think that is a definition of ‘sin’). Well, it’s time to put that – as if we’ve ever stopped – to the founder of our religion, Jesus Christ.
After returning from three wonderful and happy days by the stormy Bournemouth sea with our family, I was, as usual, ‘offering up’ all these regrets and remorsefulness when the clear thought came to me: ‘Give thanks. Your burden has been taken over by me.’
So I’ll let the burden go and do what I’m told to do. There’s an abundance to give thanks for. Here and now. The rest, as Mr Eliot said, is not our business.
Above all there are Mrs Llew and our family, our home and prosperity and the beauty of the encircling Chiltern hills here, for a start. And our many friends.
And there are my walks on the by-pass. In years gone by, in London, I would attend a midweek evening Communion service at our church in East Finchley. At this time of year, the Lady Chapel lights would be on for the service. They marked the passing of the summer: poignant, with its shadows.
Here on the by-pass, before the dusk fell, I noticed a stray ear of wheat and a tiny toadstool. It’s the mushroom season after all. A lone cabbage butterfly fluttered about where the self-sown oil seed plants grow in the recently ploughed furrows.
These tiny details are no less mysterious or full of wonder.
‘Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4.6.7)