I do wonder whether we are overshadowed, bowed down and demoralised by a sense of failure. This train of thought began with a cycle ride which an old friend and I took to a bridge over our flooded and very picturesque river. I’ve no idea how to include a picture with this post, but if anyone among my regular readers would like to see it I would be happy to forward it to them separately.
From the bridge, flood water spread over the adjacent meadows. Such has been the scene for weeks. It’s beautiful – though the sheep who graze here often would not share that thought. Leafless November trees grew out of the waters. The skies were wide where, to the west, the sun quietly lit them.
‘Down by the riverside, I’ll lay my burden down.’ The traditional spiritual returns to my mind’s ear over and over again. What burden? Whoever composed those words said he would ‘study war no more’. But war is part of the burden. Is there a time when one should let it go, lay it down? War against sin, within and without. The burden is the war. Within and without. And I remembered the words of another hymn, ‘The Lord of the Dance’: ‘It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back’.
And I put on a programme of Rhythm and Blues on BBC Radio Two. The tales these songs tell reflect my sadness. But they affirm life. Dance is the enemy of the devil.
As is fun. Alone in my study I found myself dancing.