Notes from the Orchard - September 2017

More Notes from The Orchard – 46

September 2017


I love the word ‘September’!  It brings to mind my early youth – in other words school, when the wonderful words of Keats opened the window to the beauty of poetry with ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. . .’

After the very mixed weather of our current summer months, the close was something of a triumph for this year’s Bank Holiday which has joined the exclusive roll of sunny August Bank celebrations.  What a shame Milford’s brilliant carnival vanished into the list of Health and Safety PC victims!  In all the years of the carnival there wasn’t a single death. . .or maybe the word ‘passing’ might be more PC.


This year I have found myself going much more slowly.  It takes so much longer to do anything, although I seem to be working for hours, but when I get to the end of the day and look back and I feel have done nothing.  I seem to have little energy so I spend a great deal of time looking out of the window, mostly at birds and their reactions with each other, and when I walk, even little distances, I look at tiny flowers in the grass which I have mostly ignored before and picked one up to examine it more closely.  Many have proved amazing – enough to bother going indoors to find a magnifying glass to see them better.


I have watched a mother bird, a thrush, teaching her older chicks how to break open a snail and consume the – to them – delicious innards.  At the same time I have enjoyed seeing a tiny wren help itself to the seeds still in the flower of a weed popping up between the cracks in my patio paving,


I have seen the beauty of a skyful of magnificent clouds against a blue, blue sky – and we have had some views this year if only in short bursts!  Only this morning by chance I caught sight of a huge and richly coloured rainbow. . .


Looking up to the heights and down to the simplicity of flowers in the grass under the light of a bright sun reveals delights we too often miss.


We find our couch-potato selves facing human-selected pictures via our electronic machines so much of our time these days we tend to forget there is a real world outside.  There are things we could choose to see but ‘The News’ seems so important that its screen presentations fill our view and depress our souls.  All we can think about is human folly – “D’you think there’ll be a war?”. . .“Aren’t people awful?” . . .”How can people be so cruel, thoughtless, stupid?” – such negative outlooks which don’t quite seem to include ourselves. . .


We’re just about to step into Autumn with God’s gift of all its wonderful colours.  For the next few weeks – send up prayers that the weather doesn’t turn into a drab grey wetness – let’s just open our eyes to the colours around us and spend less time sitting down/working indoors.  Let’s devote at least ten minutes a day walking where we can make the effort to look at small things in the hedges, the hedgerow, the seashore. . . longer if you like.  If you can’t walk very far, try looking at the little things in your own garden setting.


It will be very good for your health, and when you come across something that gives you pleasure, thank God for it.  They are little surprises to cheer us up from a God who loves us!


© Katy Bell