... in fertile pasture
The last few months have been strange for many reasons. One of the better things for me has been taking a walk every day throughout the period of lockdown and beyond, and observing the change in the seasons at close quarters, because if you do almost exactly the same walk every day (reader: we did!) you notice tiny changes in your environment. Some grassy fields near our house, empty and muddy in winter months, proved to be a beautiful late spring meadow full of buttercups and red clover.
This pasture provides wonderful feeding ground for rabbits and cows. Most of the red clover and buttercups have gone now, but been replaced with a variety of other long grasses. Currently, I can spot a lot of elderflower and cow parsley in the hedgerows.
The way the red clover and buttercups popped up from nowehere and filled the world with colour and life reminded me recently of how we as humans have reacted to not being able to meet in physical spaces. Zoom events and skype calls have popped up spontaneously all over the place, replacing a diverse range of physical meetups. Everything from yoga classes, tai chi, Ju Jitsu, video calls for home schooling, tutorials for cutting your hair at home, counselling, and online retreats. People created 'Skype pub' or 'Zoom pub'. I have crafting sessions with my friends on video call. One of my friends cooks and eats a meal simultaneously with her family using the same recipe and ingredients and they even drink the same wine! The Church has done its bit too, but so have the people: as well as livestreamed Masses, many parishes run Holy Communion classes, children's liturgy and prayer groups.
Despite the last few months having been so difficult for us all, it's truly remarkable how quickly people have adapted and responded to the change in circumstances, and that's wonderful to see. When we doubt where God has been amid all the darkness and strife, there's no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit has guided us and given us ideas and energy to overcome the sesne of helplessness and inertia.