Saturday, 28 February 2015
Days in the Frozen North are starting to whisper Spring in their lengthening, despite the fact that on Thursday the warm sun was punctuated by two very heavy snow storms that swept over the Lough. The wind that blew them in was so strong that the snow snowed upwards. And then suddenly it was all gone. Spring will come!
Monday, 23 February 2015
Then suddenly too I can open my Feast for Lent and come home. That's the overwhelming sense I have this Lent. A great joy at the prospect of being back in the desert for forty days and forty nights with Jesus, just Jesus. I don't have to put up a tree for this festival, evergreen or with egg-decked branches. I don't have to write shopping lists for presents and food. I don't have to roast a beast or present a gasp inducing dessert. My children are not saying with their mouths that it's all about Jesus while salivating in their minds over presents and chocolate eggs.
Lent is still in its right place! I know that it's obviously very common for all and sundry to give up smoking, wine, chocolate digestives and facebook, but there's no materialism involved in that decision. It springs from some understanding that these weeks before Easter are about overcoming temptation and being better people. I do annoyingly persist in asking such friends if they are using the time they save, or the urges they experience, to think more about God.
Delia says, "Let us approach our Lenten acts of self-denial with the right sort of attitude, an attitude which will allow the Lord into some of our problem areas, to rescue us and save us. As we prepare to celebrate the Lord's triumph over sin and death in the Resurrection, let us understand that this can happen in each and every one of our lives, whoever we are, whatever kinds of problems we have."
Lest this reads as sanctimonious sermonising I will say that I have deactivated my own facebook account and can now get real things done! I will state that I am determined to get through all the readings this year- and that will be a first in the many, many years since I bought Feast! I will confess that part of the comfort in being back in the desert is to look at the Lent notebook that I keep with the book and see that many of the same worries that I have are addressed year after year and graciously and generously and with the great compassionate love of our God that Delia dwells on so beautifully throughout.
Happy Lent x
Monday, 16 February 2015
He will be journeying onwards to Betty's Wild Wood soon. We're going to take him on one last Irish adventure tomorrow as its our half-term, and then off to England for him. Do let Pom Pom or me know if you'd still like to host him- his world tour is filling up nicely.
Thursday, 5 February 2015
My tree is still bare.
I have been thinking about this concept of hygge. MK discovered a variety of Scandinavian words that were not just words but expressions but a whole way of life. Hygge seems to belong to a cannon of words that express a way of embracing the cold dark of Winter by snuggling down into cosy comfort with friends, hot drinks and lots of good talk. I don't think we have a specific word for this in Ireland, and I'm going to venture to suggest that this is because we don't counter cold dark Winter in that way. We moan on through and live for opportunities for a bit of "craic". English English speakers will now need to remember that this is not a derivation of drug terminology!
What's the craic? It was great craic. Sure the craic was mighty. You can Google it and find a wealth of cultural explanation! To me it means fun, a laugh, something happening out of the humdrum. It puts a smile on your face and quite possibly a Guinness in your hand. So Badger will probably not be experiencing the best hygge of his world tour here in Ireland. However, we will try make sure he has a bit of craic! I introduced him to his burrow the other night, and left him there with cosy blankets, a fairy door and some warming beverage. He hasn't wanted to come out yet...