New Expressions

June always seems to be the beginning of the summer. I always look forward to warmer weather, longer days and lighter evenings and even holidays! These hopes of future holidays and other such aspirations come now with a COVID 19 conditionality. I believe that any plans we make will almost always be affected by restrictions. It is almost like optimism has been replaced with a resignation to change, often for the worse. If we are being realistic we may be able to acknowledge that this last year has been the most difficult in many people’s lives, there can only be a few people who remember worse years. The cost in terms of deaths and illness has been unprecedented. Hidden behind these are also the financial and emotional effects which are still to be fully understood. I know that I feel exhausted, although I feel have done so little. I am not sure how to restart and reshape my expectations and hopes. I think the one certainty is that I need to start slowly and move forward cautiously. It might seem tempting to rush around doing everything we can, however, I suspect it will only make us happy for a short time. I have a sense we have to build slowly with great care. I hope that things will not just return to normal, instead, we ought to work out what is important and what we value. For many of us, we have made excuses that we were too busy or did not have enough time in the past. Perhaps in the future, we can make more time for the really important things in our lives.

For many people disruptions of close relationships and friendship have been the biggest sacrifice to try and keep everyone safe. The process of rekindling these connections will feel very odd and difficult. It will not feel right or normal to be close to other people. We have learnt to step away and keep our social distance. Unlearning this will be confusing and difficult. People will vary with what they feel comfortable with being able to do. It will be just as easy to upset someone by coming too close as it was to remain apart. This will be like learning a new dance, a few toes might get hurt. One of the most difficult areas to come back to life will be music and expressive arts. It is interesting to try and work out why these are so important. They appear to be able to heal and carry our imaginations to places that we cannot easily access by ourselves. They remind me of the working of God that is also able to guide and strengthen us in our spiritual journey without us knowing how that is possible. There is something about our world that speaks of beauty and purpose yet to be discovered.

As we emerge from almost a hibernation we should stop and take in the things that inspire and motivate us.

Rev. Martin Wood. The Rectory, Church Lane, Cheriton Bishop EX6 6HY 01647 24119 (Tuesday to Sunday)