Back home. There is always such peace and pleasure and a sense of shalom–well-being!–in being back home. One of the rewards of travel!! I now feel as if I am in an aviary, with lots of brightly coloured birds flying around me, chirping, Write to me, Call me, Reply to me, Do me. But I do feel peaceful, and will attend to all of them, one by one!!
School starts tomorrow. We have had a soft landing back home, Zoe going to her drama workshop at the Creation Theatre (highly recommended!) and Z. and I resuming our French conversation sessions at the Alliance Francaise. We are factoring in tennis lessons for the girls this term, and Roy will be back to teaching after a 9 month plus sabbatical, so we anticipate a reasonably busy, happy term. Yoga tonight. Yippee!
Girls & Roy off at church. Zoe has volunteered to help lead the 8-10 yr. old Sunday School (hey, better her than me) so will need to go to church in the evenings for her own spiritual nourishment and growth. So some of us will be attending both services (though not Irene, if she has anything to say about it!) So, with my evening worship squared away, I am off to do morning yoga at Esporta, wh. to my surprise, I love!
13 September 2009
Had a lovely family walk down to our house from St. Mary’s Church, Garsington up the hill yester despite grumbling from Zoe that family walks don’t work, because Dad walks too fast, Mum walks too slow, Irene’s pace is just right, but Irene is, well, Irene! Irene said she’d walk if she had a pocketful of chocolate. We compromised with crystallized strawberries from Norway. We had a glorious walk, esp. our collie Jake!
Superb day! Yoga class in a.m, felt stretched & energetic, a good chicken tikka masala & salad for lunch cooked by Zoe & Roy (under pressure from Irene, I’m now cutting carbo from my diet rather than meat. It might be working, procrastinating getting the scales to confirm). Watched a tender, hilarious, French film, La Gloire de Mon Pere, which Roy & I last saw 20 years ago! A lovely deep refreshing church service p.m.
I saw a fab website called Call & Response. Life’s disappointments, setbacks & sadnesses are a Call to us. Scripture repeatedly says we can rejoice and praise God in all circumstances–because these sorrows can draw forth a Response of creativity, life-revisions, new paths travelled, side-roads we’re forced into which are surprisingly enchanting! (It’s a child’s sadness I’m philosophising over at present, not mine!)
18 September 2009
Anita Mathias went to a lovely garden party at my old Oxford College, Somerville. I was struck by how nice, kind & friendly the dons were, those unapproachable, remote figures of my youth. I had long interesting conversations with 3 women who taught there at my time, & who I had never spoken to. Talked to some interesting women a few years older than I, & have my head buzzing with stimulating conversation. I love living in Oxford!
19 September 2009
Anita Mathias I love reading or listening to Obama’s speeches. He’s a master rhetorician! The early parts of this speech remind of some of the great speeches of American history,those of Frederick Douglass or Martin Luther King.
Whatever one feels about heath-care reform, his intent, surely, is good!
When I spoke here last winter, this nation was facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. We were losing an average of 700,000 jobs per month, credit was frozen, and our financial system was on the verge of collapse.
End summer sadness: Roy returns to teaching after a sabbatical. In a nesting phase: want to get t. kitchen & bathroom walls tiled along with t. conservatory floor-saw some lovely patterns-& add more bright lights & knock down a kitchen wall, combining it with t utility room. Homes can be like works of art–infinitely perfectible, though one needs to stop when they are good-God’s standard for Eden-rather than perfect!
I was musing aloud to Roy, I forget what, something quite magisterial and profound, and he CONTRADICTED me. Contradicted the truest truth!! “Don’t you wish I was your Facebook with only a Like button?” he said!
We worship at St. Aldate’s, Oxford. There was a worshipping Christian community on this spot since Saxon times. It is the northern most point of detectable Saxon worship in Britain. Cool to think that men and women wearing the swag of my previous post once swaggered in here to worship Christ, and people speaking the lovely language of Chaucer, and Shakespeare, and Milton–and us! A 1000 years of continuity of worship!
Lovely party at our friend Joan’s house yesterday in Stanton St. John, 4.5 miles fm Oxford. Stanton St. John, quaint & pretty, was John Milton’s ancestral village, where he got married. I stayed there 24 years ago-and it is little changed! Our church, St. Aldate’s, with a membership of over 1000, is huge & diverse, & we met several interesting people with whom we had never talked deeply before. I like large churches!
27 September 2009
I love living in the country. Yesterday, when we came in from the evening service, the half moon was eerily bright. There are few electric lights visible where we live, so the stars are so bright. We could literally see a Milky Way. We pointed it, the Big Dipper and Orion’s Belt out to Irene, who was enchanted!
28 September 2009
Zoe leads a 8-10 year old group at church. She is pretty good at it, and has been given a group of her own. Zoe is really growing in firmness of character, maturity, and love for God and spiritual things (as well as academically, of course.) Love cannot really be instilled in children–the old horse and water thing–so I am happy to see her passion for God far exceeds ours at her age (and perhaps even now!)
28 September 2009