I lent a book “Wayfaring” by Margaret Silf to a seminarian staying at the priests' house. I met him in church the other day and he returned it, because he was going away for two or three weeks and thought that he might not see me before I return to the
UK. I have been trying to read this book for some years and always get so far and get distracted. This year however it seems that it keeps returning to me, maybe I will persevere. Margaret talks about an agate stone which looks like any stone on a beach until you turn it over. It has been sliced and polished to reveal something very beautiful inside. The journey she takes you on in the book is to help the reader to recognise the beauty that is hidden deep within ourselves. I have found on my Ignatian retreats that in getting closer to God I also discover a lot about the real me. If we believe that God dwells inside us in a very real sense then of course it is natural that the two cannot be totally separated. When I read my other book entitled “Belief” it is sad to see that many of the people interviewed have rejected the idea of a personal God that we can get to know to some extent. It seems to me that they are missing out on a very important aspect of being human. It is possible of course that I am deluding myself, but am I worse off for finding a deep peace and joy from the delusion?
In the garden are strewn seed pods from the Jacaranda and I am tempted to say flowers from the bougainvillea, though the actual flowers are largely insignificant – the beautiful red/pink colur is from a type of leave – no doubt there is a scientific name for this part of the plant - there are also green leaves. I look at these plants and wonder at the beauty and the difference. Both scatter their seeds across the lawn. The vast jacaranda trees drop hard seed pods when they are ready to split and expose seeds each covered with a small very delicate wing which allows the wind to carry them away to find fertile ground. The bougainvillea, which I stated in an early blog has here climbed the 20 metre high Jacaranda, lets its fine pink leaves, which appear like the delicate petals of a flower, float on the wind carrying its seeds into neighbouring gardens. So very different and yet performing the same task of continuation of the species. Each carrying a small seed that has the potential to develop into something very beautiful and amazing. It is by nourishing the seed that is within all of us that we too can realise the potential of the beauty contained within.
I talked with Charles for some hours yesterday. For the past couple of years he has been out of town and I have missed our discussions about the world and all its issues!! We covered everything from the latest problems with his projects to politics, the economy and the missing Malatsian plane! He fed me with sump and by 14 hrs I departed.
The day had been unusually cool and cloudy but finished with glorous sunshine. Teddy popped around for a chat and it was good to catch up. He has been very busy with the organisation of the bishops consecration and has hardly had a chnce to catch his breath during the past week or two. We agreed to meet at the hospital today to see if there was any progress that could be made with the stores database.
Obert and his mother visited this morning. She is making the 'bag tidies' for us to sell at our church in Cheltenham. Obert told me when I met him the other day that his mother had bad toothache – otherwise she would have come with him. Some years back I had a problem with my tooth which couldn't be fixed before my visit to Zambia. The dentist advised me to bring some oil of cloves with me and assured me that it would sort out any problem, even over a period of 3-4 months. In the event I had no problems with toothache, but I soon found someone who did! I gave them the clove oil and was rewarded with grateful thanks for the magic medicine! Ever since that experience I have brought with me several bottles of clove oil and plenty of cotton buds. I have yet to find a dissatisfied customer!! Obert's mother had started using some of the oil a day or so back and was now feeling much better. She says that, having not been able to eat because of the pain, she could immediately chew on the tooth after the first application of the medicine.
I found Teddy at the hospital but made little progress in respect of the stores system I used the opportunity to meet Sr. Joyce who is standing in for the Admiin Manager while she is on leave.