Well, it must be said that we haven’t had the summer weather we enjoyed last year. The days have been overcast and there’s been a lot of rain, which has made BBQs and picnics somewhat chancy affairs! Still, we needed the morale boost of the good weather so much more a year ago. THIS summer we have the hopeful signs that the worst of the Covid 19 crisis may be over to cheer us. We are in a better and safer place. Though there are losses to remember and griefs to bear, there are also blessings to count and give thanks for.Despite our surname, Mr G. and I are not the greatest of gardeners but, as I type this, our garden is at its most colourful. The hydrangeas are heavy with big, blowsy blossoms of pink, blue and purple. They clash fantastically (as only nature can get away with!) the Montbretias and the Rowan trees, with their matching oranges above and below. I have never seen our Rowans so laden with berries. The birds will feast richly but I wonder if it augurs a hard winter, or is that just an old wives’ tale?Those orange hues make me think of autumn and harvest. Even living in the town, we are blessed with countryside not far away and we haven’t lost that connection with the farming year. Later this month we will celebrate Harvest Festival. Remember the scents of fruit and flowers that filled the churches of our youth? Wonderfully evocative. Today we take a different slant and contribute packets and tins - or money - to the Food Bank and local care homes, but whatever form our giving takes it’s a way of appreciating the many blessings God has showered upon us and sharing them, in turn, with others.Harvest is not the only opportunity we’re given though. Every day God provides us with moments and encounters where we can speak of him or show his compassion in a myriad of ways. Acts of Random Kindness – A.R.K. – that’s how we change the world says ‘God’ (a.k.a. Morgan Freeman) in the film Evan Almighty – one act of random kindness at a time. Perhaps our challenge for this month could be to give thanks for God’s goodness and love and then share it with others by committing at least one A.R.K each day? Who knows what the harvest from such seed-sowing might be?
With every blessing,