It is raining and all around me the deep green luxurious growth of nature surrounds me. Waves of cow parsley tumble over the grass verges, blossom cascades over the hawthorns and from within the damp earth there is an explosion of vegetation. Apple blossom still lingers and speedwell forms blankets of blue within the carpet of dandelion seed heads. Dustings of yellow and blue flowers intermingle with the greenery. Birdsong fills the air above the background hum of traffic. I often find that seemingly wet and dull weather can often bring a different awareness of a place to the senses and as I pass through this particular place I am glad I made the effort to go out in the rain.
I almost cannot cope with being thrown into this world of otherness. It is so distant from the hours I spend in front of a computer screen at work. In a place like this I feel very much at home. It also has a completely different feel to the organised design of vegetables and flowers in my garden. Here is nature running wild. This is nature's church. An ecological community of creative beauty full of diversity, life and productivity.
My spiritual writing has taken a backseat for a while because, to be honest, it is b****y hard work. I often feel I am getting nowhere and struggle to find relational inspiration in my immediate world. The is so much that seems to beckon me to take a look at and I do tend to find that my senses work better with the real and tangible rather than the mystical. I am happier with what I can make out of what I can observe. Perhaps that is why I am good at illustration work. It frustrates me though that emotions, ideas and thoughts change over time and I feel a rather lonely pilgrim who finds so much to look at along the way.
The web is, of course, full of the weird and wonderful and I could connect with like minded people there, but in many ways I don't like dealing with people in such a detached way. I am inspired by people - I love observing and drawing them. Part of me yearns to be in a place of community - of helping, doing, supporting. A computer screen has just becomes a tool for meeting deadlines. It does not help people physically. Pushing my mother in a wheelchair around St Albans recently highlighted to me many things about how difficult it is for some people to do basic tasks. It was not just the task of visiting shops and finding out where she could do this or that, but just the practical difficulties of dealing with uneven and sloping pavements, undropped kerbs, busy road crossings, people rushing about all around us and just the sheer physical effort required to get up steep hills. It was a good job the wheelchair came with a seat belt! As a result of a change of circumstances I am now developing a small questioning part that is being agitated to ask "what should I perhaps be doing?"
Otherness is all around us but sometimes it takes someone or something to open our eyes to a different world.