Monday, 27 August 2012


August has had a different feel, this year. I think, in the first part, the country was so taken up with the Olympics that no one was doing more than they really had to. There seemed to be a sort of collective, national relaxation even amongst those who were only following the progress of Team GB with half an eye. And then a lot of people went on holiday. We've been here all summer, having been away earlier in the year. So I've been conscious of a sense of empathy with people for whom it is not possible to get away on holiday. One church even runs a 'Holiday at Home' scheme so that people can have a break in their year-long daily routine and find company and fun without having to go away. There are daily activities, talks and entertainment at church and trips out to places of local interest, films and cafes.
Refreshment of spirit (not to mention the relaxation of body that comes with it) is something we all need. A break in routine, a chance to meet new people, an opportunity to be with those who make us laugh and help us forget ourselves. Although we've not been away, August has been a time of renewal. Inspired by the Olympics, I've enjoyed teaching myself to swim back stroke. I've also relished unhurried quiet prayer at the start of the day and time to choose, cook and enjoy the food we eat in a more leisurely way (so often my husband does this and/or we have rushed meals which are largely pre-prepared.) I know life will get back to a more hectic pace but, today, I'm just gratefully savouring the shalom of not having to keep to a tight schedule!  

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