image: Padre’s Ramblings
“What is this place?” Tillie asked.
“It’s All Saints,” Helen responded.
“Like St Peter and St Paul?” Tillie questioned.
“Why yes, they are included, but its more than that. It’s a place to remember all the holy saints from the past.”
“That would take a lot of stained glass to get them all in,” Tillie reflected.
“It’s not really about all that. In fact, it isn’t even about the ‘named’ saints from the past. You see the Bible says all Christians are saints, and there isn’t just this place to remember them, but there is a day for it too.”
“What day is that?” Tillie asked.
“All Holies Day, the day of all holy people.”
“When is that?” Tillie asked, not being able to place it.
“November first, right after All Holies Eve. You call that Halloween.”
“That’s spooky,” Tillie said.
“No just holy.”
Written for d’Verse Prosery 5 “All Hallows”
“Caught, obstructed, delayed.” No it’s not a poem, it is the usual evening journey home along one of the UK’s biggest car parks, the A14 in Cambridgeshire.
If the snarled traffic isn’t bad enough, the Highways Agency in their infinite wisdom, has decided that the way to “fix” the problem is to add some extra lanes, and make a short straightening of the route between Cambridge and Huntingdon. It will when finished save maybe ten minutes on future journeys.
“When finished.” That is the operative phrase. The work has been going on for month and months. And for the time-being adds anywhere up to forty minutes to the journey. Okay, if a daily traveller, given a few YEARS of travel after the completion – you will make back the shortfall of your life. If an occasional traveller – then “why, just why?”
But what is better, is that these “improvements” are going on at the exact same time as “improvements” on the Newmarket and Milton side of Cambridge. The lucky traveller gets to finish one delay to join the queue for the next.
It gives the entire concept of “caught in traffic” a feeling of understatement. It is not caught, but “imprisoned.”
Tale Weaver – #247 – Caught – 31st October
Sorry, unfortunately not fiction this time. Reality sometimes becomes more unbelievable than fiction.
The Twenty-third Psalm is one of the most familiar passages from the entire Bible. It speaks of David’s reliance on the care and protection from God, no matter what the circumstances. It reads:
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
It has been a comfort to countless Jews, Christians, and yes indeed others since it was first written. I remember it as a regular reading in my Boy Scout days as part of morning devotions. It is just so full of promise for a coming day.
My wife Dianne held on to this Psalm as well. The following is one of her posts from just a couple of months before her passing:
“This week has been hard and tiring. Over the weekend i developed an allergic reaction to a new steroid i was trying for pain. I became hyperglaecemic and borderline dehydrated even though i couldnt stop drinking. With blood sugar over 18 points, dizzyness and loss of bowel control things looked to be setting themselves up for a hospital admission. However, we attended an emergency gp appointment at 8.30am and the young locum was a blessing, he reassured us and gave clear guidance so we could monitor from home. After a total of 72 hours awake and feeling agitated and ill, i finally slept. I took the rest of the week to recover slowly, but today i was able to go out for a cup of tea for the first time in about 10 weeks. That made me feel very blessed. Even in our greatest trials, God is there to aid and bless throughout. ‘Though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil for thou art with me.'”
She had planned of reflecting on this Psalm in her final days, but as the trials and “valleys” worked out she fell into a coma. I therefore recited and sang it to her (using Kieth Green’s arrangement) as I sat by her bedside. It was in a very real sense “the valley of death.” But – The Lord was with her, and with me. Surely goodness and mercy will continue to follow me all of the days of the rest of my life – for he has been a comfort for me every day so far!
image: Padre’s Ramblings
My wife and I were visiting a National Trust property, and while the formal gardens were beautiful, we decided to see what was “off the beaten path.” We went through a gateway in an evergreen hedge and were greeted by the most amazing display along a forest walk (Photo above). It was spectacular to behold, and it is now a cherished memory.
Spring-tide forest walk
Blaze of cerulean blue
Nature’s glory greets
Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, October 30th 2019, Bluebells
Cuthbert and Agnald had successfully battled the ogre which was beneath the bridge. Then after a long and labourious fight they vanquished the four Grey Goblins in the forest approach. Now at last they could see the ruins of the fabled Culandoon, where a great treasure was said to lay buried at the foot of a brick archway.
“I think the fighting is at last behind us,” Cuthbert said wiping the sweat from his brow.
“And none too soon,” his comrade remarked. “I am at my strength’s end. In fact I hardly know if I will be capable of digging on this day.”
The two slowly approached the gates, and the compound beyond. Little did they know that they had yet to contend with the ferrous Araneae Salix, the two metre tall “Willow Spider.”
Crimson’s Creative Challenge #51
My sister is a spinster. While at forty that isn’t that unusual these days, with careers and all. And it isn’t that she’s attractive, or that she doesn’t date. It’s only that her relationships never seem to last more than a few weeks before she is dumped or the guy just “does a runner.”
Recently, I have had a few hassles at work, and just needed some time away from the daily grind. So she offered me the opportunity to spend a few days at her “country place,” while she is working in the city. It seemed a great opportunity, especially since her “country place” is a large Victorian farmhouse with a nice orchard, and several quaint outbuildings.
I slept uneasily the first night. There seemed to be a banging somewhere on the property. The wind I supposed.
But today, as I was passing a stone-built workshop, I could hear the muffled sound of a male voice and banging coming from behind a heavy locked door. I ran back to the house and brought out the keys. Inside was a emaciated man, I recognised as her latest “boyfriend,” and a collection of photos gathered by my sister the serial killer.
Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: My Sister, the Serial Killer
FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER: #44
If you are reading this, I can safely assume you are alive today and that you have awoken. You have life and breath. It is reasonable to also hold that you have access to the wealth sufficient to have acquired the use of some manner of electronic device, and to a source of electricity. It is also probably safe to conclude that you have some level of literacy, and some leisure time to read a screen. Yes, you have blessings today. But have you said, “Thank you?”
In the words of the old hymn, “Bless God from whom all blessings flow . . . .” For most of us, in addition to the blessings above, we have some measure of health, and the majority have safe water, and something to eat. Need I go on?
God clothes the lilies of the field and feeds the sparrows. He cares for each and every one of us. A care so great, that He took it to a whole new level. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God promises salvation for those who seek it. He promises His unending love. He promises us life everlasting.
Back on 22 November ’18, Dianne made a simple entry in her journal, it captured this assurance.
2 Corinthians 1:20
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
God keeps all of His promises. In Christ they are a “Yes.” Let us remember to say “Thank you” and “Amen.”
Ellen and Steve sat in the front row. The had won tickets to the fashion show from a competition in the local newspaper. The had had a luxury stay at the five star hotel where the new season’s line was being revealed, and they were the private guests of the designer. It was a terrific prize.
About five minutes into the show Ellen gasped, “That’s hideous to see.”
“Shhh,” Steve said quietly to hush her. “You don’t like the dress?” he inquired.
“No it’s beautiful. No, her,” she replied.
“The model? She’s stunning,” Steve challenged.
“No, behind the beauty – your ex-wife’s in the row opposite us.”
Tuesday Writing Prompt: behind the beauty
Phil and Margaret gazed out of the crystal lake, taking in the wonders of nature.
“It’s wondrous,” Margaret said, her voice in a reverent hush.
“It is,” Phil agreed. “I bet we are among the only people to ever have seen this view. It seems so untouched by man.”
“I think you might be right,” she said nodding. “We did hike a long way to get here, and there was hardly a trail at all.”
In fact there had been ninety seven visitors to that exact spot just that week. What they didn’t see was the team of forty rangers and care-takers who were part of the secret behind the beauty.
Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: Behind the beauty
Tutankhamun treasures found
Ancient mysteries revealed
A curse amongst the wonders?
Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 151 #SynonymsOnly Here are your two words for this week: Dig & Grave
The tanka is a thirty-one-syllable poem, typically written in a five-line, 5/7/5/7/7 syllable form.
Also posted to d’verse