Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Its for the birds

To be as free as a bird with all that sky, how must that feel? To rise on thermals and hold just one position, with only the slightest movement of the wings; to glide and turn effortlessly. Much more difficult for me to capture that with my camera, let alone imagine how it must feel. The truth of course is that this gull, is busy looking for food to sustain him, and spends most of the day doing just that. If we are honest, we probably have more free time than he ever will. I hear people say, "just give me 5-minutes" - "I never have time to myself" - "sorry I'm tied up at the moment". Trust me, life is not much different in the friary.

I love this picture, its all happening, taking to the air, landing, checking out the neighbours and the two at the bottom look like they are chatting; where do you figure in this group?

Brother Cyril is just standing, deep in thought, not sure even if the incoming tide will move him. Brother Michael however is the one at the bottom (facing front) probably giving instructions to the other who is trying not to hear. Where am I? I guess I would be the one at the edge left; swooping down and trying to decide whether to land or not.

Freedom is more a state of mind than a place to be, it takes practice, and it helps to have a place in mind. These birds gather at the waters edge, changing position with the ebb/ flow of the tide and maintain manoeuvres through land sea and sky.

Saturday, 25 February 2012


Jupiter, Venus & Moon
This evening saw a clear sky, revealing the wonders of the heavens. A special night as Jupiter and Venus draw close together; joined by a new moon and within a hands-span of each other.

I try not to get too technical with my interest in astronomy, just to enjoy the splendour of these distant jewels is sufficient in itself. Its good though, to know their names, as we become familiar with their positions and the shapes; we interpret these as giants and beasts. Stories are brought together and shared through generations; such a shame that our new understanding leaves behind these colourful mysteries.

Looking at these bright giants and immediately behind us, Mars is rising over the horizon. Some will tell us of the significance of this alignment and how it will impact on our lives; how much time we spend in such discussions each day, and miss the beauty of the event itself.

Note to morning office: Each day to value the brightness of others.

Saturday, 18 February 2012


Its good to visit friends, especially when you have not seen them for some time. So much catching up to do, much of the conversation is in blocks of random information mixed with intense emotion; desperately trying to share everything at once. With very close friends, the process is a little different; often it is just about looking at each other and knowing. Catching up with Pete & Catherine at Northumbria Community was just that.

The added bonus of this weekend was to meet up with folk not yet known and coming away feeling I had found yet more close friends; there is something special about Nether Springs that exist not in the bricks and mortar, for they have not long moved into their new aboding. The tree above is in the adjoining field at Nether Springs and looked magnificent in the early morning sun and we can only imagine the extent of its root structure, invisible to the eye though source of all that is necessary to sustain its reaching branches.

All Saints Church Skelton in Cleveland
 Closer to home we are caught up in our normal routines, friends and acquaintances take on a different role, and their value is often diminished.

The tree is of two parts and one cannot exist without the other, drawing nutrition from both the earth and the sun and divided only by a thin surface layer.