Carys’ sabbatical: inspired by nature WATER 3/3

You will remember that I have written how listening to birds singing has particularly moved me during my time on sabbatical. When I was camping at Wookey, that time away started with alot of rain. The first evening I lay in my tent listening to the rain fall on the tent and the birds were still singing. Would we normally be out, if it was so wet? Do we normally experience life at all times or hide away when the weather is rough? Since I was camping I would need to enjoy it all. As I lay in my tent, the birds seemed to sing with greater joy because it was wet… I started to reflect on water. Hearing the rain fall, not just thinking about getting wet but remembering that it brings life, nourishment. We expect it out of a tap but creation needs it, looks for it, values it.While I was camping at Wookey, l read abit of a book called ‘Awaken the Spirit’ it spoke of the first creation story-and I read in the midst of all the rain at Wookey- that God created water, rain, to enable life. I read a different translation on Psalm 104.
I spent the next day at Wells, going in the cathedral and Bishop’s gardens. The place of Wells cathedral had seen religious worship for over 2000 years. Long before birth of Christianity, ‘the wells’ have attached people to pray and come close to their gods. Water of life. Wells has natural springs that bubble up, apparently  on average 4 million gallons of water flow from the Well springs everyday.This was a deepening reflection on water, the sense of life and it was how I encountered Christ in those days. I remembered my Diaconal daily prayer, which says “wellspring of all grace”. When I read the words wellspring of all grace I imagine water flowing, renewing and love.On another day I went to Glastonbury and went to ‘The Chalice Well and Gardens’. “A place of sanctity, healing and peace, to soothe the soul and revive the spirits” This place had been recommended to me, I would also now recommend it as a place of healing, peace and restoration. I had infact had a sense of healing throughout that whole day, so coming to this place in late afternoon I feel continued the healing, continued the sense of peace. The gardens are set of in a series of ‘rooms’ you are able to walk from one to another soaking in the peace, the beauty while listening to the water flow. There is one space where they have created a pool that you are able to paddle in, imagine stepping into this water after a long hot day. Refreshment and renewal.I found a peaceful place to lie back on the grass where I could feel the sun warm on my face and listen to the water flowing. Using the ‘Take Time’ meditations format I took myself through a meditation using the reading  where Jesus washes the disciples feet. In this time I felt healing and renewal.Over the days and weeks I have found my reflections deepening as I reflect on how I am encountering Christ through water. I have been suprised by Christ, as I remembered the need of all life for water. I have embraced nature in all things, particularly as I am in my tent.