Monday, 24 September 2012

Autumn Thoughts on a Dark, Rainy Monday Morning

Autumn is a time of two kinds of weather. One has the sharp, clear nights and sunny days when "Septembre aux grands soirs équivoques Glisse partout ses feuilles d' or." When we linger outside, enjoying the half-light of a perfect autumn day until the chill drives us inside, to a crackling fire of sticks and a cup of cocoa.

Today hasn't got that kind of weather.

Round here, the weather comes from Leighton Buzzard as a rule. Not today, though. The rain pushed up from the South, weeping over Tilsworth, Tebworth and Toddington, while the wind is blowing in from over the Amazon warehouse.

It's a time when leaves are blown off the still-green trees, joining unripe Cox Pippins and Ashmead's Kernels on the Orchard grass. The rivers rise in the meads like some Teutonic river-deity, invoked by Thomas Hardy to invest his prose with a grandeur his readers could not hope to comprehend. Rabbits scurry, drenched, through the undergrowth, building up fat reserves before the days go truly dark and the Cold is here.

And the hole in the Moot House roof is letting in water again.

We put a bucket under it during Pouring Out of Beakers. But the "ping" of water on Zinc quite distracted us. We wanted to put a few paper towels in to deaden the sound, but we couldn't find any. So we got Burton to stand under the drip - only temporarily, you understand - he's got drains to unblock today. When we realised the pail would fill quite quickly, we put it in a washing-up bowl, to retain the overflow. The washing-up bowl is now standing in an old tin bath. If we don't think of some clever way to use the regularity of the water dropping to earth as a meditational aid, I think I'm going to hold the rest of today's Worship Progamme outside.

You know, it's times like this that remind me of how quick we are to call too much of a blessing a curse. Those on a muddy pitch in Newcastle will pray for sun and sand - while in the Valley of the Shadowless Death, they pray for thunderclouds and rain (let the Reader understand).

So I shall rejoice in the soaking, and sing in the rain. I shall dance in the deluge. But maybe later. Hnaef's just come in to tell me that the Mystic River has risen once again, and the pilgrims have started jumping into it and carrying out arcane purification services. I may need to let them know that's a drain blocking up, not a supernal spring.


  1. Given the recent debate (on Feedback, for example) about the relevance of Radio 4's Thought for the Day it might be time for the Beaker Folk to take over. The Archdruid Eileen on a wet Monday morning could unite the nation and inspire us all to keep calm and carry on whatever our faith. Of course, much would depend on the availability of buckets, washing up bowls, tin baths or willing volunteers like Burton - or their metaphorical equivalent.

  2. Yup, yesterday's showers of blessing in church were rather too literal. It was really unfair of my husband (on sidesman duty) to wait until the collection to advise the young couple who'd come about their wedding to change pews. Six weeks on from the lead being nicked the seating choice of the regulars is as good as hanging out the seaweed for predicting the weather.

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with the above comment! The thoughts should also be compulsory readings at church services. A bit like those missives Bishops write every now and then. Not that I would want to compare the Archdruid to any old bishop.

    1. I'm afraid I'd need stabilisers on my encyclical.


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