From The Rectory – A Beautiful Day
It has been a wonderful day. White frost glistened in the golden sunlight. Trees, dripping melting ice, stood boldly against a clear wintry-blue sky. Birds busied themselves, no doubt making the most of the sun’s warmth after a miserable few days. Although the thermometer read zero, there was a feeling of warmth in the sunlit air. As we took our regulation walk, the beauty of it all lifted our spirits, and the spirits of all who we met on our travels.
It is not only the sun which brings beauty and lifts the spirits. In recent days a new neighbour has moved in. Looking up from my desk one recent morning I saw on the drive, wings outstretched and with the sunlight catching on his rich brown coat, a kestrel; just a few yards from the study window. Our seventh winter; and although we often see kestrels in the fields this is the first time that we have seen one in the Rectory garden. He (or she we’re not sure which) has visited several times since then. The kestrel is not the only new arrival. Migrant blackbirds have arrived in force. Every year in autumn, we gather windfall fruit around the base of our mighty pear tree. There it gently ferments until the blackbirds arrive, then swiftly it vanishes.
Now all is quiet. The mist has risen, the sky turns grey and the temperature is falling; night will soon be upon us. The daily news remains gloomy, the depths of winter are probably still to come but everywhere we look; across the garden and in the fields around us, there are signs of new life. One swallow may not a summer make (and the swallows are still many months away) but a day like today lifts the soul. The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1). Thank God that he shares its’ beauty with us.