Last weekend, we had our friends Beata and John staying. The rain lashed down all weekend…wet walks, wet trips to Bridport, wet trips to the beach.

Wet dogs, wet people.  Drenched dahlias.

The rain and grey clouds rolled over all weekend.

But we had the best time, around the kitchen table, or by the fire, talking and drinking and generally putting the world to rights.  That Sunday evening, the sun finally glowed just as it went down. 

It’s been a busy week in London, and I got down to Dorset on Friday evening. The weekend has glowed. Warm sunshine.  Yesterday, I was at a beautiful house we’ve worked on, taking photographs in the sensational autumn light; a dreamy day.  And today, we woke bright and early, to beautiful sunshine. 

Such a contrast to a week ago.

This evening we had our harvest festival in the church. 

Every window and shelf was decorated and looking beautiful.

As the service ended, this astonishing ray of sunshine shone through the south aisle windows. 

And it was a moment to reflect that, however strange – and for some, terrible – this year has been, that this particular time of the year is one to give thanks, to count our blessings for the harvest, and for the food on our plate.

We live in a world – right now – where it is hard to find that quiet voice which says thank you; a world which seems to depend on turmoil and conflict and anguish as its narrative. In the midst of all that noise, it was good, this evening, to spend an hour with the village, in the village, quietly and calmly giving thanks for the good things at the moment where it can be hardest to find them.   A year ago, right now, we were still enjoying the rowdy delights of the village hall Harvest Supper, cancelled this year for the first time in living memory.

You can read the post about that here….  But I would merely like to reflect that a year ago, at the end of a very sad year for me, I had written this:

It’s so sad that she’s not here this year, and nor of course Dad – whose Memorial Service we are holding at Greenwich in just a few weeks now (if you are reader of the blog, and knew my father, and would like to attend, please email me for details).

But if there are any lessons to be learned from their absence – it’s to be grateful for the world, to live life to the fullest, to live in the moment, to love your neighbours…and to love life itself.  Not a bad mantra for an autumnal Monday night in London, I’d say.

My view on the world hasn’t changed.


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