Tag Archives: clouds

14 January: Clouds over London, III.

Alice Meynell was much happier in London than either Mary Webb or Elizabeth Barrett, but she and her family spent plenty of time in the Sussex countryside, where the clouds can be seen and appreciated. London is different in this regard, possibly more so than in the late 19th Century. Today’s buildings cut the sky into ever smaller packets. Greenwich Park allowed us to take a step back and see the clouds of summer.

Needless to say, the cloud of a thunderous summer is the most beautiful of all.  It has spaces of a grey for which there is no name, and no other cloud looks over at a vanishing sun from such heights of blue air.  The shower-cloud, too, with its thin edges, comes across the sky with so influential a flight that no ship going out to sea can be better worth watching. 

The dullest thing perhaps in the London streets is that people take their rain there without knowing anything of the cloud that drops it.  It is merely rain, and means wetness.  The shower-cloud there has limits of time, but no limits of form, and no history whatever.  It has not come from the clear edge of the plain to the south, and will not shoulder anon the hill to the north.  The rain, for this city, hardly comes or goes; it does but begin and stop.  No one looks after it on the path of its retreat.

From The Colour of Life; and other essays on things seen and heard.

Do we take gifts for granted, without asking where they come from, without gratitude? Have we lost our sharpness of vision and imagination? What can we thank God, or someone for, today?

WT

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10 January: Holes of hope

The Baptism of our Lord: a cold shock to his system!

Father Tom Herbst describes winter mornings facing the sea at Margate in this previous post from Advent time. I don’t think many baptisms happen there in January, but the sacrament is an assertion of trust in the loving God, either personally or on a child’s behalf. Jesus trusted that this moment was crucial for his growing into the One mature human, Son of God, Son of Man.

Above we see a grey sky in the Polish Tatra mountains, with light breaking through the clouds. Today Sister Hanne-Maria Berentsen OCSO shares a reflection on January grey skies over the fjord near her monastery in Norway. It comes from Northern Light, a book I shall return to.

Pope John Paul II wrote of celebrating the Eucharist ‘on the altar of the world.’ Perhaps we can give some thought to the meaning of Water, in sky, river, lake and sea, and accept a daily ‘baptism in the font of the world’ – we are within the water cycle in this life – rain, river, sea, cloud – but called to put out into deep water, like Peter and the Apostles, trusting in the loving God.

There is much pain needed to make us fully human and Christ-like … if you feel down, you can look up, look out, go out, and receive the vast sky above and around you, finding again your trust in the loving God who created all this. Even on a grey, stormy day, you can find blue spots between the clouds, holes of hope.

from Northern Light by the Cistercian Nuns of Tautra Mariakloster, Collegeville Minnesota, Liturgical Press, p4.

We will review Northern Light after re-reading it, or should I say, reading it properly! More from Cistercians later this week.

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Filed under Daily Reflections, Laudato si', PLaces, winter