While Mrs T took our grandson to the swimming pool in Faversham, I wandered the streets. I took myself to St Mary of Charity church for the first time in years. Although the tower with its ornate spire stands out for miles around, especially on the marshes, it could easily be missed close to, with the approach to the West Front through a narrow canyon of a back street behind a supermarket.
Once there I saw clumps of hollyhocks, some well over 2 metres tall, along the iron fence between the churchyard graves and the path. Lovely in the group, lovely each spire and individual bloom, and nature’s way of pushing the boundaries between tame and wild.
The church yard would be tidier without them but something better than tidiness would be lost. The ancestry of these blooms must be quite diverse – white, cream, yellow, apricot and magenta – but they also probably derive from a small number of parent plants, their seed blown around town till it found soil to root into. What were the great-grandparents like?
Let’s be thankful for beauty in diversity, in humans as well as flowers, and let us strive to make everyone welcome in our church communities.
Let us also take courage and find our own ways to push the boundaries in favour of beauty and of our climate.