Saturday, 2 October 2010


A fine day with a heavy dew first thing. The grass in the field behind the house was white with droplets, and there was still a low-lying mist after 8am. A robin sat on the gate and pip-pipped, and another trilled in the high hedges. I stood listening to other unintelligible bird song, and the sounds of chickens being let out next door, until the sound of cars heading off to the shops became too intrusive.

We chanted from Deuteronomy 32 at Lauds - speech condensing like the dew, and the eagle stirring up its nest - while I watched the dew steaming off the DIY shed.

In the afternoon, I mistook horse chestnuts in Pebworth for giant walnuts - a variety of spineless chestnuts I'd never seen before - a few conkers still sprinkled on the pavement as evidence. There was the mangled body of a grey squirrel, mouth pulled back into a grimace, lying on the edge of the road out of the village. In the early morning, I'd watched a relative break-dance across the field. "I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life..." (Deut 30.19; NRSV).

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