Ordinary Wednesday: Waiting for fruit

The gap between Easter and Advent has seemed especially long this year. Perhaps this is because of the discipline I’ve undertaken of writing a weekly reflection throughout all of Ordinary Time, perhaps the slow drag of lockdown. But this year I have felt every week of Ordinary Time as though it should be over andContinue reading “Ordinary Wednesday: Waiting for fruit”

Ordinary Wednesday: In Between Poems

Heaven’s chimes are slow, but sure to strike at last; Earth’s sands are slow, but surely dropping thro’: And much we have to suffer, much to do, Before the time be past. Christina Rossetti, “Heaven’s chimes are slow” One of my favourite stories is a little-known work by J.R.R. Tolkien called “Leaf By Niggle”. ItContinue reading “Ordinary Wednesday: In Between Poems”

Ordinary Wednesday: Natural Theology for Pre-Schoolers

This is a conversation I had with E, my nearly four-year-old, at breakfast yesterday, about why the porridge was not ready yet, even though he was yelling at it and telling it that he wanted it to be ready. Me: It’s like in Basil and the Branch [a kids’ book that he loves about aContinue reading “Ordinary Wednesday: Natural Theology for Pre-Schoolers”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 11

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey intoContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 11”

Extraordinary Time

Deprived of the ordinary markings of days -drives to work, birthdays, people to celebrate -we clingmore fervently to organic signs,the constant shifts in the garden,which trees have blossomed,which ones have leaves,how tall the pea plant has grown,how white its petals.These and the aphids signal time:those and the snails migrating,the worms beneath the compost,the dead birdContinue reading “Extraordinary Time”


Watchful, I spy the first buds,now only the flower’s potential,one day, soon – the fruit.Impatient, I come hereagain, again each dayto measure progress in the budding leafor to catchthe lemon in the act of ripening,quince in mid-blossom,almond in leaf.Wait, small heart.It lingers; wait.The signs are surethough August is fickle and eyes are sore.And God hasContinue reading “Signs”

The Long Ordinary

Winter sets in,rubs his damp feet all through the laundry,wipes his everwet hair with each handtowel,breathes ice on my windscreen,cries soggy complaints on my feet.And somewhere we are lostbetween fire and candle, lostin the long, slow ordinary that yawnsin between.Days blink; you miss the momentof daylight, the chanceto dry out and be.Only blessingspans the gapContinue reading “The Long Ordinary”

Late Night Bread

Kneadingafter the kids are asleepand the day’s tidy-up’s done,kneadingunresolved jobs anddisappointment intopositive dispersal of yeast throughdough,kneading prayer,kneading thoughtof friend in need, kneadingthe lossof this or that hope,kneading hope.And pounding,pounding heaven’s door like a breadboard,pounding grace into slackand crumbling day,pounding the gateof coming kingdom,pounding the weight of the season,the wait of the harvest,the slowness of leaven,theContinue reading “Late Night Bread”

Ordinary Time

Meanwhile, pluck tomatoesripe from the garden.Watch the quinces shed their fur,turn late-summer-yellow,and burst with promise whilecockatoos eye them off.Check the peaches.See the opening flowers on the lemon tree.Cut the roses, deck the table.Water, plant and wait.Number days and count the joysand trust that tears shall cease.