What welcome news for us all .....
as we were given a road map out of lockdown. All very good, however, a bit stressful, if you are like me and have trouble reading maps at the best of times. I have to say it can't come a day sooner.
We have all been super good at protecting our environment by staying put. It has been amazing to hear about all the good community endeavours helping to make sure neighbours are not alone and struggling with the uncertainty that COVID brings. But even in the midst of all the uncertainty, there are things to celebrate. Spring has definitely arrived, and the flowers in our gardens and around the village invite us to be cheerful, even when the news is still about waiting, carefully.
April weather can be very strange and is likely to include not only the famous "April showers", but frost, sunshine, breezy days - even snow in some years! According to the weathermen the spring starts on the 1st March but it certainly didn't feel "spring-like" on that day to me. But now that the spring equinox has passed and the days are noticeably longer, I hope we are all beginning to enjoy the more light and more warmth. The arrival of spring also means more opportunities for us to get out and about in our lovely village.
Many studies have shown that time spent outdoors enjoying the beauty of nature is very important for our mental health. If the grey and damp winter has meant too much time indoors for you, I hope that brighter days are encouraging you to get out and enjoy our village, at least. Even though we are all urged to practice "social distancing", there is nothing to stop us getting out to enjoy the better weather. If you are staying at home, do find space in your day to take a cup of tea and sit in the fresh air for a few minutes if you are able. Listen to the birds, admire the busy bees, marvel at the colours as the trees put on their new leaves, and the spring flowers fill gardens with much-missed gaiety.
April also means Easter. What does Easter mean to you? As Christians we remember the death and glorious resurrection of Jesus - bringing joy out of pain, and hope out of darkness. Hopefully, if the lockdown map works, we will be able to enjoy our Easter celebrations, with some churches opening up for public services to attend. Easter Sunday hopefully sees St. Mary's in Tarrant Hinton enjoying the Easter Sepulchre service at 10.30am.
Hopefully our beautiful church will be open so pop in and enjoy the peace, or come and sit in the churchyard. Perhaps for you, Easter is mostly about opportunities for "down time"! Time spent with our families is so precious, so I hope you will have a chance to be together, although socially distanced for the time being.
The scripture below reminds us that we have someone on our side:
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship pr persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord". Romans 8:35-39
Happy Easter, Carol Neilson LLM