Living in the country as we do, the changing seasons are a perpetual source of delight, though I must admit to modified rapture when muck-spreading is on the agenda and the wind is in the wrong direction! Here in the Marches we do not suffer much light pollution, so the night skies are dark and brilliant with stars when not clouded over. During the day, the same skies are filled with a piercing blue, broken here and there by a drift of cloud. Even the Black Mountains seem to lose their severity in the September sunshine. The monastery garden has its own complement of wonders. Just now the apple and pear trees are thick with fruit. Even the young trees in Bro Duncan PBGV’s Memorial Orchard are laden, their young boughs bending under the weight they bear, making me wonder whether I rubbed off enough fruitlets earlier in the year.
It is a privilege to live close to nature, but as those exposed to Typhoon Mangkhut or Hurricane Florence know only too well, nature is not tame or predictable in the way we should like. So today, as we glory in the September sunshine spilling its radiance over a quiet corner of the English countryside, our prayers are with those experiencing a very different kind of day, for their protection and comfort.