Ah, missed Day 3 of NaBloPoMo. Never mind.
Both yesterday and today, I did drive around quite a substantial part
of my gorgeous parish today, however. The prompt for Day 4 involves
the posting of a photo - huzzah, piccies!! The pic is supposed to represent something
I see all the time, and thereafter, write a little on what the thing means, symbolises,
or reminds me of; this, in order to provide a wee glimpse into my world.
Okay. I'm on this.
|Rush hour in the village...|
The parish I serve in is very rural - lots of sheep.
The posted pic was taken from my front door on a rather rainy day earlier in the year.
There's a big field encirling the black and white house opposite the manse.
From my office window over the course of this year, I've watched
the seasons of the farmer's year unfold - from lambing to breeding,
to herding for tup sales, and everything else in between. Every day,
in my travels in this parish of 170sq miles, there are sheep to the left of me,
or sheep to the right of me, and occasionally a sheep who decides the grass
really is greenest on the roundabout leading to the motorway.
Sheep, and the attendant work around this industry, are very much part
of the life-blood of this area. Having been a townie for most of my life, and
a coastal-based townie at that, the immersion into rural life has given me a fresh
way in which to read scripture. Parables about selling off part of a farm to one
of the sons, or of lost sheep being found, take on a slightly different significance
now: I certainly appreciate in a more nuanced way, the impact of asking
that a farm be split up. I also wonder about the metaphor of minister as shepherd -
and over the course of this first year in ordained ministry, am gently learning
this particular craft - a craft that is a life in the learning. It's an astonishing thing
to me, to realise that I have now been here for a year - possibly the quickest year
of my life - in what has become home amongst good folk. I'm also wondering
what that great Shepherd of the sheep has to teach me over the course of this
next year. In the meantime, I watch the sheep, and hopefully tend my people to
the best of my ability - and often find that I've a rather big grin on my face still:
I suspect I am possibly the most fortunate minister alive, and I am content.