What is it about putting the clocks back that unnerves us so?
It isn’t always us girls that jump.
I received a text from a Ken who had gone up to church, and in the puddle of gloom just inside the porch, saw a shadowy form. It was just a dressmakers mannequin modelling Joseph’s coat of many colours, and behind him, well that was just a dummy, created by Junior Church, originally intended to be the man set about by robbers in the story of the Good Samaritain. It was dusky dark, and Ken hadn’t been in church to see them left there. He just jumped. Out of his boots!
Dusk, gloom, darkness, all three get inside our heads and imagination. Perhaps something left over before street lighting, porch lights (there is one on the outside of that particular door – just needs a hand to reach round and switch the inside one on), perhaps.
Singing practice for Christmas services starts this week. 6pm is a dreadful time for one or two of the ladies, I have promised to be there and open the big gates to make it possible for them to park their vehicles close by the front porch. Because no one likes walking down the narrow path to the back door. The path by the way is illuminated by security lighting, but just happens to run parallel to the churchyard for a little way.
I walk. Everywhere. I shall be walking up the road, in dare I say it, in the dark by myself, to open the gates and doors to let them all in. Maybe using a telescope in the backyard, when younger, has helped, I don’t know. I love dark skies, which we don’t have around here anymore, I love to see the stars blaze out. I like it dark enough to identify the lunar seas, and the Orion’s Sword Handle. Or, perhaps I am very conscious that the darkness and the light are both alike to God.
“if I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light around me. (Psalm 139 v11)
I love this verse, from the Hymn By J Ellerton, we used to sing it as the last hymn of the Evening Service.
“Grant us thy peace. lord through the coming night;
Turn thou fir us it’s darkness into light;
From harm and danger keep thy children free,
For dark and light are both alike to thee.”
I wonder how many find time to say a short prayer as the dusk fall?
The photo shows St Philips, the Cathedral Church of Birmingham Diocese, it is I think rather lovely, and newly posted on the Cathedral’s Facebook page.