And At Last there are patches of bare ground large enough to make it possible to actually stretch one's legs a bit when going for a walk. (And oh, do mine need stretching...!)
Can't say that the day seemed to start out very well, at first. I woke up too early, still tired but unable to go back to sleep. I got up reluctantly, took my medicines and had a bit of breakfast (but did not get dressed); then turned on the computer to check if there were any emails - and there were, so that was nice - but then tiredness hit me again... So I went back to bed, intending to read, but fell asleep, and next time I woke up it was 10 o'clock.
Then I surprised myself, because within half an hour I had a shower, got dressed and set off to go to church - which I had not planned! I had not even checked the ads in the paper the day before; only did now just before I left. I haven't been to any church for months.
I ended up today in the oldest one in town, from the 17th century. It is beautifully decorated inside*, but with terribly uncomfortable benches (not agreeing well with my neck). However, they follow a 'high church' liturgy which means you get to stand up every five minutes or so. A bit confusing when you're out of practice (what? again? but we just sat down!); but with difficulties sitting too long in the same position, I have come to regard it as a good thing. The 'high church' profile also means that the service almost always includes the holy communion. Which I also regard as a good thing.
Water colour by Lars Lerin
Another good thing about this church is that I don't know a whole lot of people there. I do have a friend who sings in the choir (classical music kind of choir, and they were singing today), and occasionally I might run into one or two other aquaintances. But I don't get attacked by people jumping to conclusions like a/ I'm a lost sheep come back and intending to come every Sunday hereafter, or b/ asking me if I'm in town for a visit and what do I work with these days (I never moved away, and I've been in early retirement for six years). Sorry, getting a bit ironic there... But sometimes I actually prefer the more anonymous atmosphere.
In the liturgical year, it's Lady Day or the Feast of Annunciation. I'm learning the English terms for it as I write... Well, that's 25 March really, i.e. 9 months before the date we celebrate the Birth of Christ. But that's what the sermon was about. Otherwise usually not a whole lot of fuss made about Mary (mother of Jesus) in the Protestant churches.
I'm not going to try to recapitulate the whole of the sermon here (don't think I could, anyway), but the text was about how Mary, after she finds herself pregnant, goes to see Elizabeth, mother-to-be of John the Baptist, who is a bit further along in her pregnancy. And Elizabeth says to Mary: "As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy." (Luke 1:44) Now, the clergyman (male) who was preaching took a somewhat unusual angle on this, focusing on the sensation of a kick in the stomach for other reasons - which even a man can feel. The image has its limitations, I suppose, but somehow it still lingers with me:
The ability of a Word to give you a Kick...
* Some day in the summer season, I will go back as blogging tourist and take pictures. Not the right occasion to do that today.