Roots and leaves

Discarded leaf litter decays into nutrients feeding the trees that gave them life in a process so ancient, so simple, so interconnected. It ought to be held in higher esteem. Autumn comes and will go again. We are here for but a season.  As we came together this past week to remember a good friend and to commend her into our hearts as a community and as we say it in the funeral prayers into the hands of God.  Roots and leaves. She had an awful lot to be commended on.  Her legacy rooted in deep faith, true friendship and vivacity for life. Those which have gone give new life to those who remain. So how do we become A Good Ancestor?  The book by Roman Krznaric The Good Ancestor asks how we might want to be remembered and first suggests that in order to be a good ancestor for those who come after us it would be a good idea to look back and know our own better. This isn’t always a comfortable task. Call to mind your connection to your parents, and through them, as best you can, your grandparents, and the great-grandparents whose names you know or do not know. And so on. What do you know about your own ancestral heritage? What do you not know? . . .What parts [of this story] have been hidden, denied, buried, or left out? Examine what you know and do not know about these aspects of your place in the social world. James Rebanks  new book English Pastoral delves into his past and recalls his grandfather’s relationship with his farm, with this knowledge he is able to rebuild for the future.  Roman Krznaric suggests that in order to give forward to the generations to come we need to stand knowing our place. Knowing who we are from where we have come. Comfortable with who we are. Or at least understanding. What we can do, what we can’t do, knowing the difference and being honest about it. Knowing that we are one drop. Even one drop in a bucket will send ripples out that will reach the edges and back to the centre again.  Today 18th October the feast of St. Luke the evangelist. One drop whose ripples continue to be felt.  Often called the physician, so St Luke’s day has become synonymous with prayers for healing. Autumn begins nature’s healing process. So it is natural for us to think on these things at this time, especially with All saints and All souls around the corner followed closely by our annual remembrance.  Winter and spring tidy up what autumn begins.  Roots and leaves.  It’s a messy process.  It might seem strange to think of the beginning of death as part of the healing process, but taken in a global context standing at this one point and looking both back and forward we can see that it is necessary. When death comes do we greet her as an old friend or do we begin to use the language of warfare against our own bodies. In our community an evolving exhibition of community art, music poetry called begins Cyfnod Cof…  (Remembrance Time) The project, including a reciprocal roofed structure to emphasise how much we need to lean on each other, is to help us to stand in our place and reflect this year on all the lives that have gone before and those that are yet to come. Another tool of the good ancestor is cathedral thinking. They were never built in one generation. Those who laid the foundations would not see the pinnacle of the spire. The kingdom of God is such a project and we commend to it what we can.

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