Here’s a snippet overheard in the mill of monks in the cloister after morning service this morning:
…it depends on which side of the divide we are on.
That’s our unofficial weather monk at work. Here in the middle of the country we can catch the weather coming from the West, from the East, or from all-directions-at-once! Our weather monks’ authoritative forecasts, gleaned from the BBC, have me assured that somebody knows what might happen.
Turning to the East…
turning to the West…
Coming back from shopping in Hexham or Newcastle, or latterly coming from the west, with the valley rounding into sight our weather is all our own. Sun glancing across the folds, walls and farms with the high moors raining. Or, and I believe this happens more often than we know, our valley is beset with a storm while all around – sunshine. Did you see the hail Rev. Mugo! and I think having just returned: Yep like golf balls, and only here in the West Allen Valley too!
Nobody wants to think, or believe, they live in severe weather conditions. It can drag one down, mentally, emotionally and physically too. (There is an informal understanding here that we don’t complain about the wind, or that’s what I remember and endeavor to refrain from complaining – at the very least, out loud.)
As a young monk my Master, during informal teas, would have a chuckle about The Beverly Hillbillies and the permanent storm cloud which hovered over their truck where ever they went. The teaching, intended or not, was obvious and memorable. It had most of us privately checking ourselves for personal clouds!
I’ve a book beside me, Time by Andy Goldsworthy. The following is from the first chapter, Time, Change, Place:
Time and change are connected to place. Real change is best understood by staying in one place. When I travel, I see differences rather than change. I resent travelling south in early spring in case I am away from home when I see my first tree coming into leaf. If this happens, I see the leaves, but not the growth or change.
Our minds tend to make that which is impermanent, and therefore changing, into something permanent. Andy Goldsworthy‘s book of photographs is about, time…and change. The images are oddly disturbing.