I write mid-May, just as the grass is making its mind up to grow, even though we have had only a little rain thus far.
There is always a balance between the different types of resources that are needed for things to flourish — for grass this could be too little rain or too much sun — and we are no exception to this rule.
We need love and encouragement, freedom and discipline, the company of friends and a right sort of solitude, an openness to the needs of others and also the ability to get on with things where we are.
This is true of us in adult life, but especially true of us in our childhood and teenage years — and I write aware that many young people in our villages are sitting important public exams this summer.
Some of us may remember the Byrds’ song “Turn, turn, turn” from the mid-60s, which borrowed much of its lyrics from the Bible. Here’s the original in a modern translation:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
This reading reflects the balance of much of life, and the theme of the book from the Bible from which it comes is about how and where we find our meaning in it all, if indeed we do.
Starting from quite a negative position, the writer ends up being gently open to God whilst struggling with the mystery of it all.
Let us all press on, and find a right and holy balance in all that we do — especially our young folk taking exams: remember that you are worth so much more that any exam system can ever grade you!
All the best