Rector's July 2015 Letter

Eating the Daisies

I had an interesting experience a few weeks ago – and now I see the world around me differently.  Hedges will never look quite the same again.  The experience was not anything dramatic – I went on an advertised ‘Wild Food Walk’ around a village churchyard and local lanes, learning to recognise a small selection of the edible and – perhaps even more importantly the poisonous – plants which grow in such profusion in places where there is no spraying and things are allowed to run a little wild at the edges.

It was fascinating, and we all ended up with a bagful of wild salad greens and flowers (carefully checked by our teacher!) to take away for lunch.  The range of flavours was wide, from the strong flavour of the Wild Garlic that anybody with a working nose would probably recognise, or the milder garlic/mustard of Jack-in-the-Hedge, through the sharp lemony tang of sorrel (a favourite with celebrity chefs) to one of my favourites on the day; the mild succulent round leaves of Pennywort.

I enjoyed my salad, but even more, I have enjoyed the enhanced view of the world around me that that short morning’s walk has given me.  Banks and hedges are no longer just generic green swathes marked with dabs of white and yellow.  I find myself trying to pick out, even from the car, the differences between the yellowy flower-heads of Alexanders; introduced by the Romans who missed its celery-like crunch and taste – and its extremely poisonous look-alike cousins, hemlock and hemlock-water-dropwort.  Even lawns look different now that I know you can eat the daisies!

There are so many aspects of our lives that we hardly ‘see’ at all, until something happens to really make us notice them – and then once our eyes have been opened, we can’t stop seeing.  There is a saying that to learn another language is to gain another soul, but in a sense that is true whenever our minds are opened to notice something we have previously passed by in oblivious ignorance – and it is as true of the spiritual life as it is of our appreciation of the world around us.

We can go for years with no particular interest or appreciation for spiritual matters, and then somehow find ourselves ‘bumping into God’ at every turn.  Like my ‘Wild Food walk’ it is often a contact with someone whose enthusiasm is infectious that sparks us off, but it could be a book, or an answered prayer, or one of those little ‘God-Incidences’ that drop into our lives now and then.  The important thing is not to let them fade into the past but make them part of our present, and if possible, share them with others, just as after my walk I was told to try to ‘eat something wild every day’ and to pass on what I had learned.

God wants to open our eyes to his world and our hearts to his ever-present love in it, and he wants us to share our discoveries with each other.  Have a wonderful summer, and try a daisy if you have never eaten one – they are quite tasty!

 

Rev’d Karen Spray                   01392 877400                            church@revdkaren.org.uk


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