Anyone for white water rafting?

By Charles and Felicity Prescott

View across a Steyning field

I think that sport must feel like the turbulent times we are experiencing now.  We are frantically paddling to keep afloat and wondering if our craft will take us further on or continue to jostle us backwards and sideways.  We are in peril without maps or navigators.  And we didn’t choose to go on this adventure!

But we are choosing how to keep going in our present crisis:  how to ask for help, and to be glad of it.  How to catch sight of someone else’s need and respond with kindness.  How to keep up with family, friends, clubs and choirs using the technologies available to us.  How to be patient and alert in shops and twittens.  How to praise medical practitioners, care workers, cleaners and refuse collectors, how to appreciate shop assistants, shelf stackers and delivery drivers.

We are grateful for clear skies and fresher air.  We are noticing the moon and stars.  We are hearing birdsong and bees and marvelling at the sudden flurry of roses in the unusually warm spring.  And we are smiling at strangers and saying ‘good morning’ as we pass by at a distance in the Memorial Playing Field or wander amongst the ripening fruit trees of our own Community Orchard, or queue at the Pharmacy.

And so, perhaps, we are surging forward.  Finding new generosity within ourselves and our community.  Some of us have had time to reflect on the past and to rebalance our lives because of the enforced isolation from work and commitments.  ‘I have found my peace’ a friend told me.

The isolated meadow above the Playing Field has fulfilled its purpose growing grass and daisies which were scythed and baled in record time this spring.  Now it is being renewed by the rain and sun.  We hope to see, once more, the sweep of the wind and the shadows of sheltering trees on the fresh grass.

There is hope for meadows and orchards to grow and yield their harvests.  And there is hope that the rapids will dwindle into calm waters and we will be able, one day, to know new peace in the new space which lies ahead.