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Wednesday, 24 August 2016


The air is sweet and soft, still and breathless. We wandered the old familiar path round behind Jock’s, a path redolent with memories, all of them sweet and good. Memories of dogs, memories of children, memories of lying on the hill and cloud watching, of startled deer leaping to safety and of a hillside bouncing with bunnies rushing in every direction. Of pheasants and ducks and even a baby owl once, unsuccessful in its first attempt to fledge. (Must have managed it after we left it sitting in all its apparent vulnerability – though those wings and beak could have been used to some effect even at that age – for there were no feathers or blood on the ground the next morning. Whew.)

We discussed the pruning requirements along the drive and I flirted with the idea of getting gloves and clippers and going for it, on an evening such as this. A perfect evening. 

Almost. This being Scotland, the tiny biting midges were just beginning to swarm out of the vegetation seeking dinner, so I wisely retreated to the house, to prune another day.

I could have donned a midge-resistant hat and face mask (if I had one), or sprayed myself with Avon’s Skin so Soft (if I had it), but I chose to do something else instead. 

Sometimes we feel we are headed in one direction. All the signs point there. All the signs, but one, and we can choose to ignore that one, or heed it and do something else. 

I am trying to figure out what my ‘front line’ is: what I have been entrusted with which is my main focus. I feel a bit all over the place. Discernment would be a welcome gift. That’s my prayer tonight. I’ve only got a finite number of hours, days and years left, and I don’t want to waste any struggling away at a task while being eaten alive by midges. I want to make the right choices. 

Grateful to know that if I can just settle down and sit with God, he is happy to guide.

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