Autumn leaves - such fun

Wilsons_2013 Posted by Rory Wilson on Mon, 06 Feb 2012 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Many people have a favourite season of the year. I confess to having a soft spot for Autumn. Swishing ones feet through heaps of leaves has some therapeutic effect subliminally associated with the wanton playfulness of childhood.

Its been fun this January as the trees have been shedding their leaves to have heaps of detritus to agitate as I pass by. It has been a rather hot month though – in fact the hottest for a long time with temperatures of 100 in the shade most days (our Celsius thermometer packed in, so we’ve gone back to Fahrenheit.)

Explaining the seasons as they are in Europe to Ugandans can be difficult. Being almost on the equator we have ‘seasons’ – wet and dry – twice a year. Things like the passage of Le Quattro Stagioni is such a normative part of life in Bangor that until I came here I never really considered that it might happen differently in different places. Discovering that the seasons were ‘back-to–front’ in New Zealand was a surprise a few years ago – but makes good sense with minor reflection. But imagine the leaves and bare trees of autumn because of the extreme heat causing the trees to defoliate? A combination unlikely to occur in Bangor even with extremely rampant global warming!

So many of our assumptions about what is ‘normal’ in life are based around what we commonly saw in our youth, or commonly see around us today. Often we think that alternative practices are inferior to what we are used to – be it how many meals one should have a day; what one should wear to church; normative family size; styles of worship; traditional walking routes; planning for the future; timekeeping…….

It is a blessing to at present live in a culture and environment quite different to the one I grew up in. It is useful to be able to reassess many of the quite silly assumptions that I had subsumed about how things should be understood and done. It can be hard at times not to make valued judgements about the culture I grew up in, or this culture I am now living in, but it is well worth wrestling with those challenges.

For those of you Autumn lovers envious of my piles of leaves to fustle through, let me confess that it’s actually so hot these days that I can’t wait for this season to pass.

Cheers for reading
lots of love
Rory

Comments

Caroline Mansley said Tue, 07 Feb 2012 10:31AM
Rory, your reflections are brilliant! We are currently in the middle of Curacy rounds and looking informally at parishes for next year; who knows where i'll end up working? Jessica is now expecting a baby in the summer; Nigel's mum is increasingly frail; living with uncertainty and change is very challenging but forces us to really 'lean' into God and depend on Him. Blessings to all of you, Caroline

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