Add to this the flora and fauna and you suddenly find yourself in incredibly urban and industrial settings with such a plethora of wildlife that you forget the locality and become lost in the immediate. The many Grey Heron that grace the banks and the blur of iridescent blue as a kingfisher hurtles by combined with the Canada Geese and Magpies (were we really worried about them both all those years back?).
I've found in the waterways, standing on the back of the boat (no it's not a barge - it's a narrowboat ;-) ) steering and praying, thinking and enjoying being family - playing card games, listening to the children play guitar and the odd pint of black sheep and the like (weight stalled just above the 90kg mark, wonder why?), to be one of the most relaxing things ever. The recharging of batteries and the seeking confirmation of current directions and hints of new has been wonderful and yet I've missed the church family and am chomping at the bit to get prayer, study and opportunities engaged with and can't wait to be back.
And so it strikes me as I think of the encounters I have had this holiday to talk with people, hear their stories and see needs unmet (like the people, largely ignored, begging on the streets) which spur me on to think about how we might act how fortunate we are in this nation of ours. How privileged we are to have the relative wealth and opportunities, the social welfare system (which we need to fight for) and the many blessings that surround us.
So, as Sunday beckons I am drawn to the call for us to be salt and light - that none will be in the darkness and that we will bring flavour and benefit the world we inhabit.
Please pray for your community this morning (and every morning) - resolving to be the difference in it and to make it a better place because you can (regardless of faith or lack of it).
Living the Word - Changing the world