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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Contemplation and Conflict

At the bottom of the garden but rising far above the deanery is a truly massive copper beech. Before dawn I rise and head for the espresso machine aiming to be back on the deck in time to catch the sun rise above the peninsula and to watch for the first bright rays to shine through the beech leaves. On a good morning there are a few minutes when the tree is a blaze of red light, spectacular and almost otherworldly.

Those moments on the deck in the early light have been much needed this week.

The disputes in this 'family' I care for continue, unresolved. As a priest I sit on the sideline and watch demonstrations of unkindness, ungraciousness, bitterness and distrust that are simply heart-rending and in which the protagonists seem to have no perception of what they are doing. Inwardly I recite the beatitudes, but that mantra brings no peace when I contemplate the kind of blood-letting people I care about inflict on one another.