New Year 2012 All shall be well

Almost 10am and it is very quiet in the house. In the milky blue painted room that is becoming more and more my home from home..ie messy with accumulating brochures and books and a growing collection of empty ‘special’ wine bottles  (labels don’t soak off as well as they did).. I’m writing this at a little table beside a tall sunlit window.

Through this I look down from the first floor to a pebbled courtyard and a trio of potted cumquats hanging with orange fruit. Glimpsed through the branches of a pine on the courtyard wall are written the words’ All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well’. The words are those of Julian of Norwich, mystic and religious hermit who chose to follow the anchoritic life. Born in 1342 and living, it is thought, to a ripe old age of at least 73..something to be said perhaps for withdrawing from society into places rural and a life of contemplation…her name, as Julian was a woman, came from the Church of St Julian where she was anchoress.

This is such a peaceful place and one can only think Julian would have found contemplative space here too. Perhaps not last night though as 13 sat down at the long candle lit kitchen table to a spicy array of curries and chutneys as a fire cracked in the big hearth and three dogs dozed comfortably under the long table but rural and essentially timeless none the less.

The house is waking and today we will journey up to the land at La Caumette to collect more wood for the following days and walk the dogs at the vineyard. A far cry from the news I am hearing on line about churches being bombed in Nigeria and the knowledge that drought, floods and famine will continue to haunt the lives of millions.

May the New Year see some peace and toleration and may random acts of kindness brighten small moments.

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