The beached margent of the sea

IMG00337-20140207-0834Those who read my little blog will have picked up on the fact that Uncle Jonny regularly makes himself known to us in our everyday lives. When it comes to rainbows, or the heron, Uncle Jonny cheerfully presents himself to us: we are grateful for his prayerful presence which never fails to cheer.  Yesterday morning, in a clear, quiet dawn, we saw him on the shore gazing thoughtfully into a promising pool and, before my glorious greeting forced him to cover his ears and shift further off, we managed to take a grainy picture of him, watching and waiting on the shore. The sea, gentle and friendly, watched us at a respectful distance.  Though once again all together in this wonderful peace, we were actually pondering all the more powerfully the awful fate of the those in the west of this country who, by contrast, are desperately dealing on a daily basis with the wild waters, fallen and falling and due to fall again; driven down and over and across and past and up through the very ground on which they live. The waters have brought unprecedented destruction to all those affected by them and we who watch what is happening from the other end of the country wonder what the future can possibly hold.  Frightened by this unremitting metereological punishment, the words Titania speaks to Oberon about the effects of nature turned upside down seem strangely prescient to me. The winds, she says:

As in revenge, have suck’d up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land
Have every pelting river made so proud
That they have overborne their continents:
The ox hath therefore stretch’d his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
Hath rotted ere his youth attain’d a beard;
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
The nine men’s morris is fill’d up with mud,
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green
For lack of tread are undistinguishable:
The human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now with hymn or carol blest:
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
And on old Hiems’ thin and icy crown
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which:
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original.

That Uncle Jonny is our old friend-made-heron is not nearly so weird as the weather now afflicting so many poor folk, domesticated beasts and wild ones. Perhaps St Columba, who  especially loves the grey heron, will cast his eye across the water and make the storms subside. Uncle Jonny bring a rainbow, please.

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