Thursday, August 23, 2007
Are we nearly there yet?
Thankfully, we've always been within easy reach of Greenbelt Festival since it featured on the family's map, so we've never had one of those endless journeys in a car stuffed with children and camping gear... That doesn't, though, mean we've been immune from the sort of desperate excitement that leaves everyone intently focussed on the glorious moment of arrival on site for the festival. HS has a counter on his computer running all year long and is already on site stewarding blissfully, while his father collects poor unsuspecting contributors from the airport (now they, I'm willing to bet, will be very busy asking "Are we nearly there yet"). I need to tidy the study enough to pull out the sofa bed to accommodate much loved friends arriving tomorrow...and I stop work after Evening Prayer tonight. We ARE nearly there. And why does it matter so much? It's hard to explain to those who've never tried it. I worked really hard to convince my good friend the Canon that she ought to come along. I'm certain she would enjoy it once there, but clearly my passionate enthusiasm had no impact in the face of the prospect of crowds of excited Christians on a racecourse (put like that, I can see why she might not have grasped it!) - though I wish that she, and everyone else whom I love, could be there this weekend. What's so special? Another dear friend has reminded me that it's easy to feel isolated and alone, even at Greenbelt, and fears she might not cope this year, which makes me very sad- but my own experience has always been that even when wandering anonymously among the crowd, I've felt myself floating on a tide of love and friendship, of faith and committment, of all that gives life and brings joy. I've been through sad times there too, - but always with this sure sense of love and care wrapping and holding us secure. One special friend (whom I wouldn't know at all but for Greenbelt) described it once as "God's playground" - which is pretty well spot on in my experience. Paul has written in terms that express so much of my own love for the festival here So here I am, as full of joy as a child waking on Christmas morning. Tomorrow I'll be fully at home...reminding myself of what it is to dance in the sunshine of God's love, even as a middle aged clerical mother!
Edit: currently that is by no means metaphorical sunshine....all shall be well.