Over at RevGalBlogPals, my friend Mary Beth has shown us the fruit of the bois d'arc tree and asked about transformation: For this Friday's Five, share with us five transformations that the coming fall will bring your way.
There have been so many changes in these parts over the past few months that I'm kind of hoping that this autumn may be a time of growing into things, rather than radical transformations, if that's OK.
However, one big change comes up at the end of September when Hugger Steward begins student life at Robinson College, Cambridge. That means, in effect, that more of my children have left home than still live here. Recently I found myself filling in a form which asked how many adults and children there were in our family and it was quite a shock to realise that the balance has so shifted that the answers were (in theory at least) "four" and "one". Of course, as my friends know, really I'm twelve but even so...
A change I'm hoping for is to better discipline in working life. There is a wonderful theory out there that clergy should aim to divide their days into three, and expect to work two of the three sessions. This is sometimes practical if you have no evening meeting - it feels acceptable to take time off from vicaring once I'm home from Evening Prayer - but I find it really really hard to relax with a good book or even indulge in "dog walking for God" during the day time, even when I know I'll be fully engaged on church business in the evening. I was talking to another new vicar about this on Thursday and we both agreed that living over the shop meant that there was always both church work and house work looming large, and that taking a genuine break was almost impossible during the working week.
It's one reason that I'm glad of another change...In three months time the good ship Polyphony is going to move to a marina at Tewkesbury just over half an hour from home. That is going to make regular escapes far more likely - and the prospect of days off on the boat is hugely attractive.
Meanwhile, The Dufflepud should be able to walk or cycle to school for the first time since he was 11, as he's moving for the Sixth form to a school that is slap bang on the parish boundary. For the past 5 years he has had a daily commute of at least half an hour each way, an hour since the move, so this will be a huge improvment, and might actually help him meet local friends as well as improving our family's global footprint. Hallelujah!
That's four definite changes - others really will be "more and better of the same" I think.Time to get to know the school communities here in the valley better, as a new intake of children begin their primary education...Some tweaking of the liturgy in both churches, some time spent evaluating together what it means to be church (specially when the building work at Church on the Hill gets under way, and we find ourselves the nomadic people of God once again)...New ways of looking at familiar things, different perspectives which might just be transformative. Who knows?