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KILRENNY CHURCH CHRONICLE
ISSUE 12 Sunday 7th June 2020.
Kilrenny Church website
East Neuk Covid19 Emergency help numbers:
0800 999 6543 - 07818 414178.
Worship and personal reflection:
''our homes are in a Real and Important way the places of worship''
2 Corinthians 13: Final Warnings
v 11-14 Final Greetings
11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings.
14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Map showing Corinth and Zakinthos
Ancient Corinth is now an important archaeological site, and was once one of the most powerful cities of the Classical world, renowned for its commercial power, its artistic and philosophic traditions. It came under Roman rule in 146 BC. It is here that St. Paul preached to the people of Corinth in AD 51-52, and his letters to the believers in Corinth are contained in the New Testament books of the First Corinthians and Second Corinthians.Corinth survived attacks and earthquakes but was destroyed by the crusaders in the 12th century.
Praise: CH 4 160
Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx1eMwlDFb8
Paul's letter in 2 Corinthians is a continuation of a lengthy, highly personal, and sometimes tense conversation between Paul and the Christian community in Corinth. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church contained stern rebukes concerning immoral practices that had crept into the community. Whilst the Corinthian church had responded positively to some of Paul’s concerns, new challenges had cropped up.
Paul begins by congratulating them that they had correctly disciplined a member of the community for serious sin, and now that the period of discipline had taken its course, Paul urged them to forgive the offender and welcome him back. Paul's desire is always restoration, (repentance and God's blessing) not punishment.
Paul has tried to counsel and encourage the Corinthian church with only limited success, so he announces that he is coming in person to deal with the problems that have continued in spite of his letters.
Paul has written four times and is now planning his third visit.
Ch 13 v 1 & 2 "This will be my third visit to you...." and v 2 "I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent...."
Chapter 13 is Paul's closing farewell to the Corinthians and is headed 'Final Warnings'.
So Paul's intended third visit is a confirmation of how serious the problems are with the church in Corinth, and his concluding words are in effect a command and a promise. (v 11)
Paul addresses them as brothers and sisters, and requires them to repent and heal the rifts that exist between them, so that they can be united in Christ. Division amongst them was clearly a major problem and Paul directs them to encourage each other, agree with each other, and to live in peace, thereby receiving God's blessing.
I don't think I am misleading myself when I say, as Session Clerk, that there is no sign of division in the Church at Kilrenny, and that we are united in remaining a strong congregation in worship and witness despite the coronavirus lockdown. I can only commend the encouragement and support that has been demonstrated by members to one another, despite the social isolation. The encouragement shown by our Ordained friends, Ian and Michael, writing for this chronicle each week, the work of Amos and all those involved in leading online worship which we can link into, and your contributions and support keeping fellowship strong amongst us until we can all meet again in church for worship. We should be encouraged by Paul's words that God will be with us.
When reading verse 12, I thought how often I have heard members express their discomfort at being exhorted by Ministers to participate in the ritual of 'greeting one another' during worship.
Paul, in v 12, is of course taking the culturally appropriate means of greeting, being a common custom in New Testament times and an expression of friendship and sincere affection for each other. Paul was distinguishing the 'Holy' kiss from an insincere or hypocritical and deceitful one, such as Joab gave to Amasa (2 Samuel 20:9) or such as Judas gave to Jesus when he cried, “Hail Rabbi,” and betrayed Him into the hands of His enemies (Matthew 26:49).
To kiss someone on each cheek is a ritual which occurs in many European countries today, but the British way remains 'the handshake'! We just stick out our hands, mutter the usual pleasantries about how nice it is to meet you, and a handshake is regarded as being appropriate between any two people, whether close friends or complete strangers being introduced to one another for the first time, or those settling a business arrangement.
But did you know that there is at least one theory that hand-shaking arose during the early Middle Ages as a way to test whether the person you were meeting had a dagger in his hand? The idea seemed to be a kind of mutual distrust ... you hold his right hand and he holds yours, and so no harm is going to come to either one!
Of course, for the members of Kilrenny Church, social distancing is likely to stay in place for a long time to come, even once we are allowed to open our church buildings for worship and fellowship. Whilst there will be a natural desire to reach out to one another, even if just a handshake! we are not allowed to do so for our own and others safety. Habits and social customs can and do change and there are numerous forms of human greeting existing around the world, which avoid touching, for example, bowing is widely practiced A Hindu greeting is placing palms together fingers pointing up accompanied by a slight bow, or in Samoa, raising eyebrows and smiling is a greeting, or placing a hand over your heart is a Muslim greeting.
What is of importance, of course, is not the actual form of greeting, but the meaning behind it. So, whatever means of expressing greetings is culturally the natural form, or adopted to ensure social distancing, Paul's message in v 12 is that those greetings should be genuine, characterised by sincerity and representing true Christian fellowship.
As I am certain they will be in the Kilrenny Church, when we finally meet again for worship and fellowship.
Praise: CH 4 694
Brother, sister let me serve you.
Let us pray. (Allan)
My prayer this week I found on the Church of Scotland website. It’s such a lovely, simple prayer we can all take something from.
Let us take our weariness and tiredness to God
who picks up those who have fallen
and raises up those who are brought low
Bless those good Lord,
who are bowed down under the burdens they must carry.
We pray for those who are crushed by their responsibilities at work
and those who feel the pain of our world,
who marvel that others can seem so indifferent to it.
Help them to keep on going.
Bring supportive friends alongside them.
Give them tokens of Your grace,
fresh vision and courage
and signs of encouragement in their struggle.
Let us take our loneliness to God,
who delights to put the solitary into families.
God, our Father,
bless those who are lonely
those who have grown old
and whom the passing years have taken
all their friends and contemporaries.
Bless those who are shy,
who find it hard to initiate conversation
and have never known real friendships.
We pray for strangers in a foreign land,
asylum seekers and refugees,
separated by language and culture
from familiar ways and much loved customs.
We remember all those who even in the midst of crowds feel alone.
Help the Church we pray,
to be a place of acceptance and belonging,
a place of welcome and inclusion,
where all can find a home,
a listening ear, a friendly smile and a helping hand.
Let us take our sorrows to God,
who binds up the broken hearted
and comforts those who mourn.
Bless those whose hearts are sore today.
Be very close to those whose family circle has been invaded
and those whose joy has been darkened by death.
We remember those who have lost loved ones
for whom they cared,
whose needs they met,
whose lives have been so intertwined
that they still listen for a voice they will not hear again.
We remember wives who have lost husbands
and husbands who have lost wives;
parents who have lost children,
who find their homes strangely empty and silent now
and children who have lost parents,
who are confused by a world that seems
less secure and more frightening than before
and all for whom familiar places, sounds and smells awaken memories that bring tears in their wake.
Thank you for our faith,
may they rest in peace and glory.
Let us turn to God in trust
and recommit ourselves to Him.
Send us forth this day
with the joy that no-one can take from us,
with the life which is Your life
and the hope that gives strength to our actions.
Help us to sing of our faith
and in that singing find our strength to go on,
trusting in Jesus who lived among us,
died for us and rose again
and who prays for us today,
even as we pray for Him,
in His name we pray. Amen.
and the prayer Jesus taught,
Our Father, which art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For Thine is the Kingdom
The power and the glory.
For ever and ever. Amen
and time for our personal prayers
Sunday Worship on Radio 4 at 08:10 Songs of Praise on BBC1 Sunday 1.15 pm.
Church of Scotland - Kirk Services online
www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship Rev Dr Amos Chewachong:
http://www.notchurch.co.uk Orwell & Portmoak Church
Rev. Ian W. F. Hamilton
THE POTTER AND THE CLAY
A few years ago, on a cruise, we had the wonderful opportunity to see several of the lovely Greek islands which lie on the east of the Mediterranean. Casting off from Venice we made our way down the Great Sea calling in firstly on the island of Corfu, where we visited the impressive Achilleion Palace, which was used as one of the settings for the James Bond film, “For your eyes only” and which houses in its extensive and breath-taking gardens the renowned statue of Achilles.
However one of the most interesting visits we made, on the island of Zakinthos, or Zante, was to a ceramic workshop in a little village called Macheratho – where we actually saw the potter at work on his wheel!
His name was Sigouros and we discovered that following a distinguished career in the Greek Commercial Navy he decided to become a ceramicist and being totally self-taught, his work was not in any way influenced by other workshops or pottery schools. He can rightfully claim that his creations are all his own work! He has been in business for over 30 years and his work on the island of Zante has become increasingly well known and extremely popular with tourists over the years.
It was fascinating to watch him “pulling pots” on his pedal powered wheel with the dark red clay and white clay he used to sculpt his creations before firing them in his kiln. Thereafter colours and engraving were added to create some of the most beautiful ceramic items I have ever seen, pots and jugs and plates and dishes, all beautifully painted with designs of olives, fruit, flowers and fish inspired by the island on which he lives.
Sigouros was certainly a hit with our tour party and I’m sure that every one of us bought one of his inspiring pieces to take home to the U.K
As I stood there on that Greek Island and watched the expert at work I couldn’t help but remember the passage recorded towards the end of the book of Isaiah where the writer uses the image of the potter and the clay in terms of the people of Israel’s relationship with God.
God had formed them into a people, he had made them and shaped them, but they in turn had been foolish and careless and had forsaken their God. It was their fervent hope and prayer however that the God who had made them would re-make them, reform them and renew and restore them.
Israel’s prayer is the prayer of all of us. God is the Potter, we are the clay and taking us into his creative and redeeming hands he, in Jesus Christ, can re-make and renew us too!
Postcard To Kingskettle
Rev Michael Allardice
Rather than from, it is to, Kingskettle this week!
Michael had his operation on Wednesday, and now starts the recovery process. Michael thanks everyone for their support and prayers.
I'm sure I speak for everyone in sending our good wishes for a speedy recovery to Michael, and say that we look forward to welcoming him and Liz at Kilrenny in the not too distant future.
Church News - In Memory
Bill JC Henderson
15/05/1938 - 10/06/2019
It is hard to believe that on the 10th of June it will be a year since Bill died. As I'm sure many of you will be aware Bill and I attended Glasgow School of Art in the 1950s. Therefore, you won't be surprised to learn that one of Bill's favourite quotes was written by his favourite artist/designer - Charles Rennie Mackintosh; (who also attended then totally re-designed the Art School). I think the words perfectly sum up Bill's love of art and the way he approached life.
With love, Sheena x
Art is the Flower - Life is the Green Leaf. Let every artist strive to make his flower a beautiful living thing, something that will convince the world that there may be, there are, things more precious more beautiful - more lasting than life itself. (C.R.M)
Gordon James Guthrie
2/9/1946 - 21/5/2020
Sybil and I watched the live streaming of Gordon's funeral from Kirkcaldy Crematorium last week. It was a lovely service with a good choice of music. The final piece was the famous French song La Mer sung by Charles Trenet, apparently one of Gordon's favourites.
Well Radio 3 played it again this morning and it started me wondering what the words were in English, my grasp of the French language being non-existent. It turns out to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read and I can see why Gordon loved it. Here is the translation I found on line, hope you like it too.
The Sea (La Mer)
We see dancing along the shores of clear bays,
shimmers with silver
Would I have to find them alone
Without true light of my own with you,
I will go on ships overseas,
That I now know
Under the rain.
With the summer sky
Mix up her white horses
With the angels so pure
The infinite azure shepherdess
By the ponds
Those big wet reeds
Those white birds
And those rusty houses
Has cradled them
Along the shores of clear bays
And with a love song
Has rocked my heart for life.
Another Favourite Hymn
In retrospect I missed the singing of the Whitsuntide hymns and to make up for this I introduce this favourite hymn but some may say a week too late. Nevertheless, I am sure it has something to say to us. It is hymn 583 in CH4 - it was in CH3 as no 183 but had 7 verses instead of 5. As you will see I have used the CH3 version. Written by Andrew Reed, a congregational minister this time, who spent most of his ministry in London where besides his Church work he founded some philanthropic establishments to support disadvantaged people of whom there were many in London at the time. (And still are!)
Spirit divine, attend our prayers ,
And make this house Your home;
Descend with all your gracious powers;
O come great Spirit, come.
Come as the light: to us reveal
Our emptiness and woe:
And lead us in those paths of life
Where all the righteous go.
Come as the fire: and purge our hearts
Like sacrificial flame;
Let our whole soul an offering be
To our Redeemer's name.
Come as the dew: and sweetly bless
This consecrated hour;
May barrenness rejoice to own
Your fertilizing power
Come as the dove: and spread Your wings,
The wings of peaceful love;
And let Your Church on earth become
Blest as the Church above.
Come as the wind, with rushing sound
And Pentecostal grace,
That all of woman born may see
The glory of Your face.
Spirit divine, attend our prayers ,
Make a lost world Your home;
Descend with all your gracious powers;
O come, great Spirit, come. John F.
Thoughts of Kilrenny Common.
I enjoy reading poetry and as I read the following poem my thoughts went straight away to “Kilrenny Common”. When we were young we loved to play up the Common, have picnics up the Common and search for tadpoles there as well. When we were older we took our bikes to the Common. When we became a bit older we sometimes had a walk with our 'special companions' round by the burn and after we were married and the children came along the prams and dogs went up the Common too, and now in our Senior Years we love the peace and contentment and healing which are all very special to “Kilrenny Common”.
The Common has changed over the last seventy years but all the changes have been done at just the right time and in the right way to make it as it is at present for all generations to enjoy.
I hope that many of the readers will be able to relate to Kilrenny Common in this “Summer Meditation” and let all their happy memories overflow. With thanks, (Jane)
Poem by Iris Hesselden
Come with me for a little while
And leave your troubled thoughts behind,
Then stepping gently down the path
Discover healing peace of mind.
The path leads on through silent woods,
Yet nature speaks and touches souls,
And far away the river sings
As distantly the church bell tolls.
Come sit awhile beneath the trees
And watch the insects hover round,
Then as the breeze begins to stir
Be more aware of sight and sound:
A gentle rustling in the trees,
The birds are singing in the leaves,
Small creatures moving in the grass,
A busy spider spins and weaves.
Too soon the sun falls in the west,
Our homeward journey must begin,
But tranquil thoughts will still remain
And keep the summer deep within.
The Naughty Choirboy
When we think about our Churches, it doesn't take long to realise the abundance of riches at our disposal.
The friendships formed; the concern for each other's welfare; the care for those with serious health problems; assistance with disability and age. All matters which basically involve looking after people.
What about our Churches? These beautiful, carefully and skilfully erected structures, selected stone that would not be affordable today. They all need the same care and attention as the members of the congregation.
Fortunately, within the Church community, within almost every (occupied) pew, there sits a wealth of talent capable of tackling any item of maintenance required by the Church building and its ancillary halls, and experts at the creation of sufficient funds to afford ongoing demands.
There is, therefore, the formation of a Secretariat, a Treasury, a Management Team and a Committee, ostensibly led by a Minister, who tries to appear capable of managing this organisation, but who very often isn't.
However, I am aware of one Minister who, in my observation, bucked the trend, and was proficiently into everything. He must have lived in some ropey manses in his time, because he displayed expert building knowledge, following a heavy involvement in D.I.Y.
Being acutely interested in a future workload planned for the Church, he immersed himself in the business of every committee and sub-committee from joiner-work to plumbing, to electrical to finance.
Eventually having devised a programme, he decided one Sunday to forego a sermon and take the opportunity to address the entire congregation.
He outlined all the trades that would be involved; he established what approvals would be required from Local authority and Presbytery alike, and he outlined the programme.
"Finally" he said, "we come to the subject of Finance."
"I have good news and bad news about Finance"
"The good news is that it has been established that, as a congregation, we have ample money to pay for these improvements."
"The bad news is:- that money is still in YOUR pockets!"
A history lesson
(courtesy of Malcolm)
Do YOU remember the meaning and origin of old sayings & customs?
Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.
It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals
(mice, bugs) lived in the roof.
When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."
Allan & Sybil's Quiz
During lockdown we have become “armchair travellers”, reminiscing about places we have been. Here are 20 capital cities from around the world, how many can you unscramble?
- MAT DREAMS
- OPEN CHANGE
- BAD SETUP
- LOCK MOTHS
- BASILAR VAT
- JAVA ROSE
- LESS RUBS
- LIKE SHIN
- BUN LID
- BAN RACER
- GLOW LINNET
- SERIOUS BEAN
- GRIT OWN BED
- ALAS RODS VAN
- BAD DAB ASIA
- EL JAM USER
- MAD AT HUNK
- LIVABLE RAZZ
- DOWNING CHATS
Allan & Sybil's answers
The Coronation quiz
1) Six 2) Prince Philip 3) Norman Hartnell 4) Eight Greys 5) After swearing allegiance to the Queen, he kissed her. 6) The Moderator of the Church of Scotland 7) The Stone of Destiny or the Stone of Scone 8) Cecil Beaton 9) Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay conquered Everest for the first time 10) Bermuda, Jamaica, Panama, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand
News of those wearing a Dog collar!
Doddie's diary and the trials of Ann
All housework now has to be done with Mummy’s little helper. Doddie is kitted out with his own brush and duster although mine always seem to be more desirable than his own. So housework is done in a start/stop fashion, with each of us grabbing a duster or brush that is free, and “leave” and “that’s mine,” being shouted at regular intervals. Doddie gets plenty of exercise on housework days belting up and down the stairs. He is pretty good with the hoover but mopping the floor is a temptation too far, after all it does look like a hairy beasty! Just like with a donkey, a carrot dangled in front of his nose is motivating him to obey (just)! However after 51 years of marriage and continual training I do not seem to have much success with keeping a husband off my wet floors so I wonder if it is a boy thing!
Doddie - ready for action
Cellardyke and Kilrenny’s old customs
An article taken from the East Fife Observer of July 1959, which ran a feature of the East Neuk of 100 years ago, ie of 1859. Today in 2020 that is 161 years ago. Each village was featured and this is the Cellardyke / Kilrenny story. The numbers in the brackets refer to pictures which will be shown at a later date, (Kilrenny Connections) when things get back to normal.
What was Cellardyke and Kilrenny like 100 years ago? Vast changes have taken place since then, but many places are still familiar to this generation. We reproduce an article, compiled in 1906, which gives an idea of the customs prevalent in the town in these bygone days.
For instance, water had to be carried to the houses, and this was drawn at the “Screw Wynd”, thus explaining the origin of a name which has puzzled some folk.
In taking a peep at the old town beginning with James Street, there is no sign now of the Caddies Burn (1). A pathway runs where the burn used to flow, and a nice row of pretty villas are in course of erection at the top of its old course ( the East side of Burnside Terrace as the West side is in Anstruther). Passing along James Street one notes little change on the south side of the street except the slight alteration made on the house where the late Mr Stephen Williamson was born, (Owner of Liverpool Shipping Company) (and whose memorial is on the south wall inside Kilrenny Church), (2 ), (25 James St) and the large manufacturing premises on
the sea side now occupied by Provost Black(3). Large two-storied houses occupy the sites of the one storied dwellings on the north side. The rest of James Street one would hardly recognise, as there are only four buildings which have defied time and change so far as their walls are concerned, though even these have been modernised.
Only memory however, can recall the small reading room, which was also used for an evening school for boys and girls who, at the age of thirteen or fourteen, could neither read nor write, and were taught by four girls little older than their scholars but who never had occasion to call on any older than themselves to maintain order. Fortunately, no such voluntary teaching is now required. A very large school is situated on the Toll Road with an efficient headmaster and mistress and a large staff of assistants meets all the requirements of a somewhat exacting educational code.
But we must on, though in our hurry we cannot pass the old Post Office(4), where lived Mr Thomas Brown, author of a poem entitled “The Great Substitute” which was printed at the Record office, a book which might repay perusal. But here we are opposite the old Town Hall of which the following is a tale.
In fancy we can see old John Dick, the bell man, and his little highland wife, who never seemed to take lightly to either lowland people or their ways for – “Still her blood was strong her heart was highland, and she in dreams beheld the Hebrides”. It also reminds us of the old highland piper, who paid an annual visit to Cellardyke, and a never forgotten sight was to see Mrs Dick and the old Highland man conversing in their mother tongue, (Gaelic). A large beautiful hall now marks the place and also serves the purpose of keeping green the memories of two generous sons of Cellardyke, the late David Fowler (of Adelaide Australia) and Mr Steven Williamson. Both left £5,000 each.(5)
In turning into John Street few old landmarks meet the eye. Here change and decay have done their work so well but nothing but new buildings are to be seen until one arrives almost at the middle of the street where a few houses are almost what they were 50 years ago(6) (outside stairs as no room inside house for stairs).
This brings us to a charmed spot that must be dear to the hearts all born in Cellardyke, the Urquhart Wynd or as it was spoken of then the “Screw Wynd”.(7) How many Jacobs met their Rachel’s as they in obedience to their mothers welcome order to go and fill their “stoups” (old Scot’s word for bucket or pail) or bring a “race” of water in for the night (hole in wall at top of wynd). No mother of that day was foolish enough to expect that however quickly that order was complied with, the same alacrity would be shown in return. That was never expected. There was the light gossip to hear and relate, and also the whispered conclave at the bottom of the stair or close, as however coy the maidens were or saucy during the day, on an offer being made in daylight to carry home the water pails, no refusal was given when night’s mantel had fallen to hide their blushes or their pleasure at the acceptance of their escort.
But one cannot linger, and must on to see what changes have been wrought in George Street. The north side though showing change does not strike one so
much as the south side, where large buildings have taken the place of the many low humble dwellings of 50 years ago.
To be noted are the large commodious premises of several business firms, including Watson & Co’s net, oilskin and grocery store(8). J Fortune draper, A Murray (9) and T Swinton, ( Fishermans hardware store) nearly on to the Gyles. This very narrow part of George Street shows less alteration than the west end.
On to Shore street where now houses which do not have any back gardens for the women to dry clothes hang them on the bulwark at the harbour. Some of the buildings at Shorehead (10) (up from the beach) are the same except that they now stand tenantless and roof-less. Shore Wynd and Dove Street are pretty much as they were but passing along the east end of the Shore many improvements are manifest. Several old landmarks, however things of the past, gone is the old beacon on the Skelly point, no longer required to warn boats of the treacherous rock at the entrance to the harbour. What feats of wading it recalls. What catches of “dergies”, “potlies” and others of the finny tribe were to be caught of the end of the pier. How apt and true Burns lines are - “We two hae paddled in the burn, Frae morning sun till dine, But mony a weary fit we’ve trod, Sin the days o auld lang syne”.
Gone too at nearly the end of the shore are the old “kameston” (old Scots name for a Capstain) round which many children have played, and by which many fishing boats were pulled to their winter quarters at the town’s green. Here one would surely write Ichabod did one not remember that larger or better boats have replaced those which used to lie high and dry at the east end of the town. The alterations here include the new premises and house of Mr Marr J P, the change in the frontage of the house belonging to the Sharp’s, and recently erected fisherman’s houses further east, and the large house and fish processing premises built by the Late Mr Cormack(11) “Croma”.
To be continued....
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name in earth and sky and sea;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in Three Persons, blesse'd Trinity!
This walk begins at Cellardyke pool. It is well within the time and distance limits of Phase 1, Lockdown. Walk up the diagonal path on the braes. How many trees are on the braes?
At the summit, take a moment's rest and look at the south coast of the Firth. Oil tankers, a power station, the Bass Rock ("Bass" is the Gaelic for snout!), wind turbines on the hill-tops (can you make out the blades?), Berwick Law, and other landmarks, all straddled along the coast like punctuation marks in a long sentence.
Now stroll east along the braes, admiring the gardens, each different from its neighbour. On the roof-top of the house with a bright colourful display of flowers, you might see a young crow, yelling at its mother, "Hurry up! I want some food, now!" She is quite unperturbed at her offspring's behaviour and makes no response. Next door is a house being converted to a post - Covid- 19, wonderful new home. If rhythm is the basis of music, the builder who uses a hammer, is full of music. Is that "Michael, row the boat ashore" or "The Mingulay Boat Song" that he beats out, always careful and precise. Above the last garden, the Duncan's flag flutters happily in the breeze, the sole sign of energy in this still, new world.
Turn the corner and go through the gate a few yards ahead. You are now in the field separated by a line of young trees, from Silverdykes Holiday Park. Cross the road to the Woodland Walk sign and follow the path. The field on your left is almost blue-green in colour. Look closely at the shoots
and you will see a head of grain, already formed, soon ready to emerge into the open air, from the warm coat of strong leaves that have kept out the cold, spring winds.
You might hear high overhead the delightful notes of a lark singing its heart out. "Hark, hark the lark at Heaven's gate sings".
Further on you start at the "SQUERRCHJEE" of a pheasant hidden in the field. "Listen to me. I'm here too!" To your right, on the path, watch out for a tiny clearing among the young fir trees - safe from the stormy blasts but sufficiently exposed to benefit from the sun from the west, stands a tall, straight, clump of beautiful lupins of all shades of blue and pint. Was it deliberately planted or did bird or wind drop a stray seed?
The ferns at the top of the field are managing to withstand this prolonged dry time but the thistles, symbols of toughness and strength, are bent over and limp and begging for rain.
You now turn left into the woodland walk. Keep to the path on the south side, which borders the field of growing grain. The path meanders round and about. You might notice the pigeon strutting a few yards ahead. Her beak is stuffed with grass, fragments of twigs, and lengths of thin stems. She looks snobbishly at you, then flies off to engage in the latest refurbishment of her nest.
The air is filled with the perfume of blossoms. The rowan blossom is fading and you might ask, which will come first, the end of lockdown or the arrival of rowan berries?
Underfoot you come across cones dropped from the young fir trees. They are beautiful, light and their construction is amazing.
The birds make their own call-signs but throughout, the smaller birds chatter non-stop like the folks at Pittenweem coffee mornings or Kilrenny teas. What do they have to talk about? Lots and lots!
You are now nearing the end of the path, but you turn to the right and you reach the north edge of the wood, now looking inland. The 'home-ward' route continues next week! (Jessie)
to be continued.....
The Kirk Session wish you a very safe, healthy and happy week ahead.
Doxology CH4 806
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
the God whom we adore,
be glory, as it was, and is,
and shall be evermore.