Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Wonder in the winter

A friend in Manchester put this picture on her Facebook page, with a comment beneath it:
I love the picture, which Marijke tells me she didn't take, but I'm giving her the credit for putting it together with the words. I think it's like a modern-day Pieter Brueghel the younger. The words she's put beneath are, “God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men. Yet, they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3)

It's good to reminded that the snow IS beautiful. Even the non-collection of the recycling boxes in the close outside provides convenient dodging points for the snow-ball fights which are our equivalent of Amsterdam's canal skating! Shame about the utilitarian gritting that took place at midday, creating the dirty pink brown slush - which I'm sure is safer to drive on, but not a patch on the original to look at. 

I won't be able to watch episode 2 of the BBC's Nativity tonight, as it's the time when all our neighbours come round for mince pies and mulled wine. It's a good feeling that we know twice as well as we did last year. I guess it was kindness and politeness that brought them last a year ago; now it feels like friendship. I'm hoping it will be a merry time! (I can smell the mulled wine in the making now!)

Meanwhile Nativity will be recording and we can watch it later. Episode 1 lived up to my hopes pretty well. The characters are beginning to come alive and the political background is being built up. It's not being made over-gritty or over-pretty. You can sense there's a blow-up coming between Joseph and Mary. And we also want to find out how the young shepherd and his sick wife fare under pressure from Herod's tax-extortioner.... It's fleshing out as a human story, a story of "poor ornery people, like you and like I". I wonder! 

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