It's been far too long. Too busy; new puppy then no puppy; ill health; summer holidays; huge soul weariness; big life changes and frustrating life busyness. And what had been weekly walks fell into a five month gap.
And today we broke the gap, and after a weekend of New Wine Women, of worship and teaching and solemn words and late night silliness, we skipped out of church and took a long walk with God instead.
And it's looking like a beautiful day.
And we are oaks of righteousness,
More than conkers, we will bend in the storms but we stand strong.
And we are never alone.
We live in such an amazingly beautiful country.
Houses built to last; lived in and loved, and hiding in the shadow of this beautiful church.
A church originally built in the 1100s; nine hundred years of prayer soaking into its walls.
A church already old when these Books of Common Prayer first came into common usage.
A church mention in the Domesday book. Restored again and again over the centuries,
Such simple beauty. Such peace.
Such sorrows in its graveyard; a stone erected to the memory of six children from the same family, several of whome shared the same name, none of them living beyond two years.
And such solid comfort.
Fields grown tall; retaining walls holding back the accumulated weight if nine hundred years of soil washed down from hills and fields still bearing signs of medieval terrace farming strips.
And, most English, scones and tea in a National Trust Café.
An amazing weekend; refreshing, challenging, strengthening. And then a beautiful beautiful walk, filled with pictures to confirm messages from the day before, filled with hope and new resolves, and precious time with a precious friend and with God.
Jesus Christ; the same yesterday, today, and forever. And this beautiful world, where no two created days will every be the same. Where a thousand years of worship can be fresh every week, and mercies come new every single morning.
And we are the church; we are the body of Christ. And we too need restoring and repairing again and again. But we are beautiful. Our cracks and flaws become the gullies for streams of Living Water. And we are strong; not because of who we are, but because we are built on The Rock, filled with the Holy Spirit, and clothed in Glory. And we follow those feet in modern times, through England's green and pleasant lands.