There is nothing like a busy day and a good night's rest to put life in perspective! The first of several benefice harvest services is over. The small village church was alive with flower arrangers on Saturday and people bringing donations of fresh produce. It certainly looked like a bumper year for crops. The Rectory garden was able to provide raspberries, sweet corn, runner beans, apples, tomatoes and spinach. This is the first time I have had a garden harvest for many years. Being new in the village, I was aware that people have been decorating the churches for years and I didn't even realise they had started until the Rector@6 happened to pop in and found a hive of industry. I did know that there wasn't a regular harvest loaf maker so I decided to spend my Saturday morning making one. Kneading bread must be one of the most therapeutic activities there is! All those teaching years with salt dough and play dough paid off, and I was pleased with the result.
The church really did look splendid. In a village surrounded by farms, there is a particular relevance to Harvest festivals. We have all witnessed the long hours the farmers have worked to bring in the crops as the tractors thundered through the village to empty their trailers. We have watched the changes in the weather - hoping that it won't affect the yields. The fields are already ploughed and replanted and so the landscape has changed through a spectrum of colours from the green ripening shoots, to the golden stalks, to the dusky yellowing stubble and back to the rich brown or chalky white soil that village is built on. The flower displays reflected all these colours and also remembered the harvesting of the sea with some poor little sardines that had been washed up on a beach and brought back to the village, dried and added to the church displays!
I nearly forgot to mention that on our return from holiday, we had difficulty getting to the rectory front door due to the arrival of fifty or sixty yellow squashes that seemed to be breeding on the doorstep! They had been there all weekend. Nobody will own up to placing them there ....so we can't thank them but they made us laugh!