The past twenty four hours have been rather strange, not in a bad way I must add. We have all heard about and talked of lines and paths crossing, well, today, everything that is going on in my life seems to have all fallen rather nicely into place, so, to put you into the picture here is a brief synopsis of two very big events that are about to happen to me within the next six weeks.
Firstly, on May 8th I am to be confirmed into the Christian Faith, a path set by my parents nearly sixty years ago, and secondly, as a member of a Friends group of my family church, St Mary’s, we are hosting an open weekend including celebrations for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s 90th Birthday, the event, a brain child of myself and my friend Hilary.
We have banged our heads together and come up with a planned schedule of events, making up a steering committee of six members, we have started to steam steadily ahead, delegating tasks to individuals who have used once and many a tried and tested routine and driven many an unbroken wheel that never appeared to need fixing.
Opening my wooden blinds this morning I am greeted with a beautiful day, tall bright blue skies, the air is clear and I can see many miles toward the horizon, the sea is calm with what I am sure is to be a crisp chilled breeze on my face …. Spring is definitely here …. it IS stunning.
From my wardrobe I pull out a shirt from my corporate days, it is as blue as blue as the sky, a firm favourite of mine and always seemed to give me luck when I used to wear it, how right was I to be today of all days? All wrapped up, we set out of the door, Chris and I make our way to our Parish church, that is All Saints. I have a letter for the churchwarden, enclosed is a small gesture in appreciation of her spending hours searching through the 1956 records of baptism and eventually unearthing and producing my certificate, that of which I had never ever seen, however, the black, grey and white photographs of myself in christening robes do prove so, not to mention the embarrassment for me.
Tuesday morning hosts Eucharist with blessings, this is a service I enjoy tremendously, a small chapel off the main church offers an intimate and personal gathering, less than a dozen attend, in the background an aged kettle can be heard climbing slowly to its boil ready to provide tea’s and coffee’s for fellowship soon after.
We offer one another a sign of peace, one very elderly lady, who I have never seen before in my whole life makes a bee line toward me, she cups my hands, smiles, and asks if I have arrived by boat. Brixham is a major fishing port and has its own Pilot station, she had assumed I was a mariner, since a child I have always had my feet in the water, being taught to respect its strengths and dangers, playing sports as a teenager and later owning my own vessels as an adult, my grandfather was one of Brixham’s pioneers in the fishing fleet in the early part of the last century. Strangely, her few words of kindness and a chance meeting gave me the feeling what actually confirmed, not that I have ever doubted, but that I now belonged to this community, after all, my grandparents, grandparents parents are buried in our 15th century graveyard.
I receive my blessing, my sins have now been forgiven. I keep myself out of the direct sunlight streaming through the faintly stained glass windows, not in fear of spontaneously combusting and bursting into flames, but to stop being blinded by the intensity of its strength, well that’s my excuse at least.
Attempting to drown the fly paper and thin pink sandwich wafer biscuits in my coffee, which is so strong in depth, it might be easier to chew instead, as it is far too thick to swallow .. I think to myself. I stare around and up into the dizzy heights of this ancient building, almost every conceivable surface is dark wood and everything in-between adorns the colour gold. At the opposite of the Altar at the far end of the nave stands the large stone Font, I get strong feelings of de’Javu, a vision of a large family appear, all proud, they are gathered around, can I hear a faint cry from a baby?, suddenly, my bumps goose and the heckles on my neck stand to attention.
Heading down the steep hill toward where two ham and cheese croissants have our names on them in the new retro coffee shop I see my dear cousin, we hug and kiss, its been ages since our last meet. I have been trying to corner her for ages, a very successful business woman and a such a kind kind person. I go straight for the jugular and ask for sponsorship for floral displays at the church open weekend, she is carrying a loaf of freshly baked bread, food is always a good sign. I normally approach people and businesses for any donations just after lunch, everyone has been fed, its a great levering point and as we all know a digesting belly is a happy belly, a smile brings a yes. We now have a whole weekends worth of flowers, to add to that, looks like her other business partner is prepared to cater certain items free gratis too.
“Hi, Paul here, Advertising banners?” I ask my lifetime friend. We’ve known each other so long, our parents were best friends before we both popped along, he now runs his fathers printing business, ……….You get the drift, two exterior banners displaying the words “Welcome to St Mary’s“ are on the press as I speak.
One more sponsor on the list to go, well, for the time being at least.
Lucky shirt, beautiful day, wouldn’t you say?
19th April 2016