Devon Cream Teas & Family.
On Saturday we returned from our week in Combe Martin, Devon. One word … gorgeous. Seven days of wall to wall sunshine, morning outdoor pool swim over-looking the bay, afternoon lazy walk down to the beach or short trip to beauty spots like Ilfracombe or Lynton and Lynmouth and then an evening in the club house playing bingo or doing a quiz or back in the apartment watching T.V. The pace of life matching the heat of the sun in perfect tandem. A few insect bites not spoiling the bliss of just looking out over the rugged Devon coastline with a sense of awe and wonder at creation and the work of tides and weather in making such beauty. Paradise tasted on the earth along with a few cool pints of cider. Fresh fish and chips sitting by the sea, sitting on an upstairs veranda eating a devon cream tea, watching the family out kayaking on the crystal blue smooth sea. Can life get any better than this? Yes living in the small confines can create extra tension, especially when there is no break from each other or no escape, journeying into unknown places and feeling a sense of being lost creates a few cross words, but family comes to the fore during the time of holiday. I suppose we should feel blessed that our kids aged 22, 19 and 17 still want to spend time with us rather than finding a more lively option (our 12 year old still has no choice) but they want to come even when we encourage them to find something else. We must have done something a bit right as parents somewhere, God knows what that magic ingredient was.
I remember times when we would have to find a church to go to on Sunday, where the Bible would be carefully packed in the case, where we would feel guilty for not being able to keep up with the disciplined prayer times. We would often spy somewhere to go before leaving home, maybe visit a church of a friend or see a local church/chapel in the area of where we were camped. Those years we skipped church on Sunday there was a twinge of guilt and hope that God was not looking. So glad those days have gone. Holiday should be about one another not dragging kids to places of worship. Losing one of the seven days that hard earned cash has paid for. Now my Sunday is just another special day amongst six others, the Bible is left somewhere at home having not been read for a while, prayer times are from another era where I thought it all mattered to God and my relationship with Him. Now the Divine just gets intertwined with the whole of life. A glancing thought as I look over Combe Martin bay, a smile as I hear my boys laugh with delight at some ridiculous prank, the wonder of watching glorious people passing by. All life filled with beams of something beyond what we see but seen with seeing eyes. Holiday is not about still making sure I put God first. I have given up putting God first, family second, church third. Whatever I behold comes first, and it is all filled with Glory. Where do we get all this guilt ridden rot from? Taste and see…
A Good Book, A Good Drink and Good Company.
I love the chance to read a good book with little distraction. Read this little beauty while sitting by the pool or chilling in the afternoon sheltering for a while from the heat. A couple of quotes that resonated inside me;
“…the Holy Spirit pre-exists all religions, cannot be contained by any single religion, and therefore can’t be claimed as private property by any religion. That means Pentecostals don’t own the Holy Spirit, nor do Christians, nor do monotheists, nor do theists…” Brian McLaren.
“…what we call the secular is actually the realm or domain of the Spirit. The secular- literally meaning the world, the realm outside the church- isn’t profane. Rather, properly understood, it is sacred because the Spirit is and always has been active there, evoking light from darkness, order from chaos, fullness from void, life from lifelessness, actuality from potentiality and potentiality from actuality.” Brian McLaren.
Good holiday reading while supping a cool refreshing Bulmers straight from the bottle. There was nothing better than enjoying a cool cider in the evening after the scorching heat of the day. And family, what about just being family. The laughs, the in jokes, the familiar stories of past misadventures, creating new stories to repeat at a future date, exaggerated for effect of course. Meal times, swim times, chill times. Watching crap films and T.V. just for the hell of it because you are together. Getting on each other’s nerves but swallowing the tension. Strange how some people find this difficult to cope with. Some pine for the office or just play on their phone all day, but for all it’s flaws and imperfections family is what family is. Life with all it’s warts, and some have lots of them. My kids drive me up the wall but I love them and spending quality time with them is to be treasured because one day they will chose the other gang, and that is fine, but for now we’ll just be family. Every year we joke ‘this is the last with the six of us.’ Everyone laughs and you do wonder about next time. But for now this traveller enjoyed His rest and basked in the glory of it all. Life is truly filled with grains of something awesome. A pain but soothing to the soul. So from our last break…until next time.