It’s October already. Can you believe it? I can hardly fathom where this year has gone. Luckily I have a diary that tells me more or less, everything I have done, otherwise it would feel like this year has been a big blank. Perhaps that is an insult to certain people. What memorable moments come to mind? Perhaps you have some things in particular to be thankful for.

Bryn and I have been fortunate to meet family and friends in very small groups, in our garden. And though I repeat myself often, hasn’t the British weather been kind to us? Every bit of sunshine and blue sky is a blessing; every chance to chat with friends or family; each face we see and the knowledge that there are people nearby. Kind neighbours who stop what they are doing to ask how you are, or offer to pick up some shopping for you. All these things speak of the love of God.

I’ve just come inside from having a chat over coffee and nurturing our tomato plants that are being carried about like small children to chase the late September sun. The holly tree is resplendent in ripe berries, which we fear will be gone by Christmas. I don’t begrudge the birds their food, but we probably won’t have any berries left when we cut small branches to decorate our home in December. So, I’ve come up with a brilliant idea, which I’ve left to germinate: what if we call on family now and begin the festive season while the weather is warm enough to sit outside? After all, the shops are already stocking their shelves with Christmas goodies.

I often say “Merry Christmas” when we sit down to eat a meal I’ve prepared. It’s a joke one of my children started. But it goes deeper: I’m actually saying I’ve prepared this food with love. Who says we have to do things the way we’ve always done them? Time for a change?

Every blessing,

Sue Thomas