Updated: Apr 13, 2020
Our first #songpathoftheday comes from Therese Assouad, local councillor, community force for good & wonderful friend. Here she reflects on our first #SongPath2020 stop, Furness Abbey as a beautiful gateway onto her own SongPath:
“We are all living in difficult times just now and it seems hard to try and come to terms with the consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Yesterday I heard Dame Joan Bakewell sharing her thoughts and practical advice on coping with isolation; structure, routine and creativity were key factors for her. Many years ago as a young nun I enjoyed a life which had plenty of structure in it and which was in many ways fulfilling. For me to apply some of these ideas in our present circumstances seemed appropriate.
I set off on my daily walk and this time visited Furness Abbey, a place of great beauty and tranquillity. Whilst there I found myself reflecting on the lives of those monks of years gone by who worked and prayed there and then on my own experiences as a religious. I recalled a book that I had read by Thomas Merton, ‘Elected Silence’, which as a young person had greatly influenced me. I then realised that now I had the time to withdraw a little from the hustle of everyday life and become a little more contemplative. Suddenly I found myself remembering Gerald Manley Hopkins poem, ‘The Habit of Perfection’, to me a such a moving and eloquent work from which we could all learn something especially in times that have become so materialistic. “Elected silence sing to me and beat upon the whorled ear, pipe me to pastures still and be the music that I care to hear” On my return home I spent a couple of hours finding and reading poetry that I have not read for years, and listening to some plainsong which I used to love singing, it was an emotional yet cathartic experience reinvigorating me and met an unfulfilled need to explore and reflect upon thoughts and ideas.
Words that my mother often quoted to me came to mind:
"This above all to thine own self be true And it must follow, as the night the day Thou canst not then be false to any man" Polonius in Hamlet, William Shakespeare
For me this difficult time may have hidden riches and as Kahlil Gibran says:
"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain."
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Stay well & stay connected x