Tuesday 28th February
Although no more Christian than putting C of E in the allotted space next to Religion on the Census forms each decade, my family still had what one might broadly call Christian values. At least we expounded them, if not actually practiced them very much. We believed in ‘Love thy Neighbour’, but on one side we had a crotchety old couple who kept themselves to themselves as much as we liked to on our side of the dividing drainpipe. On the other, and a decent bike width detached from us, lived a succession of youngish couples, some with children, who never seemed to stay long enough for us to learn their names let alone actually love them. We believed in helping those less fortunate than ourselves, but as Grandma liked to proclaim that ‘we were as poor as church mice anyway’; so apart from surreptitiously placing a few coppers in collecting tins when embarrassment would ensue if we were seen not to, we did not give to charity. However despite this almost complete lack of any real relationship with Christianity I was actually Christened, and my Godmother, my cousin Joan did on the occasional birthday send me something vaguely religious. The most obvious of these and strangely one I kept, when I have discarded so much else was called A Child’s Prayer. It was full of beautiful photographs and had a simple line on each page “Thankyou God for……..”
So, in a spirit of hope and reconciliation I would just like to say thankyou, not to God, whose existence I very much doubt, but to the World at large and whoever feels it applies to them.
Thankyou for each day, the chance to start anew. Thankyou for the seasons, to remind us of the measure of our span on this earth. Thankyou for laughter, especially when passing a school at playtime. Thankyou for sunshine, peeping through on a cloudy day. Thankyou for the gift of the written word, my closest of friends. Thankyou for being there for me when I thought I couldn’t go on. Thankyou for the things you didn’t say, when pity might have broken my back. Thankyou for the kindness of strangers, when there really was no need. Thankyou for letting me share these thoughts with you all, unspoken they may not have existed at all.