Reflections on water


I am writing a daily blog (Monday to Friday)  on preparing spiritually and physically

to lead a Pilgrimage of 100 miles in September.

for details of the Pilgrimage, click on the dropdown Cotswold Pilgrimage bar at the top of this page 



The Fosse Way. Ancient, straight, unbending.  Full of old memories.                                                       

Roman soldiers marched it. Horse carts stuck in its mud.

Cars still drive most of it.

My friend and I walked some part of it, heads tossed about in the wind, hairfree, carefree, glad to BE.

We walked.  We talked.  Glossy black cows and speckled herds were over the hedgerows.

We found berries sweet, small, sun-kissed.


There was a sadness in each of us, years or more of hard places.   Parents departed. Children making nests empty. Struggling spouses. Illnesses. Finances. Life.


And the book I recently encountered.  Eucharistic moments – the breaking of bread, the giving of thanks in the brokenness, the miracle ensuing. Looking for charis, gifts of God, so often unnoticed yet there for our accepting.


We strode on, the ground dry and cracked, the path hard to our feet. And then.  The farmyard, horses, a tractor from which to stand aside.  The gate to the next field, always open – always there a puddle thick with farmyard mud to straddle.


More dry earth, more fields, more cows.  More sun and wind and glorious freedom in the views. And then that final wet stretch, teetering along its edge, trying to find a pathway through, and I knowing it to be always wet, “Perhaps it’s a spring, fresh water always leaching through.”



Hop skip jump and we are over and onwards.

Remembering later, I write to her.



Thinking of that cracked dry soil we saw in some places this afternoon; and the puddles which never seem to be dry - a metaphor of what happens when joy and grace and God's gifts penetrate our broken, cracked lives.  


And looking for the Gifts.  Searching out the Eucharistic moment. Allowing Him to leach into our crackedness.  Dry hardness becomes soft.


Life giving.

Life healing.

Life refreshing.

Life in all its fullness.

His life filling into ours.


Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”  John 4:13-14






When have you experienced that Life-Giving Water  in new and unexpected ways?

Who needs your help in finding that Water right now?






I am writing a daily blog (Monday to Friday)  on preparing spiritually and physically

to lead a Pilgrimage of 100 miles in September.

for details of the Pilgrimage, click on the dropdown Cotwold Pilgrimage bar at the top of this page 


We’ll just walk nine, he promised. If it rains we’ll stop.

But it’ s a Bank Holiday, I protested. A day to stop, relax, watch the Queen.


Later, he said. There’s not much happening right now. Come with me and enjoy some fresh air and exercise.


Grudgingly I laid my book aside and found garments suitable for a wet hilly golf course. Just nine holes, I told myself. And I’ll look for lost golf balls in the rough and see if I can beat my record.


He hit the ball long and sweet. I found two golf balls.  One hole down, eight to go.


Long steep hill down to the next hole; even steeper climb up to the third. I’ve done it so often with him that I know what lies ahead. Cotswold hills.


Four more balls found in the rough.

Long third hole and round the corner to the fourth. The clouds parted briefly. Fifth, sixth …. Nearly back.


Long steep drop from the tee to the eighth hole. I always forget just how pretty this is. How much I love the peace and the beauty and the trees and the stream flowing through.

We cross the tiny Giverny-like bridge. I’ve found 7 balls already.



Long haul up to the nineth – really steep.  And I realize I am going up at some speed and only a little out-of-breathness.


All those London Tube escalators, up and down, are beginning to have an effect. Three weeks into this preparation and I can FEEL a difference.


Second nine he asks. Look, the sun is coming out.

Late afternoon shadows and dappled sunlight.

Another round of eight holes; more ups and downs. More beauty. More time together.  How can I resist?


But I do. Time for a cup of tea, I wail.


His arm around me, urging me on. You’ll be glad you did it, later.

He knows me well.

And I am. The pedometer looks most encouraging. We skip the tea and go straight to something stronger.


And I acknowledge the help of another urging me on, doing it together.

Two can put ten thousand to flight.


Ten thousand is my minimum daily step count.  A golf course which is long and spread out and hilly easily accomplishes much more than that.


For once, I am grateful for a golfing husband. And for his persistence and determination.


And today – today I shall run and up down those escalators on the way to and from the grandchildren and pretend they are Cotswold hills on a beautiful golf course.


And put ten thousand to flight on my pedometer.