A whirlwind passed through our house last week. A delightful one, the energy and buzz of six of our son’s friends, enjoying that idyllic time after exams, their final
university exams no less. The household was lifted for a few days by this wave of young adult joy – East Devon eagerly explored, Feniton Spar getting good business – before reverting to its more sedate middle-aged character.
Beginnings and endings. July begins for our family with Matthew’s graduation. A final trip North to Durham; the last scenic drive home over the Pennines on the A66. For Matthew the closing of a chapter. And with life’s young promise beckoning forward, it’s straight on to the next chapter. We are grateful he already has the new chapter lined up.
The close of the month marks for me the anniversary of a different type of ending, the 30th anniversary of my father’s death. Thankfully his was a peaceful end, 6 months after a cancer diagnosis, three days after his 58th birthday. I was introduced to the truly blessed places that are hospices. Memories of cycling across South London to visit him in St Christopher’s. It was a hot July.
We pull our book of memories off the shelf at such times and leaf gently through. It falls open at well-thumbed pages. We stop and dwell, and sink into those moments once again. Precious jewels they are, held in our treasure chest for all time. A page less worn, maybe never reread before, or a photo we’d forgotten, surfaces anew with pleasure edged with pain. We carefully place the book back in its place on the shelf. It will always be there.
The wheel of life turns, youth and age, endings and beginnings. When Matthew’s friends visited, after introducing themselves – they were previously just photos on Facebook – they humorously introduced Matthew to me. Unpremeditated, it spilled out, “And I’m privileged to be his father.” I’m unsure how much I embarrassed him! But I am deeply thankful for my son, and for my father. Indeed, tears are on my cheeks as I write this.
Whatever endings or beginnings July brings you, large or small, may it be a month rich with memories and with life.
Rev David Carrington
Team Vicar of Escot, Feniton and Payhembury
The Rectory, Station Road, Feniton 01404 850905