St Mary’s Church Coddenham

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A Hedgehog Slumbered – Rev. Philip Payne

by | Jun 26, 2020 | Coddenham Church

Sunset over St Mary Church Coddenham

From The Rectory 28 Jun 20 – A Hedgehog Slumbered

Like many people I know, recently I have been catching up with a few outstanding jobs.  And so, it was, that a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon found me, brush in hand, painting the garden shed.  The job was long overdue but before I could wield the paintbrush there were spider webs galore to clear inside and vegetation to clear outside.  Clearing done I set to to quietly paint the shed.  As I painted, I became aware of a gentle sound accompanying my labours. The rhythm suited the rhythm of my brushing.  Was it me? I stopped; the sound continued.  It wasn’t me.  I moved away and the sound faded.   It wasn’t the trees. The shed was gently singing in the sun, a song to keep time with my labours.

Later, a little research confirmed that the sound I heard was a hedgehog, safely sheltering under the shed, enjoying an afternoon nap.  We rarely see hedgehogs in the Rectory garden; they’re most active when we are tucked up inside for the night.  So, I was delighted to have heard one quietly singing its peaceful accompaniment to my labours.

Our garden is home to many creatures, and a refreshment stop for many more.  This hedgehog was just one of the many residents and visitors we know are there but rarely see.  Recently, with more time to stop and stare, and with less activity to distract us, we have become more aware of the world around us.  We have become more aware, too, of how much we take the contribution of other people for granted.  Our communities are complex webs.  The smooth running of our complicated daily living depends on the contribution of countless people we seldom meet and rarely acknowledge.  The air we breathe, the land we farm, the water we drink; all these are gifts of our creator God in whom we live and move and have our being.  None of us, as the poet John Donne wrote, is an island, all are a part of something greater.

A hedgehog slumbered peacefully in the shade and blessed my labours.  Who is blessing yours?


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