Sunday afternoon, and a chance to have a picnic between events. I sat in glorious sunshine in the churchyard, wind rustling the leaves and grasses. The sound of traffic was a distant hum rather than the usual roar. Occasionally I thought I heard a rumble – distant thunder perhaps?
The area around the church had recently been cut following the summer of wildlife-haven growth. Something moved … on looking closer I could see it was a grasshopper or maybe a cricket (possibly Field Grasshopper [chorthippus brunneus]). Not just one, but dozens of them, the grassland was moving! Like spotting a fish in the stream, once you saw one, you saw all the others – little creatures going about their normal business not really concerned with what is going on around them. However, once they realised I was nearby – was it the sound of my feet vibrating through the ground, or the shadow as I bent down to examine the grass? – they moved away and only returned when they felt safe to do so.
There is a maxim that one ought to live in the moment; the picnic and time spent in the churchyard was just that: a moment of peace and quietness, a time for gathering thoughts, and a time for watching grasshoppers. It was also a time for reflecting that we, and the grasshopper, are all part of the same big, wide world.
For everything there is a season …. A time to be quiet and a time to speak ….
(Ecclesiastes 3; 1, 7)
Rev Philip Payne
The Notice Sheet for 26 September can be found here