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Thought for the day 2nd April 2020

Cloudy here today – for the first time since the lockdown. Thank goodness the first ten days of isolation passed with fine weather! It’s been a chance to rediscover – on a small, back-garden scale – how amazing the Spring is. Goldfinches have been crowding on the bird-feeders; lazy pigeons scuffling on the lawn underneath, picking up fallen seeds. And our newly-planted cherry tree has been flaunting its delicate-pink blossom against the blue sky. Writing in the 1870s The Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins said ‘Nothing is so beautiful as Spring’: and he was surely right.

But these are odd times. The beauty of Spring is set against the darkness of Covid-19: it’s as if the endless, ancient battle of light and dark, creation and destruction, is going on before our eyes. And it’s hard to watch. In these times, the simple optimism of Hopkins may seem naïve. Here, instead, is something more reflective from the American poet Lynn Ungar, sent to me by a chaplain friend and posted yesterday by Theos, the Christian think-tank in London:

Fr John



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