The recent weather challenges the rather pompous patronising saying that ‘horses sweat, men perspire and ladies glow’. I’ve definitely been more than perspiring and have struggled to keep up my hydration levels, in spite of trying always to carry water with me. If you’re out in central London then I would recommend carrying a reusable flask for yourself and a plastic bottle of water to give to a homeless person, for whom life must be even more wretched at the moment.
I’ve found the period since the start of the lockdown to be fairly spiritually dry too. I know I’m not alone. Taking regular refreshment when I’ve not always wanted to drink has been important for me and Morning Prayer and Compline have been vital. The regular rhythms of spoken Morning Prayer and layers from the monastic pattern of prayer in Compline have very much helped to keep me going. I’m grateful to those who have led these services so faithfully. Richard and Sally carried so much of that for Morning Prayer at the most restricted period and a band of committed, prayerful leaders for Compline have brought a diversity of styles which has been inspiring.
I’m hugely missing leading Choral Evensong too, which I did about every three weeks. With the wonderful Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields bringing so much richness in their singing and filling the texts with meaning, along with the cadence of the liturgy, it would always bring me and the congregation to a holy place.
Drink deeply. Take refreshment when you can.