Blue sky, white clouds, sunshine, a warm breeze and, at long last, sitting in a friend's garden - my bubble with somebody who lives alone. The silence, which I must admit I enjoyed during lock-down, has been broken today by a helicopter going overhead at 8.30am and the drone of the council workers' machines cutting all the verges and green areas on our side of the town.
I am one of those persons whose hearing is not so good with background noise. During those very quiet weeks of lock-down I have enjoyed hearing the birds. Even if I was inside I could hear the blackbirds' song. On a couple of really early mornings I made myself a mug of tea, wrapped up warm and sat on the patio at the break of dawn and enjoyed the early dawn chorus. Yesterday afternoon I phoned my sister-in-law who was walking by the sea with her daughter. Even if she hadn't told me where she was, I would have known as I heard all the seagulls.
I do hope this fine-tuned hearing will not be made more difficult as the background noise of a town coming out of lock-down increases. Sometimes silence is difficult to handle but I, for one, have appreciated the opportunity it has given me to be quiet in the stillness and enjoy once more some of the beautiful sounds around us.
I was reminded yesterday morning of the verse 2 Corinthians 4:7, 'But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.' God has not been caught out by this virus. In our own way, for each one of us, whatever the grief or circumstances we will take out of lock-down, we will still be able to treasure within our hearts what we loved and appreciated before lock-down. No one can rob us of that. Our greatest difficulty will be to look after ourselves and guard against things which would deter us from building life again. Our own strength might not be sufficient but being held in the hollow of God's hand, as it were, and drawing upon his strength will enable us to build again.
'But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.' 2 Thessalonians 3:3