Yesterday, after watching the usual live-streamed Mass, our teenagers took us on one of their favourite bush walks in our neighbourhood. We’re blessed to live with walking distance of a couple of playgrounds, a sports oval, and little creek-riven reserves, but the best to my mind are these bushland tracks.
Soil, rock, water, trees and sky, they thread alongside these bitumen and concrete-lined suburbs as if they existed in a parallel universe. It’s only when the track gets close to houses or a freeway that you get any reminders of where you actually are.
What else happened this weekend? My husband lit the fire pit which meant dessert on Saturday night was toasted marshallows sandwiched between chocolate biscuits. A spill from a roast in the oven had been smoking and threatened to trigger the fire alarms, so with the kids all occupied outside, instead of joining them I decided to clean it. And then realised that had probably not been done for a very long while.
One of the children wanted a family movie night, and so we watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. All the kids have read the book now and at nine years old I hoped our youngest was ok to watch it. He liked it but did remark that the scene where poor Cedric Diggory dies was more intense than it seemed when he read it. I don’t think Lord Voldemort bothered him at all.
Oh, and there were some episodes of The Care Bears as well. Our eldest finished school last week and seemed to be feeling a bit nostalgic because she wanted to watch it. Those DVDs haven’t come out for at least 10 years. So we all sat down and had a little look too.
There was also some baking (not by me), and more cleaning, and reading, I’m re-reading the Two Towers from Lord of the Rings and will probably start reading it out loud to the boys sometime these school holidays. I just need a break from reading the first volume because I find it hard going to read it to them sometimes! At first I was trying to be faithful to Tolkien but now I’ve got no qualms about skipping bits whenever I need to.
I think LOTR is a good example of what Sr Wendy Beckett described as sacred art and I think contemplating it as I have been for so many weeks (because reading it aloud forces me to take it so slowly) has been a form of lectio divina. It’s helping me to reflect on my attitudes to life and therefore has been some fuel for prayer, anyway.