Tag: Gill Henwood

King of Flowers ?

Photo: Gill Henwood

King of Flowers for Corpus Christi.

My friend Gill wanted to give you a flower for Corpus Christi.

This is the day many Christians give thanks for the gift of the Blessed Sacrament which Jesus gave to His followers at the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. In the Bread and Wine, prayed over and blessed, Jesus found an eternal way of being with us and feeding us on our spiritual journey to the heart of God’s Kingdom.

This gift is linked to Jesus’s Crucifixion and Resurrection when God showed us how much he loves us.

The colour of the Tree Peony can be seen as a symbol of both the Body of Jesus broken for us and the Blood shed for us. The White is tinged with Red. (And therefore, the white and red symbolize the bread and wine of the Eucharist.)

Not everyone may share that but you can, of course just simply enjoy the flower, which is very beautiful and enjoy it as a visual gift. After all, we need lots of colour and joy in our world right now. We can all share the delights of Creation.

Here’s what Gill has to say about the Peony.

Opening just in time for Corpus Christi, this tree peony (paeonia x suffruticosa) is, to me, astonishingly beautiful.

The white petals are like fine tissue paper, the markings stunning and the crown of stamens around the central pistils glorious. It reminds me of the Passion flower although there are six, not seven pistils and I think the number may vary. Bred over millennia in China, they are highly regarded as the ‘king of flowers’ and were their national flower till 1929.

Each 4-5” flower lasts for about a week and closes up at night, sheltering the centre. This year, the tree peony survived weeks of hard frosts and is in full glory in the hot sun of the last few days. 

The king of flowers for Corpus Christi.

[Mr G]

A glimpse of a moment of ‘Gift’

Gill Henwood. Photo of Green Hairstreak Butterfly. Cumbria.

My friend Gill Henwood has sent me this photo of a Green Hairstreak Butterfly. It was discovered on a track in cleared woodland fells between Coniston and Hawkshead in the Lake District last Saturday. In that part of the world it is a very rare find, Gill tells me.

Of the butterfly itself she says:

that it  is about 30mm wingspan, so half that when the wings are closed. Hence the impressionist close up photo with an iPhone 12 mini. This is adequate for reporting to Butterfly Conservation Cumbria or iRecord, and carrying a smart phone whilst dog walking means the opportunity can be captured- sometimes- if a tiny creature pauses long enough ( they often don’t!).

Amazing striped antennae and legs that were not visible with the naked eye. The ring-tailed lemur of butterflies!

In many cultures, the butterfly has a deep connection with souls.  For some, the butterfly’s spiritual meaning resonates with the Christian belief of Ascension (of Christ) and also to creativity, pulsating joy, transformation and spiritual re-birth or growth.
It is also a sign of beauty and a symbol of hope and endurance as it flies from flower to flower. Butterflies bring joy to a garden, a country path and, even round here at present to a building site a dusting of colour.

Gill says that what she is presenting us with in her image is not so much a portrait but

“a  glimpse of a moment of ‘gift’ in a sighting along the way. “. It’s an opportunity to share the exhilaration of the moment with those who can’t be up on the Cumbrian fells.”

In this period of time when so much has been taken from us and when we don’t yet understand what the ‘new normal’ is; when what we saw as important in our lives is being challenged and questioned, we need these moments of ‘gift.’ Nature has been working hard this year to show us something of ‘their world’.

David Hockney’s new book, written in collaboration with Martin Gayford, Spring cannot be cancelled’, tries to share that sense  of learning deeply from the things around us, particularly the things of Nature and creation.

It is perhaps ironic that at a time when we are threatening so much of creation with extinction, birds, animals, bees, butterflies and the creativity of plants are coming to our rescue. ‘Cheer up!’ they seem to say. ‘There is so much of value that you are missing and which you didn’t see as Important.”

Now perhaps we may, which is why we must always be on the lookout for those moments of gift to be enjoyed and through which we might  glimpse a different, better and more truthful life. A life of wonder, awe and inspiration. A life of breathtaking beauty and yet, a simpler life.

God gives us these glimpses of beauty, of the gift of His creative love.
As Gill suggests. “Enjoy the gift of the glimpse xx”

I am grateful for some words of St. John of the Cross who wrote which carry a profound truth…

God passes through the thicket of the world, and wherever His glance falls He turns all things to beauty.

He can even do it to us!

[Mr G and Gill]

New Dawn

This photo was taken by Gill Henwood to greet the dawn in the Lake District.

Yet another reminder to us that Spring is coming near with bursting new life, bird song, trees awakening, bulbs bursting, animals getting ready to greet the new joys, and, hopefully, human hearts filling with hope.

No one can cancel the Spring. Embrace this hope-filled season fully!

All around us is blessing.

Watering Holes

The posting we did a little while ago, which centred on Elephants, inspired my friend Gill Henwood to write a poem about ‘Watering holes’, places where we find refreshment in our journey through life. A journey which is spiritual as well as physical. Gill is fed, too, by the countryside of the Lake District where she lives. Nature is always a source of opening our hearts, minds, souls and Cumbria is one of those places which are ‘thin’, places where God is very near and where heaven and earth are within touching distance. In these difficult days, Gill takes up her theme of Living Water.

The ‘tarn’ referred to is Tarn Hows and the ‘Lake’ is Coniston Water.

Watering Hole

Elephants gathering at precious watering holes 
weathering the drought of hot summer, 
water, life-giving, cleansing, refreshing, 
joyful in splashing spray
and, if you have a trunk, 
spraying about!

We in our Covid drought,
seek  a precious watering hole
where  God provides
the living-water we need
to weather this long unseasonable time.

So the little beck wriggles its way down fell,
trickles under ice
to find its way into the tarn
before waterfalling through woods
into the tributary that feeds the lake.

Shower us.
Refresh us
with your living spring of water. *

*John 4:14

[Gill Henwood January 2021]

The Beck at Tarn Hows photographed by Gill Henwood