“The soul moves at the pace of a camel” – Arabic Proverb

“We have to pause on our journeys to allow our spirits to catch up” – African Proverb

A number of Teddington people enjoy spending time on allotments. I was surprised at the number of adults with full work schedules, and parents with a child or three in tow religiously tending to their marrows, turnips, runner beans, and potatoes. I had wrongly imagined this demographic of Teddington as the jet setting crowd for whom speed was the nonnegotiable. So to discover many of you enjoy boxing veg as much, or if not more than getting your veg box,
is interesting to me.

Our public facing selves use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to demonstrate our lives at speed, productive and efficient. However, there is a yearning for the private, the slow grow, pedestrian pottering which is one of the gifts of an allotment.

Our shared statement for Teddington Parish churches is that of: ‘Growing Faith and Friendship for All.’ However,
we also know how a cocktail of context, circumstance and choice can lead to catastrophe. Thinking of our lives
as allotments, the ground of our hearts can be toughened by grief and despair. Our thoughts grow as knotted vines, which are difficult to untangle. Lives of faith offer deep and rich soil from which the seeds of new ideas, and renewed identities can begin to grow.

Actively seeking out friendship also aids the healing including befriending ourselves. However, we can be our own worst critics. The phrase ‘God loves you’ falls on deaf ears and a sceptical heart. The ground is too hard to admit the refreshing rain of relationship. So where do we start?

Let me encourage you to come along on 19th March for our Supper Talk by Dr Gillian Straine on how churches and communities can learn to offer health and healing. Come along to a service in one of our churches and light a candle. Or get into your allotment, garden or park, and potter, pray and wait for your soul to catch up.

Azariah France-Williams