D is for…
We woke up to a pretty rubbish weather day that was sandwiched between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. How appropriate!! Waiting on the son to break through you might say!!
I had the idea of heading to Dulwich Park when I woke up during the night on Friday, but looking out of the window it didn’t look very promising…
However, in earnest we set off to Dulwich with the hope that the weather would perk up.
Dulwich Park had for us been a place we visited a lot whilst the kids were growing up, we would head there most weekends to play frisbee, use the play area or to get an ice cream, after the kids had run around it.
I don’t think as we set off that we realised it would be such a lovely timely reminder for us again of how blessed we have been. Our kids (four between us) are now all grown up, with the youngest being in his first year at university already!!! It really does go fast, people always say that, but you don’t really understand that until the time has passed.
As we arrived in Dulwich, the rain that had started on the way turned lighter and we managed to head into the park without a brolly, although the sky was still pretty dark. I think we had forgotten what a beautiful park it was, and the size of it. It was practically deserted and so quiet (probably because of the weather), just gorgeous.
We walked round for a bit and decided to head to the cafe to get some lunch. That’s when we realised, as we rounded the corner, that this was where all the people were!!!!!
If you have never been, the cafe in the park (The Clock Cafe) is actually more than just a park cafe, it has a wood fired pizza oven for goodness sake!!! The food is delicious and has loads of healthy options, which we obviously didn’t go for. We love a bit of coffee and cake and these didn’t let us down!!!! To be honest I’m surprised I managed to even get a shot of one of them before they disappeared!!
We sat in the cafe and reminisced about all the times we came here with the kids and generally talking about the kids and how proud we are of who they are growing up to be. Each of them unique and very different, but all of them delightful and as a ‘blended family’ (I think that’s the latest expression of families brought together by remarriage), very connected.
We also reflected on where we had come as a couple from the last time we had been there together, we think about 12 years! What a journey God has brought us on. When we used to go there as a family we weren’t walking with God and now 12 years later we have been led by God through the toughest 8 months of our married lives. We reflected on how we would have been able to walk this journey through without God’s promise of healing and His faithfulness to bring to completion that healing and restoration in The Lovely Mr B’s body.
We noticed the little things in the park and that it was just coming to life with buds forming on trees and plants, all ripe and waiting for the right conditions to bloom. This again is not lost on us as we know God’s perfect timing in our lives in this new season He is bringing us into, as we experience new life and life in abundance.
This park has a lot of history and The Queen used to come and do a yearly walk around the Azaleas when they came into bloom. We spotted a mural by the artist Stik, who is famous for creating street art using stick figures, we have admired his work on the streets of East London many times, in one of our favourite parts of London.
As a modern art lover I also loved the sculptures they have that are called ‘Three Perpetual Chords’ by Conrad Shawcross (2015) and are inspired by the mathematical patterns found in music. They are visual descriptions of musical chords and made from cast iron. Over time they are supposed to change colour from deep-red, blue-black to brown depending on the conditions and the time of the year. These were commissioned as a legacy to the sculpture ‘Three Forms Divided Circle’ by Barbara Hepworth, which was sadly stolen from the park in 2011 (for scrap metal, believe it or not).
As I reflected on the sculptures I could see how we, like the sculptures, although cast not from iron but flesh and blood (by the ultimate sculptor), can get ‘weathered’ during different times of our lives, depending on what that season looks like or even the time of the year and what that brings up for us. But, we are still a thing of beauty whatever the season and whatever the colour that we are currently representing. When we are kids of the King we are by our very nature ‘beautiful creations’ who can bring glory to the creator, as He crafts us to be more and more like His son, Jesus.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
So, as we emerged from the cafe the sun had broken through the clouds, the rain had cleared and we were able to walk round the park and enjoy it in its full splendour.
On the way back to the car we bumped into an old friend who we hadn’t seen in about 7 years, that I used to work with, and we were able to catch up on life. I was amazed when she thanked us for sharing our story and she was amazed at how well Tim was looking so soon after treatment had stopped. Yet another reminder of God’s absolute goodness in our lives and through our lives.
Our Spring is coming!
D is for…