Wednesday, 15 June 2016

I Still My Soul

Yesterday morning I woke and thought of Dave.  A few minutes later, his name lit up my phone.

Much as I like him, I hadn't thought of Dave for quite a while.  He fixes my trusty car, and it has been very trusty of late, but even so, it needs an MOT each year.  What I thought when I woke yesterday was, "It must be about now that V40's MOT is due, or (gulp) maybe it was even due last week, or (here's hoping)  maybe it's due next week ... ", and before I'd woken enough to check my V40 file, Dave texted me with a reminder. 

Lots of thing happen which are coincidences with rational explanations (Dave runs a business: he keeps a diary ...), but I still enjoy moments like this as surprises of connection.

I used to have lots of ideas about the mysteries of our connectedness to each other and the world, having grown up with parents who prayed about every detail of our lives.  At one time, I'd have thought Dave an answer to a prayer I may not even have prayed. 

I drove to work instead of going by train today because I had to go to the garage to pay my bill.  But if I'd gone by train I wouldn't have heard Finlandia on Classic FM on the A5 heading towards the Welsh border; I wouldn't have been reminded of the Finlandia Hymn - one of Sibelius' finest tunes.  It's a beautiful, calm melody coming towards the end of a piece representative of the struggles of Finnish nationalism. 

The words given to this tune - Be still my soul -  are familiar to me from childhood, and as I crossed into Wales, I felt a peace come to me and a sense that, whilst I no longer subscribe to the meaning of the words: to the fundamentalist and terrifying Christian doctrine of human sacrifice bringing atonement for my sins, I am nevertheless connected to this lovely music, to the memories of summer Sunday evenings spent in the sleepy light of that Highbury church, to my mother playing the organ, to the choir singing, to the wealth of music my childhood gave me, and which has the capacity to light up my life.

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