8.50 a.m. and for the past hour the village of Alvechurch has been steadily rousing itself to a great morning bustle!
An hour ago the morning chorus was being led by twittering and chirping birds, with the occasional "caw, caw, caw," and the gently soothing calling of doves, all of whom had been busily about their business since much earlier this morning.
Like the rising crescendo of a great symphony the sounds of the day have been added, layer upon layer, the background soft hum of distant traffic increasing to a more urgent roar, overlaid by the calls and chatter of the children and grown-up passers by. The path they travel lies just beyond the tiny stream that edges the lawns like a silver necklace, and is bordered by trees and bushes that create only visual semi-privacy.
The clock of the ancient St. Laurence Church, on the highest hill above the village, chimes nine over the steady drone of the recycling truck's engine. A few moments ago, bottles and cans poured into the back of the truck like a waterfall of glass and metal, with a great CRASH, punctuated by the hisssssss of the truck's pistons. The engine gears up to move farther away, the sounds of its load gathering more muffled and distant now.
From the flat upstairs a few bars of a lovely melody float down from someone's T.V. set and dissapointingly are interrupted by the voice of a newscaster. These days sound bites are kept short.
The chink of a spoon on Mum's breakfast cereal bowl beckons me inside!
Prayer: Dear Lord I lift my heart and voice to you this morning. All creation praises you. You hold the world in your hands. Every living soul is known by you and is precious to you but so many are unaware of you. Open ears, open eyes, open hearts O God.
Psalm 98:4, 7-9
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
Burst into jubilant song with music;
Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the mountains sing together for joy;
Let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world
And the peoples with equity.