On Sunday I led our Quaker Children's Meeting on the theme of 'Living Adventurously'. It was inspired by no 27 of the Advices & Queries:
Live adventurously. When choices arise, do you take the way that offers the fullest opportunity for the use of your gifts in the service of God and the community? Let your life speak. When decisions have to be made, are you ready to join with others in seeking clearness, asking for God’s guidance and offering counsel to one another?
We talked about adventures, adventurers and the qualities that might be required. We then played a game which involved plotting symbols on a compass, drawing a map, looking for blue birds in the trees, drawing mini beasts, taking bark rubbings and tying knots. Card cutouts for each task fitted neatly into coloured card backpacks, all designed and drawn by my younger daughter. The rain held off allowing the meeting to be held in the garden with plenty of scope for mini adventuring.
One of the aspects of Quakerism I find attractive is this notion of allowing one's life to speak. It's also quite a challenge.
On Monday I cleared my kitchen windowsill and planted some herbs. My daughter brought home an Ikea pack containing pots, soil, and basil, mint and parsley seeds in circular tissue mats. We potted them up, sprayed them with water and are checking daily for the first signs of green.
I've failed miserably on the gardening front this year. I blame the local elections which had me out leafleting and campaigning when I should have been digging and sowing. Although I've missed the boat for anything major I'm determined to grow some herbs, and perhaps a few salad leaves.
I attended a interview to become a volunteer for b.friend. This is an organisation that matches local people with refugees and asylum seekers to develop mutually rewarding relationships. Once matched I'll meet my befriendee once a week for a cuppa, or go for a walk, or to introduce her to the local library or to help her with English or ... the possibilities are endless.
Issues surrounding refugees have been headline news for some time now. I've been sympathetic to their plight but, apart from making the odd donation and signing the odd petition, I haven't personally done anything about it ... until now. It's a totally new experience and I'd be lying if I pretended I wasn't a bit apprehensive, but I'm sure it will be fine. I'd like to be able to make even one person feel at home in Bristol and I suspect that I will receive as much, if not more, that I can offer.
I'm back to where I started in this post - living adventurously! - although I'm sure that even my most daring adventure will pale into insignificance when compared with what most refugees have to go through.