Prayer for Liverpool
In the iconic Disney film ‘Bambi’, there is a lovely section of the film set in the spring when, according to the wise old owl, ‘nearly everybody gets twitterpated’. Bambi and Thumper, his young rabbit friend, are adamant that they won’t get twitterpated: “It’s not going to happen to me’, they say. Well, of course, little did they know….but I don’t want to spoil what happens next. You’ll have to watch, or re-watch, the film to find out!
For us humans, it’s a very strange spring indeed and becoming ‘twitterpated’ is probably pretty far off our radar. But on my daily exercise recently, as allowed by the current ‘lockdown’ rules, I was reminded that, for all our woes, the rest of creation carries on regardless, doing what it normally does at this time of year. Around us, there is a lot of ‘twitterpation’ going on!
I am fortunate to live within a short walk of the delightful St. James’ Gardens, adjacent to the Cathedral. I had already been trying to make a point of a short walk around it as many mornings as possible (let’s face it, I need the exercise!). But the current stringencies have persuaded me that I need to make a brisk walk each day a key priority of my daily routine. And what a blessing it has been.
Admittedly the fine weather of recent days has been a great help, but it has been a profoundly enriching experience to wander round that little bit of parkland in the heart of this large and normally buzzing city, and see nature in all its glory. The spring flowers are looking lovely in the morning sunshine: daffodils, primroses, hyacinths and violets. The buds on some of the trees are starting to swell. Grey squirrels are scampering around the trees. Even the odd butterfly has been venturing out into the early spring sunshine. And there are lots and lots of birds. I counted, on one half-hour walk, no fewer than 17 different species. There were robins singing away to each other – it sounds beautiful, but what it really means is ‘keep off my patch’. Long-tailed tits diving into a bramble bush with beaks full of feathers, lichens, moss and spider-silk to make their incredible Easter-egg shaped nests, that will soon be packed with a mind-boggling number of tiny youngsters. A redwing (a type of thrush) filling its boots with juicy worms before heading off to northern climes to breed, and a chiffchaff (a kind of warbler) that, unsurprisingly has a song that goes ‘chiff chaff’. It will probably have just arrived here and will be getting ready to find a mate and camp out for the summer. I was halted in my tracks simply to stop and watch and listen. Which is all the more easy when there is rather less traffic zooming along the neighbouring streets.
It struck me so powerfully that we have such treasures on our doorsteps, and yet I am often in too much of a rush to take them in. Yes, I am a bit of a wildlife nerd, but it’s helping me to get through this time of confinement. Maybe it might help you too? There is something quite cathartic about getting outdoors especially as the days grow longer. And if it helps us to take a bit more interest in our environment that surely should be a good thing? You don’t have to know all the names of the birds to enjoy it, but maybe it would be an opportunity to learn about some of them. Perhaps, too, it might take us a bit closer to the Creator of the world – the One who formed the earth and ‘every living creature that moves’. Not without good reason did the Psalmist declare (Psalm 19:1), “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork”. Admittedly, he didn’t talk about getting twitterpated, but the sentiment is surely there….?
So, if you’re not confined to barracks because of self-isolation or ill-health, and are able to get outside for a wee while for your daily exercise, keep your eyes open to see what the rest of nature is up to. The fact that all of this is moving on apace, apparently oblivious to the woes of humanity at this moment, is something that I find strangely re-assuring.
supporting you during these uncertain times
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter. Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God