Cornwall Cogitation E-F

Post 10/2022 Saturday 5 March . . . There’s only one real topic these days–the conflict in Ukraine, where Russia’s president has unleashed a full scale attack on a modern democratic nation. The aggressor’s tactics belong to an outdated past, not the 21st century. It’s an affront to civilized society, a society that calls for respect and care of all peoples, respect and care of creation, respect and care in resolving conflicts, everlasting respect, care and humility in place of hubris.

Am I being unrealistic? In a way, yes. Though not in terms of commending the wide-ranging humanitarian support for the people of Ukraine (the bereaved, the separated, the displaced, those on the front lines, the worldwide diaspora). Not in terms of appreciation for the breadth of political leaders exacting severe sanctions on those commanding the violence, for prayers, for music, for reliable media news and information sources, for the vibrant blue of sky and yellow of wheat coursing in the Ukrainian flag. These are markers of those who belong to the real world, a world severely suffering in needless conflagration, yet prevailing.

Inching on A-F

I’ve decided to put the alphabetical letters in the title to use for more than tracking our weeks in Cornwall. So, I backtrack to the first blog, three weeks ago. Each week I’m using one selection from The Penguin Dictionary of British Natural History, by Richard Fitter (1967), and one from whatever comes to mind.

A: “Alfalfa. American name for lucerne.” The definition for lucerne in my Mini Edition of Collins English Dictionary: “fodder plant like clover, alfalfa.” O.K., that’s that, food for cattle, if not for thought.

B: Bespoke. That’s an English term for something made to a customers specifications. Ages ago, in my teen years, I got a suit tailored to order–bespoke. Lovely fit. It lasted for a long time.

C: Celsius. Specifies the temperature scale where water freezes at O and boils at 100 degrees. Will the USA ever adopt it and the metric system? Don’t hold your breath.

D: “Daffodil or Lent Lily . . . Two native species: Wild Daffodil . . . locally frequent in damp meadows in England and Wales: and Tenby Daffodil, confined to West Wales.” Ah, those wonderfully true color yellow trumpet shaped flowers. Love em in the wild and cultivated fields and gardens.

E:Eyrie. The nest of an eagle or a peregrine, usually placed on a more or less inaccessible rock ledge.”

F: Friends. A circle of people whom one knows well and likes, supportive, not bound by a formal contract.

There we are, a definition from natural history and another of random or whimsical selection.

Photos of week EF

Primrose cluster in a drystone hedge.
Shrove Tuesday in the United Benefice of Carbis Bay and Lelant included a Beetle Drive progressive chairs game that included supper. The Beetle game involved tossing a dice to get a number that allowed a team of two to draw a beetle’s body, head, and then 11 other body parts, stopping only when one team shouts its completed “Beetle!”
The two-mile route from Truro to Malpas includes a picturesque, though slightly scary, stretch among towering pines next to the Truro River. We took the train to Truro and walked to the Heron Inn at Malpas for lunch. A favorite destination, of course. Nine and a half miles on foot that day, though certainly not in one go.
These gulls patiently watched us from outside the window of a café where we enjoyed the view of St Ives and the Atlantic beyond, flat white coffees and split a croissant. Sorry chaps, no crumbs.

Today, 5 March, is St Piran Day, one of the patron saints of Cornwall. The day is being marked by parades in various urban areas, talks concerning diversity and identity and what it means to be Cornish, family workshops and performances.

I quote a stanza from a hymn we sang last Sunday at St Anta and All Saints:

Inspired by love and anger,

disturbed by endless pain,

aware of God’s own bias,

we ask him once again:

How long must some folk suffer?

How long can few folk mind?

How long dare vain self-int’rest

turn prayer and pity blind?

John L Bell and Graham Maule 1987, 1997

May hostilities cease, anxiety diminish, recovery ensue, peace prevail.


One thought on “Cornwall Cogitation E-F

  1. Hello John,

    Looks like you have settled in nicely at your Cornwall winter retreat. Thanks for your prayers for peace!


    May the God of Wonder be with you, delighting you with the beauty of sunrise and the majesty of sunset, with the song of the bird and the fragrance of the flower. —Maxine Shonk, OP



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