Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
Over the weekend we had the first frosts of autumn; a sure sign that winter is on its way. The garden is now starting on its winter slumber. Even Rosa 'Madame A. Meilland’, whom I mentioned back in May, though still flowering will soon put away her bright golden dress for another year. The winter jasmine, however, burst into bloom earlier in the week. It will be with us to brighten up the garden for a while yet. In the main though, the garden will remain in a state of dormancy until spring arrives once more. But there is hope for the future as the early bulbs have already been planted and the garden brochures will soon drop through the letter box offering the latest exciting new plants or shrubs. (Is there room for just one more rose bush?)
The flowers and shrubs have put on a good show this year and it would be tempting to say, I too have done my bit this year. I have given to charity, I have visited a sick neighbour and attended the funeral of an old friend, now is the time for me to have a rest. But that cannot be for we need to keep our focus on what is really important; waiting for the second coming of Christ.
In amongst all the distractions that life throws at us – and at this time of year there are plenty of those - we need to be prepared TODAY for as St Paul said:
"Brothers and sisters ... the moment is here for you to stop sleeping and wake up, because by now our salvation is nearer than when we first began to believe. The night is nearly over, daylight is on the way; so let us throw off everything that belongs to the darkness and equip ourselves for the light" (Romans 13:11-12).
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years