It was reading a tweet from someone who is facing a big change that made something click in my head. The tweet referred to daily routines, and what will and won’t be different Before and After.
A number of people (me included) think I’m slightly barking mad at the moment. Because I have a choice about when to say Morning Prayer. I can say it at 7am, before the school run begins, or I can say it at about 9.30am, when I’m back and recovered slightly. I am not a morning person. I have to have an established unwavering routine, which requires minimal thought, and preferably no variation on a week day.
I have, of my own volition, gone for the 7am option. I find it is often a rush, and I tend to fall out of the rectory door as the church clock strikes (which it does a couple of moments before 7am – you can have the hands right or the chime, but not both, and more people can hear the clock than can see it). While it’s cold, I am putting my much loved clerical cloak to good use, and wearing it each morning. By the time I am walking up the church path, I have fallen into the rhythm and routine. I can’t help but notice the beauty around me in the graveyard and in the church building. Once I have put the light on, sat in my stall and sorted the readings, my breathing is slowed, and I am calm.
I’ve been saying Morning Prayer for a few years now, and so the old routine sticks. Now that I am on my own, instead of in company, I am grateful for the pause I have always timed by recalling each person I trained with – there is consistency between the old and the new. More than that, I am reminded that I am praying across geographical boundaries, with hundreds of other people.
As I face so many new things, and learn (I hope) so many new names, and find my way to so many different places. a little familiarity is worth having. And Morning Prayer, early, serene and quiet, gives me that place from which to face the world.
*Those who are sharp eyed will spot it is not a morning photograph – I keep meaning to take some, but it hasn’t happened yet.