|I took this picture on my way home - by then it was a bright wintry morning.|
Well, that was different... The first time I've ever had to climb a tree to get to Mass. The nearest Catholic Church to where I live is about half an hour's walk away across the river and along the side of parkland. I set off for the dawn Mass - leaving while it was still dark, with a bright half Moon and Jupiter as the Morning Star. The light and birdsong grew stronger as I walked... All very beautiful, but I'd forgotten about the damage caused by the recent storms in this part of the country. I picked my way through fallen branches without too much trouble, but then found the path completely blocked by a huge fallen tree (with official red and white tape in case anyone was stupid enough to try to get through). There was no other way - high fences on both sides - and the tree was big enough to need climbing even while lying on its side, so...
I remember being told in confirmation classes about Purgatory (not that it was called that in the C of E, but looking back I'm sure that was the idea) with the example that, if you got yourself dirty on the way to church you'd surely want to clean yourself up before going in. Well, I arrived at Mass covered in mud, bark and lichen. It was, after all, the Mass of the Shepherds and I expect they weren't exactly tidy when they arrived in Bethlehem.
A blessed Christmas to all!