Put aside Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul once I had finished my coffee and rusks, and went outside at 6am. The faintly bitter smell of woodsmoke and mists all around amidst the oaks and low on the mountains. Autumn approaching, ‘the season of mellow fruitfulness’, as I say to myself at this time every year, even though the autumn, like spring, is gone in a blink here in Africa. Not a sound, the complaining rooster pacified and the woodpigeon taking a breather. A slow-rising sun burning its way up through layers of mauve and grey cloud.
Every now and again I realise – admit to myself? – how happy I am. Despite everything. Resting in Your divine love, the amazing reality, mystery, paradox. I read Chicago theologian and sometime mystic David Tracy and mumble ecstatically to myself as I wander around the garden looking at my sedums turning pink. Humming phrases from John of the Cross and the Song of Songs like improvised doggerel, the dogs looking at me in tolerant bewilderment.