Forest Church

November Forest Church

There was a wind blowing through the Crichton today. The fallen leaves were rustling, dried by a sunny day and drifting around the contours of the grass.

Our attention was drawn to a dandelion, a last bloom of yellow on the green looking up at the yellow on the blue. There was a rhododendron in bloom as well. We explored the sounds, sights, smells, and textures of the area. With the taste of winter in the wind.

The whole area was buzzing with life, with several events taking place over the weekend. Dog walkers, concert goers and children playing in the leaves. I wondered what patterns are there waiting to be discovered, and what ones do we make ourselves. Or is the process of making a visible pattern an act of recognising, becoming aware of, an unseen reality which reveals and forms itself in and through the process of becoming? Like leaves settling on a landscape in the wind, held by the contours of earth and air pressure.

Sometimes instinct draws us to run through the pile of leaves and enjoy the sensation as they scatter. Sometimes we catch a glimpse of something which leads us to wonder about a deeper meaning. It could be patterns in leaves, or texture in bark, or the particular light cast by a winter sun illuminating that particular moment.

Today we made it to the central cafe before it closed. It too was bustling and as we sat and folded paper angels we continued to chat on the veranda watching the sun set behind a one tonne willow bull. This is Kelton the belted galloway, a woven sculpture wandering around Dumfries and Galloway.

Another work of art has found its resting place at the Crichton. This is a life Totem which has travelled over the sea for COP26. It has become a focus for meaning, discussions and hopefully inspired insight on how to respond to climate change. It is now returning to the earth. This is a planned letting go of the artwork. The material will decompose and return to the soil it came from. This contrasts with the ways in which cultures that obsess with preserving works of art can loose the spiritual significance of it.

Those for whom power is found in this world, fight to retain it. Jesus however has confidence that all who belong to the truth will listen to his voice. Can you hear it in the wind?

The next Quartz Forest Church will be on Sunday December the 19th.

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