Early in the day, bleary eyed, we eat our croissants in company. Sip our tea, pass the jam, chat about our lives and get to know one another in the things temporal, the ups and downs of our daily lives.
Dipping lengths of wick into hot wax, the young people teach the even younger, or older, how to make candles. They experiment together, mixing colours, using multiple wicks, rolling the still warm candles in their hands, creating together.
Alongside them others make greeting cards that will carry their thoughts to prisoners of conscience around the world. Perhaps, some one among us may do more than this, may go to one of the world’s troubled places and stand alongside the people there.
Still others are making decorations from last year’s cards. Cutting, stapling, smothering the results with glitter and glue. One or two are sitting quietly, looking, really looking, at the twigs and evergreen leaves, maybe drawing what they see.
Then there’s a flurry of activity as we all clear away. The room is transformed; the produce of the morning is in the middle and the chairs in a circle. We all settle in our seats and fall quiet. We go round the circle hearing briefly from each person and then settle into silence. Now we may be aware that we share something else too, not just our food, our daily concerns, our learning and our doing. Beneath and beyond and within all that, there is something more, that connects us and goes beyond us, and, if we listen, may lead us on to …
Stephanie Grant, November 2008