Dear Friends – Easter 2024

Dear Friends,

Easter Greetings to you all!

Last year, one of our neighbours was clearing ivy from their shed roof and fence and
needed access to our garden to finish the job. When they came, they noticed a tree
on our side pressing against the fence. After further inspection and advice, tree
surgeons came last week to cut a main limb from that tree and another further along
the fence, and remove a large clump of ivy and some overhanging branches from a
third. That in turn inspired me to take out the ivy from the ground below the trees and
from a smaller tree nearer the lawn.

The combined work has made a huge difference to the amount of light in the garden.
The lawn, which used to be in solid shade from midday onwards, now has dappled
light in the afternoon, and the beds below the trees are in full sun, especially now
before the leaves have come out. I am thinking about what to plant there that might
add a splash of colour.

It’s the right time of year to do this. Over the winter, ivy berries are an important food
source for the wild birds; any time now, the birds will start nesting and need to be
undisturbed. It also meant that it took place in Lent, a time of stripping back some of
the comforts and distractions of life, so that we can see more clearly the light of God.
And now, as I write, we are about to enter Holy Week, walking towards Good Friday
and the cross. The tree surgeons had warned us that sometimes, ivy gets so deeply
embedded in the tree bark that it cannot be removed without killing the tree. Jesus,
embedded in our human lives, took the evil of the world upon himself, and gave his
life for us.

By the time you read this, though, we will have celebrated Easter and be well on the
way to Pentecost, which falls this year on May 19 th . The light of God is revealed in a
whole new way; the Spirit comes to revitalise tired disciples; and there is new life,
new hope and new possibilities of growth for us all.

May you know the blessings of the season,