I am exhausted. Today though, three things gave me great cause for cheer: a Magnolia tree in bloom, chocolate, and cake. It was a Friday during in Lent, so this post is going to squeeze itself into my 'Simple Suppers in Lent' section even if it is not quite a perfect fit.
This morning the alarm woke me up. That rarely happens. I am normally awake and thinking about the day before I hear the chirrups of a pre-recorded bird song wittering from my phone on the other side of the room. At first, I did not recognise the sound. A minute later the radio started, the shipping forecast. I never move before 'Malin Head'. Eventually, I put on comfy Friday clothes and did my best to make myself presentable, picked up my books and reluctantly headed for the car. To be honest, I was not feeling very motivated. So, it wasn't until I was on the M40 that I noticed how light it was. It was beautiful, stunning in fact. The whole landscape lit a beautiful soft pink, the clouds gently bobbing across the sky. As I turned my car into the driveway of school at 7.20am the dawn sunlight was streaming into the grounds. It was then I saw it - the thing that would energise my day: a magnolia tree just beginning to bud and blossom. I stopped the car, got out and walked up to it, touched it, loved it and felt it revitalise me. I found a morning prayer for my form about the beauty of creation and told them what I had seen. They shared their stories about the signs of spring and new life: blossom on the fruit trees, sunny patches of daffodils, tulips and crocuses. Two of the form had magnolia trees in their gardens at home. One girl said her Ma thinks their magnolia is the best in the neighbourhood - she spends this time of year checking the competition to make sure there are no near contenders! We all agreed we were waiting to see spring lambs jump. No one had yet - I wonder how long it will be?
Everything went well during the day. In the dining room at lunch there was fish and chips, and as usual I went down and sat with staff and students to chat and catch up on the news. I forgot how sleepy I had been. Getting petrol on the journey home, however, my card was declined. I have no idea why. I was worried, and came straight in to check the situation. I climbed into bed, opened my computer, reassured myself it was an accident and then fell fast asleep. I woke up with none of the early evening jobs done: no washing up sorted, bathroom cleaned, laundry on or dinner cooked. It was Friday though. A Friday during Lent. The one holy thing I had intended to do - go to the Stations of the Cross - I had napped through (again!), but that couldn't be helped now. I filled the kitchen sink, started the dishes and then cleaned the bathroom. I hung up the clothes littered around the floor of my room, changed the linen on the bed and put the washing on. I was tired, and I still had not had supper. There was only one thing for it - a simple supper in Lent: Hot Chocolate and Cake (Date and Walnut). I'd give you the recipe, but I bought the cake in the supermarket, and the hot chocolate was Cadbury's. It makes a simple supper because you don't have to cook, and it is Lenten because you fast from the main course, and because it was this morning I noticed that the world is waiting....waiting to give us new life. Creative thinking for sleepy people, see?