AS I write this it is pouring with rain, so to cheer myself up, I imagine a warm sunny day.

I am going for a walk in a wood. I am walking briskly and making a bit of noise; my breathing is heavy and with each step twigs snap and leaves crunch. I seem to be in a hurry.

I don’t think there is much wildlife in this wood, there is nothing apart from me and the noises I make and my own preoccupations. At least I don’t notice anything else.

But then I stop, my breathing quietens and I stay very still.

Now I can hear all sorts of sounds that I hadn’t noticed before: a trickle of water, the movement of a small animal, birds singing.

It seems the world around me is full of life and movement and sound and beauty. I should stop more often.

I wonder if I sometimes experience something which is more than nature in a similar way.

I stop the rushing and the noise (both real and inside my head) and there, underneath everything that fills my day-to-day existence, there is a presence, a life, a beauty.

And that presence is full of love. That presence is love.

Because we have language we want to give things names and I feel I should name this presence. The word God seems to fit, so that is what I will use.


The Rev John Dixon

Vicar of Hawkshead, Sawrey, Rusland and Satterthwaite