You can read the full transcript of the reflection below.
I wrote this poem myself, walking in northern Spain a few years ago when I walked to Santiago de Compostela, and I woke up one morning and saw in the sky this perfect grid of clouds, only they weren't clouds, they were the sort of jet streams of planes that were crisscrossing each other. And they reminded me of those paintings by the Dutch painter - I think it's Dutch painter, Mondrian, who played painted these abstract paintings, and so the poem was born.
But the poem expresses a hope that we might find better ways of inhabiting the earth, a more sustainable way of living with the planet. Because the great challenge of our time is the environmental crisis that we're part of and the great hope is that we might become stewards of the earth.
So here's the poem.
"If Mondrian did clouds, they'd look like this: a perfect grid receding to the west, like Uccello revelling in perspective, those bright oranges almost ready to pick. But they are not clouds: and we did make them. Like my shadow moving across the land as the sun strikes me, these two are what we leave behind by traveling fast. And though they look beautiful they leave a mark that stains. Why, even the sky is at risk. And now, dissecting them, some other lines: it is our voices, also moving fast, and the rapid pulse of all the other energy we need to travel at the speed we crave."
My hope for 2021 is that we might slow down to God's pace, that we might become stewards of the earth, that we might find a different way of living sustainably with each other and with our planet.
Please send in to me your hopes and your prayers for the earth that we might together make a better more sustainable future.
Anyone who wishes a prayer to be said for themselves or others, can send this in to Bishopthorpe Palace, where the Archbishop will pray, with support from The Order of the Holy Paraclete at Whitby.
If you would like to send in a prayer request, please complete the online request here. You can also email: [email protected] putting ‘Prayer request’ in the subject line.
If you would like to write your request for prayer, please post to: Prayers, Office of the Archbishop of York, Bishopthorpe Palace, Bishopthorpe, York YO23 2GE.
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