Monday, October 12, 2009

TO THE CAPE October 11th, 2009

Waking up this morning was different. Oh, the routine was the same. One dog bouncing up and down, eager to be let out; another sitting bolt upright, staring expectantly. And a cat pacing up and down, noisily announcing that morning had come. But this was Sunday morning, and six-fifty-five. No church services to preside over, no masses, no sermons – nothing, except feed the animals and load the final things into the car for my drive to Cape Cod.

Last evening I had a sobering thought, and it was one that I must take great care not to let happen too often. It was this: This is my first Sunday “off” since Christmas 2008, and that simply won’t do. For health of body, mind and soul I am supposed to relax on five Sundays a year, but the paucity of many supply clergy, and the unavailability of my friend and colleague John, has meant that this year it has been me, followed by me, me and me. This is nothing to be proud of. Has it taken its toll? If it has it is not a serious one, but next year I must take steps to rectify this unhappy situation. After all, as the one who visits and offers pastoral care to stressed-out clergy, I must be the last one to fall into such a trench, if at all!

I’m writing this (at least in note form) on the MV Susan Ann, having just passed through the turbulent currents of Plum Gut and the eastern shores of the island. The sunshine is dazzling on the slightly choppy Sound; the horizon is so clear I feel as if I could reach out and touch it, and perhaps most important of all, the coffee is good. In an hour’s time I should be in New London and back on the road. There’s no rush, but I hope to on the Cape by two-thirty, and in Truro an hour after that. I cannot imagine a better day to be traveling…

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