In the religious world, the Muslim feast of Ramadan has begun. According to Islamic belief, Ramadan celebrates the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Mohamed. Possibly the most widely known observance of the celebration is fasting, although there are others. In popular culture, both Ramadan and Lent are seen as times of giving something up, yet both are about so much more. Both are spiritual disciplines that aim to gain something rather than lose.
As I type this I am fasting. Not because I have converted to Islam or because I delayed Lent, but because I have a blood test tomorrow (nothing serious). I like the idea of spiritual disciplines, of pilgrimage, of attrition. But just the idea. The actual hard work of the discipline I don’t find appealing. A little prayer, devotional reading and even spiritual journaling are all fine. Anything more is too close to flagellation for my comfort. It’s only been a few hours since I ate something but I am already thinking about cake. The irony is that I go at least six hours most days without eating anyway. I suppose, as they say, it is the thought that counts.
The main photo for this post was taken during a nice long walk yesterday. The views were stunning and the walk felt good. It felt like a nice gentle way to get some exercise and look after my body. Up and down hill after hill. Today though, I am not so sure. My legs are aching and I have realised that a walk every so often is not quite enough. It seems my exercise might require a little discipline.
The nettle is a useful plant. It has been used for many things. It can be used to make fibre and eaten for
The phrase ‘grasp the nettle’ feels apt for me at the moment. A little pain, a little discomfort… but the rewards should be worth it. I wonder how many nettles I need to grasp… or where are those gloves!
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