Thought for the Week
It was a small walled garden in Balloch Country Park, and it was filled with the most glorious Acer trees. The entire area was a red carpet of fallen leaves. We sat on an inviting bench and the gentle breeze filled the surrounding area with crimson leaves. I watched as they were held suspended on the breath of an autumnal morning before they fell graciously to join the others on the ground below. Red leaves whispered a memory of fallen leaves and fallen men. On Sunday night we will watch, once again, on our TV screens, the service of Remembrance. The red poppies will fall onto heads and hats and no one will move, for fear of invading that moment of intimacy. No one will move because it is too poignant for words, too painful for stories, too deep even for remembering. The poppies will fall 100 years after that war which was supposed to be ‘the war to end all wars’. Sadly there have been many wars since that awful conflict and still we hope and pray for peace. ‘Come with me to a quiet place,’ Jesus said. This walled garden was a quiet place, a place of peace, a place of comfort, a place of hope. Crimson leaves fell. Young men fell. Our hopes fell. Yet in this garden there are signs of new life. Buds will appear again, shoots will forge their way through hard earth, and the cycle of life will renew our hearts and our hopes once again. So as the poppies fall, let us go forward in hope and let us honour every single poppy with a commitment to strive for peace and to turn aside from war.