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Appreciation, Hope and Love

By Canon Cate Edmonds

When I was a young child, I suffered a lot from ear ache. To get me to sleep after my prayers my mother would sing to me or recite poetry. One of my favourites then was Daffodils by William Wordsworth. I loved daffodils and the imagery this poem drew for me was relaxing and enabled me to ignore the discomfort and fall asleep. So, Wordsworth’s poems and talk of Wordsworth make me feel nostalgic. As I was driving a few days ago I caught something on the radio, I can’t remember the context but the presenter quoted one of the poet Wordsworth’s philosophical sayings: “appreciation, hope and love,” which have resonated since then with me.

Appreciation – do we really appreciate all that we have? We quite often take things so much for granted and it’s only when we are deprived of them that we take notice. When some of our basic necessities are limited, like water for our hosepipes or even when our freedom is curtailed as during the pandemic, do we stop and think and appreciate what we have had? Appreciation of God’s creation around us goes without saying but how are we supporting it as well as appreciating it’s wonder?

I hope and pray that we are doing all we can to look after our environment. Hope is so important in our lives, without hope that hope we receive through our faith, enables us to cope with the ups and downs of life.

What did the disciples hope for as they left that mountain top as Jesus ascended back to his father? Their hope was something to strengthen them and give them a future and an understanding of Jesus’ words. That hope was fulfilled and came to pass in that upper room as the Holy Spirit descended on them with a rushing wind and tongues of flame.

The disciples hope and ours we receive through the love of God, brought to us by the birth, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Love which we are given to share in as many different ways as possible, responding to Christ’s commandment. Love which is never ending and is constantly available for us all, the amazing unconditional love of God.

Thinking of daffodils as a child was a comfort then and even now, I do appreciate them, particularly when I see hosts of them. As they appear in spring, they bring hope of the year to come. As they grow perennially, they give me hope for the future. I love to see them trumpeting their beauty and making such enjoyable gifts of love to people. Wordsworth’s quote has given me a pause for thought which I appreciate, it inspires me with hope and reinforces our need to love and be loved.

“And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”