Being of a certain age, when I hear the cuckoo, I am reminded of the song by Paul Simon:
April, come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain
May, she will stay
Resting in my arms again
June, she’ll change her tune
In restless walks, she’ll prowl the night
July, she will fly
And give no warning of her flight
August, die she must
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold
September, I’ll remember
A love once new has now grown old
(© 1965 Words and Music by Paul Simon).
This June, I was really pleased to see a cuckoo and its fledgling in our garden – the first time I have seen one – and we hear the cuckoo start to sing early in the morning and again in the early evening. It is such a wonderful reminder of the changing seasons and the beauty of the summer.
By the time you read this, we will have celebrated the longest day. Some of you will have been away on holiday and others planning for a British holiday this year.
We are so fortunate to live in a country with so many interesting places to visit, gardens to explore, beaches to do rock pooling, and hills and mountains to climb.
Also, by the time you read this, the interviews for the new Rector of Penshurst will have taken place. It is an exciting time as the four churches of St Mary the Virgin Chiddingstone, St Luke’s Chiddingstone Causeway, St Peter’s Fordcombe and St John the Baptist Penshurst have joined together to become one benefice and are looking forward to working together for the benefit of all our local communities.
July is also the month when many children finish one stage of education and prepare to move on to the next stage. It has been a difficult time for those students who have taken end of year assessments instead of the formal GCSEs and ‘A’ levels. It is my prayer that these students may now be able to take a good rest from their studies and enjoy the summer holidays.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 reminds us: ‘For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.’
Like the cycle of the cuckoo, there are seasons in our own lives, often dependent on our age, our work, or our family context. Whichever season you are in, may God bless you and keep you at this time.