Church of England Diocese of Leicester Burbage with Aston Flamville

Thought for the day - Monday 11th May

11 May 2020, 10:45 a.m.

Thoughts for Today

From the real world, sublime and challenging

Rio de Janeiro 1 – and the Sugar Loaf Mountain – Sweet….

Salvador gave us a first taste of Brazil in all its diversity. After a three day sailing we arrived at dawn in the Guanabara Bay of Rio de Janeiro. It was the Portugese explorers who named the place ‘River of January’ as it was discovered on 1st January 1502.

The extraordinary statue of Christ the Redeemer appeared out of the clouds and said ‘Hello and Welcome!’ The granite and quartz Sugarloaf mountain beckoned us from a height of 1290 feet. Two cable car rides took us first up Urca Hill (now connected to the mainland by reclamation) followed by the three minute last leg in the bubble car to the summit of Sugarloaf. The photo shows this last leg.

Sugarloaf? The name emanates from Rio, and there are many mountains around the world so named. The 17th century practice of transporting refined sugar by ship in clay conical moulds resembled a ‘Sugarloaf’. As we looked over to the ‘loaf’ we were greeted with the sign ‘Where brands meet people’. At our destination we also shared the ‘loaf’ with the Marmoset monkeys.

The slogan had me thinking of where advertising leads us? I was looking for soft brown sugar the other day, along with flour of any sort. Every time I see sugar now I think of the ‘loaf’. The essentials of life have taken on a new significance in recent times. Brands have taken a back seat. I left the supermarket empty-handed and sugar-free on that occasion! I have since sorted it out with patience. We are so used to immediate supply of so many commodities. The history of sugar supply is ancient, a rare commodity and it was transported many miles before sugar beet factories came about in Britain.

I used to take in the aroma of the British Sugar factory in Newark-on-Trent when I was a young man ‘on the beat’ there.

We human beings enjoy sweet things, but of course nothing in excess.The prophet Jeremiah mentions sugar cane in the Lord’s words “What use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land?” (Jeremiah 6:20)

We remember what gives us sweetness. Very often it is words of encouragement, affirmation and forgiveness. These may be from family, friends or strangers, through whatever platform of communication - enriching sweetening and transforming us.

Thank you Rio for your insights from the ‘loaf’…as the sweet words from Proverbs (16:24) inform us “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body”.

Rio 2 next time from Christ the Redeemer…..

…….Blessings! Edward and Jane