I had been feeling sad about missing the sunrise service this year. Last year I was at Carisbrooke Castle and shared the service with friends and strangers and was welcomed back for a hot cross bun at the parish hall by one of my former Waterbabies. Other years we have cycled out to Gurnard to share a fire on the beach, or driven to East Cowes where they cooked us bacon sandwiches on a little stove in the back of a car, and before they closed down we used to go to Shanklin beach and share in bacon sandwiches at the little convent up the hill -it was worth the steep cliffside walk. This year there was nothing.
I woke up early and discovered that Radio 4 had a dawn service that started at 6.35, I popped my headphones in,abandoned plans to write my Covid 19 journal and headed outside with a candle and coffee. This sitting in the cold, this sipping a drink in my pyjamas and a blanket, this looking at the candle not blowing out, this fresh start somehow seemed just right; an unexpedted moment with God where my planned ones had all failed.
Then I switched to the delights of Kate Bottley on Radio 2 and got on with the roast dinner prep. Martin briefly interrupted my peace in a tea making mission but soon retreated back to bed, leaving me with my parboiling spuds. I switched back to radio 4 for the morning service and contnued with my culinary pootling.
Breakfast was timetabled for 9.30 so Martin could begin his epic preparation for virtual church at 10. We usually have a dispaly of abundance on the table and mantelpiece ready for Easter Sunday morning with fruit, sweets and chocolate in abundance, this year was still a delight but definitely more subdued.
We still managed a great breakfast of hot cross bun french toast and fruit and some of our rapidly diminishing stock of yoghurt.
Then getting myself ready for virtual church.
These images make the whole thing look much more peaceful than it was. For the last 3 weeks while Martin has been spending ridiculous numbers of hours getting things working for virtual church, and Jonathan is doing fancy things that I don’t understand on discord that allow him to watch with some of his friends, I haven’t been able to sucessfully maintain a connection. Last week I ended up repeadedly swearing at my computer, which I am sure is not the response attending church is supposed to elict! This week I was using Martin’s laptop – we won’t talk about the fact that in the week I spilt a whole cup of tea over my laptop and it made a very intersting pftzz noise and died – and was hopeful that things would improve.
I managed the whole of the pre-service screen with the music from the wonderful and generous Paul Bell. He has let us use his music in our live streaming. Check him out! I love the sentiment in Be Beautiful and Brave, “every act of kindness sees the world change” – it was the one that stuck out to me this morning before my frustration spoiled my mood.
I managed to get through our prerecorded video greeting – aiming to bring a little bit of Anglicanism to Church on the Roundabout, I managed to get through most of the prerecord of us singing Thine Be The Glory and then my feed started cutting out again, missed the Easter greetings and most of everything else until the sermon. Very, very frustrated. I linked in to Martin’s computer with headphones but couldn’t see the comments or make my own so felt very disconnected to people, and connection is what I am looking for from this. I’d already had great input over the weekend, I just wanted connection to my church out of this. I may have got pretty upset by this. I think I need to change my expectations about this and give up on our live stream for now. I have learned that my emotions are often very governed by my expectations if I change these then I will be happier. This is like the time I used to get frustrated by Rebekah crying during the Woman’s Hour drama when she was a baby, I stopped listening to Woman’s Hour and was much happier.
The rest of the day was lovely, we had a great lunch, played games, ate pudding in the garden and watched the final episode of Picard which seemed to have exceptionally good content for Easter Sunday.
I missed our usual Easter Sunday rituals but we still had a celebratory and joy filled day; I found some moments of peace and reflection and the food was fabulous.