The neighbour could have taken exception to my comment, of course, but we are friendly enough for him to know that it was spoken in good humour.
“These people who shatter the peace and quiet of a warm Sunday afternoon to cut their grass ...”
In fact, I myself was the one who started it, and a couple of others in the nearby houses followed suit.
Although I don’t engage in such a pursuit too often on what I have grown up to accept as ‘the Lord’s Day’, there are occasions when there seems to be no alternative.
Cloudy, damp weather and the lawns don’t dry out enough for me to do the job. Or a busy weekday routine does not allow a lot of time to keep the garden in trim.
Approach to Sunday has changed so much in recent decades. Lack of interest in church attendance gives a high percentage of the population more opportunity for leisure activities: football, archery, stoolball in their seasons; supermarket shopping; taking the motorbike out for a spin ...
I have lived on the edge of town for a long while now, but I was actually born in the country. My father sold the farm, with several acres of land, for just £1,200 at the end of the 1940s.
If we had stayed there, it is quite probable that my brother and I would be looking after the cows, sheep, hens and ducks, as so many generations of our relatives did in the past. Every day, including Sunday, much the same as every other. Probably enough at present for me, then, to tend the little patch I have at back and front of house.
Which brings us to harvest festivals, which are, in many cases, fading into obscurity. Rather sad, when we come to realise how reliant we are on the favour of God, our Creator, to supply all we need each day to survive.
There have been famines and droughts, frequently disastrous, over the centuries, around the world, but still we are able to affirm, as did the Old Testament writer: ‘The eyes of all look to you, Lord, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing’ (Psalm 145, 15 and 16).
P.S. Have you seen the posters announcing ‘A Cake for Eastbourne’? Another of the Mayor’s initiatives in support of his chosen charities this year. Look out the further information!