Happy Easter everyone! I hope you all have a lovely day, whether you celebrate it or not.
This morning I got along to church, dressed very appropriately in my unicorn slippers and Les Mis jumper – you can’t make it out on this photo but it says ‘Javert has 24601 problems and Jean Valjean is all of them’. Cuthbert came along too (although not with a matching outfit – I don’t think they do his size!)
It was a lovely service, and once we got home, I watched the end of the Miracle Maker – I saw up until the death of Jesus on Friday, and the resurrection appearances today, in another example of my liturgical pedantry.
After that, I watched the Railway Children. Jenny Agutter is one of my favourite people, and everytime I watch this film I see something new about it. If you haven’t already seen it, stop reading this and go and remedy that (the 70s version with Jenny Agutter as Bobbie). When I was younger, I remember my mum coming home from a Good Friday service she’d been leading, switching on the TV and the Railway Children was on. The line ‘very wonderful and beautiful things do happen, don’t they?‘ had her in floods, so much so that when my brother was commissioned to get the tissues, he got a towel instead. ‘Daddy, my daddy’ also always gets me – that scene is just so simple and so beautiful, and it’s all the more powerful for that.
This time though, the part that particular got me was in between those two, when Bobbie/Jenny Agutter is feeling a bit off and needs some fresh air. She tells her mother ‘I’d be more alive in the garden’ and then goes outside. This has never really struck me before – I think before I’ve been so hyper aware of what happens next (spoiler: her father comes back) that I’ve just not noticed this line. But gardens are so important in the Bible, from Eden to Gethsemane. In my favourite of the Gospel resurrection accounts, Mary Magdalene sees the resurrected Christ and, not recognising him, assumes him to be the gardener. There’s such a resonance here – it is the garden that gives us life, that restores us and that resurrects us. Gradually COVID restrictions are being lifted and I know for a lot of us it is that open air, the freshness of being outdoors, that we’ve been craving – I hadn’t realised how much until today, to be honest, when I was waiting outside the church. A few years ago, my dad preached a sermon in which he referred to a Joni Mitchell song, and I think that is a very appropriate lyric and a good point at which to end (it’s from the song Woodstock)
We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
Happy Easter, everyone!