I had to go to the city to pick up my turkey first thing this morning. Quite a shock to the system. I don't do long queues at the best of times. I certainly don't like angry shoppers ... and there were a few. A woman in front of me was angry when she couldn't find the place to pick up her order. She then discovered that she had mistyped her order and was handed a 'party selection' instead of a turkey. She was extremely annoyed though the staff were excellent and smoothed things out for her.
My son then told me about someone he had seen in another shop who had been furious because the newspaper they wanted wasn't available.
With these scenarios in my mind, I returned with turkey to my car. A car pulled up next to mine and a couple emerged - they were in the middle of a row. She went to the ticket machine, he pulled the buggy out of the boot and slammed it down. He then started to shout at the older child in the car. All this and they hadn't even ventured near the shops and the queues.
I was relieved to return to the parish and my visits. It is so beautiful in the glens. I walked past some geese and these highland cattle. It felt very much like I was now far from a madding crowd and was thankful for it. But, such balm for the soul isn't just to be found in the country. I used to live in a city and we had our own way of escaping then. Public parks were a great source of peace and sense of space.
Whether country or town there are often times when we need to 'get away from it all' and to re-establish our equilibrium and sense of peace.
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." - Mark 1:35