Friday, 7 March 2014

Many there are who say of my soul, "There is no help for him in God." Selah.
But you, Yahweh, are a shield around me, my glory, the one who lifts up my head.
Psalm 3:2-3

Awoke to grey wet skies, but sunshine was forecast, so we trusted that the sun would shine and headed off towards Ludlow.  Last year I discovered the tomato sauce sold by the Ludlow Food Centre - it tastes of tomatoes :)  The plan was to make some more...

Before we left town, the leaded greyness was interspersed with pale blue highlights.  We took a detour to the viewing point at Clee Hill, and were rewarded with a wonderful spread of sky and land.  The Malverns brooding over Herefordshire, like a reluctant teacher watching over unruly charges.

Then we hit a snag. We couldn't remember where the car park was...Fortunately we remembered it was near the Library. An obliging local pointed us in the right direction. As you approach Ludlow the town appears to be dominated by two buildings - the parish church with splendid tower and the castle.  The church is visible for miles around, yet once you are in the town it is largely hidden behind other buildings. You get glimpses of it peering over the shoulders of the buildings around it and accessed down narrow alley ways. Easily ignored by the townsfolk as they go about their daily business.  The castle ruins lie behind rugged walls at one end of the town. Groups of school children clustered around park benches outside the castle walls, eating lunches out of identical lunch bags, enjoying the unexpected sunshine.  The castle walls tower over the river valley, but do not have the same air of domination from the town, perhaps the gardens make the perimeter walls feel too tame, as if their existence was merely a back drop for the horticultural borders.

Two buildings, rich with history of pain and suffering, yet their purpose is to protect and shield.  Have the gift shops they contain been their achilies heal, that weakened their resolve, or do they help provide the support for these ancient relicts? What about myself?  What crumbling walls and hidden towers do I rely on?