After mass I go to Benediction at 5pm and stay for two hours. Father Robert is doing an exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all night.
I am strangely happy during the meditation. Mindfulness is fine as it goes. The breathing and concentrating on it focuses the mind on the present, but if the Rosary is added to it, it is much more powerful.
MONDAY 15th August – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I wake at 4am, get up and drive to church. There is a slim sliver of light to east at the top of the Wolds over to the North Sea. Mass is at 5.30am. Contemplation then back to bed. I read the Dalai Lama and try to counter any anger and hatred with compassion and patience.
Sometimes I climb the hill behind our cottage and watch the ships making their gentle and steady way up the Humber 15 miles away. What a soothing sight to bring this slow progress into focus.
TUESDAY 16th August – St Stephen
A day in Lincolnshire reading, writing and walking.
WEDNESDAY 17th August
Another quiet day.
THURSDAY 18th August
Events and worries crowd in. I am reading the mindfulness book: one must not worry about the past, it is done, or fear for the future; all that is real is here and now. I go to mass. There was no point in moping in the garden so I went for a swim in Otby Lake which is always delightful and calming.
Then with the energy left I drove to Mablethorpe Sands to watch the sunset. For once there the sea was rough, I could barely stand. I love this vast beach, it is so empty. Driving back I stop on our lane in the Beech woods and listen to the Proms. Wagner. A peaceful scene of a rustling stream in the twilight. All events, problems, are put unto the perspective of the moment.
“A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me.”
FRIDAY 19th August
Another glorious day of sunshine. I go back to Otby Lake. Here at the end of the reservoir one can see looking west the vast plain of North Lincolnshire. There is a little twinkling stream. It is enough to sit here after a swim for a whole hour and forget troubles.
SATURDAY 20th August
We drive back to London after going to a summer barbecue. There are huge storms in the south.