Reflection for the Week 14th July 2019

"Every good tree bears good fruit" (Matthew 7:17)

When my wife asked me what I would like to receive as a birthday gift we discussed several ideas but agreed that it would be good to plant a tree. So we went to a garden centre and looked at a selection of trees before we decided which one would best suit the situation that we had chosen in our garden. A large hole was dug and compost and manure put to prepare the site so that when the nursery delivered the tree all was ready and the tree was planted.

We look forward to certain events that we reserve in our diaries and make preparation to enjoy them when we reach the expected day. We may buy a special outfit or pay particular care to how we look. We enjoy celebrating with our family and friends and take photographs to keep as mementos of a special occasion. We call such dates "Red Letter Days".

In the Boke of Eneydos printed by William Caxton in 1490 there is reference to the practice of writing important dates in red and the practice was more widely known by using red type to note holy days in the first Book of Common Prayer published in 1549. In modern times the idea of Red Letter Days has been adopted by companies offering packages to mark special occasions.

However we choose to describe them we all have special days to which we look forwards with heightened anticipation and we keep photos or buy a tree or find our own individual means of marking them. So when the flowers come on my tree in the spring or when the fruits appear in the autumn I will have regular reminders of my wife's loving gift.

Malcolm Ray-Smith