Here and now: David Turner
David Turner seeks solace in the garden
‘New year, new me.’ What did 2020 teach us? How have we grown as people, as a community and as the Church? And what can we take from that year? We know that 2021 is still different to previous years, but different doesn’t mean worse and we can move forward in new ways.
‘Those who sow in tears will reap in joy,’ says Psalm 126. For the first time in my life, I have truly looked back on a year and felt hopeless. For the majority of the year I have felt helplessly imprisoned for my own safety. Shielding from the world due to being classed as high risk does no favours for your mental wellbeing. Having to move in with my 86-year-old nan, who was also shielding for her health, forced me away from my home comforts and was a massive culture shock. Then, during the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme, I readjusted from being locked away to working in the hospitality industry, which was overwhelming to say the least. These changes and uncertainties made last year almost unfathomable for me. During times like this, you can but question your faith in humanity and in the Lord.
‘Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom,’ said Aristotle. This year has forced me, like many others, I’m sure, to spend a lot more time with my thoughts. My busy life of work, appointments and socialising was halted and instead I was surrounded by the same four walls, constantly. To keep myself sane, I spent most of the time I was shielding in the garden. This ever changing and developing space was where I felt free and safe. I had various visitors: the hedgehog taking residence under a fern; the multitude of bird species coming to feed, including one of our more vulnerable native creatures; the slow worm living in a pot filled with flowers. I was able to take time to sit still and ponder in thought. Sometimes, two of the hardest questions you’ll ever ask yourself is who you are and who you want to be. Exploring these questions opens of a pool of thought big enough to flood the earth…
David Turner is youth representative for the United Reformed Church’s National Synod of Wales
This is an extract from an article published in the February 2021 edition of Reform