My reports are written and reports on The Curate have been filed and his portfolio passed. We are supposed to carry on as normal - and not have any thoughts about the future. The Curate has his meeting with the Bishop to look forward to. I have the last couple of weeks to survive before our summer holiday. Despite the outward appearance of normality - It seems like life is on hold. Will The Curate be given permission to look for his next job or will he be told to wait and stay put for 6 months....12 months? Will I need to be handing in my notice or will we stay in our present area? Limbo! At the moment it feels like the stillness before a storm. I am holding my breath, trying not to over react, because what I want is not part of the equation. Nobody will ask me...and perhaps that's a good thing, because I seem to change my mind constantly.
How my life has changed. If anyone had told me I would be spending a Saturday afternoon in a strange church, watching the wedding of two complete strangers, I would have told them not to be so daft! But that's what I did a couple of weeks ago so that The Curate could watch and learn. He is now fully wedding trained and has successfully completed the first of several weddings he is due to take this summer. All boxes ticked!
A year ago, the garden of this Curate's house was a real problem to me - nothing would grow under the shady oak and sycamore trees.The constant rain, the acid soil and the shade were new problems to me and I struggled with them all. As a gardener, I wondered why we had ended up in such a place. A garden is my sanctuary (that and the bath!) - it's where I escape to - and, with the time frame we had, there seemed no hope for the garden we had been given
The Curate and I laugh at the antics of the squirrels and delight in the birds that visit the garden. We see jays, greenfinches, yellow hammers, black caps, magpies, wrens, robins, blue tits and upside down nut hatches hanging on the bird feeders. Yesterday
we had five great spotted woodpeckers in the garden - a rare sight.
We have left some of the garden wild and managed to tame other parts of it. At the moment we have a mix of wild and garden flowers in the beds. I decided to see just what would grow with very little attention from me! So we have foxgloves and vetch with roses and marigolds. The strawberries have spread over the flower beds and are intermingled with nasturtiums and they seem to be covered in fruit. I wonder whether the family of mice in the compost heap, the birds or ourselves will find the first ripe strawberry . (Not forgetting the slugs and snails who appear to move like grease lightening during the night!)
Our move, half way through The Curate's curacy, has meant that I have a clearer idea of what it is like to live with a vicar who frequently works from home. It has helped prepare me for the future. It has probably made me more adaptable but it has also given me a clearer view of myself and the sort of church that I seem more suited to. I still don't think that I am cut out to be a vicar's wife but I have discovered that, maybe, Somebody else might just think I can do it. And with God's grace, I think I might just stick with it!