Easter Day, two days ago, may have begun wet and cold but it was lovely in St Anne’s as always, with beautiful flowers and music (thank you to all who contributed to both) and the life-changing message of Christ rising from the dead, in hymn and reading and prayer. Today, by way of a bit of fun in comparison, there is an Easter Egg hunt for children in the Cathedral which will, I hope, bring families into the building, as did the St Patrick’s mysterious adventure last month. We shall see.
I had cause to walk from Heron Way in the Harbour Estate to the cathedral through the Titanic Quarter a few days ago, and an interesting walk it is too, past large depots for oil and gas, a holding area for the assembling of an offshore wind farm, to be situated as an extension to that at Walney Island off the coast of Merseyside. It will form what will be the largest wind farm in the world when completed next year.
The bases and towers of the turbines are massive and just sitting there on their sides. Each turbine will be taller than Blackpool Tower and there are to be 87 of them. One reads all this information as one walks along, as well as the dire warnings beside the oil and gas installations against using naked lights or mobile phones etc.
Yet, amidst all this industrial energy, there are bird hides looking out over the mudflats and the twittering of songbirds in the sallows and reeds. Two goldfinches sat happily in a smart palisade security fence that was not nearly as pretty as they were, and, amidst the grime that collects on road that are rarely walked through an industrial estate, the groundsel and rosebay willowherb, tufts of grass and other ‘weeds’ show the strength of nature to reassert itself.
These places are not attractive, but they are highly instructive. Even the massive tankers and juggernaut lorries rumbling through the area, with bitumen for our roads, oil for our heating, steel for building etc. reminding us of how the whole complex nature of civilisation demands huge energy and constant tearing away of the earth’s resources.
A few miles from there, the orange tip butterflies still flutter around Lester’s dam, amidst the cacophony of birdsong, runners emerge from the trees and bushes putting out the fresh leaves of spring, as the paths of the Lagan meadows wind in and out of woods and bog, fields and hedges.
An early swallow seeks its northern home and pale sunlight between the showers of yesterday remind us of the creation that begun with the lights in the heavens. Even around the carpark of the cathedral, the lime trees are opening – the greater glory of nature against the lesser of human endeavour, even in the construction of St Anne’s, great though that may be.
P.S. Thank you so much to everyone who has sent messages of love and good wishes to Helen, who continues to recover slowly. Your prayers have been much appreciated.