TIME OUT

The main road is a long stone’s throw from where I live. Six days out of seven, at 8 am, it’s a line of slow-moving or stationary traffic. Lorries, ambulances, buses… And cars – taking children to school and adults to work. Pedestrians  cross the road – at their peril – at a light-controlled crossing.

This morning, as on every Sunday morning at 8 o’clock, there was virtually no traffic. I crossed the road without having to press the button at the crossing. No cars were in sight, it was quiet, and I breathed relatively fresh air. I walked along lanes and over fields and could see – and hear – skylarks, sparrows, redwings, blue tits, crows…

By 11 o’clock on a Sunday the scene on the road has changed. Cars abound, their inmates going to out of town shopping centres, leisure facilities, DIY stores, or even to the seaside. Fumes and noise return as people in their vehicles scurry to get going, albeit a couple of hours later than on weekdays.

I like early Sunday morning for its peace and tranquillity. In our frenzied and stress-troubled culture, let’s make time for time off. Whether driving or driven (in both senses) you need a break! As the hymn says,

“Drop thy still dews of quietness, till all our strivings cease. Take from our souls the strain and stress, and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of thy peace.” (John Greenleaf Whittier 1807-1892)

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