Today’s poem transported me to all the wild landscapes in which I have met God – from Cornish moors to Kentish cliffs to rolling Chiltern hills. I was struck by the phrase “It was like a church to me”, which I think Carys Walsh interprets as meaning that R.S.Thomas recognised on the moor something he had already encountered in chuch, something holy.
And I wondered – is it necessarily that way round? Perhaps it was for Thomas. Not so for me. Growing up in an atheist household, as a child with a fairly free reign to roam the local countryside, I encountered Something in the wild places for which I had no words or frame of reference, but which called me out again and again in search of it. It was only much later, when I came to church, that I realised the same Something was here too – and here it was called God, here it had names and a way of speaking. But still there is something about that Something that is beyond all those words.
This year for #AdventBookClub we are reading “Frequencies of God: walking through Advent with R.S. Thomas” by Carys Walsh. Join the conversation on Twitter using #AdventBookClub or on Facebook by searching for the group ‘Advent Book Club’.