Just a quick post to let you know how things are progressing. I feel I have sounded fairly snarky recently, this is not my intention, I'm not really such a curmudgeon, I do smile occasionally....
Where we have moved to is a region which (by necessity of having a very low density of Catholics) supports pastoral areas rather than parishes. The up shot of this is that, living nearly equidistant from two of the churches in the pastoral area, we don't feel we have a parish home/family. On e-mailing the lead priest in the area, he informed us that we could go to Mass where we wanted, I supposed we were a little underwhelmed by this response. So over the last couple of weeks, we have been trying out the alternatives. This has been far from satisfactory. Once you are given a choice, you start to become very critical. Do you prefer the Mass with the perfectly drilled altar servers but less friendly congregation to the one in the church which doesn't have a crucifix but where they sing like angels? We shouldn't be making these sort of comparisons, it is wrong, very wrong. The really big temptation now is to say we just can't feel at home, jump in the car and drive up to the Oxford Oratory.
Saw something that has stayed with me, yesterday. We went for a walk in the early evening, the moon was up and the sun was setting gracefully over the village. There was utter pandemonium coming from a near by lake. The Canada geese were really excited. Then the din stopped and the geese set off in groups of about 15 flying into the setting sun. They struggled to get much higher than the rooftops, it could have been a last staging post before a very long flight, they were probably at their fattest. After the last group had nearly disappeared over the horizon, one solitary goose turned around and headed back to the lake, calling into the gloom and not receiving an answer back. Had it lost its mate, did it not feel fit enough for the journey?..who knows..I felt strangely sorry for it though.
More likely though is that the rest were off to rich feeding ground at the Cotswold water park or even Slimbridge, and my little friend couldn't be bothered. Nature is not full of romantics.