Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes Night, Fireworks Night, they are all the same thing. A night in the calendar that many people look forward to, when bundled up in hat, coat, gloves, scarves and wellies (depending on the weather) they (we) proceed to the nearest event to stand in the cold and (on occasion) drizzle to watch a bonfire burn followed by an often (but not always) spectacular fireworks display. If you are not English or have never lived in Britain you will probably not have the faintest idea what this is all about. Why do we do this?
It is done to remember the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 when the above named Mr Fawkes and a group of Catholics led by Robert Catesby tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament with King James the First inside. It was Guy’s job to light the fuse that would set off the barrels of gunpowder hidden underneath the houses. The plot however, failed and Guy was caught and sentenced to death. The failed plot has been remembered with bonfires and fireworks on the 5th November ever since.
People traditionally made effigies of Fawkes, called ‘guys’ which were thrown onto the fires and burned. When I was little ‘guys’ were everywhere around this time but I can’t remember when I last saw one. I don’t think I’ve seen one put on a bonfire in the last 10yrs. I wonder if that’s because (like many holidays and festivals) the meaning behind this night has been lost? How many children I wonder, would know why we have bonfire night if asked, how many adults for that matter? And does it matter if they don’t know?
I, along with my housemates trooped to a display in our local park recently, bundled up as described above and watched a rather good fireworks display followed by a giant bonfire (no ‘guy’ in sight) and then trooped home again. I took my trusty DSLR along and although I didn’t get any award winning shots (sad face) I hope you enjoy the posted pics 🙂
I love Autumn, I love the many different colours the leaves taken on, and I absolutely love the crunch of crisp leaves under my feet. It was one of those crisp autumn days today so I decided to have a wander in an arboretum that’s not too far from me, to take advantage of this day off and the cold but dry and rather sunny weather. As I meandered among the trees, trying to frame arty shots with my semi-professional camera (sometimes succeeding most of the time not) I came across a sequoiadendron giganteum (giant redwood). I was hoping to find one but actually didn’t think I would and then there it was, standing tall among its smaller neighbors of different species.
I had become fascinated by these trees several months ago after reading a novel in which they featured quite heavily then heard them mentioned in a worship song I was “in to” at the time. I wanted to see one but wasn’t sure I would be able to without going to California or Wales (I have it on semi good authority a tree collector planted an arboretum of them back in the 1800s ). Standing there, looking at that tree it suddenly occurred to me that the person who planted it and the others in the park (I found more as I continued walking) nearly 200yrs ago would never see it, he or she would never see what became of the little sapling or seed they planted, would never see it reach its potential or even know if it survived.
These trees grow to be huge (hence the name) and although the one I was looking at was pretty big, I knew I was not looking at the finished product, there was more growing potential and I will never see it reach that potential because that will probably take another 1 or 2 hundred years. I do however, have the privilege to see it on its journey to reaching that potential which I think is amazing! And in the same way that we may not see the end result of our interactions with people, every kind word, action and smile, every time we demonstrate God’s love to someone, we are sowing a seed who’s full potential we may not see but which will be seen by others; just as I enjoyed seeing the result (or at least part) of something planted by someone else who was never going to see its end.