The hour of the garden

"..for let us carry on our work, even though it be no more than the work of an ant, infinitesimally small and with unforeseeable results. Now is the hour of the garden and the night..."
Abbe Monchanin. (Living Simply in an Anxious World. Robert J Wicks Paulist Press 1998 p.47)

Emails are flying , there's all kinds of discussions going on, outline papers are being written but what is not happening- and what needs to happen today or tomorrow at the latest- is the making of a firm decision. What is our stance to be ?

Is it to carry on co-operating with the NHS , in the hope that at the end of the consultation process, if we stand firm, we will make a difference, for surely they, the NHS, have to listen to us and all those they consult with ?

Or is it to say no ? No way, not another moment of this sham of a consultation exercise ?

It is very difficult. Perhaps it all comes down to how we see things ? John O'Donohue points out how "limited and narrow lives" result from a lack of vision. "It is a startling truth that how you see and what you see determines how and who you will be" (Anam Cara, Bantam Press, 1997 p. 89)

Without vision there is no direction, there is no urgency, there is no responsibility.

Martin Luther King : "I have a dream"- what a difference that made. Nelson Mandela made the ANC his vision; he famously said :" In my country we go to prison first and then become President " - what a stand he took. Mother Teresa, a penniless nun , built a ministry that reaches out to the poor on ever continent - how ? She once said : "Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. "

What do we see when we look at the lives that people with ME have to endure ? Today is September 1st. I can say that my wife has spent this entire summer staggering from her bed, in constant pain and agony to at the very most, a bench in the garden, there to sit in huge discomfort ,barely able to breathe, unable to bear touch, light, sound.

I attend meetings with my fellow campaigners and witness such passion, such a desire for change, such a driving commitment - only to see how shamefully the NHS has sqandered this talent, in favour of a NICE-driven agenda that will help no one.

I see, I feel the pain and I am driven to act. I am driven to say No more !

I am driven to take a radical stand , in the belief that the real power comes only when we have made our decision. One thing is for sure, there is no sitting on the fence with ME.


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