9  June – Sylvia Roberts, St Peter’s

The Rhythm of Life

Recently my attention has been powerfully drawn to the whole concept of “The Rhythm of Life.” Our last two strange years have contributed to this, when all our natural rhythms have been so disrupted. Excessive (and unavoidable) use of electronic devices have played havoc with our Circadian rhythms, night has been turned into fake day. Working From Home (WFH) has laid waste to our daily/ weekly / monthly /yearly cycle of employment and holiday time. Lockdown has meant that birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and celebrations, which quietly beat out the tempo of our years, have become shadows of their former selves and grandchildren have grown from babes in arms to sturdy toddlers unhugged.

The song from the film “Sweet Charity,” sung by Sammy Davis Jnr. reminds us that “the rhythm of life is a powerful beat.” It is like a wonderful orchestra. The tiniest instruments being our breathing and heartbeat, joined by the strings of day and night; the wind section of the yearly seasonal cycle, the brass instruments heralding the phases of the moon and the tides and…. quietly but insistently in the background…. the drumbeat of the decades, the centuries and the millennia as generations are born, grow to maturity and pass away.

Breathing and heartbeats have been fatally affected for nearly 128,000 people and their loved ones in this country alone during the past two years and for countless others worldwide. Every single person has been affected in one way or another. Clergy have struggled to keep churches open and to encourage and support the rhythm of daily prayer and scripture reading which was so faithfully formulated in monastic times. How ever little we have noticed it in our lives thus far, it now becomes clear that the regular beating of the Rhythm of Life is fundamental and essential for our physical, mental and spiritual health.

As restrictions gradually ease and wails of “I must go on holiday,” or “I can’t wait to go down the pub,” or even, “Let’s party” are heard all around us we would all be as well to remember that it is the profound, steady, often overlookd Rhythm of Life which needs full restoration and which will bring with it the deep healing which we all so crave.