Photo 1: The breathtaking view from Scafell Pike, admired by Bowdon DofE Volunteers at the end of their “Three Highest Lake District Peaks Fundraiser” last May
Barely a month goes by without a new diet being heralded as our nutritional saviour. Personally, I’m rather pleased that the underrated prune seems to be making a comeback. My sister recommended to me a seven-word diet: ‘Eat food; not too much; mainly veg’. Good, wholesome common sense. And, in light of the word ‘mainly’, I’ve just finished a moderate-sized chocolate bar.
We all choose to adopt the wisdom of the phrase ‘You are what you eat’ to a greater or lesser extent. But we do understand that for our bodies to stay healthy, we must eat healthily. But what about our soul? Can we keep our soul in pristine condition?
Our soul is that part of us which reminds us that we exist before God – that we are made to be connected to God. We catch glimpses of our soul in those moments that make us aware of something greater than us, and in experiences that prompt us to act in the best possible way.
You may have had those kinds of encounters when you’ve been immersed in an achingly beautiful piece of music, or whilst looking up at the myriad stars twinkling in the night sky, or whilst watching the latest jaw-dropping Attenborough series on the TV. You’ll have sensed your soul when overwhelming compassion surges through you as you listen to heart-wrenching stories of the poor struggling, or of survival by the abused. You’ll catch another glimpse in the persistent curiosity of the most brilliant minds opening up astonishing new worlds through their research. I recommend reading Carlo Rovelli’s Seven Brief Lessons on Physics – amazing stuff.
We often neglect our souls. Like the body, the soul can either thrive or shrivel. What would a soul diet look like, I wonder? If you want an easy way in, come and listen to the choir at St Mary’s. But then I’m a bit biased. However you choose to feed it, I wish you a rich feast for your soul.
Ian Rumsey, Vicar of Bowdon