10. Nov, 2014

A trail of kindness

Last evening, whilst passing through the woods close to our home, I saw a strange sight. A trail of lights flowed through the trees like a path of glow-worms. However, on close inspection, they turned out to be children and their parents (not worms) celebrating St Martin’s Day (11th November) with a lantern walk. And as they marched (this is what it looked like) they sang a song that went like this.

I'm going with my lantern
And my lantern goes with me.
Up above the stars are glowing,
And glowing, too, are we.
My light is out,
We're going home,
Rabimmel, rabammel, rabum.

     And as they gathered together in a circle, on ground that once was inhabited by bands of Mesolithic hunters, they listened to folktales as a thunder storm wrapped itself around the valley.

     Later, as I spoke to some of the parents around a campfire, they told me the story of St Martin.....

     Once upon a time, in the year A.D 316, there was a knight called St. Martin, who joined the Roman Army. One day, St Martin was riding his horse to the city when he met a starving man. Feeling very sorry for the poor soul, St Martin tore his woollen cloak in two with his sword and gave half to the beggar.

     That night, St Martin had a dream. He saw Jesus, surrounded by angels, wearing his cloak, the part he gave to the beggar and decided that he would devote his life to Christ and lead a simple life. And that is exactly what he did. And right across many countries such as France, Germany, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe and United Kingdom and further afield again, people celebrate this Saint and the kindness he showed to others.

     And on the eve of St Martin’s Day, we not only remember this kind and gentle soul, but it is alsothe eve of ‘Armistice Day’ when we remember the people who fought and died in World War 1. I will also take time to remember the animals that also went to war and died alongside the soldiers, in their thousands.

Let us never forget!