Just over the end of the lane from where I live there is a little church called St. Meugan’s. There has been a church on this site since the sixth century, and after repair and restoration in the 1800’s, she still stands today re-built in stone. I was on the way back from town on Friday and as I passed by there was a sign fluttering in the breeze on her walls ‘Church open’. I turned back and parked up. Stepping inside I was enveloped in a deep peace and I sat inside for a good long while, alone with my thoughts and the feeling of many centuries of prayers emanating from the walls.
I needed the peace…
I returned from the south of England a few weeks ago, having finished my last farm sit, and courtesy of my Dad’s trailer I brought all my stuff back with me. On the Monday I had an interview in Chester and landed a role as a community carer for disabled adults living in their own homes. I hit the ground running with it on Tuesday and bonded very quickly with the souls we flow care to. Dashing between homes across Chester, and dealing with all sorts of situations and circumstances, I had a ‘baptism of fire’, but I loved being with the patients. It took a few days to realise that my printed rotas/timesheets were not adding up and I made the discovery that in the care profession we are not paid for our travelling time. So last Saturday I completed a 14.5 hour shift which equates to 8.5 hours of actual pay. The pay was modest anyway, but with this balance I was virtually working for nothing and doing it in my own vehicle. A clear and pithy conversation with the owner of the agency I was working for, resulted in a boardroom discussion later with the directors and me exiting stage left. As I recall I was heard to comment ‘Do I look like I came down in the last shower of rain?’ as I glanced outside at the owner’s new upmarket vehicle with personalised number plates! The actual payment terms are not made clear on induction and their huge staff turnover is an indication of this. My leaving caused upset to the patients they care for and certainly distressed me. How can we care for those that are vulnerable, if we are not cared for in a basic way? It is not a profession one enters into for the pay, as this is far more vocational than working, but goodness me what a ‘eye opener’ this has been. As a society we are marginalising those who are so very vulnerable and reliant on those who are physically able to do right by them. This includes our government, but that is another topic.
So I stood back in my apartment, with tight finances, a poorly car, a need for new options and a weariness that seemed to go right through to my soul, as I thought ‘What do I do now?’. It was upon returning from my local town, chasing down work opportunites the next day, that I found St. Meugan’s.
I met an elderly gentleman as I was leaving the church, who was visiting his wife’s grave with flowers. We stood there chatting in the wind, looking up at the mountains and finding out a little about each other. I did not mention my current challenges, but he did ask me what kind of work I was doing and I said I was currently looking. I touched upon a few of the different things I could do and he made a suggestion that may not come into being, but he sparked a spirited feeling in me. I have always been better off paddling my own canoe and I came home to think about the different things I could do. I have now ordered a broadband service for my little place and I will go back to the telephone service work. There are a number of other self-employed irons in the fire and I am sure it will all flow in as it is meant to.
I am meant to be here, that much I am sure of.
To give myself a break today, I am painting artwork onto a wooden pine chest and writing. Sometimes it is good to do what soothes a weary soul and as I write I can hear the kestrels on the mountainside and the cows in the barn nearby.
It is also good to stop in a peaceful place and breathe…..bless St. Meugan’s.