Thought For The Day #124 June 2013
Broadcast 24th of June 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol
Roads in central Bristol reopen today after many were closed for the city’s first Car-Free Sunday. The streets came alive with music, games, theatre and food. It’s all part of what George Ferguson has dubbed “Make Sundays Special”.
It’s a notably common feature of our religious traditions to set aside regular dates in a calendar, whether it’s days in the week for worship or annual holidays to remember historical events. These moments are outside the everyday routines of going to work and paying the bills. They are special times that give us the space to recollect and revere.
As a meditator, the act of sitting quietly and paying nonjudgmental attention to the immediacy of my experience, functions as a kind of mini Sunday. It is tragically easy to get lost in the monotony of routine and the turmoils of work and family life. Making a set time intentionally special, explicitly for the purpose of recalling that which is most important in life, gives us the permission to stop and savour that which we already have.
To some it may seem frustrating that central Bristol’s roads were closed yesterday, but ultimately I believe it will make the city more productive. There is an old saying that you can chase a butterfly all over the world but never catch it, yet if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and land on your lap.