IBTS’s been very quiet over Easter! Most of the students were away, either back at home or visiting some friends, and so were a number of the staff. But those of us who stayed around enjoyed those rather special moments of ‘contracted community’ when one can experience very close connections with the other ‘remnants’, often leading to unexpected sharing times and insights, intimate worship times, and fun… Of course many of our community come from the parts of the world where it’s Easter Monday today – so “Christ is risen; He is risen indeed” has been echoing throughout the campus for over a week now, and is still continuing, especially in the emails we’re receiving from our part-timers in Russia, Ukraine, and elsewhere.
On the first Easter Day eight days ago, it actually snowed here in Prague!.. And yesterday, on the second Easter Day, it rained; as it does today. But winter’s giving its way to spring, even if reluctantly. This morning I read a poem about spring written some time ago by a Czech poet of a tragic life, who spent much of his life in an exile in Britain, and wanted to share it with those of you who like to savour good poetry.
Ivan Blatný, ‘Spring’:
A cauliflower settles on the roof of a bungalow,
a swallow returns, you watch it in the sky,
and early buds are tight as bronze, they glow,
the dung-cart’s waiting, as in times gone by.
The heavens purr and snore, they are sleeping still,
but it will clear up, but it will be a fine day.
A train whistles in the distance, distance whistles
in the distance, silver drops tap planes in play.
In the playground, boys at goalposts in their tracksuits,
a cauliflower settles on a spruce new basket,
good French sun, come and bless us with your light.
I would love to be off: I am opening the door;
I would love to be off: on the Riviera shore
I’d see the sky and the whole world grow bright.
(tr. Edwin Morgan; and you can find out more about Blatný here)
P.S. Those of you who have been at IBTS and have seen our neighbour the farmer whose house and land’s the first thing you walk by when exploring our valley, will know that although boys in tracksuits may not be part of the experience at IBTS, dung-carts are!