"Mmmm, it is," said Pooh, stickily, taking his head out of his empty honey pot, licking his lips and catching his scarf as it tried to do a dance with the branch above his head.
"Hello Pooh. Hello Piglet." said Christopher Robin, stamping in a muddy puddle and seemingly un-inconvenienced by the storm.
"It is a little wild for small animals," murmured Pooh, taking Piglet firmly (if stickily) by the paw, as Piglet once more seemed in danger of being blown up into the air.
"It’s a fine day for marching," Chrisopher Robim asserted, suiting the action to the words.
"Would you like to come to my house for tea?" asked Pooh.
"What is for tea?" asked Piglet.
"Haycorns," said Pooh. And then, remembering Christopher Robin did not like haycorns, added: "and hot buttered toast… and hunny, if there is some."
"I’ll be with you in a tick," said CR, "I just need to send my army back to the castle."
Pooh didn’t like to ask ‘what castle?’ so he waved to Christopher Robin with his free paw and, clutching Piglet with the other, set off for home, his empty honey pot tucked under his arm.
"I like blusterous days," he said. "They make me hungry."
Well, I like blusterous days too – but the poor people of Cockermouth will be dreading the sound of wind and rain for months to come. One poor couple had just been through a life-changing event – the arrival of a new baby (amidst much anxiety – a difficult birth) only to be flooded out of their house a week later.
A year hence some people will still be waiting to return to their homes. One policeman will never return to his.
The truth is that similar scenes are played out the world over, season after season, but because many scenes are far away, we do not realise the full impact of the news. Cockermouth is near to home – many of us have stood by the river on a friendly day, when waters knew where to go and stayed politely within their banks. An event like this challenges our certainties.
2000 years ago a young couple’s certainties were challenged first by an occupying power’s desire to count and tax them and then by fear of betrayal and death. They became homeless and wandered for years before returning home to Nazareth.
Christmas is coming – and homelessness is central to the story.
As people struggle to pull their lives together – wherever they are and whatever their situation, there is something in this compelling story that is for them. May each one find in it a light in the darkness and a hope for the future.