But for the moment, I want to reflect on God's timing.
Before I went to Sydney, my next door neighbours sold their house and moved, and a new, older, couple bought and moved in. I had intended to do the neighbourly thing, and pop over and introduce myself and invite them over for a meal or coffee or something, but for various reasons (I was back and forth to Sydney for a bit, and they were often away too), this just never happened. And then I went to Sydney, and didn't come home for almost a year.
A few weeks after I got home, I was at my mailbox, and a rather dapper, older gentleman was walking past, and said to me, "I believe we are neighbours." So we introduced ourselves and chatted a bit. We discussed my long-term absence, and why I'd been away, and he shared the news that his wife had died in August last year, not all that long after they'd moved in. He said he wasn't really sure what to do, as the house is quite large, and he feels like he's rattling around a bit in there on his own, but the effort of moving in took a lot of energy, and he's not sure he wants to move again in a hurry.
We promised to try to catch up properly, perhaps over a neighbourly coffee or meal sometime, but a couple of months have now passed, and that hasn't happened (largely because he's been a away for the last month or so).
This afternoon after I got home from my second aged care service, (and finally got my sheets and towels in off the line- gotta love this wet and wild winter weather) I decided to cut some of the lovely daffodils and jonquils from the garden for inside.
As I was pottering in the garden, my neighbour was walking past, and stopped to say hello. I confessed that I'd forgotten his name (as my memory has been shocking lately), and he reminded me, and we chatted a bit about his time away.
Then a memory struggled to the surface of my recalcitrant brain.
"How are you travelling? Didn't you say that your wife passed away in August of last year?"
"Yes, actually it was a year ago today."
And we chatted for a bit about that, and what he had done today to mark the anniversary.
I am rather blown away by the fact that in the three months or so that I've been home here in Myrtleford since returning from Sydney, I have only seen this man twice, but one of those times was today, a significant day for him.
God's timing certainly is interesting. (Or maybe I should become more deliberate about spending more time in the garden, to enhance my pastoral ministry ;-)