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Greenbelt is an arts, faith and justice festival that takes place over the August Bank holiday weekend. It has its roots in the Christian tradition, and aims to be inclusive and wide-reaching. Find out more about the festival here.
Well there I was a year on, in the same wellies splattered with mud and making the same deep sigh brought on from a weekend fully lived at Greenbelt. But despite these similarities not everything was the same.
The theme of this year’s Greenbelt was Bright Field, inspired by the poem by R. S. Thomas. The poet describes a moment that we can all relate to, when a thing we have often observed or experienced takes on a different significance to us. For the poet he sees differently the field he had often passed, as he now sees the field as a treasure he wants to possess.
The poet describes a moment when he is able to reimagine the ordinary.
Life can have these illuminating moments for all of us – when we discover love, when we listen to some music we haven’t heard for a while or when we read a parable we’ve read countless times before, but for some reason we see it differently. We might describe these as our ‘wow’ moments, where time seems to slow, a deeper breath is drawn and our hearts are expanded.
As I stood in the same wellies splattered with mud and making the same deep sigh brought on from another weekend fully lived at Greenbelt, I had my own ‘wow’ moment as I reflected on the poem. “Isn’t Bright Field describing something of what All We Can aims to do?” I thought. “Doesn’t All We Can help people in some of the world’s poorest communities to reimagine the ordinary?”.
The Harvest Appeal stand at this year’s Greenbelt festival
During the weekend I had been telling people about the work of All We Can’s partner ADHENO in Ethiopia, which features in this year’s Harvest Appeal. As part of its work ADHENO helps communities reimagine the use of the beehive. Traditional beehives have been used by families for hundreds of years but the honey produced is of low quality and rarely used as a source of income, and beekeeping has not been considered a valuable activity. Through the training and guidance it provides, ADHENO takes the beehive known so well to the local people, and invites them to look at it differently. They explain how bees are cross pollinators, useful for keeping the land full of plants and trees, that the beehive can be adapted so that it produces more and better honey, and that honey has great nutritional value which will improve their diets, and if used commercially, is able to provide an income for families to help supplement their farming activities.
Farmers have listened to what ADHENO has shared and allowed it to transform their lives. Now a couple of years on they speak of the change they experience – healthier diets, more food from a range of plants, and an income to supplement their other activities. Their ‘wow’ moment has made a practical difference and their lives have significantly improved.
It is one thing to have a ‘wow’ moment (to see the Bright Field for the first time), but it is quite another to allow that moment to change us.
As I stood in the same wellies splattered with mud and making the same deep sigh brought on from another weekend fully lived at Greenbelt, I wondered – am I open to reimagining the ordinary? Am I open to catching a fleeting moment and letting it change my life?
Find out more about our Harvest Appeal
Claire Welch is Churches and Volunteers Manager for All We Can. She is responsible for producing materials, including Bible studies and services, and provides support to our volunteer coordinators and speakers.