Last Sunday (19th September) at St Andrew’s I read from a children’s book entitled People written by Peter Spier. What really makes it stand out are the detailed illustrations of different sorts of people in different sorts of places – it would be a lovely experience to sit and read the whole thing with children gathered on the chancel steps. Everyone would enjoy hearing the kids’ reactions to the pictures.
That said, it’s still a story for adults, for it’s a reminder, among other things, that we’re all different, that the world is divided into haves and have-nots, the latter being in the majority and that, rich or poor, powerful or powerless, we all depend on Planet Earth for our survival.
This morning in the city centre I saw a man with a white beard wearing a Santa hat! Yes, I know, it’s a bit early for that! However, as I got closer I realised it was a white face mask secured over a red beanie, and not Santa Claus after all.
The consequence of this misapprehension was that I began looking at the people around me, as if I were Peter Spier gathering ideas for my next book.
There was a rich variety: a man above me cleaning windows; two women with suitcases being dropped off at the bus station; men emptying bins; a girl putting on her face mask before going into Matalan; an argument between a man with a dog and a man in a uniform; people sitting on benches in the sun, watching the world going by; a man sitting on the pavement, a paper cup out in front of him (he didn’t see me giving him a smile); a woman carrying a toddler who waited for the “green man” even though everyone else was crossing.
Does it sound busy?
It was only when I decided to try and take a few photos that I realised that all these people were remarkably spread out. There were no crowd scenes available, and a man in a uniform might have come after me if I’d started photographing people who could be easily identified.
So here’s a picture instead of the cars that some of them may have travelled in to get to the city centre.
I wonder how many of them travelled by bus, or could have travelled by bus …
Our use of fossil fuels was one of the issues mentioned by Amanda Mukwashi, Chief Executive of Christian Aid, in her talk at the Nations’ Climate Sunday service on 5th September in Glasgow Cathedral. After some technical difficulties, it is now available to watch online: Nations' Climate Sunday Service | Climate Sunday