#TeamKip Cycling Challenge

Bit late posting this week – it was a very busy weekend, and I’m trying to take things a bit more spaciously (another element of oikos living – slowing down for deep connection).

Exciting news in the last 24 hours though… I am going to join with my good friend Ed and a group of heroes (/fools?) to take on a cycling challenge this June. It will be a 4 day ride as a group, covering approx 216 miles from Cardiff to Holyhead (the length of Wales), aiming to raise £10,000 for the India based children’s health charity ‘Love the One‘. You can read this post on the #TeamKip blog to find out more.

Ed and Sarah tragically lost their son Kip to leukaemia last year after a 4 year battle. Hearts broken all round. It has been really tough to see (and share in) their grief, but also really inspiring to watch how they have stayed conscious of others through this – especially being aware of how blessed they were to be living in the UK and having free access to the best healthcare available. They have already done some amazing fundraising to enable others to have support and good healthcare too, and I’m really excited to be able to join in with this big effort.

It is going to take some training to be ready for such a long ride – I’m not used to more than a few miles at a time at the moment! But a great cause, and it will be good to get out for some longer distance rides in the beautiful East Yorkshire Coast and wolds – especially when the weather warms up a little bit (still quite icy some mornings…).

Watch this space for a link to a fundraising page, would be great if anyone is able to support hitting the goal.

This links in with a poem that I was reminded of just yesterday. I only remembered one line, but a quick google search brought it up in full. Quite well known in parts I think, but a beautiful reminder of our inherent connectedness – not even just with the people we know and love, but as members of humanity (even as part of creation). John Donne, For whom the bell tolls:

No man is an island, 

Entire of itself. 

Every man is a piece of the continent, 

A part of the main; 

If a clod be washed away by the sea, 

Europe is the less, 

As well as if a promontory were, 

As well as if a manor of thy friend’s 

Or of thine own were. 

Any man’s death diminishes me, 

Because I am involved in mankind. 

Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 

It tolls for thee.

Though this poem is framed in a bit of a morbid way (focussing on how the death of any diminishes us all), and is slightly problematic in its use of ‘man/mankind’ (of its time) I love Donne’s observation of how connected we all are. What a powerful image it is that Europe is less if a single clod of earth is washed away…

This shift in thinking has been key to our ongoing journey of caring for creation: learning to notice, appreciate and treasure the world around us – for it’s own sake, and also because we are connected. What blesses the world around me blesses me. What harms the world around me harms me. The loss of Kip, of the sparrow I found in the garden, of the trees that have been snapped down in the local park – not all equal, but all losses that resonate out. Equally, the opportunity to share in an adventure with a group of others who love Ed and Sarah (and Kip), to do this by cycling and using public transport (so caring for the world around me), and to raise money to bless and support others to be able to access healthcare – these gifts resonate out too.

I want to start ripples of blessing in the pond of life.

Published by oikoslife

I am married, father of 2 young children (2014 and 2017), pioneering priest in the Church of England, surfer, climate activist and much more. Born in Yorkshire, and currently living on the Yorkshire Coast. Doing my best to live in good connection with God, self, neighbour and creation - working it out as I go.

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