I'm afraid I have some bad news...
While at Greenbelt I was moved to shave my beard off and so now I'm left with just some stubble (the closest I could get with my electric clippers).
It was Monday, the final day of the festival, and I'd been challenged through out about spiritual, and ethical matters. I'd been to good seminars and heard some great music. I'd also spent some quality time with my youth group and SCM group as well as briefly fleetingly meeting many other friends around and about the Cheltenham Racecourse. All in all it had been a packed festival and as ever I was less than willing to leave this community behind.
But something more than this was at work. I was in need of making a break with the state I'd been in for some time. I was quite unaware of this, well, unaware that I was going to deal with anything there and then. But as one of my friends that I'd barely said hello to left to go home early, I was left with a sense of loss and missed oppertunity. But instead of feeling low I felt it was time to sit down and pray.
So I took myself off to the Soul Space which has a fabulous view over the entire race course and pretty much broke into tears as soon as I entered that environment. There were a number of other people there, some quietly praying while others gently weaped. It felt like a place of healing and as I nelt and cried and prayed I did my busniess with God.
I know this may sounds all a little silly to anyone outside of faith, and I'm afraid I can't really explain what was going on - mainly becasue I was unaware of it - but when I left I'd concluded a small section of my life and embarked on a new one.
Hence loosing the beard. Shaving it off was a little outward symbol of this movement from old to new. Nothing dramatic, just a return. Beards can be useful for this.
I'm sure I'll comment further on this event as I understand it more.