Oswald (c 604 – 5 August 642)

ImageKing of Northumbria from 634 until his death, and was venerated as a saint in the Middle Ages.

Oswald was the son of Æthelfrith of Bernicia and came to rule after spending a period in exile; after defeating the British ruler Cadwallon ap Cadfan, Oswald brought the two Northumbrian kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira once again under a single ruler, and promoted the spread of Christianity in Northumbria.

He was given a strongly positive assessment by the historian Bede, writing a little less than a century after Oswald’s death, who regarded Oswald as a saintly king; it is also Bede who is the main source for present-day historical knowledge of Oswald. After eight years of rule, in which he was the most powerful ruler in Britain, Oswald was killed in the Battle of Maserfield.    from Wikipedia

SAINT HELEN’S SQUARE

Saint Helen’s Square

I sit in Saint Helen’s Square on a York Saturday morning. A long haired man in a boggan cap is singing rock in his own key weaving seamless “thank yous” – inserted  as needed, irregular, intermittent lyrics, for coins thrown into the open case at his feet.

In front of mBetty's Yorke is the Famous Betty’s Tea Room dispensing tea & English nurture, cozy since 1919, to a crowd wrapped half-way round the square.

A self-propelled street artist grinds out trinkets for tourists seeking Marco Polo (reversing) the Silk Road, unraveling the ancient trade imbalance caused by silk-mad Roman matrons.

Hanging out with love, I attend Celtic Eucharist at noon. Helen’s nave built in the Middle Ages today seats the middle-aged, the youngest near 50. Outside  thousands of young adults wander, circling, loitering near the door, while bewildered Christians wonder how to fill empty pews, young adults wonder how to stop the slow leak in their souls.

English: Saints Constantin and Saint Helen

English: Saints Constantin and Saint Helen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The cross Saint Helen discovered is re-hidden in plain view round the necks of manikins in Monsoons. The only Virgin displayed in the Centre City today is Virgin Money, a contradiction, false advertising as her easy virtue is known by all. 

Having feasted on the bread of heaven, I retrace my steps, taking my seat on a bench in the middle. A white dove lights amidst the pigeons pecking at bits of bread in the crack…while people eating lunch, munch on manna w/holy ordinary and not…

Nothing is so white – in plain sight. I glance around at souls oblivious. Does none but me see the Holy Bird of God stalking round the square, and inquire “Oh Holy Ghost inspire and lighten with celestial fire.”

That symbolic fowl paces, un-noticed by multitudes of shoes in pairs, and launches into the air a solitary witness to incarnation inspiring me in the synchronicity of my soul.

John W. Sewell
October 6, 2013
York, United Kingdom