Uli Yeomans meditates on a beautiful Austrian icicle whilst sharing a recipe for a delicious banana cake!

[New City Magazine – March 2021, page 22]

As we are hopefully taking our first tentative steps out of a lock-down winter and into a springtime of newly appreciated freedoms… like nature we too are determinedly bearing new buds, promising blossoms and fruit. Nature often provides us with good metaphors for what we experience in our less tangible spiritual lives.
My sister in Austria recently posted a picture of a huge icicle on the family WhatsApp group. Extending 155cm downwards from their gutter, it was a glorious piece of natural art, sparkling like crystal in the stark winter sun against a backdrop of deep blue sky stretching across snow-laden woodland and fields. We received daily updates of its growth, drop by steady drop, till it reached 173cm, just 30cm short of the lintel of a doorway. Then one morning the photo showed a great emptiness against misty grey clouds. The caption read ‘What a sad, toothless sight!’ This was followed by another picture of a few shards and a puddle on the paving stones below – the loss of that giant icicle was felt by the whole family!
How quickly we get used to something and how readily our emotions can latch on to transient things. But how much more so with people in our lives, whom we have shared part of our journey with, perhaps living with one another, or just learning, working, loving, suffering together. We get used to one another, become part of one another, giving content to one another’s lives. Then one day we must lose them, or they must lose us. That loss leaves a gaping, aching hole in our hearts.
As an icicle is a manifestation of water which eventually melts and reverts to its original state, so life comes in different shapes, transforming and re-inventing itself, till what remains at the end is its essence – love. For all who believe that love stands at the beginning and at the end of life, grieving the loss of loved ones may be transient also – because love transcends nature, encompassing the natural and the divine. Love is relational in its very essence. Even when physical life comes to an end, love for one another continues. This is the hope we can and must share throughout all seasons.

Sweet potato and cannellini soup


▶ 3 ripe bananas, mashed

▶ 150g light muscovado sugar

▶ 2 eggs, lightly beaten

▶ 140 g spelt/wheat flour

▶ (half whole meal, half white)

▶ ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp bicarb of soda

▶ 70g ground walnuts

▶ 1oz melted and cooled butter


Line a 2lb loaf tin, preheat oven to 180°C. Blend together bananas, sugar and eggs. Sift together flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt, stir in the ground nuts. Combine well with the banana mixture and lastly stir in the butter. Bake for 45 minutes till firm to the touch. Enjoy as a tasty and filling snack.

 [See the article in full PDF edition on page 22]

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