O Radix: to become more rooted


Lois and I have been inspired and challenged today by Malcolm Guite’s sonnet, O Radix – based on one of the seven advent ‘O Antiphon’ prayers.

So much of our lives end up being un-rooted, superficial, flitting around in ever-increasing busyness. As we looked back on 2015 (a truly good year), we realised that we, too, have filled our moments up with things: trips away, activities here and there, clutter, doing rather than being.  As Guite puts it,

“We surf the surface of a wide-screen world

and find no virtue in the virtual.”



So as we look ahead to the year to come, with all its promise, we are wondering how we can make it more rooted. Here are some of our thoughts – how much we will achieve this remains to be seen:

  • By strengthening and valuing our family roots – spending time with parents, children, grandchildren;
  • By being more present to the present – being more engaged in what we are doing, saying no a bit more, not spreading ourselves too thinly;
  • By putting down our roots where we are – here in Coventry, trying to do more locally, cutting down on time away;
  • By caring more for our local community and environment – trying to build a bit more simplicity into our lives, respect for others and for our world.



O Radix – Malcolm Guite

All of us sprung from one deep-hidden seed,

Rose from a root invisible to all.

We knew the virtues once of every weed,

But, severed from the roots of ritual,

We surf the surface of a wide-screen world

And find no virtue in the virtual.

We shrivel on the edges of a wood

Whose heart we once inhabited in love,

Now we have need of you, forgotten Root

The stock and stem of every living thing

Whom once we worshiped in the sacred grove,

For now is winter, now is withering

Unless we let you root us deep within,

Under the ground of being, graft us in.