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This is a quote on kindness from Roald Dahl, I think I quite agree with him.....
...Speaking in an interview with Brian Sibley broadcast by the BBC world service, November 1988... Dahl says...
"I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I'll put it before any of the things like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else."
Or brains even?
"Oh, gosh, yes, brains are one of the least. You can be a lovely person without brains, absolutely lovely. Kindness- that simple word. To be kind- it covers everything in my mind.
If you're kind that's it."
I have found that in my life I have been most influenced by kind people.
More than the courageous, clever, talented, tenacious. The loud or the soft. Those who have been kind have shown me what it is to have true character.
No matter the circumstance they have taught in unspoken, unassuming gestures that you can act graciously under all kinds of pressure.
Instead of becoming a steely mirror that can only reflect the pain it has suffered.
A kind heart remains open, even if wounded. And in the warmth of that very human heart the pain is absorbed and transformed into compassion.
Kind people are like trees, refreshing and renewing the atmosphere around them.
Kindness lets sorrow soften the old cracked Autumn leaves and brittle winter branches of old hurts.
Kindness dies the death so that a tender green Spring can be born.
Unprompted, un-self aggrandising, matter of fact kindness.
Underated and essential.
It slips quietly from one heart to another like a love note under a desk.
Finding these little love notes along the way have been my saving grace.
I have learned more from the quiet kindness of a welcoming smile than all the sermons I've ever heard.
The patient kindness of an art teacher who stayed late talking out problems that were way past her pay grade.
The simple kindness that fashions yarn into warmth and beauty. That wraps a little baby warm and tight. A timeless work, though she'd hardly known us any time at all.
The impulsive kindness of a man who pushed a five pound note into may hand and told me I was too lovely to be sleeping in a doorway... The note meant dinner, but the words meant life.
And I actually believed them that day.
More than when people in their frustration for me stamped forms, made appointments and sloshed bitter coffee into polystyrene cups.
It was the kindness that did it. Lifted me up from the harsh reality.
Outwards and upwards as the thin sinewy branch of a city tree reaching for a glimmer of sunlight contorts it's shape to fit between high rise buildings. Thus I began. Upon the fertile soil of a strangers kindness.
Then there is the deep loving bottomless bowl of kindness. Unconditional, warm and full like rising dough.
In the way she smiles at me every time she looks at me, teasing the dishcloth from my hands to dry each and every last teaspoon with fierce tenderness.
Although she doesn't speak a word of English, her kindness translates her heart.
Wordlessly, in the simple act of drying dishes, I am healed.
Making Space in the Schedule for Joy...
Over the last few years we have begun to realise the importance of free, unstructured play for children. Pieces of time left as a white canvas for children to write their own unhindered, imaginative scripts upon.
Yet play is also essential for adults too.
While watching the movie "Babies" the other day with the girls I was amazed to observe how much time both the women and children of a Namibian tribe spent simply relaxing. Far more so than the women and children of the modern, industrial nations portrayed.
Free, unstructured, unplanned time is so important for the human spirit.
It is the soil in which creativity and relationships grow.
To be a good mother, a good wife and a good friend I also need to be good to myself.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't mean that in a narcissistic way at all.
My greatest peace, contentment and joy has emerged since I gave up on simply trying to please myself.
Mentally and emotionally I am so much more confident and at ease since I learned to stop over analysing and let go a little.
Knowing that really the only thing within my control is my own perspective has been transformative.
And when I first gazed into my daughter's eyes 13 years ago love caused me to overcome myself and find joy in anothers smile, truly, there has been nothing more incredible than that realisation for me.
I have even come to believe this is what Jesus means about losing your life to find it.
Yet there are some things that just flow from my spirit and give me joy.
Things I find from being simply alone.
Writing, reading, creating, being in nature, praying, day dreaming, beholding beauty.
These things feed me.
Soul food, they are to me.
They are the things that turn the water of life into wine for me :)
Learning to make peace with the fact that I must pause when necessary and take drafts of my own particular soul foods is something that I've done more and more since the children have been home schooled.
I have seen how important it is to let the day bring it's own rhythm and create it's own spaces for us to simply "be".
It can be tempting in the culture of incessant doing that we live in to scribble lists and plans across these perfectly unabashed empty "spaces". But from experience I have found this to be a big mistake.
Regular breaks where we can reconnect with ourselves and one another and a free flowing embracing of the children's individual interests throughout the day has reactivated a sense of my own priorities.
Happiness is a real priority for me, not a luxury to be kept on the margins of "real life" till life itself seems like nothing more that the mere duty to keep breathing.
It's a biggie happiness no?
I have started to really see that the path I walk is carved by my own two hands and my own two feet.
This road is made up of the steps I choose to take.... Or not take.
This road could be moulded only of moments sat upon the earth, barefoot and feeling the cool grass between my toes. Nothing more, and that would be enough.
Life. It's not a race, a competition or an exam. It's a becoming.
A slow awakening.
It's an embrace and a letting go all at the same time.
It's a process of learning how to let the things that truly matter come first.
My particular path is made up of things I choose to spend time on.
Things I pick up and the things I discard.
It is made up of my thoughts.
The ones I choose to keep, the ones that lift my heart.
And the ones I choose to release.
The ones that try to tell me that things are just not good enough the way they are.
And so I will feed my soul it's food because food = life.
I will play.
One thing I have come to realise particularly since homeschooling the girls is that my own inner energy imprints upon the days like ink on blotting paper. The children simply soak up my attitude like sponges.
That means that maintaining my own sense of peace is so important.
The energy we generate has a direct effect on those around us and even on the world.
There is an old orthodox saying which says that if one man truly embraces the peace of God he will heal a thousand around him without even knowing it.
Only when my own soul is filled with goodness, may goodness overspill into the cupped hands of those around me.
"They won't be prepared for the real world!" they say with real and honest concern.
But I wonder, why we don't "recreate" the "real world" around them!
For truly they have so much to teach us about what matters most.
So much of what we worry about is extraneous.
Just look at all the awkwardness surrounding public breastfeeding, the most natural and fundamental gift of motherhood.
Sometimes we think we are giving our kids the best by buying more, building more, doing more. When being together more is what children really value.
The thing is, we have created a set of structures, systems and institutions that have negatively impacted the environment are non sustainable and all at a great human soul cost.
With this in mind I hope.... and I pray, that if we bring our children up with respect for nature, their own souls and others, kindness, gentleness, freedom and compassion, maybe our future world may be also healthier, kinder, gentler, more soul orientated and more environmentally (and mentally) sustainable.
Why don't we build our systems, structures and institutions around
children, family life, spiritual wholeness, beauty, environmental sustainability and human fulfillment.
Maybe the "real world" would do well to take it's cue from children.
Politicians are always telling us that our children's education is a number one priority. But the series of hoops we fling children through from aged 4 onwards is not child focused or child led, it is performance focused and economy led.
The gentle, natural rhythm and creative abundance of a Waldorf school, the open ended, passion driven unschooling approach and the submersion in living books and nature of Charlotte Mason's method all seem so far from conventional classrooms.
Even many modern buildings are built upon the foundations of being primarily quick, cheap and functional. Aesthetics take second place.
Look at the beautiful buildings of the past, built with real craftsmanship, built to inspire. Built to reflect the highest ethics of their particular culture.
Built as gifts to future generations.
Built to last.
And now we have high rises. Shoe boxes in the sky.
My heart just breaks for kids brought up in high rises without trees, flowers, and green spaces with which they can project their imaginations and refresh their souls.
Studies have shown that hospital patients actually recover more quickly if the view from their window is filled with nature, trees and greenery.
Building around the natural world instead of over it, could transform the lives of many city kids. I lived in quite a run down part of London as a teenager. Sometimes when I needed to recharge my soul batteries I would go to a certain cemetery which was surrounded by woodland. It was the only really quiet space close enough for me to afford the bus fare. But this little pocket of wilderness, a place the noise of the city could not touch was a haven. Watching foxes scamper, listen to the birds sing, feel sunlight filter through green leaves would always restore me.
I remember when I was at school I would be constantly told off for starting out of the window instead of down at my page in my sterile classroom.
There was a tree, an old creaking oak tree between my class and the fence and I used to project myself out into this tree. I would watch the birds making their nests, sometimes a squirrel would scatter up the branches quick as lightening. The tree was my inspiration, my little piece of freedom "out there". A place where even the birds and the squirrels could run freer than I was able to. But it gave me a little promise.
Human nature needs to breathe, discover love, be enriched by beauty, have time for stillness and quiet. If it is concreted over it dies.
So when I ask myself the question, do I bring my kids up too idealistically?
I'd have to say, that maybe for the way the world is right now, yes I do.
However, hopefully for the world they will help to create in the future, no.
I pray I'm giving them the tools and inspiration with which they might be able to help build a more loving, gentler, kinder world.
" Inner brightness ends up being a much better and longer-lasting alternative to evil than any war, anger, violence or ideology could ever be. All you have to is meet one such shining person and you know that he or she is surely the goal of humanity and the delight of God."
"Falling Upward - Spirituality for the two halves of life" Richard Rohr
I have learnt so much from our beautiful 7 days away.
Seven days away from all technology, to do lists based on ?!?. I'm not always sure what always.
Seven days without convenience! Washing machines!?!
Seven days away to breathe anew.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.Genisis 2.7
Over 7 days I learnt that all children (people) really need is trees, a stream, simple food, shelter, fire and loving company.
For God (the one thing we need most) lives and breathes through all of these.
Our "cabin" was a tiny three bed bedsit. Yet it didn't feel small.
Our "garden" was communal, families rambled through it, children rode their bikes, ducklings squabbled in puddles for breadcrumbs twice daily, squirrels scampered through the French doors fearlessly to steal sunflower seeds, even a hare gambolled by one morning.
Yet there was nothing but greenery and the freedom of the outdoors.
And it felt huge.
Maybe the future for us humans is this small, natural, communal, localised, simplified way of living. Maybe it has to be. Maybe this is a good thing.
I learnt that I do not miss technology, washing machines, tumble dryers, concrete, convenience or cars when I am without them. I learnt that, in fact I would happily trade them all in :)
I learnt that children will never be bored if given a little bit of water, some woodland, a few sticks, stones, mud and the company of other children.
They do not need toys.
Nature is the ultimate playground.
I also learned that a week in nature teaches a child more about life than 100 lessons in a schoolroom ever could.
I learnt that it is far easier to commune with our Creator when in direct and constant contact with His creation.
I grieved how the world is begininng to divide up. Poor driven to cities as rich corporations take up more and more land for mineral resources, logging and intensive farming.
I learnt that having an afternoon and evening to myself is necessary only within a modern life context.
When surrounded by the deep peace of nature all cravings for "space", "my own thing" "time away from it all" fall away.
There is an agenda behind all that advertising and lack of fullfilment in our everyday, systematic, mundane work. It keeps us in a state of spiritual want that disguises itself as hunger for more stuff, more money, more food etc...
When what we really need is less.
I learnt that I would happily live in a small dwelling, much smaller even that the one we currently abide in
so long as I had two things besides. Nature and community. We are working toward making this happen.
I have learnt that nothing is worth having unless it is shared.
I have learnt that to fail is a blessing. Failure is a falling seed that blossoms into compassion.
I have learnt that each child is a sacred teacher.
I have also learnt that who I am is far more important than what I say.
We are not what we say or do as much as we are the energy we emanate. We can emanate a life energy or death energy.
I have learnt that if we don't make the changes we believe in as individuals then the world will never change. We are reflections of the wider world and the wider world is a reflection of us as individuals.
The pure integrity and love of a single person can move mountains.
I believe this.
Inspired by our time away I am going to start a 30 day raw food diet made up ( as much as poss) of foods that are local, organic and free of plastic packaging. I am also going to commit to 30 days of buying nothing new.
I might, for the amusement of my readers chronical some of this on the blog :) Is chocolate a raw food?
We barely buy anything new (except art and craft materials) or go out to eat anyway so I hope it won't be too much of a struggle. But you know what happens when you makes theses sorts of resolutions :)
The truth is that abundant consuming has become a vicious addictive cycle in the modern world. Connecting to nature is a really important factor in breaking the cycle. Even spiritual things have become tainted with commercialism. So little seems untouched these days. Everything has a market. Everyone is a "brand."
Everything we are resonates. We can't resist evil externally, we have to go within. Our own peace will become the world's peace.
A little bit of family trivia... My girl Emmy is a survival enthusiast!
Her dream is to live out in the woods and run survival courses that reconnect people with nature and wild living.
This child is such a gift to me.
Our world is such an incredibly beautiful place. We need to love it like a Mother, a Father, a Child.
It is the skin of our Creator.
His dream realised.
I went out into the woods by our cabin with Emmy one still and silent evening.
There was a path of golden sunlight through the ferns and foxgloves.
I don't think I have seen anything more beautiful in my life.
I saw God there. In the light that touched my skin. The light that gave life to the living greenness and the aged bark of the pines.
I fell to my knees.
And was blessed.
While walking home I thought of how I need to seek blessings daily.
But not just seek them.
The secret is I have to give them out as soon as they touch me.
The true blessing is not simply in the seeking or the receiving but the giving away.
As Hannah gave Samuel, Abraham gave Issac, Jesus gave Himself.
We cannot hoard, or store blessing.
We have to let it all go.
Or it becomes valueless.
Beauty to ashes.
God is all about reserection, restoration, renewal.
Nature tells us this story every year. It whispers, "there can be no Spring without the "Fall" of Autumn"
Blessings only live in giving.
Giving and receiving both require and open hand and an open heart.
To be loved and to love. That is what makes a life.
from falling upward
"We dare not try to fill our souls and minds with numbing addictions, diversionary tactics, or mindless distractions. The shape of evil is much more superficiality and blindness then the usually listed "hot sins." God hides, and is found, precisely in the depths of everything, even and maybe especially in the deep fathoming of our fallings and failures. Sin is to stay on the surface of even holy things, like Bible, sacrament, or church."
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.
I am starting to see, that it is not the perfect image, vision or, ideal that must come to fruition.
It is my love.
I have come to learn love grows when I come up against my own limitations.
In the vulnerability of my nakedness. My shortcomings.
Because when I'm shivering cold, in the storms of my own making, He comes to cover me with a blanket.
And so I can bring it to cover another.
In this the paradox of "not enough" becomes that which "runneth over".
Because it is in the stretching out and loving through imperfections, both my own and those of others that I meet God.
This is the ground on which He works and breathes. Working nutrient into rough, hard clay.
Clay that can only be moulded into something water tight, with the free flowing water of love itself
Making a House a Home.... Imperfect Prose.
Making a house a home...
fixtures and fittings
cut and pasted from glossy pages....
It is about treasuring memories.
Even the imperfect ones...
And turning them toward the light...
A house becomes a home slowly...
with the same kind of love,
that the old skin horse told the velveteen rabbit, turns toys real.
But only If they are truly loved till,
they become worn in ,
a little frayed around the edges...
A homely kitchen is not always gourmet...
But it is always good,
nourishing to both stomach and heart.
Even with the simplest of fare.
It fills a child with an aroma of memories...
And offers food for every sense....
Some days a posy of wild flowers will do,
other days (though maybe not so regular) roses from the one you love.
Sometimes an egg cup of daisies is the perfect thing.
Or maybe fresh cut flowers from a neighbour will grace the jar that cheers the kitchen sill.
Homemade and happy sitting on a shelf.
Reminds a house it is a home too...
It has a heart.
A lived in, loved through,
brimming full of colour and sound!
Making, baking, singing, and learning.
Reading and dreaming...
Brings a home out of a house.
Putting your own unique mark on the furniture can help too :)
Poems written in golden thread and memory.
Light captured in the corners, beauty savoured in the ordinary, sacredness noticed in the everyday.
The learning how to see your own family story...
Weaving fragile and precious, through the days...
And a garden that doesn't have to be landscaped to be a little Eden...
Childhood lingers in both the fragrance of a rose and the clown wonder of a smiling sunflower.
Ragged overgrown gardens attract all kinds of wonderful wildlife anyway :)
And something for lunch maybe.
And music...always music!
Even if it's "twinkle star" on repeat,
with fairy lights and dollies under covers.
Always creating, becoming, emerging till....
Our house takes on the creation of home and blessing for both those dear and the stranger too.
Not outer adorning, but inner knowing.
And the endless making of cosy corners to hide in....
Even the mess. Yes!
That never ending, silver sparkly wonder that four girls seem to unintentionally grow and scatter happy.
till somehow all my surfaces have a little glitter on them :)
Right to the darkest, quietest corners. Where in prayer, and stillness where we find ourselves,Within this place we call home.
Home isn't about the stuff that's in it. It's not about the sq footage, the location or the furniture.
It is about making a space that welcomes, that is honest, that reflects the heart of those who dwell within it's walls.
A home can't be cut out of a magazine. It is grown, like a garden from the rich soil of love....
My life is made up of imperfect prose and my home though imperfect is the centre of the story we share.
We don't live in the country, though it surrounds us. We live in the middle of a town.
Not a pretty postcard town. We rent a small house in a slightly more "run down" area :)
Yet, we are happy to be planted right where we are.
Some days I dream of green fields, yes it is true :) but that is not part of our story at this time. We are where we are for a reason and it's where we are meant to be I know it deeply.
Hardly any of our furniture or appliances is new, and at any one time there will be something broken you can guarantee it :) Right now it's the fridge, swilling in its own meltdown :) And smelling slightly of rancid butter!
But what I'm trying to say is, it doesn't matter where you home is or how big it is. It can be beautiful. It can be a place of joy, and welcoming and togetherness and Love.
Enjoy reading more Imperfect Prose over at Emily's place friends :)
The connection between process and product, from a Waldorf perspective...
uniqueness that living organisms manifest. While machine-made goods are uniform, handmade things are
beautiful by virtue of their irregularity. A hand-carved wooden bowl or spoon, a hand-knitted scarf or
hat, a wall that has been lazured (i.e., painted with many layers of thin watercolor washes), a piece of
hand-dyed cloth-each of which can be found in a typical Waldorf classroom-express this sensibility.
Natural materials such as wood rather than synthetic materials such as plastic also support this aesthetic.
For this reason, in a Waldorf school the children’s desks and chairs are usually made of unpainted wood
so that the natural beauty of the grain can show. In their crafts and handwork, the children-beginning in
the kindergarten-use natural materials such as beeswax, clay, and unspun wool-and experience with their
hands the living beauty of the natural world."
link to full article here
The little Waldorf dolls that I made my girls over Christmas have really helped me to understand the real and tangible difference between the handmade and the manufactured.
My girls have bonded with their dolls in a way that I have never seen them do with their other dolls.
They "feel" for their little cloth doll friends and want to include them in their activities.
Of course it goes without saying that these little dolls were made with a great deal of love by their Mama :0) They were also made using only completely natural materiel's. The fibres of the dolls actually resonate with a clarity and honesty that plastic dolls simply cannot replicate.
We recently bought some paintings from a local homeware shop. These paintings were to replace a heavy mirror in our lounge that was unstable. These paintings were genuine oils, however they were clearly from a production line and not an real artist.
Up in the girls bedrooms we have a few genuine etchings, oil paintings and pastels, some inherited from my grandparents, some bought while in Paris years ago.
These works of art shimmer with the soul of the one who wrought them. They are a presence in and of themselves. What a difference between them and the stylish, co-ordinating yet emotionally vacuous works that now hang above our sofa.
Next time I will, without hesitation, wait till I can afford an honest piece of real art rather than settle for quick solution.
Doesn't this also apply to so many things. The food we eat for example. When I eat fresh home grown veggies, or some organic locally grown or produced food I feel the health and vitality from the first bite.
Tani often says, when he first came to England one thing that struck him was the tastelessness of the fresh fruit and vegetables. He often recalls how the smell of the vegetables his mother prepared in the kitchen would scent the whole house. Peppers, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers alive with flavour!
The way in which something is grown or created will impact the soul or beingness of the thing itself whether animal, vegetable or mineral.
In Waldorf schools, children are given the opportunity to see the process of creation from start to finish.
An example of that is getting the children to collect local sheep fleece. They wash, card and spin the fleece, plie it to create yarn and then create something beautiful and useful from it such as a knitted scarf or a crocheted bag.
Maintaining the vital connection between product and process is essential if we are to remain mindfully compassionate about the choices we make as consumers.
I really want to introduce this mindful philosophy to the girls more and more.
The connection between process and product is also something I want to integrate more and more into our homeschooling day.
So often we can get too caught up on the finish line, the target, the result, when really the process of creation is where the essential learning takes place.
Boo has been learning this lesson well as she weaves her little rope basket, day by day, inching around a circle, two stitches forward and one stitch back!
At first it was really hard for her to undo any work that was messy and could be improved on. She became very attached to the idea of "just finishing".
Now undoing and redoing are something she takes on board much more easily and through it she gives her work integrity. What a powerful lesson. No there are no deadlines in our homeschool :)
I had to undo a whole ream of knitting the other evening, so I understand her predicament well. The sinking heartache of unraveling hard work is never an easy thing. Yet what life lessons are held in those tangled pieces of ringletted yarn that lie in a pile upon the floor!
How many times in life will we have to make each stitch count for its own sake?
Ultimately, the integrity of a whole life's work rests upon the love given to the single stitches that weave it into one piece.
Our pride cannot rest upon a fixed idea of what the end product should reflect about us and our own ego but the meaning of the process itself.
How it shaped us as we shaped it.
One small change for us! Here's a little pledge then :)
From now on I will strive to be to be more mindful about what I consume. Whether that be products, clothes, toys, decor, utilities or food. I will try to maintain the connection between process and product and create an ambience in our home that emanates the light, love, texture and soul of the handcreated, the ethical the natural and the concious.
How to Make Dreams Come True
The dream is a sacred thing to many tribal cultures. It is a vision for life, a finding of the soul. The Native Americans call it medicine.
The dream is meant to heal the most broken part of ourselves and help heal the most broken part of others we meet along our journey through life.
It is what makes us whole again, uniting us to our soul and the soul of the the earth and the spirit of the one who created both.
In some Native American tribes, a youth, when ready to find his medicine will sit upon a mountain for four days and four nights without eating or drinking.
A young Aborigine in Australia will be taken to a place deep in the outback desert. In that place of solitude he will also find His dream and it will become his strength and it will lead him, safely home.
In the western world we have career advisers.
Our dream has now become deeply connected to our ego and that is reflected in the career path we try to take. How many people in all honesty would have no preference of job for themselves or their children. How many people would prefer their child to become a gardener over a scientist, a cleaner over an accountant, a carpenter over an executive. Not everyone, of course but it tends to be the general consensus.
This is all reflected in which subjects are taken most seriously in schools. Practical vocational qualifications, the arts and religious studies, are generally not considered as important or valuable as the hard sciences or mathematics.
We are encouraged to follow the path which most effectively enhances our sense of value in society. Whether or not the pursuit of such a path is of any inherent value within itself.
The advertisers, the media, politicians and ultimately those who benefit most and pull the most strings, the corporations, have replaced the true dream with a superficial version.
This is a great crime against our human souls and it is going unnoticed because it is happening so slowly.
Holly wood movies are the preparation ground for desensitization. While our lives are kept so increasingly busy, entrenched in tasks and entangled in bureaucracy that we become passive to the effects of the media on our consciousnesses.
The media plays up to every one of our sins so that we continue to consume above and beyond our means and needs. It also makes us fear the world around us while giving us the message that ultimatly we are impotent and powerless to change anything.
But the most scary truth is that we are becoming numb. We are losing the ability to truly see and hear the voice of our souls. The voice of God.
And it is young people who are most vulnerable to mistake the false dream for the real one.
Young people throughout history have been counted on for their passion, their heart, their often rebellious search for authenticity and meaning, purpose and truth.
In the early church and throughout history young people have taken leaps of faith and made huge sacrifices for the sake of what they believed in.
Yet young people seem to have lost their fire, their need for the dream, they have a replacement in the form of the ipod, face book, television and endless supplies of food that they have no need or desire to seek. Of course I am generalising horribly, however, this trend of apathy cannot be ignored entirely, because it undeniably exists.
Maybe this is because the dream replacement seems quite congenial, non confrontational, consumer friendly and relatively safe compared with the true dream.
In the new dream Saint Nicholas becomes Father Christmas, Jesus becomes a blond, blue eyed, life coach, and American Idol and X factor become the initiation ceremonies for our youth.
In contrast, the true dream of our souls may very well lead us away from materiel security, the pursuit of wealth, perpetual beauty and comfort, and the instant pleasures and conveniences that factories across the world supply at both an environmental and human cost.
I took a walk outside the other night, far away from the orange street lamps and the hazy atmosphere. I found a place completely dark except for the stars and the crescent moon.
I sat and heard the stories nature tried to tell me, the ones I am usually to busy to hear.
The rustle of the leaves, awaking me softly to the night, both within and without.
I pray to be more present to the wisdom of the creator Our Father in the sighs, smiles, and tears of His Creation.
I have the feeling that the dream still sings somewhere along that river.
Snap shot reflections on this blustery Autumn day...
Sweetcorn flowers, shivering haze of misty lilac and gold upon elegantly poised green stalks.
A snapshot of the dining room table laden with voyages to undiscovered lands and distant horizons.
We have started to read the new testament from beginning through during morning prayers.
This morning we reflected on the journey of the magi.
From their simple yet profound trust in God's guiding star, the following of it out of their own culture across their own boundary lines. To the dream that warned them not to go back to Herod.
The gifts they gave and the deep meaning within each of them, and of course, the taking of a different route back to their own lands. Each segment a testimony, a lesson, a journey in itself.
And there is a profound truth here. For don't we all take a different route back to ourselves, our ways and our lands after meeting with Jesus? Somehow after finding Him, we too, find ourselves a little way beyond the boundaries we've built, both internal and external.
I know only to well, how even after a simple few moments of sitting at His feet I return to myself somehow differently.
Even on days when every sinew seems tightly wound, twisted into unnatural shape, when conversations go on in my head as a kind of background noise, and I can't even finish a sentence without losing the thread or even the very next word I was going to say in the melting pot that becomes of my brain.
A few moments with Him, just draws out the toxins and I am, once again able, to inhale deep drafts of oxygen.
Somehow the return journey to the world, that is my life, takes another route. Across the wide open spaces of gold and green.
Yesterday when we reflected on the birth of Jesus I could only imagine Mary's pain. Taking that long journey to Bethlehem, only to give birth to her first child in the midst of strangers, in the cold, cold, air of a rustic stable. She lived an obscure life up until the resurrection and the founding of the early church. A life of sorrow, sacrifice, mundanity, all struck through with the faith to see beauty and life in what may seem ugly and dead to other eyes.
Today, before lunch we stopped at the park. It was a proper blustery Autumn day, the ducks flapped about the river touting for bread crusts. Sadly we forgot to bring any for them.
Here we have come to the end of the day.
Fina is talking to her little "pets" Mummy owl, baby owl, little owl and Egbert the chick (her favourite stuffed toys :) in her cot beside me.
Matilda and Bujana are running and laughing downstairs.
Dishes lay piled, Mashed potato curdles upon the still warm stove and upon the air lingers a small, whisper of prayer still. Hardly uttered, yet known and embraced all the same by the One who hears without a word being spoken.