Greetings readers. We live on the south of the hill pictured. Our side escaped the recent forest fires, but the north side was greatly damaged. All thanks to barbecue wielding fools.
Fire services from many counties lent their services, and were forced to remain for days. Many neighbours were evacuated too, but fortunately, all their homes were saved.
Throughout the emergency, squadrons of swallows swooped in from all directions, and feasted on the clouds of insects fleeing the smoke. Only this solitary blue butterfly was wise enough to wait it out in our garden.
While all this was going on, our son, along with hundreds of fellow travellers, was stranded abroad due to flight cancellations, which took days to fix.
I am happy to report that all’s well now.
Thank you readers, and followers, for your ongoing friendship. I sincerely hope the times aren’t troubling you too far beyond the evils of the hour. Also, we have many more pics to share, so if heaven permits, I will be back soon.
Peace from Amras.
This is what our Scriptures come to teach: in everything, in every circumstance, do to others as you would have them do to you.
Greetings. Here’s a fresh post, for a new year. I’ve chosen one photo from each month of 2019. The atmospheric featured image, like the forest, was taken in January. October’s pic captures an upside down rainbow – a common phenomenon of late. December’s mysterious pic is of the moon, shining through the leaves of a close-by palm tree.
With that, I shall leave you in peace. May your life be blessed.
When winter beleaguers my troublesome bones, too often exhaustion will outweigh my pen.
“I closed my mouth and spoke to you in a hundred silent ways.”
Here we are with part two, gazing once again at sleek and shiny machines. Mercedes Benz World is located in Surrey, England. Here you can learn how cars work, take advanced driving courses, or just have a go in a fast car. You can even step inside a grounded Concorde and look around.
Because I am housebound, Amanda holds the keys to the family car. That’s her in the red jacket. I haven’t been able to drive since I became disabled, and I miss it a lot. During the work and school runs, every red light was an opportunity for a silent prayer. Every long traffic jam, a chance to catch up on some reading. Phone calls were private, and I always got to choose the music that best suited my mood – bonus.
When I was a boy scout, a very long time ago, I was told a story about a boy who took the trouble to ask himself how he might respond if he should witness an accident. It happened that one day, when he was riding in a bus, it crashed, and although he wasn’t hurt, many elderly passengers were. It was he who ran immediately to the nearest telephone, and called 999. He then administered first aid to the injured passengers – using shirts for bandages, and neckties for slings, etc. He worked until the emergency services arrived. Tributes aside, I feel that this boy’s greatest reward was in the satisfaction of knowing that he had successfully marshalled an effective, and well prepared response to the emergency.
In my job, I worked with injured and disabled people every day. I met many good folk whose active lives had come to an abrupt end. And, as I mentioned some time back, I grew up with a severely disabled brother, (who is coming to see me later today to celebrate my 66th). Therefore, and not that I don’t complain aplenty, I do endeavour to face my own trials perhaps more stoically than I otherwise might have.
Ok, I hope you enjoyed our two parter, and that you are also enjoying things in general. The world may be a sad place today, but nothing lasts forever. ‘For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave’ – and universal balance will return. We know this because circumstances have called us to stand firmly in the light of humanity’s highest values. The darker the shadow, the brighter the light. Those who know that heaven is real, can love their way across the battlefield, and then we, as one family together will light up the skies of dawn.
I think I’ve written enough for now. Thank you to all who read, follow, and comment. I hope to return soon. Until then, peace from Amras.
Do not place treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moths and corrosion disfigure and where thieves break in and steal. But place treasures for yourselves in Heaven, where neither moths nor corrosion disfigure and where thieves neither break in nor steal. For where your treasure is, there is your heart also.
Greetings from Amras. Today we are trying out a new background, while departing temporarily from our usual depictions of green, and living things. Instead we want to focus on shiny horseless carriages – with a trip down London way.
Our son treated Amanda to a day spent gazing at new, and historic cars. They visited Mercedes Benz World, which is a great place for a family day out. He ushered his mother from one car to another, at all times uttering quips. That’s him in the last pic, sampling something expensive. Please enjoy, there will be another, slightly longer post to follow.
Until then, as far as possible, strive to be at peace in all circumstances.
But who of you, while taking pains, is able to add a foot and a half to his stature?
Michael reflects on years spent behind the lens – and I, like Michael, feel that my best photos were taken when I was younger. Back then I had plenty mobility, plus time, and a heartfelt desire to take great pics. All around the world, in our private collections, we keep our personal favourites: those old photographs that flood our hearts with fondest feelings, and gentle blessings conveyed in memories reopened of good times gone by.
But never mind. After reading The Zen of Photography, I felt it was time for me to post my humble handful, starting with the above pic – a personal favourite. It was taken back in September 1981, from the balcony of my hotel room during a spectacular thunderstorm one night in Torquay, England. If memory serves, I used a 60 second exposure, with Kodachrome 25/ASA, while covering the lens intermittently to avoid over exposure.
When I was a schoolboy, and from then all the way up to the digital age, I used SLR cameras to take transparencies, (or slides if you prefer.) Very sadly, I haven’t been able to digitalise more than a small handful from the thousands of slides that survive. And even sadder, the quality doesn’t hold up a torch to the colour, and depth of the originals. Nevertheless, I will be posting the best of the remaining handful of digitalised slides every now and then.
It was during the deceptive calm before that fast approaching storm that the next pic was taken. What the picture doesn’t show you, is the storm damage that was to be visited that night upon all the boats in the harbour seen here. Unfortunately, none of my pics of the aftermath have been digitalised.
With that, and my sincerest thanks to Michael at Retireediary, https://retireediary.wordpress.com, I will wind this post up, and wish for you and everyone, happiness, and peace at all times. Amras out.
It has no fabric, only understanding.
It has no membership, save those who know they belong.
It has no rivals, because it is non-competitive.
It has no ambition for it seeks only to serve.
It knows no boundaries for nationalism’s are unloving.
It is not of itself because it seeks to enrich all groups and religions.
It acknowledges all great Teachers of all the ages who have shown the truth of Love.
Those who participate, practise the Truth of Love in all their beings.
There is no walk of life or nationality that is a barrier. Those who are, know.
It seeks not to teach but to be, and by being, enrich.
It recognises that the way we are may be the way of those around us because we are that way.
It recognises the whole planet as a Being of which we are a part.
It recognises that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemical act of conscious change of the ego into a voluntary return to the whole.
It does not proclaim itself with a loud voice but in the subtle realms of loving.
It salutes all those in the past who have blazoned the path but have paid the price.
It admits no hierarchy or structure, for no one is greater than another.
Each one will dedicate their life to the silent loving of their neighbour and environment and the planet, whilst carrying out their task however exalted or humble.
Its members shall know each other by their deeds, and being, and by their eyes, and by no other outward sign save the fraternal embrace.
It recognises the supremacy of the great idea which may only be accomplished if the human race practises the supremacy of Love.
It has no reward to offer either here or in the hereafter save that of the ineffable joy of being and loving.
Each shall seek to advance the cause of understanding, doing good by stealth and teaching only by example.
They shall heal their neighbour, their community and our Planet.
They shall know no fear and feel no shame and their witness shall prevail over all odds.
It has no secret, no arcanum, no initiation save that of true understanding of the power of Love and that, if we want it to be so, the world will change – but only if we change ourselves first.
All those who belong, belong. They belong to the church of Love.
[THE CATHAR PROPHECY OF 1244 AD concerning the RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INNER CHURCH OF LOVE].