Reminders

 

Greetings, and top of the day to everyone. The above pics are reminders of a truly great summer, just passed. All too soon the land must sleep, as though dead – and all will dream of spring. The first eight pics were taken in our garden by me. Amanda took the others whilst out and about. All these pics were taken in July, except the sun seen shining through leaves; which belongs to the next paragraph. Please enjoy.

The beauty of the natural world soothes the soul, and calms the mind. When I stand beneath our tallest leafy tree, in silence, and warm Autumnal sunbeams dance merrily across my face – then, above all else, I know that I am standing in the light of our Creator’s love for all. I hope you feel this way too.

Until next time, peace – and may you enjoy many more days of warmest sunshine.

July supp

 

‘Tis hard for man to rouse his spirit up–

It is the human creative agony,

Though but to hold the heart an empty cup,

Or tighten on the team the rigid rein.

Many will rather lie among the slain

Than creep through narrow ways the light to gain–

Than wake the will, and be born bitterly.

But he who would be born again indeed,

Must wake his soul unnumbered times a day,

And urge himself to life with holy greed;

Now ope his bosom to the Wind’s free play;

And now, with patience forceful, hard, lie still,

Submiss and ready to the making will,

Athirst and empty, for God’s breath to fill.

~ George MacDonald, Diary of an Old Soul.

Photo 22-07-2019, 19 11 37

A Good Day

Greetings, I hope you are enjoying the new year so far. It certainly promises to be an interesting ride. I took the above pics while sitting in the car during a ten minute drive around. Sadly, I can’t spend much more time than this away from home without experiencing extreme exhaustion. Having said that, I am grateful for all that I can do, and this was a good day.

Every remaining day, of one particular summer holiday when I was a boy, and Just back home from the family fortnight, I would meet with my friends, and we would play together in abandoned neighbouring farmland. Before long, we put our heads together, and decided to build a two level treehouse in the branches our favourite oak tree. It was ancient, and tall, with many long branches for us to utilise. We loved this tree like a member of our gang. We utilised available planks and rope, and whatever else we could find lying scattered where the farmhouse had stood. The treehouse took less than a week to complete. Here we drunk lemonade, and swapped comics. When hungry, we helped ourselves to apples, gooseberries, strawberries, and suchlike. They grew freely and in abundance amongst the wildflowers and tall bushes growing all around. All in all, it was turning out to be a very good summer holiday.

One day, when September was approaching, a gang of ruffians bore down on us. They came, orc-like, thrashing through the tall grass. They threatened to hurt us if we didn’t surrender our treehouse. My friends decided it would be wise to run away, and so they did. Not this fool. I refused to surrender, and defended the structure from barrage after barrage of flying stones taken from a crumbling boundary wall. Next thing, the thin planks making up one side of our den were demolished. I grabbed the corrugated iron roofing and made a shield around my exposed flank. The raining stones were deafening against my ear, and worse yet were the threats and taunts. Before long, the floor collapsed, and I fell, wearing short sleeves and trousers, into the moat of tall nettles that was lying directly below. 

We lost our hideaway that day. The gang took over the remains of our treehouse. Days passed, and that would have been it, except for the surprising fact that I had earned their respect, or so it seems. One of them approached me with an invitation to join them for an afternoon in the tree, and I accepted. The first thing I noticed was that the wild flowers that graced the field were all gone. The treehouse had received some very rudimentary repairs, and I sat, with some trepidation, in a corner, to observe the ways of these boys. They read naughty mags, and smoked cigarettes. I flatly refused both things. They spoke rudely, and plotted ill doings, including thefts, and truancy. When they grew hungry, there was no fruit growing for free to be found, and so they opted to scrump apples from a dwelling close to the road. From here they were chased off promptly, and with strongly worded threats to call the police ringing in their ears. I didn’t waste a single minute more of my time with these fellows, but I do thank them sincerely for the truly great lesson about life, and mother earth they gave me on that one cloudy afternoon. 

Now they remind me of our brothers and sisters who have stolen by force, the earth herself, leaving wastelands behind them. *Thorn bushes grow where the enemy has camped. Many decades have passed since our happy treehouse, and the way the earth once fed us freely. The landscape of childhood has changed out of recognition. It is built over, and no longer allowed to feed any hungry children at play. I miss mother earth. So much of the bounty that heaven provides freely according to our need, has had a price put on it by naughty children who throw stones. I am very happy though, to contemplate the fact that too much Yang will become Yin. Therefore the pendulum is, perforce, swinging back again towards universal righteousness, and nothing but nothing can stop it. The good are becoming better, while the better are becoming best. Can you not feel this, like a call coming from inside of yourself?

I hope you enjoyed that memory of mine from a time long gone. The moral is timeless. Until next time, peace and good cheer from me.

“Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes,

who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.

May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.

Your Heavenly Domain approaches.

Let Your will come true – in the universe

just as on earth 

Give us wisdom for our daily need,

detach the fetters of faults that bind us,

like we let go the guilt of others

Let us not be lost in superficial things

but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.

From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,

the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.

Sealed in trust, faith and truth.”

Jesus.

The Lord’s Prayer, in its original Aramaic form.

Photography ©Francis Moloney.

 *Lau Tzu.

The Freshly Waxed Sled

We were treated to a heavy snowfall. It stayed for a week, but now is gone. It was a nice lead up to the seasonal festival here in the hills, where the soundless blanket of frozen crystals fell from the air. It seemed as if we were living in a scene from a Christmas card.

I am old enough to remember snowfalls that almost completely buried the houses where I lived, and which endured for many months. Temporary ski slopes were created in the unlikeliest of places, and I used to go sledding almost every day. Most of the roads were impassable for traffic, so walking to school and back was akin to embarking on an arctic expedition, which came complete with freezing flurries, and howling winds. Also ambushes, and pitched snowball battles with rivals from other schools. That was 62/3. Winters have never been so good since.

One day, I was having a go on my best friend’s freshly waxed sled on the street where he lived. Face first, and like a torpedo, I flew down the hill unstoppably towards the junction at the end, accompanied only by the cold wind singing in my ears. The road down there must have been gritted that morning, because I realised suddenly as I cleared the street, that my head was about to collide with the front wheel of a moving car. He must have been the first driver on that road in months. I just glimpsed the shock on his face, when at the instant his wheel should have crushed my head, I was lifted up by the collar of my coat, still clutching the sled, and was placed standing safely on the side of the icy road. This all happened in the blink of an eye. Thinking that my friend had somehow rescued me, I turned and shouted a heartfelt thanks, but there was nobody there. My friend was a quarter of a mile away. The car slid to a halt, and the driver got out. He said nothing, just gawked at me in what looked like complete disbelief, tinged perhaps with a little bit of fear. Cognitive dissonance, I suppose. Then he drove away, and I never saw him again.

My friend was greatly puzzled, but after an excited debriefing session, we agreed that for us, angels are proven, and nothing would ever take that knowledge away from us. We were nine.

Countless, I’m sure, are the numbers of people, who have, and who will experience such things, and although we live in a world that prefers us to keep it all to ourselves, we will alway know what is really true – and so will our angels. And that has to be a blessing.

I wish you all a blessed Christmas, and a safe and holy season in the arms of the giver of life. Let us remember in our hearts, all those who will not have it so good, and perhaps find time to reflect on the ebb and flow of things that cannot be quantified by any organ other than the heart.

On the Eve of the Winter Solstice, Peace from Amras.

Soundlessly they go,
the herons passing by:
arrows of snow
filling the sky.


Yamazaki Sōkan (1464-1552), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

While it Lasts

A Happy New Year to everybody. In these photos you can see how mild, and muddy we are having it for the time of year. It was chillier, in fact, throughout July and August than it is today. You won’t hear any complaints, however, from local folk, who are enjoying it while it lasts.

My brotherly thanks to all readers, and fellow bloggers. If sometimes I can be a bit slow to respond to you, this is due entirely to the ups and downs of living daily with an infirmity.

Meanwhile, a brand new year of opportunity beckons, and, when we look for them, opportunities to do good come to each one of us every day.

With my best wishes to everyone: peace from Amras.

drums-002

The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity

And the ways our differences combine to create 

meaning, and beauty.

 Gene Roddenberry.

 

 

Photography ©Amanda Moloney.

Ich Bin

Greetings, and I hope that your days are filled with happy moments. These photos were taken by Chris, during his recent trip to Berlin. Pictured are the Fernsehturm, the Spandauer Vorstadt, and Friedrichshain.  I find these pics quite moody, they convey to me a sense of approaching winter. They also feel a little bit lonely. Although Chris makes friends very easily, he, like me, prefers the country life. Knowing this, I doubly appreciate his generous efforts on behalf of this blog. Here’s to Chris.*

In the meanwhile I managed to attain my sixty third year on this glorious globe. Yay me.

I hope you enjoyed this post. With sincere thanks to all our readers, until next time:

Peace from Amras.

 

“Feel me. I am strong and fierce, yet I am soft and gentle. 

I have much power, yet I am peaceful and loving. 

I can defend myself, yet I remain kind and giving. 

Feel who I am. I have much joy and passion,

yet I am not dramatic. 

I do not indulge in negative emotions.”       

 From meeting Tabuk by Ellen Lieberman Weil.

*Previous posts from Chris:

https://amras888.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/take-my-breath-away/

https://amras888.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/jiggery-pokery/

Photography ©Chris. P. Hammond.