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

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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.

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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.

Let’s Hear it For The Good

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Rumours of spring are in the air, the winds have changed direction, crocuses grow unafraid in the garden, and my fellow bloggers are giving voice to seasonal optimism.

So, with all that in mind, and all things being equal, I decided to post more pics of winter.

Actually, these are the remaining pics from Scotland which I promised to post, and they’re of Luke’s riparian ramblings at Loch Ness.

While my computer has survived for another month, (though not for want of daily attention,) my health has demanded even more scrutiny than usual, and pain has slowed me down more these past weeks. Nevertheless, I hope sincerely that all my readers are happy, and faring physically as well as they may.

Anyways, I thought it would be a good time to make this declaration:

“Let’s hear it for the good”

Because we are, along with our peaceful sisters and brothers, the world over, coerced daily to hear it from the bad.

Wickedness notwithstanding, nothing lasts forever. Waves dip before they rise, and because all things must pass, it’s well to remember that *“For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave.”

Until next time, (speaking optimistically, as always) I wish all readers peace, and hope to return soon with more to share.

Namaste.

 

*From Robert Browning’s affecting poem “Prospice,”  which follows:

 

FEAR death?—to feel the fog in my throat,

  The mist in my face,

When the snows begin, and the blasts denote

  I am nearing the place,

The power of the night, the press of the storm,

  The post of the foe;

Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form,

  Yet the strong man must go:

For the journey is done and the summit attain’d,

  And the barriers fall,

Though a battle’s to fight ere the guerdon be gain’d,

  The reward of it all.

I was ever a fighter, so—one fight more,

  The best and the last!

I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forbore,

  And bade me creep past.

No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers

  The heroes of old,

Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life’s arrears

  Of pain, darkness and cold.

For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,

  The black minute’s at end,

And the elements’ rage, the fiend-voices that rave,

  Shall dwindle, shall blend,

Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain.

  Then a light, then thy breast,

O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,

  And with God be the rest!

Once Again

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Around these parts, we have had some surprisingly cold weather  during recent weeks, and this fact has been somewhat challenging. Summer though, returned just the other day, and it gave me enough disposable energy to go a-pic-hunting.

I return again therefore with photos to share. Although posting is difficult while my computer suffers its own set of disabilities, my camera is working just fine; so please enjoy the freshly taken pics above.

Peace, and Namaste to all, from Amras.

Let the love within reach out to all without.

Photography ©Francis Moloney.