Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
—Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)
Presents bought and wrapped, food stowed ready, final touches to decor done, plans finalized and most importantly grandson away with his dad for Christmas, now to put my feet up with a glass of wine and enjoy the season with my trusty laptop close at hand for any random Christmas renderings that may appear inspired by the season. Being hit by inspiration to finally get going on the new book I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to write.for the last year and deciding to start my new “Song Bird” blog in mid December has left me chasing the ball a little. (apologies for the haphazard posts and almost total neglect of my reader of late – inspiration tends to get messy!)
As I get older I find I need to pace myself, I see so many needs in the world around me I always want to do more, yet now my kids are grown and flown the nest I find different limitations. My body kicks in and reminds me that whereas I may feel 21 in spirit I’m expecting a bit much of it after 63 years of pretty intense wear and tear. One useful thing I’ve learned is to take time to “aim straight” if you have less energy to call on you have to make it count!
As a long term teacher I found the key was always to digest the material myself first and bring it down to the simplest terms. To teach concept rather than method (grasp the concept and the rest will follow.)
I’ve found that in my life too “truths” are always simple. As the modern world gets increasingly complex simple truths (like you reap what you sow, money can’t buy real love etc.) can tend to get buried under mounds of in put both good and bad.
I feel a need to search them out again from time to time, dust them off and put them again in a place of prominence. I wonder for this generation will they be able to find and discern the real gems of life amidst so much overwhelming intellectual and media debris? I hope so for they make such difference to the quality of life.
Never heard this before – so beautiful!
What is the most haunting Christmas carol you have ever heard? There are countless Christmas songs and carols being trumpeted over the airwaves this season, but none capture the poignancy of Christ’s birth as well as the old folk song, I Wonder As I Wander.
So where exactly did this song come from? That story is even more intriguing than the song itself! Here is how Ace Collins, author of Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, tells the story of the way John Jacob Niles, a historian and song-writer who spent most of his life traveling across the Appalachian Mountains in search of new folk music, discovered this Christmas favorite:
“On a cold December day in North Carolina, Niles observed people from a poor community going about their daily lives. From his own experience, Niles knew that just a few hundred miles away in New York, people crowded…
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