This poem says it so well. There’s something of great comfort in the eternal element of nature. It puts all our petty striving back in its place, reminds us there are greater forces than us/politicians/corporations etc. in the cosmos and this brings peace.
I was secretly glad to have a cold yesterday so it didn’t notice when my eyes would tear up.
You see my daughter has been talking with her husband, who is working as a translator for the Syrian refugees pouring into Germany. He told her how there are so very many orphans. Some parents have died on overcrowded boats and some, there not being space for them all to get on the trains, had, in sacrificial desperation, thrust them in the available spaces (some only 2-3 years old)
I cannot imagine being so desperate for my children’s safety that i could make such a sacrifice, having to trust somehow the German people would take care of them.
The German government is pleading for people to adopts these little ones.
(Don’t believe all you read in the media about Syrian refugees by the way. The vast majority arriving, he said, are Syrian women and children, not single men or not economic opportunists with fake Syrian passports.)
from August 2014
(Sci-fi flash fiction)
It shone, a light in the darkness, the guiding star. All around blackness consumed them as their vessel spun in the endless spirals of the vortex. All eyes focused on the tiny glimmer of light as they reeled to and fro caught up in the stream of space flow.
Sheana grasped the manual control bar positioned around her seat like a massive gyroscope. It was up to her. She must stay focused, her entire being caught up in the struggle. The far off star marked their exit point, loose sight of it and they were lost.
All around hung silence deep as the grave prepared before them. Enemy ships had driven them to this desperate ploy, no escape, no option but to go down fighting. The commander, fought his inner battles. It had been his decision. Surrender meant enslavement, better to take their chances. It had never…
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(Impressions of Mexico – off the tourist track.)
Wandering around ruins of ancient, less frequented pyramids I gave thanks for the girl who insisted I needed extra strong bug spray, for my broad brimmed sun hat and techniques of bag clutching gleaned from my Far East travels. It was, I surmised, a land of saints and sinners, the wonderful friends helping at my daughter’s wedding and those “other folks” who seemed intent to steal, cheat and con at every opportunity. Could I blame them? Probably not.
Seeing ancients trying to make a living washing windscreens or playing guitar at beach tables, their skin a sea of wrinkles from long hours in the sun, wrung my heart, along with the young girl whose mother enforced dubious tactics to cajole my daughter to buy a cheap toy. I saw the fear and humiliation in her eyes.
We found a guy knocking on windows saying his wife just died of cancer and he had no way to get home to his daughters. Was he telling the truth? I don’t know. The tears at least were genuine as were the shaking shoulders as he broke down in my daughter’s arms. Whatever the truth of his story he was desperate. We each gave him the usual 10 pesos (it’s only 50 pence, if it were a con we wouldn’t miss it).
I saw a lot of the seamier side of life, but then I was looking. We were to their eyes “rich foreigners” who could afford to give and they lined up to sell us something. Even China was not like that. I began to understand why they swamp the US borders. As generally is the case, underlying corruption seemed the base of the problem.
Then there was the good. The smiling friendly faces, honest folks who had opportunity to cheat me (due to my ignorance) but chose not to, friends and co-workers of my German son in law who worked to bring the wedding to pass, his brother who took over the bar when the waiters and barman proved totally hopeless, the inclusiveness of the crowd, dragging everyone up to dance, the fun and freedom as folks doffed their wedding gear to plunge in the pool and escape the heat.
Later I discovered the beaches, cool, fabulous, blue sky edged with pale soft sand and waves just cool enough to refresh, a solace to the soul. We passed the best afternoon at one such place discovering a “pearl of great price” an honest restaurant with a waiter who could juggle all our bills and requests with ease, shady umbrellas and deck chairs with the surf a few yards away (we left a hefty tip.)
Now I’m home enjoying gentle English summer and shopping in streets guarded by police that keep law and order instead of seeking bribes. I give thanks for my heritage for not all enjoy it and I know it was dearly bought.