Life can be like English spring.

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Funny though it may be, the picture gives a pretty acurate illustration of spring in England – this year being a pretty extreme case!

While chuckling, I thought life can be like that too. After a long “winter” the sun finally appears only to be eclisped a few days later by a torrential downpour of problems and sorrows. Slowly it picks up again, the clouds of doubt disperse as it grows steadily warmer. Then again the cold hits etc.

My son, with the manifest wisdom of a thirteen year old, once told me when I felt overloaded with problems. “It’s like the tide, the waves come in and then withdraw but each time they reach a little further and after a while though you don’t see it so much the tide is in.”

Spring here is like that too, each time it gets cold again it’s a little warmer than last time, each time the sun shines it lasts longer. Life is like that too. Seldom do we advance steadily toward our dreams. It’s more often two steps forward and one back. It’s important to bare this in mind and keep our minds on the progress or we can get discouraged by frequent set backs and throw in the towel just before it’s time to launch into the depths and swim.

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Run the race.

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Life is all a journey as you stumble through the years,
Sometimes through strife and battle and often lonely tears.
Sometimes through days of sunshine, when the soul within you glows
Sometimes in days of certainty, you know the way to go.
Sometimes in bleak confusion, unknowing steps you trace,
But all in all you’ll get there. You too will win the race.
Not one against the other, in striving to compete,
All pushing on and shoving, thrusting others from their feet.
But hand in hand beguiling, each happy golden hour,
The weak and tired enticing to draw upon your power.
Till that gate arriving, when journey meets its end,
You’ll be a man, my brother, a fortress and a friend.

How to be thankful – empathy!

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I still remember when visiting friends in Sicily, after a long stay helping in a critical situation in  Greece concerning Kurdish refugees. Our host remarked how thankful and appreciative my kids were compared to hers. How did I do it? she asked.

I replied, when you don’t eat meat for months, have to bathe in a bowl of hot water, wake to freezing cold and fight constant mold on the walls and ceilings in winter and intense heat in summer, your home seems like paradise on earth by comparison!

Needless to say our conditions were much better than those of the refugees we were trying to help (we at least had a house!)

I thank God every day for my beautiful, warm apartment, pension and sweet supportive family. I am so blessed!

Microscope or telescope?

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Some look through a microscope and see the slightest flaw,
The dirty shoes, the gross tattoo, a failing they abhor.
I far prefer another lens, through which to cast my gaze,
That sees the prime potential I hope one day will raise,
And flourish with a breath of hope and make our voices sing.
That taking on strong forces vile will triumph in the ring.

It’s easy to see the flaws in things, in people. Demolition requires little skill compared to building (though often the more popular pursuit). It takes, vision, effort, and perseverance to build. So let’s be sure as we set out each day to bring with us a telescope.