Posted in Christian, Life, Musique, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World

Wonder across the Sky

“Skywatchers are in for an end-of-year treat. What has become known popularly as the “Christmas Star” is an especially vibrant planetary conjunction easily visible in the evening sky over the next two weeks as the bright planets Jupiter and Saturn come together, culminating on the night of Dec. 21.” (Source:nasa.gov)

“The celestial conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn planets will take place on Monday, December 21, 2020. … During this conjunction, the two large planets come so close that they appear to make a bright double planet.” (Source: timesofindia.com)

After the chaos of settling down the house for the evening, it was a quick sneak up the terrace for a view of the “celestial conjunction” or as popularly put as the “Christmas Star” for this year. An eagle-eyed search lead the seeker to believe that the eyes have made out this “end-of-the-year treat”. On locating what was believed to be “the treat”, the eyes went a couple of planes ahead and above. Oh behold, the magnificence of the sky.

To witness the gift of His creation, one doesn’t need to visit the exotic places or the most eagerly anticipated trips to the seven natural wonders of the world. The wonders lie in our own backyards, terrace and skies above our abode and oh yes, even in us as well. Though sometimes to find it, we need to be still and know ourselves.

Truth is we all have that something special in each one of us. In our haste to explore the world, we lose ourselves in the chaos and fail to reconnect and embrace life as a whole. As the gifts of the sky and His Grace always show; sometimes one needs to just stand still and believe in order to appreciate the beauty in this world around us.

Life is such that, happiness isn’t always enclosed in gaily wrapped packages. Sometimes it’s there in the air, but we don’t see it. Instead we crave for the next one or the forbidden, missing out on what was there in grasp. As Christmas always says, His Glory and His Grace is always there; when one finds it, the happiness, joy and above all, the peace that one always longs for will be in our reach.

“Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heaven afar;
Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born!”….
(Lyrics from Silent Night lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Songtrust Ave; Source: LyricFind, Songwriters: Traditional)

There are innumerable glories as well as countless gifts and blessings that we come across. Some we know, many we don’t. Yet the more we know and learn to appreciate, these would be put to better use. As the year comes to a close, let this season teach us not only to share the love and joy, but also learn to be still, find ourselves and on the whole, be a part of His miracle.

Posted in Family and Society, Musique, Personal Musings, Reflections

As the Music Goes

Sitting cross legged and rummaging through the stack of boxes wasn’t an ideal way to spend the one hour break from “the work from home routine”, but it was a necessity, for the demand had risen up quite a few decibels. Oh yes, the search is for those Christmas CDs, not that the music player list is not saved on the desktop, but here’s something rustic and nostalgic in winding down with some good old carols and Christmas music, for both the young and the old. While many of the CDs by themselves carry a lot of memories, there’s a special feel to listening to the lyrics and preparing for the Christmas time.

“Here’s the gift of Christmas, the world at it’s best
We mustn’t forget why the gift of Christmas
Can help remind us remember the rest….”
(Lyrics from Dannii Minogue – The Gift Of Christmas )

Talking about the feel, the essence of Christmas lies in the selflessness of love and kindness. This is one season wherein the spirit of giving comes alive. Regrettable though is the reality that the “giving” doesn’t go beyond the last month of the present year, over to the next year. For some it may, but then it gets tempered down with time. Seeing the holiday season come to full effect, reminds one to go beyond the commercialization and celebrations and carry over the Christmas spirit within oneself. It may start with one small act, words or thoughts; but as the chain effect goes on, the ripples created will last through the ever-changing winds.

To be kind to the self and to those around us. For that is one of the best gifts to receive and pass on, the spirit of happiness to last through all the seasons of time. As the music and lyrics go, let these last couple of days of the year bring forth and keep alive the thoughts of humaneness and kindness all year round.

Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, poetry

“A”-Way we Go

With the sudden chill in the air, announcing the arrival of early winter showers; the sodden steps of the porch bore the evidence of the persistent rain overnight. Surprisingly the small backyard kitchen area wasn’t covered by wet pools; more likely that the winds of rain didn’t go that way. While wiping out the excess water from the porch steps; it brought to mind the directions that we go in our lives.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” E.E. Cummings

Different people, different lives and situations and of course, winds that blow in varying directions and at odd times. Comparing life to a ship a sea is a familiar analogy that even non-avid readers (or as mildly known as keen newspaper readers) are familiar with. As always the analogy states, it’s about the outcome of how we get to the other side or the destination. It is the captain who mans the ship and sets the sails or the motor in motion, steering it, to reach the shore safe.

Switching the focus into each of our ships that we are a part of, the facts lie in not just how we steers but also in who guides us and gives us the inner courage and the will to forge ahead. In other words, who gives us the peace and calmness to the mind, heart and soul within each of us. That is the answer that one always seeks for. While a part of it lies in His abundant Grace and His Love, another part of the answers is what makes us whole. A part of it is the emotion of love, humaneness and kindness that binds together as a family, a unit, as friends or neighbours or makes the network or own social circle a welcome place to be in. Into the last month of the year, finding the will to steer and prepare ourselves to write or start off another segments in the life that we live.

The Set of the Sails
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

One ship drives east, and another west
With the self-same winds that blow;
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
That decides the way to go.

Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As they voyage along through life;
‘Tis the will of the soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Random Thoughts

Purpose

Rope. (noun) 1. a length of thick strong cord made by twisting together strands of hemp, sisal, nylon, or similar material. 2.a quantity of roughly spherical objects such as onions or beads strung together. “a rope of pearls”. (verb) catch, fasten, or secure with rope. Purpose/ Uses: to hang the washing, to secure the boat to the post at the dock, to fence off a specific area, to tie objects etc.

Pen. (noun)an instrument for writing or drawing with ink, typically consisting of a metal nib or ball, or a nylon tip, fitted into a metal or plastic holder. (verb) write or compose. Purpose/ Uses: to note down on paper or any writing surface and special ones can be collected as a hobby or given as gifts.

The above few lines were a part of the school assignment for learning the conceptualization of a noun and verb. While it wan’t the “education or the knowledge” bit that had caught the eye; it was the second part of “purpose or uses” that had triggered the sentimental gray cells to go a roll. What’s so special about this aspect in “real life”? For the purpose of each defines it and the self. Take for instance the rope, it can serve the purpose it was meant, but is it one of benefit or destruction; that always remains to be seen. Same for the pen, or any similar material object.

Each of us are seek a reason for many things, whether they be big issues or trivial matters. Underlining our every word, action and even belief; is the purpose around it. The reason why; whether it may be known or realized then, or is the start of the road or target to a particular outcome; plays a major role in all our lives. Yet when the destruction outweighs the benefit, is when the very same purpose can be the one that makes our lives hang in the balance.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Eleanor Roosevelt

On all matters, our existence or resolves should be governed by whether they bring out a feeling of happiness or contentment, or whether they are governed by motives which are meant solely for egotistical basis, whether they be very small or of a humongous nature. Knowing this makes a huge difference. Purposes are like ropes; they can be used to tie us up or help us limb over like a net to higher levels; destructive or of benefit.

Man defines himself by the intentions or objectives in his mind, heart and soul. When all these fall into synchrony and harmony, is when he is truly happy within. Life is all about and this. Finding a purpose is important, but above all that, it should be that something that makes us truly light up from within. In these things lies the precariousness and preciousness of the “purposes” in our lives.

What Life Should Be
By Pat A. Fleming

To learn while still a child
What this life is meant to be.
To know it goes beyond myself,
It’s so much more than me.

To overcome the tragedies,
To survive the hardest times.
To face those moments filled with pain,
And still manage to be kind.

To fight for those who can’t themselves,
To always share my light.
With those who wander in the dark,
To love with all my might.

To still stand up with courage,
Though standing on my own.
To still get up and face each day,
Even when I feel alone.

To try to understand the ones
That no one cares to know.
And make them feel some value
When the world has let them go.

To be an anchor, strong and true,
That person loyal to the end.
To be a constant source of hope
To my family and my friends.

To live a life of decency,
To share my heart and soul.
To always say I’m sorry
When I’ve harmed both friend and foe.

To be proud of whom I’ve tried to be,
And this life I chose to live.
To make the most of every day
By giving all I have to give.

To me that’s what this life should be,
To me that’s what it’s for.
To take what God has given me
And make it so much more

To live a life that matters,
To be someone of great worth.
To love and be loved in return
And make my mark on Earth.

Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, poetry, Reflections

Step to Start

One of the biggest drawbacks of the present day is the mass confusion and uncertainty attached to it. Nearing the end of the year, as the leaves of the calendar come off and the thickness goes down, the gnawing thoughts inside awakens again, “Oh what a mess of the year”. Reflecting on this one aspect is true that this year was totally off all expectations and hassled man; yet on the another hand this year helped one to refocus and find themselves.

“Most times, the way isn’t clear, but you want to start anyway. It is in starting with the first step that other steps become clearer.” Israelmore Ayivor

Finding ourselves doesn’t start off with a loud clap and bang. It starts off in the quiet moments where one shuts off the noise around them, and seek answers to within or just lie still. One of the gifts of the humane nature, is that the mind has unbelievable strength of its’ own. Each person has many facets of their character. Using them or donning them on, comes when the time is right or the when the mind ascertains it. Those who learn to do so, eventually survive the downpour and learn to appreciate the tiny blessings that come along with it. Each person has their own treasure trove of surprises; using them to better the day is what makes the whole difference in the world.

Another part to finding ourselves is to learn to switch off the irrelevant chatter around the self. Plain listening to the numerous conversations around oneself or pointless chatter, doesn’t serve any real purpose, unless one learns to tune in and out at the right points. Knowing which points are right or not; that happens only by experience, through own eyes or of those around us.

“…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

No one can move ahead by staying on that spots. Even a baby starts off on all fours, in tiny shuffles or large leaps, but they go ahead and explore. Caution is needed, but also hope, faith and the belief that there is always something better to do, especially using our own talents. More than talk, go ahead and start off. True that when the going gets tough, take a pause but wilt not. For the days are still there, for the year to end. And as always said “better now than never”. For the world needs those tiny steps of today, to make the difference in the tomorrows that come.

The Room of Ancient Keys
by Elena Mikhalkova

Grandma once gave me a tip:

During difficult times,
you move forward in small steps.
Do what you have to do, but little by little.
Don’t think about the future,
not even what might happen tomorrow.
Wash the dishes.
Take off the dust.
Write a letter.
Make some soup.
Do you see?

You are moving forward step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Get some rest.
Compliment yourself.
Take another step.
Then another one.
You won’t notice, but your steps will grow
bigger and bigger.
And time will come
when you can think about the future
without crying.
Good morning.

Posted in Family and Society, Personal Musings, poetry

A Fine Regard

It was one of those evenings, wherein the dusk settles and the household has the chance to hear the proverbial pin drop. This happens not because all are busy on their media devices and accounts, neither the young nor the old; for each device has their own “fashionable noise”. This was one of those evenings, as all were gathered in the den, from a busy crochet pattern to reading the daily grind with the young ones engrossed in their creativity (surprisingly noiseless for a change). Evenings like these bring to mind, the days of my own childhood; devoid of all the “social fanfare, entertainment and modern knowledge of today”; though surprisingly rich in it’s own share of happy moments.

“We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.” Nicholas Sparks ( from The Notebook)

Many a time, the quietness around us is what gives the balm to the restless soul or aching heart. The sooner we learn to stop and live in the moment; taking comfort in just being there and around, the more we get to add to the treasure trove of “good moments”.

Life is not always about being on the move or turning all the pages of the book at once. The gifts or even opportunities lie, in learning to savour the moments and just stop for a couple of seconds. As always known emptiness makes a lot of noise. Instead enrich it with the quiet moments scattered throughout the day. or scenes like “these quiet evenings” is what makes the soul through the passage of time.

Keeping Quiet
Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about;

I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry

Beyond the “Why”

“At times, more important that the “whys and hows” of the situation, is the “what” which can be done only when one buckles down and get the “doing” part switched over to the active mode.” June Ann

One of the highlights of this year, compared to the previous, is the immense amount of challenges it has thrown in front of each one of us. Some were doable, other not so much and quite a few put us through the wringer. Picking oneself and sorting through the tide, often lead to the question of self doubt and whether one would survive the onslaught. Surprisingly when one reaches the other side, in retrospect, all these challenges seem doable once we buckle up and break them down bit by bit. To get to that finale, all it takes is the courage to responsible for self and then deal with it.

“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.” Adrienne Rich

Many a time we may know not why did it happen so, now or the ever famous line of “why me?”. Reality shows that the answers to all these doubts that assail us don’t really make a difference, except to cause more internal mayhem. Each of us add a tiny part to the complete whole. The joy of that contribution happens only when one learns to count their blessings and use own talents or even acquired ones, irrespective of the adversaries that one comes across. Like the view from the highest peaks is enjoyed after an arduous trek; the pleasure,joy with the feeling of peace and happiness is what makes it all worthwhile. In light of all this, going beyond the “why” maybe what is needed to bring back the light into our hearts and soul. As long as we are here in this world, we need to “get set and go”. If the way gets too distorted or broken; redirect own self and journey on, for to find own self we may need to do so.

I Am
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I know not whence I came,
I know not whither I go
But the fact stands clear that I am here
In this world of pleasure and woe.
And out of the mist and murk,
Another truth shines plain.
It is in my power each day and hour
To add to its joy or its pain.

I know that the earth exists,
It is none of my business why.
I cannot find out what it’s all about,
I would but waste time to try.
My life is a brief, brief thing,
I am here for a little space.
And while I stay I would like, if I may,
To brighten and better the place.

The trouble, I think, with us all
Is the lack of a high conceit.
If each man thought he was sent to this spot
To make it a bit more sweet,
How soon we could gladden the world,
How easily right all wrong.
If nobody shirked, and each one worked
To help his fellows along.

Cease wondering why you came–
Stop looking for faults and flaws.
Rise up to day in your pride and say,
“I am part of the First Great Cause!
However full the world
There is room for an earnest man.
It had need of me or I would not be,
I am here to strengthen the plan.”