Posted in Christian, Life, poetry, Random Thoughts

To Hold On

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

Reaching beyond the mid-phase of the Lenten period brought around a multitude of thoughts within the mind. Unlike the years before, as most of the meetings have been switched over to the online mode; reading the Scriptures and writings is how the present Lenten period is being observed. On listening to the narration of the Jairus’ daughter ( Mark 5:21-24, 35-43) reminds us of His Grace and with faith anything is possible.

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” ( John 8:12)

Each of us have our own bundle of sorrows and pain. Going beyond them requires one to find the courage from within. To find it, one needs to hold onto the Faith that He is with us always, will catch us when we fall and even if it happens, ill protect us. Such is His Love and His Grace as echoed through the chapters of the Gospel. As they always as, knowing and believing are two different aspects. Let this Lenten period teach us to experience strength and hope in His Love, His Grace and His Mercy. For He is always there, we just have to learn to never let go of His Hand.

Keep Walking…
Barbara Aldrich

Here we stand together,
Dressed in our pain,
Covered with scars
From wounds we did not ask for
Or deserve.

So what now?

We can’t go back and relive our lives.
We can’t take back the innocence we lost
Or make the sadness we felt into happiness.

But we can go on from here,
So let us start.

Stretch out your hand to mine,
Close your eyes
And slowly let the pain slip away.
Let go of the sadness;
It belongs to yesterday,
And let’s walk.

The earth is firm beneath our feet.
The sun is warm on our face.
Heavenly Father sees our struggle,
Smiles at our effort,
And sends us strength.

My friends, we can’t stay, looking back,
Lest we falter.
We must face forward,
Eyes wide open,
And keep on walking.

Hold tight and don’t let go;
You aren’t walking alone,
And neither am I.

Barbara is a part-time teacher and E.M.T. (Emergency Medical Technician), the mother of six children and three step children, married to her high school sweetheart for 23 years and living in Nevada. Thank you for sharing this with us Barbara!© 2005, Barbara Aldrich (Source: inspirationpeak.com)

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World

In the Flow

Because I can count on my fingers the number of sunsets I have left, and I don’t want to miss any of them.” Suzanne Collins (author of Catching Fire)

The hustle and bustle of daily living gets to us at times, especially when we see someone whose time is drawing to a close. Even though some professional sectors especially the emergency sectors, healthcare workers, military and the like see it on a more frequent scale; each life threatening event strikes the core of own self, knowingly or unknowingly. It wouldn’t be something new for those who work in a field where one is deals too close to death like the healthcare sector, the police or even the military. For some of us (or maybe many) it would be a wake-up call; either being involved directly or indirectly (through someone) in a near brush with near-death situation as simple as a road traffic accident. Then we can feel the waves crashing around us wondering about the point of wearing ourselves down with life when death is one surety for all.

In such an event, it is time to step and see the bigger picture especially through the eyes of those who have survived near-death. We then realize that the beauty of living is when the smaller things add up and we become a part of someone else’s life. Just as “no man is an island” we are all part of a bigger orchestra to play the symphony. It is the little notes that finally sing the big tune. No matter how dreary our lives seem, there are others who have had it worse. Yet no matter whichever way it maybe, the echoes of death teach us to appreciate the hidden joys of the daily living. Each of us form a small thread in the fabric of life, be it our own or of those around us. At the end of the day, these little waves are what brings the harmony to the shore.

“Waves are the voices of tides. Tides are life,” murmured Niko. “They bring new food for shore creatures, and take ships out to sea. They are the ocean’s pulse, and our own heartbeat.” Tamora Pierce

The cycle of life and death, is an innate part of each of us. Many a time we chase behind the big wave or the bigger ride, forgetting that they came come few and far between. Instead chasing after the little clouds in our own sky zone, helps us to complete and draw a better picture than before. Not to get me wrong, do chase your dreams but learning not to forget that we are a small thread in the whole fabric makes the woven cloth a vibrancy of colours; a life of it’s own. In the face of that, the flaming embers don’t hide the gift that we all have received, been blessed with and have passed it on with our heart and soul.

The little wave The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air – until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “My God, this terrible”, the wave says. “Look what’s going to happen to me!” Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him: “Why do you look so sad?” The first wave says: “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?” The second wave says: “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.” Source: “Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes

Into the Next Over

While scheduling the work events for the next week and corresponding them into the wall calendar in the kitchen was when the irony of the innumerable uncertainties of the year that was the present.

“Last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” T.S. Eliot

Despite all the chaos of the year, there are many things one would have been grateful for. There would also be many blessings that were received with surprise and gratitude; the help from unknown corners; kindness from a strangers and the unexpected blessings in the midst of perceived or true adversities. Through all this, one has prevailed and reached the next set of overs. What we do carry forward from the year previous are the lessons from the failures or choices that were made. Gather them and reap their benefit by looking beyond the emotional tangents and then strike ahead in the next given set of overs. Sometime we will eventually hit the boundary or go beyond it, and score more than the runs we expect.

“I close my eyes to old ends. And open my heart to new beginnings.” Nick Frederickson

One of the tangible things learnt this year among the known concept of the humane ability within each of us to adapt or survive, is the courage to do so. All of us have that strength in us to survive the falls in life; we just need to bring out the courage lying deep down. Let the dormant courage come to life, and steer us ahead. To find it, just put one foot in front of the other and take a few baby steps. Soon we will learn to walk and navigate those rocky paths with faith, courage and hope. Just move ahead, we all can do it.

Turn of a Year
Joan Houlihan

This is regret: or a ferret. Snuffling,
stunted, a snout full of snow.

As the end of day shuffles down
the repentant scurry and swarm—

an unstable contrition is born.
Bend down. Look into the lair.

Where newborn pieties spark and strike
I will make my peace as a low bulb

burnt into a dent of snow. A cloth to keep me
from seeping. Light crumpled over a hole.

Why does the maker keep me awake?
He must want my oddments, their glow.

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 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 Personal Musings, Photo Captions, Photography Art, Reflections

Take your Pick

“To do or not…right choice or wrong one…”

This refrain often comes to the subconscious mind, often at the oddest of moments. At times it may be on-the -spur of the moment, other times it may be in course of experiences the sequelae of events which have been set in motion by the action of the years previous or beyond, by self or even by those around us. In short, there is always an inner nagging feel of “what if’s” especially when the tide goes against one.

What do we with the choices we have ? To choose or not ? Was it the right or wrong one ? Which one is more or less hard ? Is it possible to live a life without crossing certain lines (not those of self or intentional harm though)? Is it possible to experience life without any risk ? Is life always hard for me ? Is anyone else in the same boat, with me ? Is it just me ?

As these thoughts run rampant in the mind; the hope that the true choices will eventually work out, is what keeps the mind and heart sane. As they always say, life isn’t a bed of roses. Where there are roses, there are thorns. To smell the rose, one needs to learn how to settle the thorns (which is an activity worth it’s weight more than gold). How to choose to settle the thorns, makes us experience the beauty of the bloom. So what are we waiting for ?

Choose but be wise about it. Though this hindsight comes over time, one needs to start away. Like Newton’s third law of action and reaction, there are always pros and cons. Yet above all that, follow your instinct, heart and soul. As they align, the mind falls into place and things pan out. Balance mayn’t always be there but trust yourself and bloom. The beauty of the rose always withstands the thorns of life.

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. ” Goldie Hawn

Posted in Personal Musings, Random Thoughts, Stories Around the World, Work

Stance on the Slant

Many of us or may a few, may have experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed by an unexpected turn of events. More than the “happy” feelings, there may have been the “feelings of doubt and uncertainty” that reigned high. It’s only in the aftermath, that one realizes that, it was those unexpected turns that brought out the best in us. Or it was the unexpected, that became our saving grace.

“You can’t outwit fate by standing on the sidelines placing little side-bets about the outcome of life. Either you wade in and risk everything you have to play the game or you don’t play at all. and if you don’t play you can’t win.” Judith McNaught

In retrospect, it all comes down to the attitude that we hold within us. The choice lies in either embracing the new, but a strong sense of grit, hope and faith, along with the willingness to take each day as it comes. As we do, one does get the blessing and a chance, to experience some of the best aspects and colours of life.

The point is to embrace these uncertain, unplanned turns and make them into some of the best outcomes. For all this and more, one needs to come out of the sidelines and wade in deep with all the senses in tune and intact. Then the journey will provide new insight into the perceived notions of the old. If so, then the surprise and brightness of the whole new vista awaits each of us.

“A group of prestigious university graduates came to visit their old professor. During the visit the conversation turned to work: graduates were complaining about countless difficulties and problems of life. After offering coffee to his guests, the professor went to the kitchen and came back with a coffee pot and a tray, filled with many different cups: porcelain, glass, plastic and crystalline. Some cups were simple, other ones – expensive.

When the graduates picked out the cups, the professor said:”Notice, how all the beautiful cups were picked out, and the simple and cheap ones were left. And although it seems normal for you – wanting only the best things for yourself, but that is the source of your problems and stress. You need to understand, that the cup doesn’t make the coffee better. Most of the time it’s only more expensive, but sometimes it is hiding what we are drinking. Actually, all that you wanted was only coffee, not the cup. But you consciously picked the best cups, and later watched what kind of cups others got.

And now think: life – is coffee, and job, money, position, society – are the cups. They are only instruments for maintenance and upkeep of life. The type of cup we have, doesn’t determine the quality of our life. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cups, we forget to enjoy the taste of coffee. The happiest people are not those who have the best things, but those who enjoy life and get the most of it with what they have.”