Posted in Christian, Musique, Photography Art, Reflections

Chimes of the Day

“Christmas Bells”
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men! by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As the lights twinkle nearby, both above and nearby, they bring a Christmas different from the year previous. Instead of the usual family all pouring in, this year it would be a half and half, few of us together and the rest sharing in the joy from different parts of the world or even the same state or areas as well. Whichever way it may be, the essence of Christmas doesn’t change.

With the last minute preparations being completed, the candles are lit, ribbon-ed and christingles are completed; it all brings to the mind of the faith that things will always change for the better. As Christmas always reminds us of the unconditional love God had for each of us, bringing light into an otherwise dark world. Though the seasons change and winds may go against us, there’s always the hope that His Light gives. Even the dark cloudy skies have the occasional twinkle from the stars that lie in them. All one needs to do, is to hang on and do their bit; for the rest will come through.

“After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Mathew 2:9-11)

As this Christmas comes and will soon go by, to remember to carry on the message of love and peace is what is important. To make room in our hearts for those who need a hand. To know to cherish, support and love those around us. And above all, to always share a little bit of kindness along the way as we go across different paths is what brings the sparkle and peace to not not just the lives that go by us, but into our own as well.

As each Christmas says, let the spirit of love and goodwill always be a part and parcel of us, no matter how troubled or different times may be. For as always, love, hope and faith shall conquer all.

“Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad.”

“Music on Christmas Morning”

Music I love -­ but never strain
Could kindle raptures so divine,
So grief assuage, so conquer pain,
And rouse this pensive heart of mine -­
As that we hear on Christmas morn,
Upon the wintry breezes borne.

Though Darkness still her empire keep,
And hours must pass, ere morning break;
From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep,
That music kindly bids us wake:
It calls us, with an angel’s voice,
To wake, and worship, and rejoice;
-by Anne Brontë

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 Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, Quotes

Start of the End

Into the first few days of the last month of the year, brings out a fresh leash of hope to many. A yearning that the uncertainty and surprises (not of the nice variety) that this year had brought about, would come to an end. A wish that things would be happening for the better, from hence on. Bringing about this season of hope, the Advent, is also a journey to hold still, reach within and find the true self. It is a time to refrain from the hustle and bustle of the routine; take off for a few moments and spend time with those or for those, who really matter and need it. It is a time to ponder, wonder and say Grace for those tiny little miracles that happened along the way, known or unknown to the self, or even if known so, only in retrospection.

“It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.” Pope Benedict XVI

Whether one celebrates Advent or not, the last few leaves or columns on the calendar, do highlight the fact that this year is drawing to a close. At the end of the day, whether the coffers or the belly be full, what really matters is whether we have the happiness and joy to hold within our hearts and souls. And above all, how many smiles are seen around.

As we all have reached the end of the year, with the longing of new beginnings for the season of promise comes upon each one of us. Bringing this season closer to our hearts and soul, starts by being true to our own self. In doing so, one not only gets to embrace their happiness, but throws off rays of hope for those around them. For it’s these small lights that bring out the beauty of the dark skies.

“Advent is the time of promise; it is not yet the time of fulfillment. We are still in the midst of everything and in the logical inexorability and relentlessness of destiny.…Space is still filled with the noise of destruction and annihilation, the shouts of self-assurance and arrogance, the weeping of despair and helplessness. But round about the horizon the eternal realities stand silent in their age-old longing. There shines on them already the first mild light of the radiant fulfillment to come. From afar sound the first notes as of pipes and voices, not yet discernable as a song or melody. It is all far off still, and only just announced and foretold. But it is happening, today.” Alfred Delp

Posted in Life, poetry, Random Thoughts

One to Experience

The stillness of the noon hours was a rare experience, more so when it is a full house with pitter-patter of feet and paws, along with the continuous yells, shouts and thumps of the ball outside. Though the chance of a siesta beckoned, the caution and wariness of the absence of the noise stayed uppermost in the mind. Which is why in stealth mode, the silent steps stopped outside the pantry. Cookie jar, empty (check) and the rustling of paper and crunching. With the steam levels rising, before the stern words could come out it was the proud announcement that “mom, tea is ready”. It was to be stern then on. True that the kitchen was a mess, along with jammy fingers and crumbs on the floor. But as always said, it is the thought that counts.

“We want someone to love us, but in fact it’s more important that we love!” Joyce Meyer

Love comes in numerous forms. From the morning cup of tea made ready after a long night or work from home experience shift to the blessing of a few hours of domestic respite to the unasked help in the garden, love comes in many different shapes and sizes. One never realizes its’ true form, until one looks back and reflects on those good feelings within. Love can be noisy as well, but also transient and fleeting. It can be true or false, fake or real as well as an apparition or “an effect of the moment”. Though underlining through all these forms, one needs to give to experience it.

Such is human love, to experience it’s true form, it needs to be shared from within the heart. Such love is always meant to be caught, treasured, experienced, shared and brought back to life for the dark and dull moments. May we wish each other to experience such moments in the days, that we breathe the air around us. For what is life without such an emotion, futile and hopeless; but with it, so full of that inner happiness and peace.

Want to tell you about love?
But not about the one that passion, debauchery, disorder,
What kindles us a fire in the blood
And makes us commit folly.

I will tell you about another love –
When you come home from work in the evening,
And at home all of your relatives, all of your own,
And behind the threshold, care is taken off.

Such a love I wish you friends,
To always rush home from work.
It can not be found in a single moment,
But you can grow with patience and care.

Margarita Fortier

Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, poetry, Random Thoughts

Nest of Own

Over the past two days, there have been sudden bouts of stillness in the house. With a few pairs of small feet running around in the house, such an event makes any parent or guardian, anticipating a surprise of any manner around the corner. Which is maybe why, after a couple of similar episodes, yours truly decided to tip toe and follow the trail. Catching up onto the excited whispering and quiet voices, these little eyes were found trained onto the far side of the barn. After a stern couple of “Shhh!!”, the secret was out. They have been watching a pair of spotted nutcrackers build their nest. As they were surprises and exclamations over this activity, the mind wandered over to their exuberant joy as seen through their eyes.

“Early summer days are a jubilee time for birds. In the fields, around the house, in the barn, in the woods, in the swamp – everywhere love and songs and nests and eggs.” E. B. White

Watching these simple activities reminds one of the safe havens and the joys that we find in our own homes. While the early years of our lives, saw us being sheltered and protected within the cocoons of our home, family or even neighbourhood; the years after a decade and beyond saw ourselves slowly exploring the outside world. Somewhere along the way, we all had left our own nests to make new ones. The initial days saw the streak of adventure and excitement come to the forefront, later on it was the survivalist instinct that helped us keeping on building our nest, finding our own niche in life. Along the way, when the going gets tough; we went back to our old nests to get back on track with our feet on ground. When the home of then wasn’t there now, memories of the best years of our lives is what got us through this all.

Each of us need our nests or homes to find our spaces, rejuvenate and regain our strength after a tough journey or even to celebrate from the successful venture. In finding our homes, each of us brace ourselves through the storms. For the lure of these safe havens, is what gets us through the perceived unfortunate events of the time.

Building our own homes doesn’t include the material comforts alone, but also to encompass the feeling of love and kindness within it. To experiences the feeling of home, is one of the greatest treasures that life offers man. In order to do so, one should brace ourselves and watch the world around us; move ahead and take time to breathe and enjoy the simple gifts that each day offers one.

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” John Burroughs

The Skylark
BY JOHN CLARE
The rolls and harrows lie at rest beside
The battered road; and spreading far and wide
Above the russet clods, the corn is seen
Sprouting its spiry points of tender green,
Where squats the hare, to terrors wide awake,
Like some brown clod the harrows failed to break.
Opening their golden caskets to the sun,
The buttercups make schoolboys eager run,
To see who shall be first to pluck the prize—
Up from their hurry, see, the skylark flies,
And o’er her half-formed nest, with happy wings
Winnows the air, till in the cloud she sings,
Then hangs a dust-spot in the sunny skies,
And drops, and drops, till in her nest she lies,
Which they unheeded passed—not dreaming then
That birds which flew so high would drop agen
To nests upon the ground, which anything
May come at to destroy. Had they the wing
Like such a bird, themselves would be too proud,
And build on nothing but a passing cloud!
As free from danger as the heavens are free
From pain and toil, there would they build and be,
And sail about the world to scenes unheard
Of and unseen—Oh, were they but a bird!
So think they, while they listen to its song,
And smile and fancy and so pass along;
While its low nest, moist with the dews of morn,
Lies safely, with the leveret, in the corn.
– John Clare

Posted in Christian, Daily, Life, Personal Musings, Random Thoughts

Knowing that Secret

Looking back on the past couple of weeks, there were pretty simple but quite startling revelations. One among them was the fact that one could find themselves with plenty of things to be thankful about. Finally the last couple of weeks saw the garden being worked on, children being read to bead by both parents, time for a family musical drama , the old knitting which never saw it’s story being knitted out was ready and a whole lot more. What more, there was quite a lot of things to do in the checklist being worked out and completed.

Through this all, while the urge to go out and be “in the social nows” was there in the initial few days, those feelings and perceived necessities had quickly winded down. Instead one was able to find plenty to do, along with their “work from home options” or otherwise.

For those of us us, who had the worst chain of circumstances being experienced by them, they had learnt to adapt and chose what was left in their hands and make a better chance from what was left, and go with the flow. Most important of all, one learnt to appreciate with being given something to hold on to in each and every situation, even if that something was hope alone.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:12)

For man, each day is a sojourn of something new. Being in the constant search, we sometimes forget to take a pause and breathe out in and see the world around us. Missing out on the reality of the now, in the hunt for the something better for tomorrow results in plenty of bitter lessons a little late to comprehend and understand. Ironically once we attain whatever that has caught our fancy earlier, it no longer holds the wonder of then now. In our own insatiable hunger for more, our assumption is that “now is never enough”.

In certain arenas, one does need to hunt for a lot more. It could be to be better at their own professional field, their personal dreams and the like. Yet once we forget to stop every now and then, and smell the roses around us; all this pursuit may end in vain when explored form other different but quite interesting and important angles. By then, time has passed and hindsight can be a real pain. On our own, we do pursue desperately something or whatever we think will satisfy us; until then the next thing comes along and we run behind it, once we realize that the previous objective wasn’t that good. Some instances, that discontent is a another form of anxiety or a shield to hide us from the reality and face the situation.

Ironically it is once we learnt to experience what we had feared once the most, to appreciate what one has truly within their hand in the present. While it may be important in the better path for tomorrow, pursuit of the same shouldn’t make us shed off the mantle of being content and purposeful within the now. As the His Words and His Love have shown us, to be content in each and every situation is when we learn to embrace His Love, His Grace and His Mercy. For those alone will help us face every situation, be they wonderful or dire. For through Him, we get our strength for the worst of the days, whenever they come by. Knowing this secret alone, is what keeps the unrest at bay. By this, the inner contentment grows and the world of now shows a much clear path for a bright tomorrow.

“11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)