Posted in Family and Society, Life, Quotes

From Bare to New

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” Lewis Carroll

As the white blanket starts receding and colours come to vibrancy, the landscape starts changing giving us new perspectives. While most of us welcome the spring and the break from the thaw, the stark beauty of winter will be missed for a while. As John Steinbeck once said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

The spring air speaks of new beginnings, projects and life experiences. As we venture into new territories, the lives that we lead often reminding me of the trees, bare and broken in winter but green shoots springing to life in spring. The resilience of human nature is amazing. We all have had our own shares of downfalls and setbacks; yet like the skeleton-bare eerie and snapping branches give to new life of crispy, silk-soft branches with the smell of baked apples growing stronger; our lives echo the same when we decide to move forward and ahead.

“Then spring came. The white blanket melted away, the evergreens and spruces scented the air with their new growth; the little streams rushed hither and thither as if they were joyfully carolling, birds sang and built everywhere. Children were out for wild flowers, and raced around like deers.” Amanda Minnie Douglas (From “A Little Girl in Old St. Louis”)

As Mr. Frost runs away for the youth of Spring to take over, the young buds protected from the winter come to life. In a way, nature teaches a few basic life lessons to man; the ability to stay strong and not quit as well as to survive the drought, keeping in mind that better days will come when we seek and yearn for it.

“Each solstice is a domain of experience unto itself. At the Summer Solstice, all is green and growing, potential coming into being, the miracle of manifestation painted large on the canvas of awareness. At the Winter Solstice, the wind is cold, trees are bare and all lies in stillness beneath blankets of snow.” Gary Zukav

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Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, Quotes, Stories Around the World

Plans, Eternity and Time

Time and Eternity

A man was taking it easy, lying on the grass and looking up at the clouds. He was identifying shapes when he decided to talk to God. “God”, he said, “how long is a million years?”
God answered, “In my frame of reference, it’s about a minute.”
The man asked, “God, how much is a million dollars?”
God answered, “To Me, it’s a penny.”
The man then asked, “God, can I have a penny?”
God said, “In a minute.”

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NLT)

The other day, as the family had gathered post Saturday weekend luncheon, among the various topics being discussed were the renovation of the family homestead, plans for the college admissions and the like. What surfaced to my mind, was the fragility of human plans.

“Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.” Ramona C. Carroll

Many a time, man has planned numerous events, for the present, the immediate and the distant future. Little do we realize that most of our planning is based on chance. We base the future on a sequence of events believed to happen in a particular manner. When one block is pulled out of the regular, things may still go as per plan. But pull out a couple of them, then most plans come crashing down.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)

On the other hand, plans are needed to sort out our purpose and drive in life. Yet the whole procedure can be done, putting our Faith and dreams in God’s hand and above all, plan and know one’s limits.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

Man needs to plan to grow and progress with time, else idleness and monotony would set in. Yet the lines have to be drawn at when, how, what and which plans to dream of and which not to. We need to dream big; but also realistic, kind, honest and true.

“God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.” Marcus Garvey

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Work

The Hurry of Today

God made time, but man made haste. ~Irish Proverb

“Take it slowly.” These are the words often heard by those of us who have used crutches or a walker at some point of time in our lives, may be after a fall, fracture, surgery or the like. One of the after-effects of walking with support either crutches or a walker is that we walk slower with every step being a necessary one. If we try to hurry we tend to fall, have sudden pain due to excessive strain or increase our duration with the supports. The hardest part is when we feel we will left behind because of the supports we use to walk. Yet when we introspect we realize that those who support and love us, would make their steps slow, small and easier so that we can keep up with them. This brings to mind what Bruce Failer quoted, “The simplest consequence of walking on crutches is that you walk slower. Every step must be a necessary one. When you hurry, you get where you’re going, but you get there alone. When you go slow, you get where you’re going, but you get there with a community you’ve built along the way.”

Being always in a hurry to get somewhere or do something, we forget how to enjoy the life that the Lord has given us. In the constant pursuit and wait for something new to happen or do, different from what we have today; the question then arises, “When will we be happy today? When will we enjoy the things of today?”

“Just be patient. Let the game come to you. Don’t rush. Be quick, but don’t hurry.” Earl Monroe

In the haste of hunting, we neglect the fact that what’s here and now, in our hands can disappear so quickly. Time flies to its’ own tune. The present will elude us with we living in a different time frame; between the past and the future, ignoring the present. This habit stems from the fear that we mayn’t be able to achieve anything if we don’t hasten. Contrary to that thought, the beauty of life and our surroundings don’t believe in haste but using time for their own. As Lao Tzu said, ” Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

Learning to live in this hour, not constantly dwelling on tomorrow or the day after or about what will happen in a month will make us more fruitful and happy in the day. True we need to envision what the future may entail, but if we look forward with constant anxiety and foreboding, we will forget to live for today. Constantly waiting for something and thinking about the future make us sick, lifeless, worried and dull, besides losing the ability to rejoice and cherish moments of the present.

Posted in Daily, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes

Predictions in Advance

One of the main features on the daily newspapers are the section titled “Horoscopes”, “Zodiac” or “Star Signs” and the like. As far as archaeological evidence has shown, this practice has been there since the ancient times, from era of the Egyptians and the Greeks. This astrological chart or diagram representing the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, astrological aspects and sensitive angles at the time of an event, such as the moment of a person’s birth has been studied in great detail in order for man to gain a foothold into the course of events yet to happen. Derived from the Greek words of hõra and scopos meaning “time” and “observer”, other commonly used names for the horoscope include natal chart, astrological chart, celestial map, sky-map, star-chart, cosmogram, vitasphere, radical chart, radix or chart wheel.

From studies of divination to horoscope traditions of astrology, celestial maps or natal charts have been in frequent use even today. Yet the thought lingers on how much can we really know in advance or whether all this really helps. Do these predictions take us away from our faith or bring us closer to the truth.

“Failure and success seem to have been allotted to men by their stars. But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it, and in the whole universe the only really interesting movement is this wriggle.” E.M. Forester

No one knows in advance
Who and with whom fate will bring:
Who will be a friend, who will be the enemy,
And who will be familiar, just like that,

Who will make happy, who will betray,
Who will take away, who will give everything,
Who will pity deeds and words,
And who will separate bread and shelter.

With whom you can do everything,
to the simplicity,
And with whom you will not risk it on “you will open your heart to someone,
and you will close the door before someone.

You believe in someone, as in yourself,
you endure someone without loving
With one in sorrow at least where,
With the other, and in the joy of trouble

No one knows in advance,
what we have in this world is waiting for:
Who brilliant success,
whom shame for a grave sin.

All my life luck – one,
pain and suffering – the other.
one – for the truth is an eternal battle,
Others – and a lie by itself.

So we live on earth
Now in virtue, now in evil.
We sin on youth, sometimes,
On circumstances and order.

We’re leading another’s mistakes
And we don’t recognize ours alone,
we’re trying to hurt our friends,
And we’re unforgivable.

We are silent, when it is time to shout,
We shout, where it is necessary to be silent,
we do not value shrines.
And before the gray shiver.

We cherish our own “I”,
Then accusing, then cursing,
We proceed in the eternal vanity,
You look … and we are not the same.

No one knows in advance
What all this will lead to.
And life goes, meanwhile,
Partially or … for good.
– Rus Svyataya

Posted in Christian, Daily, Personal Musings, poetry

Walking with Us

During the weekend at the beach, as I watched the waves lapping the shoreline, the words from the poem “Footprints in the Sand” drifted to my mind. During the freshman years in my college, the poster of the poem had graced the hallway leading to the indoor recreational area in the dormitory area. Over the years, the words have been the refuge for me and many of my friends, giving hope and courage in the days we were tested.

“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5 and Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Many of us at some point in our lives may have come to a point, when we were plagued with fear, doubts, insecurities and uncertainty of whether things would get better or are we alone in this world. These feelings echo in us during the trying times or when go astray and fall into trouble. Yet what we don’t realize is that by His Grace and our Faith in Him, we are never alone. Whenever we feel that no body understands us or we are all alone, the Lord is always there with us, guarding and guiding us through the dark times. As we strengthen our Faith, the feeling that He is always watching over us becomes an inherent part of our being, leaving us feeling cherished all the time.

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22

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

Where Did The Time Go

One of the most sought after requirement for doing any task, buying any gadget or engaging in any short term or long term event is either “quick or fast or rapid or time-saving.” The modern era relies on saving or using time to do as much as possible, to the extent of forgetting that time like all other gifts of nature can’t be saved but only prioritized.

“The supposed great misery of our century is the lack of time.” John Fowles

For time is getting less day by day. We don’t have enough time to read books or newspapers, to write long letters that people once wrote to each other. We struggle to make time to love, communicate with our family and friends, simply talk to our children or even to admire the sunsets and sunrises or just mindlessly walk through the fields and woods. Where did all the time go? Where did this growing trouble of “less time” come from? We do everything in our power to save time, yet it is never enough.

“Quit saying you don’t have time. You have time for what you make time for in life.” Bryant H. McGill

To find time, is not easy but possible. If we take it upon ourselves to enlist our schedule for a week or even a day, we can figure out where the time went. After that, it is up to us to cut off activities that take up our precious hours and leave us with more headaches than ever. The inner query of “do I really need to do this” helps a lot. For instance, checking our email, Facebook or Instagram every hour, news by every hour (unless it is a professional requirement), numerous hours of television doesn’t really help us grow.

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” Zig Ziglar

We need to find time to manifest ourselves, the nature around us, our abilities, plans and dreams. Tracking down what is important is needed because once gone, time never returns but only moves forward.

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

Raise the Curtain

“Circling easily and awkwardly,
Snowflake sat down on the glass.
It was snowing thick and white during the night.
From the snow in a light room
A little newly-fallen snow flying down,
And the winter sun rises.
As every day is fuller and better,
Fuller and better is the New Year … “

A.Tvardovsky

And 2019 has arrived in its’ own time. One of the greatest gifts that time has given us is its’ ability to throw some hope as it moves forward. Every new year is rich with hopes, desires, dreams and goals. While the days or months leading to it may have been of realizations, trepidation and incompleteness. Although man knows that not all disease can be overcome, despairs wiped or lack of money solved without divine Grace, miracle or help. This understanding is what lies behind the expectations of hope for tomorrow.

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, “It will be happier.” Alfred Lord Tennyson

As we wait and hope for the miracle to happen, the feeling of despondency fills us at times. Yet once we light the flame inside the us, we discover that there were miracles all around us that were happening which we had failed to comprehend. For miracles and hope comes from the Grace above, it happens through our thoughts, words and actions by our hands. The sooner this “knowing” comes to us, the more beautiful life becomes.

“It doesn’t matter where you came from. All that matters is where you are going.” Brian Tracy

Venturing into this new year, sharing the traditions across the globe; from the Russian custom of drinking the “wished” champagne to stew of black-eyed peas (Southern States of US), eating twelve times (Estonia), releasing wishing spheres onto the river (Singapore), dropping dollop of cream on the floor (Switzerland) or creating our own traditions in the family; the real miracle starts from above and grows in us garnering the hope for the dreams and desires of tomorrow.

“You were born with potential.
You were born with goodness and trust.
You were born with ideals and dreams.
You were born with greatness.
You were born with wings.
You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.
You have wings.
Learn to use them and fly.”
Rumi