On 27 April we (all over 70) had a blow out coming down a mountain pass near Villiersdorp in the Western Cape of South Africa. We were able to stop immediately. We were really struggling to change the wheel. Eventually a car stopped. It was Arnold du Preez of “Snail and Slug Solutions”. Arnold immediately offered to help us and after much effort was able to change the wheel. It was also dangerous for Arnold and us all because fast passing traffic was constantly rushing past about a meter from us. Thankfully were able to continue our journey,due to Arnold’s act of kindness.
The incident taught me an important lesson: All it takes is one act of kindness to make someone’s world a better place.
Thanks for the lesson Arnold – may we follow your example and be kind when next we come across a person in need, whatever that need may be.
It keeps eternal whisperings around Desolate shores …. …. Oh ye! whose ears are dinned with uproar rude, Or fed too much with cloying melody— Sit ye near some old Cavern’s Mouth and brood, Until ye start, as if the sea nymphs quired!
Keats suggests that if we have had enough of this noisy world, we should go to a quiet place by the sea and sit “near some old Cavern’s mouth and brood”. Suddenly, out of the silence we may be startled to hear choirs of sea nymphs singing.
We are being called to go back to nature and to allow her to gently embrace us in her healing arms.
This sacred call of the sea is exquisitely captured in the beautiful photograph below. Be still. Can you hear the call?
A big thank you to Mariska Spoormaker for permission to use her beautiful photograph. Mariska took the picture on the Sacramento Trail near Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Yes we can! Read this story about a mouse. My son in London wrote it.
Lets all listen up and learn!
What the mouse treading milk in the bucket is really about
It’s about two things. The first is the obvious one that everyone knows about. The second is the less obvious but the most important.
The first is about not giving up when in a difficult situation. It’s about keeping going because you never know what might happen. And while this is good advice it is also self-evident. The second is about doing work you don’t want to do. No mouse wants to be stuck in a bucket treading milk. But look what happens when he keeps going. The milk turns to butter. Not only does this change provide salvation for the mouse but it turns the milk into something very useful. And a whole bucket of it.
Work is like this. No matter what work you do, if you keep at it, it turns into something very useful. Things start to happen as if by magic. Take a janitor cleaning a floor. Nobody wants to do that. But if he keeps at it then he begins to notice how to do it in the most efficient way, which chemicals work best, when to do the work and so on. How many million-dollar cleaning businesses started this way? And yet they began with work that nobody wanted to do.
Whenever you do anything hard you are treading milk. Like with treading milk you may not see any progress for a long time. The quality of your output (whatever that might be) won’t change at first it and it may seem like it never will. But then… slowly, the milk begins to turn into butter. The output becomes valuable and sought after and you, its creator, will begin to love it. And all this happens through nothing more than persistence. You don’t need to learn. You need to keep going.
I was phoned today from halfway across the world by someone who had just lost a loyal friend. He said he felt he had lost part of himself. After telling him how sorry I was I said I could do no more than read to him the words of John Donne who was Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London from 1621 to 1631. Please listen. You may have to turn up the volume. Thank you.
You and I don’t just exist. We are always deciding what our existence will be and what we will become the next moment. Why is this true for me and for you? Why is it true for all people? The reason is because we all have free will. As Victor Frankl wrote: “…every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.” The answer to the question? We each decide. No buck passing!
Can you hear the joy of the saplings as they grow into magnificent giants?. The sound of the mighty forest is silent thunder. The road invites me to enter this eternal sanctuary. Please join me on the journey. Listen to the silent words as the Redwoods speak to you.
Why is there a feeling that things are falling apart in these uncertain times? Do we sense that anarchy is increasingly eroding law and order? What has happened to ethics? Is there a centre that is falling apart? What is that centre? What is your centre? What is my centre?
Scroll below picture on your phone, please.
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”
Opening to The Second Coming – W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939