About this Blog

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The path to forgiveness

Given my last post "I Shall Not Hate" it seems synchronistic that another Blog I follow had this reflection today:

The path to forgiveness
is rarely obvious or easy;
there will be many obstacles
in the way.
But few acts are more heroic,
or speak more clearly
to the freedom of choice
that makes us fully human,
than to break the cycle
of instinctive retaliation,
to drop the awful burden
of hate and animosity;
to step over the past grievances
that haunt us and divide us
and into the promise
of mercy and grace.
If you appreciate beautiful photography with contemplative reflections visit this website
Thank you Diane!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I Shall Not Hate

I am in the process of reading this book. The author was born and raised in a refugee camp in Gaza. He has every right to be pessimistic and to harbor deep resentment (and hatred) for the grinding poverty and human misery that was the context of his life. Yet he tenaciously pursued whatever education he could get, working long hours outside of school to earn money for his family. Now, a world renowned specialist in gynecology and public health, he lives every day for "peace and human dignity" for the people of Gaza. It is heart-wrenching to take in what the people of Gaza have been contending with for so many years. What we hear on the news doesn't begin to describe the day to day reality.

Books (and even movies) rarely bring tears to my eyes but this book does. I don't usually recommend a book until I have finished reading it but I can't wait! All of us who live in such peace and prosperity, with access to health care and education should read this book. If you Google it you will find many links, reviews and a YouTube clip.

I am inspired by the book's title, by Izzeldin's refusal to hate and by his tenacious life of  action towards peace and human dignity. These are things I/we can all do wherever we live. (And if, in any circumstance, we feel our lives are tough this book is a bracing antidote to self-pity!)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

First impressions

Well here we are - we moved in a week ago and already feel right at home. A few more photos and random first impressions.

  • Three immediate neighbors came to welcome us in the first 24 hours - one with a large bunch of flowers from their garden! The next day we were invited to one of the homes for drinks with all three couples. Lovely people and many laughs - especially as a few more drinks went down. (We stuck to lemon, lime and bitters!)
  • The environment is simply beautiful - lake, estuary walkway and beach (see below).
  • It obviously a friendly, sharing community - (see below).
  • We have unpacked and settled in remarkably quickly. Only a few more boxes to empty.
  • There is still some "giving away and downsizing" to do now that we see what fits where. But that's all fine.
  • We are in for a busy time of entertaining all the family and friends who are keen to visit.
  • We feel enormously blessed and grateful.
     Moving in day. L-R Janet, Gwenyth, Peter, Anthea, Nicky

     Outdoor furniture completed by Matt-in-the-hat! (My hat, he wants you to know!)

     Walking round the lake - things on offer…

    A thoughtful gesture on someone's adjacent lawn.

    This "for sale" bike has been locked to the railing on the estuary walkway for two days at least.

     Orewa Beach

     A wooden seat on the estuary walkway - dedicated to a child who died aged 5 yrs

    Another view of the lake down the walkway from  the house.

     Lounge with flowers from neighbors.

    Dining room end of living area.