Tag Archives: kindness

Words from my country when I have no words.

Today is a tough day for me because it is 15 years since my mother was killed in a car accident.  This anniversary comes just over a week since a terrorist killed 50 innocent people at prayer and wounded so many more in my homeland.

My words are absent but this piece written by Simon Wilson has spoken deeply to me today.  I would encourage you to read it and absorb it and go more kindly and peacefully in the world.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12213687

 

Hearts hit home

I was so touched by this post by Ruth in Christchurch that I am reposting it here on my blog ( with Ruth’s agreement). Evie Harris deserves a huge pat on the back for convening such a caring and creative project.

Please click on the link to see the photos and just how many hearts were stitched by people from all over the world. In a world where we hear so much bad news this exhibition warms the heart and reminds us of the goodness of people and how something as ordinary as stitching fabric can display such emotion and care. Please encourage others to look at this amazing exhibition via Ruth’s blog.

8 January 2012 by realruth

Hearts for Christchurch, an exhibition at the Canterbury Museum, moved me to tears. There are more than 4,000 stitched hearts which have been sent from all over the world to show that people care about us. The project was convened by Evie Harris in Napier, and people were asked to send two heart shapes, sewn together, stuffed or not, embellished, embroidered, quilted, plain or fancy, felt or fabric. The hearts were sorted by colour, and will hang in the Museum Visitors’ Lounge until 22 February.

Hearts for Christchurch, More hearts for Christchurch and more…….

Some sent quilts:
This one reads: “Our hearts wrapped in tears for you on butterflies wings of hope”

What an absolutely beautiful idea this was!

“So many people sent a heart.
I’m deeply touched by this stitched art.”

Posted in Central Christchurch, Earthquake | 4 Comments »

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A book I have enjoyed

I’ve just finished a book called “Syd Arthur” by Ellen Frankel. It is a book I have really enjoyed reading. It has some very funny moments but underneath the lightness there has been some juicy learning for me.

As well as a good book there is a piece at the end about Pearlsong Press, the publishers, that I think is worth copying here:

“Pearlsong Press is an independent publishing company dedicated to providing books and resources that entertain while expanding perspectives on the self and the world. The company was founded by Peggy Elam, Ph.D., a psychologist and journalist, in 2003.

Pearls are formed when a piece of sand or grit or other abrasive, annoying, or even dangerous substance enters an oyster and triggers its protective response. The substance is coated with shimmering opalescent nacre (“mother of pearl”), the coats eventually building up to produce a beautiful gem. The self-healing response of the oyster thus transforms suffering into a thing of beauty.

The pearl-creating process reflects our company’s desire to move outside a pathological or “disease” based model of life, health and well being into a more integrative and transcendent perspective. A move out of suffering into joy. And that, we think, is something to sing about.”

www.pearlsong.com www.authorellenfrankel.com

Saturday tip: Giving thanks

Giving thanks must be in the air this week. Earlier in the week I posted my Gratitude list for the day and later in the week we were commenting around the dinner table about how important it is to thank people.

So my tip for Saturday is to encourage readers to thank someone or some people for kindness shown, for going the extra mile or for simply being in your life.

Thank you for reading my blog, it encourages me to keep writing.

Feeding the birds

A bird does not sing because it has an answer.
It sings because it has a song.

Chinese Proverb

Today winter has really struck with gale force, bitterly cold south easterlies and driving rain showers. Over the past few weeks I have been tying apples to a kowhai tree to provide some winter food for the small Silvereyes or Waxeyes that live in and around the garden.

They are amazing to watch as they hang on to the apple or string and cleverly peck the soft flesh from the gap made by my apple corer. At times they virtually disappear within the apple once they have removed a good portion of the fruit.

So here are a couple of photos. Firstly of the new red delicious apple waiting to be enjoyed.

Then the hollowed out remains of the apples.

And finally for those of you who are not familiar with NZ Silvereyes here it is.

Kindness and Gentleness

I found this quote today as I was internet surfing. I know so many people at the moment who are hurting, facing challenges and uncertainty that a reminder to be generous in our kindness and gentleness is timely.

“You cannot be too gentle, too kind.
Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other.
Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him
who receives.
All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other…
Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace.
Keep silent, refrain from judgement. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult, and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.”

St. Seraphim of Sarov

Seeking refuge

Seeking refuge, finding refuge,taking refuge have all been common experiences for people living on the western borders of the vast Pacific Ocean of late.  There have been floods, cyclones, landslides, tsunamis, many earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and nuclear energy crises.

I have been considering where to go for refuge as these big disasters have happened and also as I work to meet the challenges that more everyday events bring. I read recently of a visualisation technique which I have found very helpful, especially if I am in bed or able to rest quietly.  It is pretty simple and all I have to do is picture myself as a very small “me” wrapped around my heart, a place that is warm, kind and loving.  Then the technique encourages me to feel the love, warmth and kindness wrapping itself around me and with that comes a feeling of safety, security and trust.

Another “place” of refuge for me and others is a more psychological one, using something in nature to focus on when we need some space or some respite from whatever is stirring us.  For me I watch the birds around me, whether from a window or out in the fresh air or garden.   A friend of mine watches the ducks that live in a nearby stream area.  This form of refuge offers us time to switch our awareness and attention to something ordinary, familiar and non-threatening.  There is comfort in that.

A chat in the sunshine

I’ve just enjoyed a chat in the sunshine with two of our neighbours.  We shared stories of our health and wellbeing, our pets and a few happenings from the neighbourhood.  We laugh together, commiserate over the tough bits of life and encourage each other to keep on smiling and enjoying life.  They are a vital part of my support network and we know we can rely on each other in times of crisis.  It is good to have a sense of an immediate local community.

Across time and space

I sat next to an 86 year old woman at our local genealogy group last night and learnt that she had emigrated from the UK in 1949 as a young woman in her twenties.  She had travelled light thinking she would only stay two years and return to her homeland.  Instead she married, had a family and settled here.  She has only managed two trips back to the UK since 1949.

With utter delight she showed me two photos that she had just received via the internet of her as a baby with her parents and sisters and another of her extended family.  She explained that she had not thought to bring any photos with her when she left the UK and after her Mum died, her Dad burnt most of the photos and papers because he did not want other people digging through their private matters.  She had long given up hope of ever having any photos of those earlier times.

A small subscription to a genealogical website resulted in a connection being made from UK to New Zealand from a distantly related family.  My new friend proudly stood before our group and told of her wonderful “find” .  She glowed with happiness.