#WATWB being part of the solution

#WATWB

How on earth is it the last Friday of the month again? It comes by so quickly, but it is the date on which bloggers from around the world post an item of good news that shows humanity whether individually or communally at its best, as a way of countering the negativity that we’re continuously exposed to.

Thank you to our hosts this month – do pop by and say hello and be enchanted.

Damyanti Biswas http://www.damyantiwrites.com/ Lizbeth Hartz  https://www.authorlizbethhartz.com/blog/ Shilpa Garg  http://shilpaagarg.com/

Peter Nena https://drkillpatient01.wordpress.com/ Simon Falk https://simonfalk28.wordpress.com/ –

I love highlighting stories from my part of the world. Here, there’s a very strong movement called #imstaying and I believe it’s now reached over a million stories from individuals in South Africa (and those abroad who write of their longing for our wide open skies, the friendliness and exuberance of the people – well, I could go on -)

Below, are thumbnail sketches of 4 stories with links if you want to check them out further

                                                                By Justin Foxton (SA the Good News)

Whether you like the #imstaying campaign or not, it is doing a significant job of giving a section of the population a much-needed shot in the arm. Given the vast numbers of people lending their voice to the movement (850 000 and counting), there is a huge opportunity for a phase 2 called something like #impartofthesolution.

To inspire us and hopefully get things started, here are 4 short stories from my own life of people who have been part of the solution. There is an entrepreneur, an Organisational Development specialist, a mother and a group of passionate S’affers now living abroad. All 4 have one thing in common; they have used what was in their hearts and hands to be part of the solution.

Mam Khanyi – Home of Hope (www.hopehome.org.za)

Nearly 20 years ago, an import/export entrepreneur noticed 4 girl children standing at the robots near her Johannesburg apartment. She asked a man who these children were and was horrified when he told her they were prostitutes. She invited them into her apartment for tea and after being told that they were forced to deal drugs and sell their bodies on behalf of pimps and drug lords, she stormed off to find said men and gave them a dressing down they will never forget. Those 4 girls were rescued and nearly 2 decades later Mam Khanyi has cared for over 10 000 girl children all of whom had been trafficked and sold for sex.

Dr Louise van Rhyn – Partners for Possibility (www.pfp4sa.org)

Nearly 10 years ago, an Organisational Development specialist was profoundly moved by the Dinokeng Scenarios (www.dinokengscenarios.co.za). Dr Louise van Rhyn responded to a scenario inviting us to work together to build the nation, by starting a program called Partners for Possibility. The program partners school Principals of marginalised schools, with ordinary citizens from the non-educational working world in a co-learning, facilitated 1-year leadership development program. Since then over 1000 schools and hundreds of thousands of children nationwide have been positively impacted by the power of this globally recognised program.

Eunice Khumalo – the uMlazi Baby Home (www.peaceagency.org.za)

“Auntie Eunice” has cared for abandoned and orphaned babies all her life. Just this week, she got the keys to a house in uMlazi, South of Durban. From this home, she will now run her own Baby Home and will work together with the local community to care for babies, drive down infant abandonment and provide necessary support to vulnerable girls and women who are unable to care for their babies.

Lana & David Stephenson and Barry and Katherine Corden

These passionate South Africans now living abroad are leveraging their networks and social media skills to raise the funds necessary for Auntie Eunice to open and run the uMLazi Baby Home.

For each one of these 4 stories there are tens of thousands of others; stories of ordinary South Africans using their talents, passions and contacts to be part of the solution in South Africa.

A recipe for being part of the solution:

What are you best at? What do you love doing? What is easy and satisfying for you? Add these things to what gets your blood boiling and you have a perfect recipe. At some point these people – all ordinary South Africans like you and I – used this recipe and are now in their sweet-spot, making a difference and being part of the solution.

I invite you to give this recipe a bash so that you too can say #impartofthesolution.

This column is proudly sponsored by Partners for Possibility.

Thank you Justin Fox for this, thank you all for reading and have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

#WATWB – planting seeds of hope

#WATWB

It’s the last Friday of the month – how quickly it comes by – and time for a shot of inspiring stories around the globe. This time round I haven’t provided the link; the story is in full. The idea is to spread good will, to show an individual or community in action and how this makes a positive impact. It is a lovely way of humanity showing its positive side among all the doom and gloom that is pretty pervasive. The names and places may seem unpronounceable; these are local South African women from up north where it is dry and dusty and riddled with poverty.

A woman concerned about hungry children in her community, decided to make a difference.

Women from the We Can Women’s Cooperative with the produce from their food garden.

After getting married in 1996, Esther Masekoameng (60) moved from Phalaborwa to Mathibaskraal in Limpopo, but she was shocked by the level of poverty in her new hometown.

“IT WASN’T LIKE PHALABORWA. PEOPLE ARE VERY POOR HERE AND THE CHILDREN AT THE SCHOOL WERE LEARNING UNDER THE TREES.”

Most of the pupils didn’t bring lunch to school and because the school was near to her house, Esther began to make soup for them and also started to sell vetkoek.

“THE CHILDREN WHO COULD AFFORD TO BUY LUNCH PAID 10 CENTS FOR A VETKOEK AND THE OTHERS, WHO WERE TOO POOR GOT FREE VEGETABLE SOUP.”

The unemployment and poverty in Mathibaskraal worsened over the years, and in 2006, Esther decided to approach the school principal to expand her garden to cater for more learners. “I knew that if I had a little help, I would be able to grow more vegetables and make more soup for those in need, so when the principal agreed, I asked some of the older ladies in the community to help and that’s how we started. We also give vegetables and seedlings to the crèche in our area.”

Women from the We Can Women’s Cooperative – (aren’t their smiles lovely!)

Esther used the funds from the sale of vetkoek (dough, fried in oil, sweetened) to buy a variety of seedlings for the We Can Women’s Cooperative, which was formally established in 2018. She also bought chilli seedlings and started to sell chillies to the grocery shop in town.

The Shoprite Group has been supporting community food gardens for a number of years. Its implementation partner, Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), assess existing gardens to better understand their requirements and Shoprite then assists with the necessary tools, training, infrastructure and seedlings.

Shoprite is enabling the We Can Women’s Cooperative to grow its community food garden by providing proper water infrastructure.

Shoprite’s support also enabled Esther to erect a fence around the garden and for the team of nine women to receive extensive gardening training.

“WHEN WE DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO WATER, OUR CROPS SUFFER. THIS YEAR, WE WEREN’T ABLE TO SELL CHILIES FOR TWO MONTHS BECAUSE WE DIDN’T HAVE WATER. WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVING A PROPER WATER SUPPLY AND WE’RE ALSO EXCITED TO LEARN NEW GARDENING SKILLS LIKE COMPANION PLANTING AND COMPOSTING TO MAKE OUR GARDEN MORE SUCCESSFUL.”

Our thanks to our co-hosts this month. Do pop by them, their posts are sure to be wonderful. Please share on social media.

Sylvia McGrath, Lizbeth Hartz, Shilpa Garg, Mary Giese, and Belinda Witzenhausen

If you’d like to be part of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST, please sign up in the linky list that opens up in a new window:

Click HERE to be part of the Light.

Thank you for reading and have a great November!

Visuals

Visuals

These last few months have been so busy – it’s hard to believe that we’re heading towards the end of October which means November is around the corner and, as we know, it’s then full steam ahead at a cracking pace for Christmas and New Year. I sometimes wonder if I’ll feel ‘settled’, maybe only February next year.

We vacated our townhouse in Johannesburg mid July so that new tenants could move in – and a few days after being in Plett, we kept to the booking we’d made at the De Hoop Nature Reserve. It was such a wonderful weekend –

We drove from Plettenberg Bay to Cape Town in early August so my husband could catch his flight from Cape Town to London and from there, after a few days of staying with friends, he flew to Edinburgh to join golfing friends. Thereafter he joined his sister from the US in Scotland and they handed over their great uncle’s medals to the Scottish Military Museum in Edinburgh.

On the drive to Cape Town, about 600 kms from Plett, we passed canola fields – there were fields upon fields of this gorgeous gold –

After getting my husband off, I hung around in Cape Town for a few days, staying with my sweet sister. I saw only two very special friends as well as my younger son and his lovely wife. This was the sky from my sister’s garden one evening. The photo IS the right way up – and that IS the moon in the centre –

I then hived off to Wellington (about an hour away from my sister’s home in Cape Town) where I stayed with my dear friend in her gorgeous home on a wine estate among the most magnificent mountains. We set off the next day, her husband doing the driving (so we could chat and I could look out the window and remember) for Stanford, a lovely little village some distance away and stayed overnight with her sister. We went up river the next day – and did some walking, saying hello to Sarah’s horses in a field that late afternoon.

A day or so later, after returning to Wellington, I set off for home in Plett driving on a route I was not very familiar with. The windiest of roads and the most magnificent scenery – I would have liked to stop, but I didn’t and took several photos while my car was in motion.This one doesn’t do it justice –

So, back home in Plett, on my own … valuable time. A friend flew down from Johannesburg and stayed here at my home, her husband a few days later for the weekend. It was lovely to show them Plett and surrounds … My husband returned at the end of August after an excellent time away, fit as a fiddle and full of stories.

September flew by … the equinox was a landmark, the days becoming longer. We ordered a bit of extra furniture, ordered new curtains & changed some things around. New built in bookcases were installed in my study. My left foot gave me grief for several weeks but it is now better.

But the shadows of September were long. Too many deaths of people I know. Sudden, tragic – too many aching hearts.

Earlier this month, we trekked again up to Johannesburg, this time staying for 2 nights at the Mountain Zebra Lodge in the Karoo en route. This is such a beautiful place -the photograph shows the evening light. There was very welcome rain the one night.

Then Johannesburg, staying in the most comfortable apartment given us by good friends. Oh, those spring colours –

We visited our tenants in the townhouse and it was a joy to see how beautifully Michelle had maintained our garden – an orchid I left behind, roses budding, everything lush and green glowing and those jacarandas over the garden wall were magnificent ..

A friend or two here and there, lunch and dinner, brunch and coffee, a bit of shopping looking for a slinky heeled sandal ..

Then off again, this time up to a game lodge in Madikwe, about 450 kms north of Jo’burg very close to the Botswana border. We’d been invited by our UK friends – we’ve been there before. The comforts, company and cuisine were excellent and the game viewing superb. We did early morning game drives, returning to the lodge for a slap up breakfast, and out again in the landrover at 4.30 returning around 7.00. 

Back to Johannesburg again to our very comfortable apartment, then full steam ahead for ‘The Wedding’ last Sat 12th October. There was a dinner last Thursday pre-wedding; wonderful to see old friends. The wedding service and reception is one that we’ll never forget – the photo below is of flowers at the entrance of the church.

We left Johannesburg last Sunday morning – there was a wedding brunch on Sunday, but we’d long decided to forgo that as we needed to get back to Plett. We overnighted in Graaf Reinet, about 850 south of Jo’burg. We went out for dinner in the town that evening. The photo immediately below is of the full moon rising over an historic building and the next one is of the main church, also very historic. I wish we’d had time to visit the Valley of Desolation – next time …

A deep breath for the both of us – we arrived back home in Plett this past Monday. Do all good things come to an end? No, I don’t think so … we set off again tomorrow morning. We’ll be staying with same friends in Wellington tomorrow night and on Saturday shooting over to Stellenbosch (about 3/4 hr away) to attend my sister and her husband’s birthday celebrations on a wine farm that day and night. Sunday is a very big day on our sports calendar … South Africa is playing Japan, the hosts for the World Cup Rugby this time round (every four years). It’s the quarter final … and there is NO WAY that we will be travelling on that day. They play around midday on Sunday. South Africa will be glued to their TV sets.

We’ll get back to Plett on Monday next week, either euphoric – or not –

 The last photo is of what was originally just a cutting of a small branch and tendrils, transplanted from Jo’burg and attached to a tree here in Plett in our garden a few months ago and I am thrilled to see how well it has flourished and bloomed.

This post is way longer than I imagined it would be.

May you all flourish and bloom even amidst these troubling times. May the Force be with you and thank you for reading.

#WATWB

#WATWB

It’s the last Friday of the month and therefore the day on which bloggers around the world post a good news story. We hope that a good news story will bring a smile and help alleviate the darkness we’re confronted by that makes up much of our daily news.

With plastic in our oceans and landfills causing great concern, this story from Good Things Guy gives a clear example of the urgency of removing cigarette butts. I know that when go walking on the beach with bag in hand to pick up litter, the amount of cigarette butts in the sand is appalling.

About 6 trillion cigarettes are manufactured a year and over 90% of them contain plastic filters. That’s more than one million tonnes of plastic.

Our thanks to our co-hosts of #WATWB this month. They are: Sylvia SteinShilpa GargEric Lahtiand Lizbeth Hartz. Do pop by their posts and say hello.

Some guidelines if you’d like to participate – the more the merrier. Posts to be short, under 500 words providing a link to your good news story and say why that particular post appealed to you. No political or religious posts. And please use the #WATWB hashtag and badge on your posts on social media. If you’d like to participate, this is the link to sign up. https://www.linkytools.com/wordpress_list.aspx?id=277138&type=basic

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!

 

Unsmoking Cape Town: War on plastic turns to war on Cigarette butts!

Winds of Change

Winds of Change

What a strange, unsettling and uncomfortable month September has been. Pretty awful in many ways. Femicide, filicide, xenophobia, murders most foul, rape, gender based violence, racism, weak and divisive political leadership, destructive protests, looting, burning, ongoing commissions of enquiry with none being imprisoned. That’s just in my neck of the woods. The recent death of Robert Mugabe, past president of Zimbabwe has had political sycophants here excelling themselves in praising him for liberating Rhodesia. That man was a murderous thug, who enriched himself at the expense of Zimbabweans.

To add to my gloom, I injured my left foot some days ago so any walking has been anything but of the ‘out and about’ kind. Gone was my plan of walking on the beach, getting fit, losing a bit of weight. Gone was my plan of looking for a lovely outfit to wear to an upcoming wedding in Johannesburg. The thought of wearing a moon boot instead of slinky sparkly heeled shoes brought my spirits even lower. Ah vanity –

Are the winds of change upon us? The Global March in many parts of the world on Friday, initiated by Greta Thunberg, the young 16 year old Swedish lass already several months ago, speaks not only to our minds but to our hearts as well. Who can not fail to be moved by her addressing the climate change crisis, fearlessly, clearly, truthfully, calling out those in power who appear to have no concern about the future of Mother Earth and her inhabitants.

The 23rd September, tomorrow, the equinox, when for a moment the axis stands still before it turns, heralding new seasons in both the north and south hemispheres. 

A deepening in the northern hemisphere, an arising in the southern hemisphere. Can we hope for peaceful change of the seasons, and in the world?

The upcoming Rosh Hashanah on the 29th September which marks – by the blowing of the shofar – the beginning of the world in prayer and self reflection. It is one of the two High Holy Days in the Jewish calendar, culminating in Yom Kippur.

A few things helped to lift my personal gloom. The one was our local Ndlovu Youth Choir and their performance at America’s Got Talent (AGT – could also stand for Africa’s Got Talent). The energy of these young people from impoverished communities, their wonderful costumes, the way they were received by audiences, their being in the finals, their homecoming this last Friday, was joyous. There is no other word. All thanks are due to Dr. Hugo Templeman, the conductor of this 40 strong choir, and musical director Ralf Schmitt.

Another thing that has lifted my spirits immeasurably is a tag that my son recently linked me to on Facebook. It’s the #ImStaying tag. It was begun only 2 weeks ago with a small ‘membership’ and now it has reached epic proportions. The personal experiences of South Africans who’ve lived and travelled elsewhere in the world, or haven’t travelled at all, speak to my heart and mind. Each and every one (many thousands already) says why they’re staying – it’s the people mostly, their energy, their diversity, their ordinary human ubuntu kindness, the feeling of being one with the soil, the land and sea scapes, the wild life, the birds and bees and the swaying trees … The song and the dance – black and white like the yin yang symbol … people of all stripes and cultures standing up, tall and proud. Every reason to believe that South Africa will turn the tide.

This one below I came across this morning; it’s certainly one of the longer ones. Malusi Thabethe is a man with the heart of a poet and the strength of a lion. I hope you read it.

Malusi Thabethe to #ImStaying

I define South African.
I am the child of the soil, the branch that grew from the seed that became a tree called South Africa.
I strive and strike to make my country the better one in Africa.
I am the remainder of the blacks that were burnt fighting for freedom and equality and their ashes gave birth to me.
I am the light that will shine tomorrow to give light to our generations regardless of their Race.
I am the doorman who is going to chase out Xenophobia from our beautiful Hotel South Africa and welcome my fellow African brother’s with open arms.
I am the product of the past of South Africa, but I am the future to the improved South Africa;
The South Africa that does not discriminate against any race,
where children feel safe to walk on their own, anytime without the fear of being abused.
The South Africa that have politicians who care more about the people than their own greed.
I define South Africa.
I am the guy on the street whose life depends on the crumbs on the bins and leftovers from strangers.
I see my fellow brothers who made it in life driving past me on a daily basis and they close their windows every time they see me.
I don’t blame them the Government is also closing the door to better life for all. Remember the one they promised us during Election campaigns?
Yes that very same door is closed and I have no choice but to stay on this streets.
I used to believe that my vote count, oh yes it does count when it matters but once counted they forgot about me and their promises.
I am now a disgrace to my fellow leaders and I am labeled a failure.
Yes I failed but you failed me and the entire society.
I define South Africa.
I am the guy who is doing 2 shifts to ensure that my family is well taken care off.
I work for less to ensure that tomorrow my children are able to generate more for themselves.
I slave myself out for their future which I am hoping would be better.
I don’t see them as I leave early and come back when they are asleep,
This is life of a typical South African man, work hard for your offspring and hope for the better.
Every morning I pray for their safety and sure hope that I will come back home safe.
This streets is full of vultures, it’s a dog eat dog country and the dog I am want to go back to my puppies safe every evening.
I walk in the valley of death, oh God are you still my Shepard? Or because my name is Shepard I need to be my own Shepard?
I live in fear every turn I make might be my last one and every time I see my child might be my last time.
I define South Africa.
I can write ten thousand things about my country but
I am Love
I am hope
I am Reconciliation
I am Faith
I am the Smiling Stranger on the street.
I am the Diversity
I am the Past
I am the FUTURE
I am Malusi Thabethe
I am South Africa

Winds of change – they’re in the air, and in the soil. They’re in the birth of books by a few of my internet friends who have published books recently. They went through the labours of writing, editing, proofs – and launched their creations into the world.***

The winds of change are about – people are more aware of non biodegradable items and refusing them. People are voluntarily cleaning up beaches, and other areas. People are pushing for change – not only pushing, they’re doing it themselves.

Tuesday is a public holiday here in South Africa. Heritage Day on 24 September recognises and celebrates the cultural wealth of our nation.

South Africa is a rugby mad world (also soccer and cricket – women’s teams too; as well as tennis, music, dance, braaivleis). The opening of the Rugby World Cup was on Friday night SA time. It happens every 4 years and this time it is being hosted in Yokohama Japan, the first time that an Asian country has hosted the RWC. The opening ceremony was wonderful.

Yokohama Port

Sad to say, our Springboks lost to the All Blacks on Saturday midday SA time. But, all is by no means lost. The Springboks know that South Africa is behind them every inch of the way. There are still plenty of games ahead … 

Other things that are uplifting for me, is that I saw a GP here in Plettenberg Bay this past Thursday. My husband had a separate appointment with him after mine. The GP examined my foot very carefully and tenderly and prescribed an x-ray and some blood tests to be done which I did first thing on Friday morning. As well as a strong short course of anti-inflammatories. On Thursday night son Mike joined us for supper prior to his flying to Johannesburg on Friday for the #comicconafrica annual convention at which he was incidentally giving a talk this Sunday afternoon at 3.00 p.m. Mike didn’t really know about how sore my foot was. He was very concerned and took my foot very gently in his hands and performed some Michael magic …

X-rays first thing Friday morning, bloods taken and a call from the GP around 1.00 that day to say there were no broken bones in my foot and no sign of a stress fracture. My bloods were all within normal range. Sugars good etc .. Already my foot started feeling better, and has become increasingly less painful in these last few days though I’m being careful with it. I wonder if in part at least, the fact that I took matters into my own hands (or foot) by making that GP appointment – putting my trust in a yet as ‘unknown other’ helped my recovery. Maybe it was I who needed to make the first step, in aiding it. Maybe I needed to be own shepherd/Shepard. I feel as if I’m on a better footing with the world.

There’ve been a few tragic deaths lately. A dear friend of mine’s husband died unexpectedly 2 weeks ago. I know someone whose daughter died tragically. The clouds are dark indeed for them. It’s an unknown journey for them as they mourn and grieve deeply.

‘Where there is sorrow, there is Holy Ground’ – Oscar Wilde.

Thank you for reading; I know it’s a long post.

***For a few of my internet friends who’s newly birthed books have been launched into the world, all success with them! I’ll do a blog post fairly soon I hope and give you details. The authors are Jacqui Murray, Marian Beaman and Damyanti Biswas.

 

 

#WATWB

#WATWB : short films about good people

It’s the last Friday of the month and therefore the day on which bloggers from around the world post on good news, as a way of alleviating the darkness and confusion that seems to pervade our everyday lives. I always enjoy looking for a good news story, they come my way through various media. I feel uplifted when I read about the good in people, ordinary men, women and children who in some meaningful way make the world just that little bit better. This takes many forms – people acting individually (like people picking up trash or coming to the aid of another); or on a collective level where there is a common purpose eg raising funds for a worthwhile cause, which invariably began with an individual who heard the call and responded to it ..

It’s always hard to choose one story from around South Africa, there are so many. But the one below seems like a good choice and is in line with the aim of #WATWB ie to spread good news. This couple, Justine & Michael, travel the world making short films about good people. “We hope to remind our audience of one simple truth – that we are all human – that inside our hearts and minds, we are all facing similar challenges.  We have so much to learn from each other, and our connections run so much deeper and stronger than we think.” The link I’ve provided shows a video of a woman, Maggie, of indeterminate age and her love for life and her animals. The scenery is beautiful, her roses and red hot pokers are lovely, she speaks in Afrikaans, there are English subtitles. She is the epitome of our strong South African Afrikaner women. You can see her vitality shining through. The video Perpetual Motion is at the end of the story –

                                                                                  https://www.goodthingsguy.com/people/sa-couple-short-films/
                                                                               

Your co-hosts this month are: Susan Scott, Damyanti Biswas, Peter Nena, Shilpa Garg and Mary J. Giese.

Do pop by them and say hello – their posts are sure to be wonderfully up-lifting.

If you’d like to take part there are a few guide lines. Posts to be non-political, 500 words or less and a note as to why you particularly liked it. The purpose of #WATWB is to show humanity in action, that crosses all borders. The #WATWB badge to be used, and as always we appreciate your sharing it on social media.

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend.

Packing up is hard to do

Packing up is hard to do

Does order come from chaos as the Bible and quantum physics claim? Have we underestimated the magnitude of this relocation from Johannesburg down to Plettenberg Bay? Our lovely home down there is already furnished, but now that we are renting out our townhouse with furniture and all else to a corporate SOE, we have to remove our personal belongings, clothes, toiletries, books (mine are down there but my husband still has tooooo many of his here, including medical and golf books galore), too many boxes of photographs, files, paintings, my art stuff (much of it down there) and I don’t know what else – more stuff –

It’s too soon to panic or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. At least the appointment is made for professional carpet and tile cleaners to come by this Friday. We plan to drive down in our 2 cars with trailer in tow on Saturday. My husband is aghast at my wanting to take down my beautiful hanging orchid and at least one pot plant of my already blooming orchids.

What to keep, what to toss. An existential question for me. Already I’ve given away many clothes, shoes, kitchen stuff. Breaking up is hard to do – I’ve tossed photos of old boyfriends with a loving thought to them. No time for any reminiscing. I’m keeping letters and post cards from family and friends from when Moses was a boy; there’s no time for any reading of them now. It would take forever –

In among this all (and Wimbledon – my nerves), my lovely blogger friend Norah Colvin in Sydney Australia, has and is running a series on School Day reminiscences. It’s been so interesting to read these guest posts which appear on Sundays in which she interviews fellow bloggers from around the world on their memories of school days. My school memories went up on Sunday and can be read on her link below. The below photo is one I found of my sister and me which is not on Norah’s post & which I sent via what’s app to my sister in Cape Town while sorting photographs, which made her a bit weepy – I MUCH prefer her rounded collar –

https://norahcolvin.com/2019/07/07/school-days-reminiscences-of-susan-scott

Norah is a great proponent of early learning and especially reading – www.readilearn.com.au – learn.com.au – and her posts for parents and teachers are always excellent and innovative on this topic. Her web page is www.NorahColvin.com .com 

I’d better get on with it – thankfully Jane my housekeeper is here and will work for the new tenants a few days a week; and although our employer-employee relationship officially came to an end at the end of May, she’s being an enormous help right now in the cleaning of cupboards and much more –

Little by little, bit by bit, slowly we come to the end of it – 

To begin again.

Everything is pretty tumultuous around the world. Here as well. Plettenberg Bay where we’re heading to has recently seen several days of terrible protest action with some pretty darn revolting thuggery and destruction thrown in among the mess – may order reign everywhere and not a moment too soon.

Jean Raffa, author of beautiful books and Matrignosis: A blog about Inner Wisdom (rich and real soul food), blogged today on Susan E. Schwartz’s and my co-authored book, ‘Aging and Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’ – it was a wonderful surprise to see this today! 

May the Force be with you and thank you for reading-

 

www.NorahColvin.com 

www.readilearn.com.au

#WATWB Nomi video

 

#WATWB

It’s that time again, the last Friday of the month, in which bloggers around the world post a good news story, one that uplifts and recognizes the inherent goodness of humanity although at times it seems that collectively, and individually, it ain’t so.

There are so many stories of humanity in action that cross borders of colour, race and religion. The one I’ve chosen is a 3 min video. This young man took his domestic worker Nomi from Cape Town (in the Western Cape) to Addo (in the Eastern Cape) to fetch her ailing mother and bring her back to Cape Town to the hearth and home of Nomi. He set up a backabuddy platform whereby all revenue from the streaming of the song would go towards Nomi’s mother’s medical treatment, a gas heater and a wheel chair. The target was reached within 24 hours.  Enjoy it!

If you wish to take part in the #WATWB here are a few guidelines. Posts to be short, a brief description of the how and why it attracted you, and a link to the post. Posts to a be non political, non religious. It can be of an individual or group or organization that highlights the efforts made to make the better place. The #WATWB badge to be used and please share on social media as a way of bringing light into the shadows –

The cohosts this month:
Sylvia McGrath,
Susan Scott,
Shilpa Garg,
Eric Lahti,
and Belinda Witzenhausen.

Do pop by them – their stories are bound to be uplifting! Have a great weekend!

Anniversaries, a delicate balance

Anniversaries, a Delicate Balance

So much has been happening in this last while I hardly know where to start. Like many of us, I feel overwhelmed by all that is happening around the world. Overwhelmed to the point of feeling shut down, a tank that has run out of fuel, a brain that barely seems to function, a chest that feels closed and clogged.

I usually take a photo or two of the full moon when she appears, and last month’s full moon seems like just the other day. But this one I took last Sunday night, with Jupiter close by. Jupiter is the speck on the upper right hand side of the moon. Ah Jupiter -The symbol for Jupiter is said to represent a hieroglyph of the eagle, Jove’s bird, or to be the initial letter of Zeus with a line drawn through it to indicate its abbreviation.

I’ve been in Johannesburg for the last several weeks and am flying down to Plettenberg Bay tomorrow. Which happens to be the anniversary of my car accident 6 years ago on 20th June when Jupiter, also known as Zeus, sent a thunderbolt down from the sky onto me, and 6 years (on 21st June, the day after) since we moved into our lovely townhouse. All I have to do is uber to the airport on tomorrow morning. Invariably on the 20th June over the last 5 years (ubering this time round), I ride past the scene of my accident and acknowledge yet again how transient life is, and send a thought into the stratosphere of gratitude, that in spite of Zeus’ thunderbolt of my car being smashed into and overturned and a total write off, I survived.

And of course Friday 21st June is the solstice, the longest night of the year here in the southern hemisphere, the shortest night in the northern hemisphere. It is also the anniversary of moving to the townhouse 6 years ago, that date especially chosen by me and because there was a full moon to boot. But this also a moment I acknowledge, a moment when things stand still for a nano second. A delicate balance for that one moment before the tilting begins. And always the hope that the tilting brings renewal in its movement and orbit.

I’m much looking to seeing my sons and husband on Thursday. Mike my older son has just arrived back from France attending an international animation congress and David the younger will also be there ex Cape Town with his lovely wife Jüte. My husband has been on his own, dealing with maintenance – and also golfing to his heart’s content. I just heard he’s bought a scooter …

In amongst all the drama in my country, there are moments when I feel my heart swelling and my blood corpuscles expanding. It’s the smile from a stranger, a helpful and friendly shop assistant, a man who runs after me with my sunglasses in hand, a car guard who shows you the perfect parking spot, a major antiviral medication to help my flu and being able to afford it, all the willing NGO’s and individuals who do so much to alleviate the suffering of the poor and unemployed, our commissions of enquiry into state capture that aim with complete dedication, to bring about the truth of corruption in the higher echelons – all of which brings a delicate balance to the turbulence.

I like very much what someone said to me the other day when I questioned him about accepting a top position at one of our SOE’s. He said ‘in crises, I see opportunities’. He’s from abroad and already loves this country and its people –

I wonder sometimes if we may have a re-enactment of Caesar and Brutus. There is so much skullduggery going on in the inner circle of our newly elected president who nevertheless portrays a man in charge of things and who inspires confidence, in spite of it all. I can’t help smiling when I see him on TV interacting with ordinary people with his broad smile and twinkle in his eye even though he looks tired –

And in spite of the freezing winter weather, my orchids are blooming –

This last is a music video made by thekiffness. Do watch it, it’s fun. It’s a heart-melt. A road trip from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, some 840 kms to fetch Nomi’s ailing mother in Addo and bring her to Cape Town. His aim of R10,000 for Nomi’s mother for gas heater and wheelchair was reached in a matter of hours.

thekiffness: ‘Some info if you’d like to share with your friends ❤ Hi guys, I made a song for my very legendary domestic worker Nomi. 

She’s had a rough few years, so I made this song & video after her in the hopes of raising some money for her. All the streaming royalties made from the song are going to her & I’ve also set up a Back a Buddy if anyone would like to make a donation. https://youtu.be/Q8Mw-nibaVkStream here: bit.ly/KiffNomi

May you awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

– John O’Donohue

Thank you for reading! May your centre hold –

 

 

#WATWB

#WATWB

Bloggers around the world put up a good news story post on the last Friday of each month that shows humanity in action. This serves as an antidote to the alarming news we hear every day through various news feeds.

I could have chosen the story about the first Black South African woman, Saray Khumula, who summited Mt. Everest a few weeks ago. It is a lovely story coupled with the fact that she raised funds for a library for orphaned children in Soweto. Her message was of patience and perseverance and encouragement of black South African women to reach for the dream.

The one I’ve chosen is short and sweet and typical of many if not most South Africans who lend a hand when needed. I can just see the goodness in this young man’s heart  – Nkosikho Mbele – who paid for petrol for a woman who had left her card at home. As the story says, Monet van Deventer was at the petrol station when a young man started cleaning her windows. She was looking for her petrol card and asked him not to fill her car or clean her windows as she had left her card at home. He said ‘Ma’am, you can’t run out of petrol on the N2. I’ll throw in R100 and then you can just bring back my R100 whenever you are near again”.

This very recent story has gone viral – Monet van Deventer has set up a fund for this young man who, when she returned the money to him, asked him why he helped a trusted a stranger. He replied: ”Ma’am, I’m a believer”. 

Well, so am I – in the inherent kindness and goodness of people the world over …

If you’d like to take part in spreading the good news, please add your name to the link. Your post to be under 500 words with your link to the fuller story. Your story is to be non-political and one that shows humanity in action which restores your faith in the goodness of the people of our planet.

Our thanks to our co-hosts this month i.e. Damyanti BiswasSimon FalkShilpa GargMary J. Giese , and Dan Antion who welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. Do pop by them – their stories are sure to be inspiring as will all the stories of those participating.

Petrol attendant pays for fuel to make sure woman gets home safely… restores faith in all South Africans!

AtoZ Freedom Z

Freedom Z

Ze end! April has whizzed by –

What is the zeitgeist of our times?  Will be ever be free of this particular time in history, with its rapid advance of technology and with it the spread of fake news, the rise of nationalism and its concomitant awfulness, climate change and much more, which seems to be the defining mood?Image result for zeitgeist images

Zorba: Kazantakis, Zorba the Greek: “Free yourself from one passion to be dominated by another and nobler one. But is not that, too, a form of slavery? To sacrifice oneself to an idea, to a race, to God? Or does it mean that the higher the model the longer the tether of our slavery?”

Solzhenitzyn: Gulag Archipelago: “…Do not pursue what is illusionary – property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves…It is enough if you don’t freeze in the cold and if thirst and hunger don’t claw at your insides. If your back isn’t broken, if your feet can walk, if both arms can bend, if both eyes can see, if both ears hear, then whom should you envy?” (with thanks to my bridesmaid who sent this to me).

Zorba: “Every man has his folly, but the greatest folly of all, is not to have one.”

Khalil Gibran: Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevates the spirit that the laws of humanity and the phenomena of nature do not alter its course.

Autumn tree in it’s golden glory taken by my son yesterday –

Thank you all for coming by to my Freedom posts. I’ve so enjoyed and appreciated your comments.

AtoZ Freedom Y

Freedom Y

Yes, to Freedom in all it’s guises – freedom from, to, with, against, for, in, out, below, above, freedoms lost and freedoms gained –

Mr. Nelson Mandela: “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended”.

freedom quotes know but one that mind antoine de saint exupery wisdomfreedom quotes the only real prison fear freedom from aung san suu kyi wisdomfreedom quotes one outside ourselves can rule inwardly when know this become free buddha wisdom

Jean-Paul Sartre: “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does”. 

Thich Nhat Hanh: “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free”. 

May strivings for freedom fall on fertile soil –

some recent cell phone photos of mine

As always, thank you for reading and for your comments which I appreciate greatly.

AtoZ Freedom X

Freedom X

X marks the spot! This day 25 years ago marks that momentous day when we all went to the polls to vote in our first democratically elected government. I was so proud to make mine for the ANC and for Mr. Nelson Mandela. O that feeling of Freedom for everyone! A collective joy swept through our nation for a long while filled as it was with optimism and hope and equality! And the next time around as well, when Mr. Thabo Mbeki took over the helm. Thereafter when a certain Jacob Zuma took over, dethroning Mbeki in a well planned coup, things went from not so good to worse and desperately worrying.

Today is a public holiday honouring our first democratically held election – it’s a beautiful and sunny day.

In these last few days, freedom of speech, freedom from poverty, economic freedom, freedom from gender bias, freedom from thuggery, freedom from xenophobia and other such have been hot topics on the radio as I’ve gone here and there in my car. Everyone who I’ve heard on the radio was examining and putting the x-ray onto this question of freedom and wondering how far we’ve come in pursuing this ideal. 

Could we put the x-ray onto the inner recesses of our souls? Our psyches may find it hard to withstand what the x-ray may reveal, but it’s a excellent way to start.

Neil S Freedom means to me to not be shackled by any encumbrances, physical, emotional, spiritual or financial.

Thank you for reading. I always appreciate your comments.

 

AtoZ Freedom W

Freedom W

Nearly there! But golly it’s been a weighty few weeks writing about Freedom everyday except for Sundays when we have a break! I’ve so appreciated your comments, I can’t tell you; I’ve found them thought provoking & broadening and I know that others have too. Thank you all for taking precious time to respond. Come Tuesday it is Z! Ze end!

Nathaniel Hawthorne below

We’re all wounded in one way or the other. Do we feel betrayed when the beliefs we’ve held dear are not so, such as being conditioned to believe in the sanctity and safety of the family, religion, government other institutions and therefore also conditioned to believe in the freedom to be and act only within those limits? We’re betrayed many times, by ourselves, those we love, the society in which we live. We also do the betraying to others. The wound of this, if acknowledged and the inner work done to address it, is a way of seeing or getting to the truth and being liberated and freer and less captive of clutches of which we are so familiar even if unconsciously –

C.G. Jung: “Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries”.

Coco Chanel: “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Ingrid M: My own idea about the word freedom …for me it would be not having to be concerned about the state of the world in general …the environment, the fate of the poor, the wars being fought in so many countries, cruelty to children and animals. That lovely line in Desiderata which used to give me comfort: “No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should” no longer applies.

Thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend. I so appreciate your comments.

 

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