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Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Communicate to Connect.

Communication involves much more than words; it involves the entire body. The stance of the body, body language, gestures, tone, pitch, volume, eye contact and content are all elements of communication. Words are merely the tools one employs to do the work, however they are very powerful tools. I liken them to a power tool such as a power saw or drill. These tools need to be handled with care and are not to be flung around carelessly because we know they are dangerous and can cause much harm if not used with caution. Words too, flung around carelessly, can cause irreparable damage.

Imagine how irritating a power tool would be if it continued on and on long after its job had been done. It’s the same with words; unnecessary repetition, sometimes called nagging, is unproductive.

Deep Love Quotes and Sayings | The Dark Secrets
Image : The Dark Secrets.

Five levels of communication have been identified.

Level #1: The Cliche Level. At this level we say something like, “How are you?” This level of communication does not wait for a response, nor does it expect one. If there is a response it’s usually something like, ” Yeah, good.” Even if you are feeling anything but good. Both parties realise that at this level there is no real invitation to communicate.

Level #2: We report facts. At this level we report facts to one another. We talk about the weather, sport, the news, the government, other people, although not always with the facts; this is known as gossip! As long as we don’t get close to exposing ourselves, or how we might feel about anything we can talk for quite a while at this level.

Level #3: We report the facts and mention how we feel about them. At this level we are starting to get warm! We can help facilitate the move from level 2 to level 3 by asking the speaker, “How do you feel about……..?” This question indicates that we are listening and have an interest in the person. Often people are led into understanding themselves better or finding a solution to a problem when they are encouraged to articulate their feelings.

Level #4: We begin to reveal ourselves. We talk about ideas rather than other people. We discuss our likes and dislikes, our plans, our goals and dreams.

Level #5: We are transparent to the other person; our mask is off! We reveal our true selves, we admit our deepest fears and confess our faults. We ask to be accepted and loved for nothing more and nothing less than who we truly are. We connect heart and soul.

It is a sad fact that many people, even those in close relationships, never get past the third level of communication. Communication demands much than words. It requires time, the mouth, eyes, body, mind, soul and heart. But mostly it requires the courage to say, “This is who I am and when I speak with you I will be honest enough to reveal some of my precious self to you.”

This is communication to connect.

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Grace and gratitude for parents; Five-session class through April 2 -  Westminster Presbyterian Church
Image: Westminster Presbyterian Church

The Grace of Gratitude

The inspiration for today’s post comes from The Art of Living, p.25. This article explores two very beautiful words and concepts which are close to my heart.

Grace, a Biblical word which literally means unmerited favour; it is what God extends to each one of us; for whether we recognize it or not, we are all recipients of God’s goodness.

And Gratitude, which is the art of receiving gracefully, of showing appreciation for every kindness, great or small are virtues well worth the effort to cultivate.

Our response to recognizing we are the recipients of Amazing Grace is to be gracious, graceful, generous and grateful for all of the blessings of life from the least to the greatest.

The attitude of gratitude is not a once off or passing sentiment and it does not express itself only in lofty outpourings. On the contrary, it is in the myriad of little things that the grace of gratitude is best employed. The sincere thank you; the quiet compliment, the acknowledgment of a service rendered, kindly words, a warm smile.

Gratitude is an encouragement; something which everyone needs. More relationships have failed because daily acknowledgment of appreciation and gratitude for all the little things which make up the daily grind is neglected. A once in a while expensive gift or night out is poor compensation when a person feels invisible because all the little things they offer as gifts to the other are not noticed or appreciated.

Gratitude is something of which we cannot give too much. In fact, the more we practice gratitude, the more we will find for which to be grateful. It is on your smiles, thank-yous, words and gestures of appreciation that your marriage, home, family, children and by extension your workplace and neighbours build their philosophy of life.

Grace and Gratitude, may they go with you through each day; they are companions to love and happiness.

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

A Garden and a Library

To jump-start your imagination … read – The Observer Online
Image: The Observer Online

Almost 20 years ago my father passed from this life. It was the task of my siblings and I to empty the old farmhouse; our family home since 1938 and the home we had all come to straight from hospital and left the day we married.

As anyone who has ever been involved in this task will know, it is both physically and emotionally exhausting. One of my jobs was to clear the office and the library. Each grandchild, 33 of them, was gifted a book from the library and families chose books of interest for their own libraries.

Among my choices were the two books pictured above. Keys to Happiness published by Reader’s Digest in 1957 and The Art of Living; Reader’s Digest 1958. Both these books are old but intact, they have that old book smell and their pages are browned with age. But recently they spoke to me, as my books in the bookcases do, they said, pick me up, get me down and read me again. And so I am. The books are filled with short stories and snippets of wisdom which embrace all areas of life.

Best Quotes and Sayings about Books
Image: Skip Pritchard.

The interesting thing about the Keys to Happiness and The Art of Living is that the contents, although written over 60 years ago, contain gems of wisdom about life which do not change. The world has changed rapidly but people and their basic needs remain the same. Often we get caught up in the fast pace and the race to success but neglect the very principles and attitudes which enhance life and bring contentment and happiness. For the next days and weeks I will be reading the stories in these books and sharing some of the gems of wisdom in my blog posts.

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

The Colour Purple.

My Jacarandas.
15 Pictures Of Jacaranda Trees That Will Make You Weak At The Knees |  Jacaranda tree, Flowering trees, Beautiful tree
Image: Jacaranda trees Pintrest

I have always loved trees and have planted many. Often I have not been able to stay in one place long enough to see them mature. When hubby and I bought our forever home, one of the things I hoped for was to have a beautiful mature tree in the yard. My preference was for a poinciana tree or a jacaranda tree.

Pin by Mhtbodyguard on Painting in 2020 | Royal poinciana, Poinciana,  Flowering trees
Image: Poinciana tree Pintrest.

So imagine my delight when the home we purchased had not only a lovely jacaranda tree in its backyard but also one in the adjoining neighbour’s yard. Every year around this time we live in a beautiful purple haze. It is indeed a gift.

Royalty in Bloom: Poetry by Estelle D.© 2010

Canopy of purple,
Royalty in bloom,
Showering pastel petals,
While beneath a springtime carpet settles,
Dying to the earth,
As new green leaf is given birth,
Behold the Jacaranda!
Robed in Royal splendour,
Marvel at your station,
In the order of creation
Receive the gift.
Royalty in Bloom!

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Like a tree planted by streams of water.

Blessed are they who hope in The Lord. He is like a tree planted near  running water, That yields its fruit… | Beautiful nature, Beautiful tree,  Beautiful landscapes
Image: Pintrest

I cannot count the number of seeds, seedlings, plants and saplings I have planted. As any farmer will tell you planting is an act of faith; it is the expectation and hope of a crop which will yield well and be profitable. And as any farmer will tell you there are many variables which can impact the success of a crop, yet still the farmer keeps on planting.

Many trees are planted which the planter never sees grow to maturity. We plant tress for future generations, we plant trees for the environment, we plant trees for birds and wildlife, we plant trees for shade, we plant trees for the fruit and crops they will produce and we plant trees for the sheer beauty of them. So if you want to invest in the future; plant a tree.

The psalmist (Psalm 1: V1-3), compares the person who meditates on God’s Word day and night to a tree planted in a perfect position which yields fruit and prospers. If we want to invest in the present, the future and eternity, the psalmist advises that we plant the Word of God in our hearts.

It seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Psalm 1: 1-3 | Etsy
Image: Etsy.

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

River red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), growing near the town of  Daylesford, VIC, Australia | Eucalyptus tree, Australian trees, Australia  landscape
Image: Red River Gum: The sheer magnificence of an Australian Gum Tree: Printrest.

A Poem for Trees Poetry by Estelle D.Ⓒ 2020.

Mighty, mighty gum tree,
Standing so majestically,
For a hundred years or more,
Could you but speak and tell,
Of all the things you saw,
Fire, flood and drought,
The season's endless turnabout.

You're a home for the birds,
And the koala too,
Shaded rest for the kangaroo,
As you raise your limbs,
To the heavens high,
You purify the air, so that we don't die,
You accept the full heat of the noontide day,
While under you in peace I'd stay.

And I feel the energy that you possess,
Your strength, your power, your wonderfulness,
And I mourn for man, who in his vanity,
Has dulled his senses to the wonder of a tree,
And in arrogance, he cannot see,
That this tree is just as important as he.

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

The Mango Tree.

The Mango Tree at Mayfield.

As teenagers my brother and I went to the the 1973 Australian film The Mango Tree. As I recall it wasn’t a bad movie and it was set in locations familiar to us. It was with this same brother that I recently revisited the old farmhouse and took this photo of the mango tree, as you can see loaded with fruit; around Christmas time there will be loads of ripe mangoes to enjoy.

I remember my mother planting this tree. It was grown from seed, a Bowen Mango, back then a new variety whose fruit was stringless. My mother nurtured the seed into a small sapling and planted it where the old mango tree had been. The old mango tree was the common variety which produced lots of fruit but it was very stringy and less flavoursome than the new Bowen variety.

Since fruit trees grown from seed take about 7 years to fruit, my dear mother never saw fruit on this tree; cancer had cut her life short. But over 45 years later this tree stands proud, producing crop after crop of beautiful mangoes. And this is why we should never stop planting trees, especially those which bear fruit. They are a memory and legacy of our life which blesses others year after year long after we have passed from this world.

I am trying to find that 1973 film of The Mango Tree as I would like to watch it again just for old times sake! But for today I will enclose my mother’s recipe for Mango Chutney and hope some of those mangoes will find their way into chutney!

Mum’s Mango Chutney.

Ingredients.
24 green mangoes
500gms raisians
1kg sugar
250gms preserved ginger
125gms minced garlic
6 small chillies
600 mls vinegar
good pinch of salt
Method.
Boil sugar and half vinegar to a syrup
Add other ingredients and the remainder of the vinegar.
Boil to a good colour - about 2 hours.
Cool a little and bottle into sterilized jars.

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Going Home

Margaret Mead Quotes & Sayings (201 Quotations) - Page 2
Quote: Margaret Mead. Image: picturequotes.com

It is said that Home is where the heart is and this is true but I think there are many kinds of home. There is the home of the present, the home of the heart, the home of the soul, the home of childhood and the home of the aged to name just a few. I prefer my own little saying that goes, Home is where you make it.

For the past 10 days I have been visiting the home of my childhood. My siblings still live in this area and my heart had been telling me it was time to go home, visit and catch up with them and many of their children and grand children. It was a blessed time; a walk down memory lane and also, this time, the opportunity to catch up with two friends from the past who had found me on social media. One girl I had not seen since we finished school in 1970 and the other I had not seen for about 35 years; we worked together at my first place of employment in 1971 and have caught up once since.

During my time at home I was chauffeured by many, had the use of my sister in laws car at times, was the recipient of many meals, morning and afternoon teas with dear people, taken to all sorts of places, had opportunity to share in the latest developments in the lives of loved ones, went back to the old farm house, stood in my old bedroom and attended the church I grew up in.

There is something that is grounded and stable about my family of origin. My parents moved to the farm after their marriage and honeymoon in 1938. My mother said if they saw one car a week go down the dirt track of a road, it was a busy week. Now it is a sealed road constantly conveying all sorts of traffic. Back in 1938 there was no electricity, no phone and neighbours were far away; now much of the land is subdivided into small acreage housing developments and businesses. But for as much as has changed, much has stayed the same; there is still much to remind me of my 22 years growing up here.

My own life, and that of my children when they were growing up, has not afforded the stability known to my siblings. Between 1978 and 2004 we moved 14 times; circumstances dictated that we be flexible! This is why I say Home is where you make it, I have had to make lots of homes! Since 2004 my now husband has provided me, and by extension my adult offspring, a great deal of stability and for his love I am ever thankful.

So where ever you are today, I hope you can discern your home. Actually this world is not our home, we are just passing through but for however long we are here Home is where you make it; so make it inside you. Whatever else comes and goes in life, however much things change I hope you can come home to yourself and find truth, peace, hope, stability and safety there.

Blessings.

Sunday Quotes – Home | sunshine and chaos
Quote: Tad Williams. Image: Pixel.com

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Quotes ~ Martin Luther King Jr Quote About Vision Quotes Foundations 45  Fabulous Quotes About Foundations.
Quote: Martin Luther King Jnr. Image: getrightmaine.com

We are multi dimensional creations; mind, body, emotion, intellect and spirit. Paul describes us a God’s temple. Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1st Corinthians: 3:16. I wonder how precious and unique we would believe ourselves to be and how much abuse of mind, body, emotion, intellect and spirit we would avoid if this concept was understood.

Foundations Poetry by Estelle D.© 1998

All of life we are building,
A temple not made with hands,
How we lay the foundation,
Will determine if it falls,
Or if it stands.

Some build a temple elaborate and ornate,
And in their temple would life celebrate,
Through trial and tribulation,
Their temple will not stand,
For its foundations were laid on shifting sands.

Some build in haste,
Thinking time spent in preparation
But a waste,
Laying foundations without any plumb line,
Their temple will not stand the test of time.

Some would build with foolishness,
Slothful, not taking any care,
Foundations fraught with weakness,
And in their folly,
Not even be aware.

Yet few would build with wisdom,
Selecting carefully their chief cornerstone,
Laying sure foundations,
In Jesus Christ alone,
Building a lively temple for their home.

And with wisdom even greater,
They would continue building later,
For their foundations will not falter,
And in sacrifice would lay their temple,
At the Holy Altar.







Poetry, Prose and Parable

Beauty Is Ever to the lonely mind a shadow fleeting ~ Beauty Quote -  Quotespictures.com
Quote: Christopher Morley and Image: Quotespictures.com

Beauty and the Pain.

If the beauty is in the pain,
Then let me feel that pain again,
Let me shed a tear,
For the lost hopes and dreams held dear, 
Let me embrace the change without fear,
May the pain be deep and the beauty be clear.

Poetry by Estelle D. ©2011

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

The Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden. Poetry by Estelle D.

Saturdays Are Fun: Fairy Garden Inspiration | Studio Tangie | Fairy quotes,  Fairy crafts, Fairy garden
Quote: Shakespeare. Image: Pinterest

The Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden.

The fairies at the bottom of the garden,
Were playing hide and go seek,
If you listen closely, you can hear them speak.
Gliding by on gossamer wing,
Beautiful fairy, sweetly sing.
Flowing tresses, silken, silver and gold,
Do Fairies ever get old?

And as you speak, what do you say? 
Fairy, oh so sweet and sprite,
Faces shining light from stars,
Riding moonbeams from afar.
Is your message just a fairy tale?
If humans heeded, would it fail?
What is your secret, Fairy so fair?
Why is happiness like yours so rare?

We know the secret the fairies said,
But if you understand it only with your head,
The knowledge cannot make you any wiser, 
For all of life's bounty, you will still be a miser,
But the secret we will freely give,
This is how we richly live.

Sang the fairies at the bottom of the garden;
Let not your hearts harden.

Poetry by Estelle D. © 2020