Friday, 24 November 2017

On seeing my boots.

A person stands in their own shadow and wonders why it is dark.

I walked twice yesterday so did not get around to doing much else at all. That said it was a beautiful way to spend my day although my legs might not be agreeing with me this morning. 

How did it happen? I went walking in the morning in the woodland not far from where I live. it is possible to walk for miles and it is possible to have a fairly flat route or a very hilly one. Yesterday I chose the latter. We had a little snowfall during the walk and then the sun came out and we could see the full glory of autumn. So almost four seasons in one morning. 

Having walked for almost three hours I came home and ran a warm bath. Just at that my good friend arrived and suggested a walk. So I got my walking gear back on and we made for the door. 

My friend needed to pop home and change his jacket and shoes. During this, he showed me his new shoes and told me how wonderfully comfortable they were. 

This, of course, got me looking at his shoes and then the walking boots he was putting on. I also looked at the shoes I was wearing and thought of the boots I had walked in that morning. 

As is my want my mind went off on a tangent. What might these shoes/boots be saying

Here are some ideas that came to mind.

There is life after boot camp!

Be sure to take all the steps necessary for success.

Haven’t we been down this road before?

Hey, have you ever heard of a shoehorn? If it doesn’t fit, don’t try to force it.

I already have one foot in the door. I’m a shoe-in.

I don’t know if I’m ever going to fit in.

I’ve been sole searching for so long!

I’ve seen plenty of fancy socks in my day, let me tell you.

Is life always this straight-laced?

Is there still room for growth?  

Life is not meant to be lived on a shelf. Go out, and be yourself!

Never judge a shoe by the leather. It is the sole inside that matters.  

Pacing yourself saves you from wearing out too fast.

People that can’t make up their minds are flip-flops.  

Polishing shoes are just for appearances. Polishing your Character is an inside job.
Some days you just feel like dancing. 🙂

Some soles really leave an impression on you.

Sometimes I feel like such a heel.

Sometimes I get tongue-tied.

Substance is more important than style.

The road of life sure can leave you scuffed up.

Try this on for size? Sometimes, one-size-fits-all really doesn’t work.

Words you’ll never hear from my tongue… “Act your age, not your shoe size.”

I know I have far too much time on my hands. Maybe I need to do something more productive with my life. 

Never mind I was glad that my friends' shoes fit like a glove but I did think it might have been better if they had fitted like a shoe. 

Go on smile. have a great day. 

Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Echoes of Life.

I walked in the heavy rain with low lying clouds this created a lovely light and atmosphere. Away in the distance, I could hear the roar of the stags performing their rutting chorus. It was coming from behind me yet echoing up the glen I was scaling. A marvellous ethereal sound.
This made me think of the tale of the blacksmith, my father in law was such a blacksmith. 
There once lived a very skilled blacksmith in ancient Rome. His name and fame had spread to far-off nations. His creations began to be desired because of the quality of workmanship. He became so well known that his crafts sold far and wide.
One day, Rome was suddenly invaded. The invaders demolished Rome, and captured the top hundred citizens. Amongst the top hundred citizens, the blacksmith was considered one of value. 
All of them were handcuffed and chained and were taken and left on a faraway hill to die or await their execution. Among the 100 prisoners, 99 were crying. Only the blacksmith seemed to be calm and composed. He knew that the moment the soldiers abandon him in the hill, he would easily unlock the handcuff and the chains. He had that skill. 
So, the moment the soldiers left the first thing he did was to look at the handcuffs and chains that imprisoned him. He was shocked with what he saw. 
With his handcuffed hands he started beating his chest and began to wail in remorse. What did he see in the handcuff and the chains? A very strange thing which he had never imagined he would ever see in his Life! 
He had a habit to emboss his signature on whatever he created. And that is what he saw on those chains and handcuffs, his own signature. They were his creations, which had been sold in some far-off marketplace, and eventually had come back to him through the invaders. 
Now, for the first time, he became nervous. He knew it was impossible for him to unlock himself because he had never created anything weak. He was well acquainted with his creations. He had always designed and created the strongest and the best objects. Obviously, he had never imagined or dreamt that the handcuffs and the chains he had created, would one day imprison him. 
The sage teaches us the moral of this story thus: “No man ever foresees the fact that the chain and handcuffs he has been creating, will be the very chain and handcuffs of which he’ll be ultimately held captive. 
No man ever dreams that that the cobwebs he has been weaving are the very webs that he will eventually get entangled in, in his Life.”
One way or the other. 
If you are kind to people. Kindness pervades your Life. 
You let someone down. And someone lets you down in return. 
You touch a Life with love, compassion and care. And people touch your Life the same way.
Like the echo what you send out comes back to you. What you give is what you get. 


Have a marvellous day.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The wall of legacy.

I remember the days when I would run six miles to the nearest newsagents shop to collect the daily paper. I would return to my caravan and for the next hour or so sit and complete the crossword. The crossword came before the news, even though the news was important my first thought was the crossword.

I still purchase that same newspaper, though I must admit I am not liking the way it is going, and I still turn to the crossword. I now purchase the digital version so no more having to seek out a newsagent that sells it when on my travels. I can still access it in France.

I remember my days as a youth when the newspaper put pushed through the letterbox every morning and my mother sat down to read it while my brother and I got ready to go to school.

My father must have purchased a different paper because he always brought one home with him from work. I suspect he bought it for the sports page.

As time moved on I remember so clearly that my mother always turned to the death notices. She became the font of knowledge about who in her age group and shook off their mortal coils. 

I often asked her if that did not make her sad seeing her contemporaries dying off. 

"Not at all, makes me feel good that I am still here and able to tell you about it."

Those notices are no longer printed in the digital edition so I most certainly do not read them. Even if they were I do not think I would bother. Not because it would make me sad, but because I would be afraid I might find that I was on the list. 

About 100 years ago this very thing happened to a man. he turned to the obituaries to discover that his name was listed as having died. He tasted his boiled egg and assured himself it was not the case. 

He was shocked. I am here so I must be alive. 

Once he got over the shock he returned to the paper to see what they were saying about him.  The headline was, "Dynamite King Dies," he read on and he saw, merchant of death." 

"Is this how I am going to be remembered?" he asked himself. he was after all the inventor of dynamite because he was Alfred Nobel.

He did not want this to be the way he would be remembered so he decided to do something about it. He began to work for peace and it was he who set up the Nobel Peace Prize. he had got in touch with his feelings and redefined himself and how he would be remembered.   

Now I am not asking anybody to dwell on death or the death columns not at all. I live by the theory of making the very best of every day. I wake up and am glad to be alive and have another day on which to make my mark. 

But it does no harm from time to time to ask ourselves.

What is my legacy?
How will I be remembered?
Will I be well spoken of?
Will I be remembered with love and respect?
Will I be missed?

We are never too young or too old to now and again ask these questions and set about making sure that the answers will all be positive. 

Have a marvellous day and build another wonderful brick in the wall of your legacy. 

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Give it all.

I had a few comments made to me a few times in the last week or so. The context of the comments does not really matter but it had to do with me and walking. 
I walk because I cannot run. I cannot run because when I could I overdid it and ran so many mountains that I have ended up with problems in my ankles and feet. 
I have lost count of the visits I had to make to hospital and doctors because of another broken or chipped bone.
So now I walk. But if I did not walk I would stiffen up and probably end up sitting in a chair watching the marvellous offerings given to me for the cost of a licence fee. Now is that an attractive alternative. 
Not if the only thing on offer is some politician sitting out in an Australian jungle. As I said to a good friend yesterday I think I can give that a miss, along with all the so-called celebrities who only call to fame is being a celebrity.
But maybe I could get on well by walking five miles and not ten?  I began to consider this and remembered another incident worthy of mention
A boy and a girl were playing together. 
The boy had a collection of marbles. The girl had some sweets with her. 
The boy told the girl that he would give her all his marbles in exchange for her sweets. The girl agreed. 
The boy kept the biggest and the most beautiful marble aside and gave the rest to the girl. 
The girl gave him all her sweets as she had promised. 
That night, the girl slept peacefully. But the boy couldn’t sleep as he kept wondering if the girl had hidden some sweets from him the way he had hidden his best marble.

If you don’t give your hundred percent in a relationship, and in life,  you’ll always keep doubting if the other person has given his/her hundred percent.
Unhappiness is built on doubt and much doubt is based on trust.

I hope all those watching the jungle antics had much pleasure, I will go for a walk. 

Have a marvellous day.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Crashing Waves.

One of the joys of living where I do is that I can have the best of both worlds. I am a short distance from some larger towns and not a great distance for the capital of Scotland Edinburgh. 
But even better I do not have to travel far to see the sea. I can walk along the coastal path and I can play a round of golf and view the sea from almost if not every hole. I love watching the crashing waves or those calm evening when the waves roll towards the shore in the moonlight. 
Whatever they are they are a constant reminder of the changing pattern of our lives. Life is not always smooth and calm and does not always roll along as we would like it.
So both as a minister and as a caring teacher, I was always looking for ways to share with others the need for strategies to face the ups and downs of daily living. 
So, of course, I often spoke about the half empty or the half-full glass. So when I one day stood in the pulpit with the glass of water I could hear the sigh and the murmurs is the glass half full or half empty?
So I caught them by surprise when I asked them to tell me how heavy they thought the glass might be.
It was different so they participated giving me answers from eight ounces to a pound.
The bottom line, of course, is that the absolute weight of the glass is irrelevant. If I hold it straight out before me for a minute it is in fact fairly light.
If I tried to hold it straight out in similar fashion for an hour my arm would start to ache.
If I tried to hold it out before me for a whole day, my arm would soon cramp up and a feeling of numbness and paralysis would force me to drop the glass to the floor.
The weight of the glass and water would remain the same, but the longer it was held the heavier it would seem.
The stresses of the crashing problems of life are just like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them for a lit longer and you begin to ache a little.
Think about them all day long and before the day is over you will feel paralysed and incapable of doing very much else until you drop them.
It is important to remember to let go of your stresses and worries.  No matter what happens during the day, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down.  
Do not carry them through the night and into the next day with you.  If you still feel the weight of yesterday’s stress, it’s a strong sign that it’s time to put the glass down.  
It does little good to lay your burdens at the door of the sanctuary only to pick them up after a time of stress-free thinking.
Have a glorious day when the waves of life roll in and you are at peace. 

Sunday, 19 November 2017


 Yesterday I took time to clear out the cupboard in my study. To be really honest I did not set out to clear it I set out to find something I knew was in my study but I could not put my hand on it. it had, therefore, to be in that cupboard because I had looked everywhere else.

It turned out to be a day of mixed emotions, I found things I had not looked at for ages and had some beautiful memories of the people I shared them with. It is amazing how such things become even more meaningful as time moves onward.

Which reminds me of the story of time.

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.

Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment.

When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said,

"Richness, can you take me with you?"

Richness answered, "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you."

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. "Vanity, please help me!"

"I can't help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked, "Sadness, let me go with you."

"Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!"

Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come, Love, I will take you." It was an old sage. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the sage where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the sage left and went her own way.

Realizing how much was owed the sage, Love asked Knowledge, another sage, "Who Helped me?"

"It was Time," Knowledge answered.

"Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?"

Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is."

My apologies you might have to think about that one. Have a Love filled day.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

It is what you have and who you are.

Today I hit another milestone. This is the six hundredth blog entry in this series of blogs. It is a fair journey. I have not managed to post on six hundred consecutive days because there have been times when it has just not been possible.

The number of posts is not at all important I just happened to notice that this was the case.  What is it that is important? I found myself asking this yesterday. Was I wasting my time? The number of people reading them, liking them, or commenting on them is not a huge number, so am I wasting my time and theirs?

From a selfish point, the rigour of trying to produce something every day is a good discipline and I suppose is good for my daily thought process. 

From the point of the reader, I am humbled that now and again people contact me and in a personal message thank me for something that has been read here. 

Six hundred, one hundred or one does not really matter. If one of those six hundred has given one person a reason to smile, laugh or think I have not been wasting my time. 

So should I call it quits at this momentous stage? or should I try to keep going? 

I am reminded of the tale of the old woman. 

A wise woman who was travelling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. 

The next day she met another traveller who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveller saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. 

She did so without hesitation. The traveller left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.

A few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. 

"I've been thinking," he said. "I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious."

"What might that be?" asked the old woman.

 "Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone."

Sometimes it's not the wealth you have but what's inside you that others need. 

We are all very precious individuals and we all have something unique to us that is worthy of sharing with others.

Have a marvellous day.