Look! Just whispy cloud! (And a hedge which seriously needs hacking back too.)
The apples are ripening on the tree.....
And I saw this butterfly on the lavender too....
I have spent the past few days trying to get organised for our holiday, and the list is shrinking. I am one of those people who absolutely hates leaving a house which has not been cleaned, linen fresh etc etc, and everywhere I look I see things to be done. Sigh. I am also one of those people who comes home, no matter what the hour, from holiday, and immediately has the washing machine on, and cases unpacked and put away. But that is weeks away. We leave mid week.
Diana has plans for our stay which include Napier/Hawkes Bay, Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Auckland, Waitomo etc. Not to mention Wellington of course! The Coromandel too, I hope. And everything in between. And it is all new to me! And even though it is winter there, apparently they have had some warm and lovely days too, so I live in hope. But in the end, who cares about the weather? We will see and do everything we have planned, come rain or sun.
Those of you who have been around for a while will know (because I talk about it!) that I wake up in the morning and lie there, and list in my mind, 5 things I am thankful for before my brain really starts to work. I have found that this is an amazing way to colour my day. It is very hard to let panic or worry or anger or negative or pessimistic thoughts take over, when you are thankful. And it is incredible how, even on the dire-est of days, there is always something to be thankful for. More than 5 things.
At night too, I lie there and think back over my day, and the people I have interacted with, both here and in real life, and how much I have learnt and experienced, and even on what seems to be a boring day, there is so much which is new and exciting. To me. I want to be able to see like this when I am very old too. Anticipating adventures. Dreaming. Interacting with people, and sharing their ups and downs, means caring, and caring means exercising all the emotions visibly. And we all know that all exercise is healthy!
I had an email from one of the great young teachers I have been working with a few days ago. He said " you are different from the other people I have met in this country, because you are caring and you don't hide it." I have not written that to get any accolades, but because it is something I have mulled over ever since. It worries me. The fact that to a young man working in a strange land, we give the impression of being an uncaring society. Or more accurately, of a society which hides the fact that they do really care. Can anyone tell my why we need to hide the caring sides of our nature? What is it that makes us subconsciously stay detached? Fear of getting involved? Fear of perhaps having to step outside our comfort zone to do something practical to help? Fear of making ourselves vulnerable?
Maybe we are back to that ladder thing in the workplace, and status. If the places where we work are peopled only by the young and ambitious, often working thousands of miles from home, how many examples are there of caring and the setting aside of "self" to emulate? What if these young people do not have a church to adopt as family? It looks like a very hostile and scary world from that perspective.
What does it cost us to take some time ask a question, and really listen to the answer? To try to help find solutions to problems? To laugh and cry with people? To really care and not be afraid to show it? To go and talk to someone who is usually alone? To reach out? None of my business? I don't think so. Modern working environments seem to be driven by acceleration up those ladders, and there is an unhealthy emphasis on using the weaknesses of others to emphasise one's own strengths.
And if status and advancement just happen to NOT be your goal, then you are perceived as being a threat to those up the ladder, because without those dreams of status, there is no leverage. Hmmm. Give me the "Mother" tag any day. I love people. They are more important than things. I find people fascinating. And if I can make a positive difference to their lives, then I am very very thankful.
Do people know that you care?