Monday, 27 December 2010

Sunshine & Souks

There's something quite spectacular about witnessing the lunar eclipse & the full moon in all its stunning red glory at Solstice in the Middle East.  High above the palm trees & Gulf of Oman the sphere of fire red clung to the night sky.  What an auspicious omen, what a gorgeous moon, seemed so unfalteringly full of  hope, potential & possibilities as it made its endless quest across the Winter skies - Winter?? huh it feels like Summer to me :) but they call it Winter here. I'll settle for our Summer's to be as warm as the Oman Winters. We're simply loving all of the spicy fragrant aroma's of the Middle East, the hauntingly seductive perfumes that embraces every breath inhaled. Rich musky spicy floral hints, so many smells captivate, complimenting    the balmy hot climate. Wonder if such fragrance, laced with frankincense would smell quite so appealing in the cold frosty Winters of home. How I wish we could take so many beautiful things from the Souks' back for our house, the wonderful rich tapestry carpets, glorious mosaic cascading lamp shades,  the many differing shaped tall brass coffee pots etc etc so much of such gorgeousness I could easily arrange within my home. All too soon we will vacate this land of awesome fossil mountains, souks, sea & fragrance to arrive back to snow, winds & the undulating chalky hills of The North Downs.  England has so many diverse natural wonders to celebrate, all made all the more fascinating because we're such a small - tiny in comparison to many places - island. Always I love the English countryside. However, I shall leave a small chamber of my heart in Oman. There is so much I want to do, so many places I wish to see, soooo many things to do & all yet to become a part of me. One day I will explore further this beautiful Arabic land, meet more kind, beautiful Souled people.  Until then I raise a glass of cheer to toast, with gratitude, celebration & best wishes  the Arab land of South West Asia, to its prosperity - its souks, spices, sands, wadi's, desert, dunes & beaches. Sultanate of Oman - Thank you for all your wondrous offerings & beauty. One day soon we hope to return. 

Friday, 24 December 2010

Frankincense & Myrrh

We're in Oman, the balmy gorgeous place of frankincense & myrrh, white sand, palm trees & gorgeous blue seas. Its Christmas Eve, the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care . . .  except our stockings were hung by our roaring fireplace over a week ago. Our Christmas Eve already enjoyed, our traditional Christmas Dinner & all delicious trimmings already devoured. Our family & Santa's gifts opened & utilised. Yet, here we are when the children are nestled all snug in their beds,  while visions of sugar-plums dance in their heads; Ooh the nostalgia bubbles over, pleasures remain of such unaffected joys when things seemed so much more wholesome & innocent.  With great awe & wonder I ponder about such traditional innocence & humble expectations of such children from years gone by in comparison to the sophistication, great expense & wild expectation of whats in their stockings of today's children. Wondering how many would be happy with gifts of a satsuma, an apple, a chocolate bar, a wee wooden game & perhaps even an annual! Contemplating the true wealth of sharing gifts in celebration of, in pure essence, the symbolism of all Jesus birth represents. Contemplating the media massacre of such innocence. How Christmas seems much more about Santa, about having the latest gadgets, how ego & pride seem to hold the reins of the reindeers sleigh.Its all about price, all about being cool, looking good & buying the best.  How many children will judge their day by the quantity of gifts they receive, some by the quality of gifts they receive or don't receive.  How many teeny little young things will receive senseless gifts of mobile phones & laptops in place of family board games. How many will receive almost adult style underwear in place of fleecy pyjamas. so many things seem ooh so insignificant to the mass majority of buyers. Trends set in high streets, minds brainwashed weeks in advance by tv media advertising hype, the sensationalisation & sexualisation of anything & everything . Is it just me that longs for the simplicity of those bygone era's, when a satsuma really was a seasonal treat, when a new dress at Christmas was astoundingly exciting & sooo much appreciated & loved , worn only for such special special occasions like Christmas eve mass, Christmas day dinner etc When all of the family gathered at the family home, friends & relatives all frequent for mulled wine & mince pies.When children were allowed to be children & not mini adults. A world of imagination & games, fun & pleasure in creativity. The joys of such special religious celebrations, nativity & Christingles.  Quiet prayers rejoice so many things to be thankful for. Good Health & Happiness, Goodwill & Peace to all.  What more is there to say, or to wish for .. sooooo ..  in the Universal stocking hung with care upon the worlds chimney or bed, my desires, my wishes, my needs are so simple .. I wish for the stocking to be filled with Peace, with Love, with Goodwill - for Health & Happiness to pervade the hearts & minds of all mankind regardless of their December 25th creed & culture.  I wish for stockings filled with gifts of gratitude wrapped in ribbons & bows to be shared by all,  presents laced with simplicity of needs & the value of all things most significant in the traditions of celebrating Christmas. When all is calm, all is bright  - with the dawn of redeeming grace, with the angles let us sing .. sleep in heavenly peace in Love's pure light.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Home Comforts

December arrived with a vengeance! The cloak of Winter wrapping itself indiscriminately around everything in white drifts of glistening snow. Its often solemn skies bringing night & day together as one mass milky haze. The depths of Winter's snow reflecting the depths of Summer Warmth within us all as we make Home our sanctuary,  when we retreat into solitude & an idle quietness such isolation brings. Theres something so beautiful being home at leisure, when time meanders through the day. Our thoughts attuned only to the state of the weather, actions simply to keep the fire going or warming the homemade soup. Time to savour belonging & being at Home. "Home", wherever the heart doth roam is supposedly the home. Yet, its taken far too many years to call this place here my Home. Often referring to my parent's house as Home, yet nothing could be further from the truth. At one time I always had to juggle between sacrifice. If uptd North with my parents, I would be without either my husband or our daughter. When living South, always I am without parents, siblings, family, relatives & long established friends. Always something or someone familiar missing from my day. Christmas time would always stir much nostalgia, feelings of loneliness & separation always taint my days. Always missing a life once shared with so many. The last few days incarcerated by snow,  really brings home Home.  I feel such gratitude for all our Home comforts we share, a lovely sense of balance, authenticity, a peaceful contentment with all the simple things in life.  To be able to enjoy each moment, to relax & share the snowy solitude in cosy warmth, embraced in such a loving ambience - a relatively stress free environment is a haven we're just sooo fortunate to share.  So although its the dead of Winter, with silvery grey skies,  grim freezing winds & ooooh soo inhospitable weather outside - inside our hearts its almost Springlike, reflecting - slowly awakening - just as all miracles beneath the earths quietly continue their steadfast quest towards seedlings & blossom. This Winter is a true time for inner reflection, outward kindness & a true celebration of all that is my Home. Finding the invincible Summer laying within me whilst the depths of Winter encroaches, surrounding us all.

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