Mind body

Mens sona in corpore sano – a healthy mind in a healthy body.

Daily exercise is like gardening for the brain.

A workout is also one of the best ways to put a problem on perspective. Email responses, anxiety and relationships are always easier after exercise.

Art would not be important if life were not important, and life is important.

“You read something which you thought only happened to you, and you discover that it happened 100 years ago to Dostoyevsky. This is a very great liberation for the suffering, struggling person, who always thinks that he is alone. This is why art is important. Art would not be important if life were not important, and life is important.”
― James Baldwin, Conversations with James Baldwin

No lamb left behind

Beaver is one of the Anatolian Shepherd Dogs on a South African farm in the Northern Cape.

He lives with the sheep. No lambs have been lost since Beaver joined the herd.

Thank you, JH for the sharing these moments.

Only kindness

Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know

how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride

thinking the bus will never stop,

the passengers eating maize and chicken

will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho

lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone

who journeyed through the night with plans

and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice

catches the thread of all sorrows

and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,

only kindness that raises its head

from the crowd of the world to say

It is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.

It couldn’t be done

By Edgar Albert Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.


			

Children

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”

Elizabeth Stone

I made a conscious decision to have kids but I didn’t fathom how deeply I’d connect with them. It’s scary and awesome at that same time.

As with some things in life it’s best not to know everything before you commit or you might never do it.

Compounding Community Interest

It is amazing how community and being in a place for a long time creates layers of memories and support networks. The process starts from scratch every time you emigrate or move cities. Moving away from your birth town means you leave behind your child support base. Aunties, cousins and grandparents make for trusted babysitters and are a treasure chest of knowledge and advice.

Multi-generational families who all went to the same school, and have nurtured friendships and business connections over five generations have a head start on newbies.