Friday, 4 May 2018

A most wonderful way to start the day - what a gift!


What a way to start the day.


There is a Mum, a Dad, and daughter who walk every morning at about 7:00 a.m. in Arlington Park, SRQ  It's about a twenty minute walk, not far from their home

The daughter is aged about seven.  This early morning peregrination is before she goes to Southside School.

When the family and I see each other we have a wee chat.

I think that what they do is wonderful, and I have told them so.

Think of it this way:  Can you think of a better way to start the day for the wee girl before she goes to school, and for the parents before they set about their duties,  than to take a lovely walk together?

They are not in any hurry. They chat and prattle.  They hear and see the birds. They enjoy the trees. They meet their favourite dogs.

The hopeful part of me hopes that fifty years from now the girl will say  "the best part of growing up was that my Mum and my Dad took me for a walk in the park every morning before I went to school"

Of course this privilege is not available for all.  There are many reasons why early morning family time is rushed and busy, and there is no nearby park.  I get this.  All the more reason to be grateful for this local family who take advantage of the local park for their family building time.


Thursday, 3 May 2018

They lied to me in school


The sun never sets on the British Empire



Born in 1944 I began my formal education at Greenbank Infants School (east Bristol U.K.) in 1949.

From then until 1960 when I left school I learned some good stuff, but I was also taught some (well meaning?) lies.

For example, although India (now Bangladesh, India and Pakistan) were somewhat reluctantly granted independence in 1948 I was still taught that the British Empire was the greatest, noblest, munificent Empire there had ever been: the very soul of beneficence (and magnificence!)

I had to rid myself of such illusions in order to mature and seek wisdom.   In truth the British  Empire was exploitative, racist, white supremacist, greedy and cruel. It was designed to bring wealth to the homeland.

It was the Suez crisis (1956) which drove a nail into the coffin of the illusion of British greatness, and which indirectly led to the 1960's British policies of decolonization. We gave up an Empire not out of the goodness of British hearts, but out  of fiscal necessity.

As a Briton by heritage I've had to rid myself of the illusions I learned at School.

I now understand that the U.K. is no longer a world power, and that the British future rests in cooperation not in the illusion of greatness.  That's why I think that Brexit is, and will be disastrous. A go it alone Britain cannot be great again.

As an American by choice I have to rid myself of the illusion that our most important  task is to make America great again.

That begs the question  "when were we great?"

Thinker, Christian, and Quaker author Parker Palmer raised this question two years ago.  His article (below) raises the questions "What is Greatness", and "And how do we deal with our deceitful illusions?".

It's a long article.  Do take the time to read it with thought and prayer.

Thanks,

jmp




https://onbeing.org/blog/losing-our-illusions/


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

When buses (long distance coaches in the U.K.) have babies.

Parent



Child 
These are the long distance chartered buses which bring Amish snowbirds from Ohio to Sarasota in the Fall, and take them back in the Spring.

Note the humour of the fleet number on the baby bus!

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

The child who made us laugh

As Zion and I ambled around Arlington Park this afternoon we came across a thirty something man with his two children, one in a push chair, the other on a wee bike.

The father asked is he might pet Zion.  Of course he could!

Then he asked the older child (his name is Elliot and he is about three years old) if he wanted to pet Zion. (I nodded my assent).

Little Elliot gave Zion a few gentle pats.

The dad said "now what do you say?"

The anticipated/expected  answer was "thank you".

But a boy has to do what a boy has to do.  

His answer was "I want to wee!"

Laughter all around.

Mannaken Statue, Brussels, Beligium

Monday, 30 April 2018

May - my birth month: - "Now is the Month of Maying"

Double entendre text!

Now is the month of maying,

When merry lads are playing,
Fa la la la la la la la la,
Fa la la la la la la lah.
Each with his bonny lass
Upon the greeny grass.
Fa la la la la la la la la, etc...

The Spring, clad all in gladness,

Doth laugh at Winter's sadness,
Fa la la, etc...
And to the bagpipe's sound
The nymphs tread out their ground.
Fa la la, etc...

Fie then! why sit we musing,

Youth's sweet delight refusing?
Fa la la, etc...
Say, dainty nymphs, and speak,
Shall we play barley break?
Fa la la etc.


Sunday, 29 April 2018

April 29th 2018 What a wonderful day!

This is the time of year when it is perfectly wonderful to live in Sarasota FL.

It's delightfully warm.  There is no humidity.  There are gentle breezes.

Zion and I have taken advantage of this and have enjoyed five good walks.

We did the early morning poop walk at 5:30 a.m.

At 7:30 a.m. we went with our good neighbour Barbara for a good walk at Arlington Park, and then for coffee at Panera Bread on Bahia Vista St.

At 10:00 Zion and I had a good half hour walk at the lovely Nathan Benderson Park.  The lake was busy with competitive rowers, but sadly I did not have my 'phone or camera for photo's.

We were back at Arlington Park * mid afternoon for another pleasant walk.   This time I took my camera.

Our final peregrination was around the local pond at 5:15 p.m.

Five walks, maybe 21/2  miles.

Here are some Arlington Park photo's.  (It's hard to take photo's with a dog leash in one hand, and camera in the other whilst picking up poop with my third hand).

I have not labeled the photographs, but I hope that you will get the idea of a lovely city park which is not manicured, but which preserves a bit of undeveloped ALLELUIA  City land.