TWO EGGS AND A LEMON

Today started just like any other day, with the sun shining into the bedroom window showing us that it was going to be another blue sky, and sunny day. Though the temperature has gone right down in the Maltese islands, there is always the sun to warm you up. Something else has been very warming today, it has warmed my soul rather than my body. The story goes as follows:

After my morning walk and as I approached the entrance to our flat, our neighbour woman came walking across the street with a tin in her hands, in it she had some eggs laid by her own hens whom she keeps behind a wall in our street. We got talking and we must have stood there in the sun for half an hour. Then, with a smile she handed me over two of her precious free-range eggs, here she said for you and your husband, one each. I thanked her and was touched by her kind gesture.

Later on today I again nipped out to go to the shop, and this time from across the street, out of the house where Rita lives (another friendly neighbour who has connected with us)came Tessie. Now I’ve never in my life met someone as generous in her approach to a stranger as Tessie, she chatted and told me all about her life, and brought me into her home, as she lives only around the corner, to show me the huge nativity scene that her son had made. We immediately hit it off with each other and talked ten to the dozen about life here on the island, how very interesting! When I left it was with an invitation to come and visit, and then she ran out into her garden and handed me a home grown, beautifully scented lemon.

It is not about the lemon or about the eggs, but it is about the friendship that these local women are generously offering us. It is exactly what I wanted here, to meet the people of this land, and to hear all their stories, stories about their lives on Gozo.

For me this is a perfect ending to 2016! and a great beginning to 2017 – the year in which I would like to give the gift of my time and attention to new friends, and to friends from the past.

A hearth warming way to end the year!

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My feeling about seeing the world is that it’s going to change you necessarily, just the very fact of being out there and meeting people from different cultures and different ways of life. Ewan McGregor

THE HOMELESS WOMAN

I dream of a world where old and homeless people are cherished and cared for by all those around them, and where those elderly people give of their wisdom to the younger generation, nourishing them too.
I am sure that humankind is capable of this without exception.

Then we won’t have to see these sad and homeless elderly walking the city’s streets, begging.

This, the woman with the sad face, she was not getting a good response to her begging – I wondered what her story was? How she ended up homeless, she could barely walk or stand on her legs. A taxi driver told me those begging in the street are the homeless. Suffering a sad and lonely existence.

I wish her warmth and sustenance over the cold winter nights, and all like her.

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

My partner and I always have a sit down leisurely breakfast, it’s that time of the day when both of us are in a philosophical mood, and have long conversations. The conversation this New Year’s Day morning centred on kindness, and the fact that when all is said and done most humans have actually have got kind hearts.  This came about because of two situations in the last two days.

The first was a program we watched on TV about an organisation to help special needs people, called ‘Enable Ireland’, where expert teams endeavour to work with individuals and their families, from childhood to adulthood, planning for each life stage.  They have centers in 40 locations in Ireland.  Anyway, this TV program showed the story of one of these centers which needed a facelift very badly, and it went on to show how people from all over Ireland came to voluntary help make this place real special giving of their time and resources, many business people donated the materials and even the appliances.  It was so very impressive and heartwarming to see the reaction of the recipients of all this work, these special needs people, all young and all trying to do the best with the hand they had been dealt with were so very happy and appreciative with the work done.  It was beautiful to see, and the volunteers themselves felt so nourished by the whole experience, some of the big sturdy, and hard working men were in tears, so touched by the happiness they caused in those young people.  It was very heartwarming to watch this, you see so many of these same or similar situations where people will help people, and very importantly it leads to thinking that humankind, even with all its flaws have got kind hearts, and that the world despite all the horror stories we hear, of war and crime, still is not such a bad place to be.

The second situation took place the night before last.  I had to go to the emergency department of hospital in the big city, this was because of a slight accident which befell me and which the local doctors could do nothing about.  So my partner drove me all the way to the nearest city which is about 80 km away, and this at night.  When we arrived there was a very long queue, this is normal in Ireland.  We were sitting on a chair for several hours (5.5hrs) before I was put on a trolley in a cubicle.  It was another few hours before I got treatment, but meanwhile I had been monitored by nurses and seen a doctor.  What has struck me once again about this whole episode, is how friendly and caring people are around here, the nurses could not have been kinder, the doctors were also very friendly and focused.  But even the people in the waiting room smiled at you and most people talked to each other, though total strangers.  I’m all right since, but I have carried away another assurance that basically human beings are kind, and kindness is such a blessing.

And so I want to start this new year with this thought in my mind, that not only am I planning to take more notice of other people’s kindness, I am also going to try and put it on top of my own planning in awareness and action.

And with this in mind I would like to wish each and every one of you, my new friends and followers, a new year full of blessings and goodness, and kindness.  I look forward to reading many stories in your enjoyable and beautiful blogs.

HAPPY NEWYEAR!

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