Saturday, December 19, 2015

Day 7 Christmas Tree / Teapot

Christmas Tree

Day 7

Christmas Tree

Here is our Christmas Tree, up and decorated. This year it's up earlier than normal.  For a number of years now we have bought a real Christmas tree either a few days before the 25th or if earlier,  kept it in the back garden until a few days before - not wanting it to droop in the warmth of the house , loosing it's needles and being bare by the end of the Christmas season.
This year, we opted to get an artificial tree - nearly didn't get one at all as not having all of the family here and wondering if it would be worth it. Anyway, we thought we'd have enough visits over the season to make it worthwhile. And yes, we are pleased. It is the only concession we have made to the material side of this time, but we love it. With it's flashing lights reminding me first of Jesus being the light in the darkness - we all have some element of darkness within us that needs light - and then of the hope of brighter days to come as the days start lengthening again to bring us towards spring.
Then the idea of the evergreen reminding us of eternity and the hope of unbelievable happiness in heaven, while thinking of our God as the creator of the universe and all of nature.
With the beautiful decorations - for me mostly red and gold - I am reminded of the rich gifts that God gives to us always.
And how is all that a reply to the poem I wrote, "Free" , that deals with that man on death row. Well I would say that he was very aware of heaven and the many ways God gets involved in our lives.

Something else:
It seems to be becoming more popular today to have a teapot and small china cups and saucers. Just a hint as to how to clean your teapot , whether it's crock or metal. Take a 1/2 cup of washing powder - you know, the stuff you wash your clothes with . I use persil but any brand will do. Put it in the teapot and pour on boiling water right to the top. Leave for a couple of hours then wipe all the black off. If some parts are a bit resistant use a scourer. Wash, rinse and polish for a new looking , beautiful teapot.
Works every time .

And here's a little story to go with your cuppa

Morning tea.                                                          

I take the tray from the cupboard under the sink, the one mother in law passed on to us. Being precious to her, crafted in marquetry with a beautiful leaf design by her great uncle Horace around 1900, she proudly brought it out only for special guests.  
                We’ve used it habitually every morning since my husband retired, for our tea.   One tea bag is enough but it has to be PG tips, into a pot that I bought in a charity shop some years ago. I was attracted firstly by the size,  bigger than the norm, and then by the Red Rose pattern that reminded me of when we were courting. 
We like not to be disturbed, but today as I stare sleepily out of the window while waiting for the kettle to boil, the phone rings and my daughter, Kate, wants advice from mum while she walks to work. It’s her favourite time to ring.
Ten minutes later it’s back to the tea.   I cover the pot in a tea cosy that was specially made  by my daughter Emma, for our fortieth anniversary and which has pictures of our wedding day cleverly woven into it. Two cups and saucers with a similar design to the pot, but with “Ruby Wedding” written on them, sit next to a small, plain white jug.  I have lots of jugs. I get it from my Dad. He collects small jugs. He’s very fussy and they have to be bone china, as do the cups and saucers. I was teary eyed  when I visited then last week and saw that at eighty two,  he  still takes a tray of tea up to mum in the mornings. Something he’s also done since he’s been retired .
          We settle our morning bones into the welcome sofa to drink our first cuppa, with me reading the daily meditation. Half hour of peace, breathing deeply to find the place where the I becomes the we of a newfound joy for today.  There’s another interruption as my son stands tall and lanky in the doorway and asks for money for the bus.  And can Suzy come and stay. As I try to work out whether or not it would be convenient Peter has said yes and Dom is out the door like a bullet, knowing that there’s always a possibility I will override his father. Today though I breathe a sigh of relief and calmly sip my tea.

Day 7 n- 7th April


For thirty years -Anthony Ray Hinton
In solitary, confined on Death Row, but
Innocent - released today.
We walk the ridge,
Chill winds numbing our brains,
Out on  the Creek
Boats sail, weaving on water - free.
Birds, Avocets,  Godwhitts, weaving on wind- free,
Children run, absorbed in games,
Worries not part of their plan, free.
But we, our minds chained -
Chained, with myriad links-
Incarcerated by,
 Our money, our children, our job,
Clearly not free.
On Death Row his joy sustained him.
No bitterness consuming him,
No attachments enclosing him
Living simply, close to God,
For thirty years he has been free.

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