Samosas by the Sea

 

horizen at umhlanga

 

Good mental health, is having samosas by the sea !
I write that with tongue in cheek, but with deep respect for the subject,  and for those who suffer from mental illness.    Its a subject that I am not unfamiliar with and have witnessed its devastation in family.
But I did have a taste of good mental health personally when I went to see the sea.

There is a small space,  created in the suburbs that touch the beach-line, where cars can park and people can watch the sea without having to walk on the beach.     There is also access to the beach for walkers and their dogs, paddle skiers and wind surfers should they want to embrace the ocean more intimately.   So there is something for everyone.    I discovered this little tuck-away-place, and go there for a little ‘sea therapy’ now and again

That morning I received some startling news, that left me in a quandary of doubt and disappointment.   Fortunately I had to occupy my mind with errands and could put it all on hold, which is often a good thing when indecision cloud the day.

Two samosas

Now one of my favourite snacks is samosas.   It is an Indian fried cuisine, in the shape of a triangle with a filling of beef, chicken, lamb or something tasty.  I often treat myself to one or two, and so ease my conscience for not having chosen something sweet to eat, like pecan pie, or Portuguese custard tart  !
Today was the day for some comfort food, so I bought some samosas and headed for one of my favourite places,  –  and for a little ‘sea therapy’

kite-surfing-jeremy-hayden

I sat for a long time before I felt the therapy kick in.   The concrete bricks that were perched on my shoulders began to grow wings and lift !  They were necessary though for they seemed to stop the hole in my heart from exploding from the seams.    The hole has been there for a very long time.   It seems to expand and contract, but never really goes away.  One learns to live with it, but its like living in the shadow of unhappiness all the time.
Coming face to face with mental disorders is disconcerting to say the least !   There are many disorders.  I have looked at schizophrenia and squinted at narcissism – both of which are crushing to the soul.     Mental disorders will reveal the dysfunctions in   families.   If not confronted, it will bury the flaws, that in later years,  even generations, may cause further deterioration and havoc.     Facing the deep, takes courage !
The hole is not in my pumping heart, its in my happy heart – if you know what I mean ?   I am sure there are many of us who live with a hole in the heart.   We put on our smiley faces, but live in the shadow of sadness.

I enjoyed my samosas and aloe-vera cool drink, and sat a little longer when I heard the question : ” You are having samosas by the sea, now what do you see ?”

How often is it that we don’t see what we are looking at ?
So I looked with fresh eyes at what I was looking at,  in that moment.

Firstly I became aware of the still silence, except for the small thunderous crashes of the waves on the beach.    It was then that I began to have a sense of Peace.
I have noticed that Peace likes to come when there is stillness and silence.
Peace is  always a welcome friend.

I saw a little bird perched on a dying branch, looking for crumbs left by visitors.
I saw a lazy sea-gull, slowly flap-flapping his wings along the water’s edge.
I saw the sheer whiteness of the gurgling breaking waves, as the afternoon sun caught their brilliance.
I saw the distance of mists beginning to rise from the ocean, that meant heat and humidity was on its way.
I saw the horizon, I love horizons !    And that is when the concrete bricks began to lift off my shoulders.    Distance and promise, the call of something new !

There were many many cargo ships on the waters, waiting their time to enter the Durban harbour to offload their goods from far away places.  World Trade is alive and well after all,  despite the trade wars between America and China !

From the car next to me came a couple with an ice box, who made they way to the seaside.  She had on a flimsy beach robe over her shorts, and as she reached the dune, she lifted both her arms as if to take off with the wind – and the freedom she was obviously feeling.
Then further down two young fellows parked their car and off loaded the canoe and paddle skies that would take them into the blue, and into the deep.   Brave lads !

It had been a good visit to my favourite spot, and as I enjoyed my samosas by the sea, I came away refreshed by what I had seen.   I realised that life goes on, no matter what the news, and what the problems are that would beset us.
That there are those, who despite it all enjoy life and what it has to offer.  And that we need to take hold of the good things too that come our way.

It was not only a taste of my samosas by the sea, but a taste of life that refreshed me that day.   Life is good, look for the good – and be in the moment,  that to my mind, is good mental health.

Seagull

Philippians 4 : 7

and the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds,
through Christ Jesus.

 

Have A Red Geranium Day

My geranium

 

My heart has a special place for red geraniums.   Whenever I spot one in a garden I am reminded of the smoothing sense that contentment brings.

A few years ago, our family went through a trial of testing and of change.  It always is a little disturbing when you can’t see the road ahead of you.   So many an early morning I would just sit quietly in my garden with a cup of hot coffee and soak up the moment.

One morning I began to see things in my garden, and my garden began talking to me !
And no,  I wasn’t losing it –  it was the flow of ponder that brought new insights.
I began writing down some of the musings taking place, eventually had a little pile, which I bundled together, and labelled  My Talking Garden.

Now that I am pursuing my drawing skills with more classes,  I decided to do a project by combining my muse-writings with  illustrated drawings, to publish on my blog from time to time
Here for you then, is my wish for you, and my muse on the Red Geranium.

Have a Red Geranium Day

In my garden is a small red geranium, seemingly leaning on the foot of the giant Strelitzia, growing in the corner, behind the bird feeder.
A morning blast of sunlight made this red geranium centre stage.
How brilliant the red I thought.
Not in itself heralding a call for focus, just being there, brilliant in its position, in its colour, in it own small glory.
My heart aligned itself to the red geranium, and for a moment that is what I wanted to be.
No want for the clamouring of position, of attention for love, of big dreams fulfilled.  No want to cry for the well-being of family and friends and country.
No want, no needs, no demands.
What bliss.
Just to be there, to bake in the glory of the morning Son, nestled at the foot of the Father – and for a moment just To Be.
To let go and to live in this day, no matter the busy, the chore, the pain, but to live in peace and in quiet.
Today I am going to have a red geranium day, I thought to myself,
And just be a splash of bright colour in my own garden, to rest in a kind of contentment that peace brings.
May you too, my friend,  have a red geranium day,
 and share this vast contentment that is mine today.

My geranium

Psalm  37:7
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;

 

LOOKING FOR … PEACE

 

images.jpg PEACE

What is Peace ?
If I know what I am looking for I might be able to find it.

Before I further explore Peace may I just mind fully state I believe Peace is found on the high mountain tops of the spiritual life.  I cannot do justice to the beauty and magnificence of Peace, and will not even try, I merely want to simplify what a sense of Peace is, what it means to me, and provoke others toward it too.  For we all want Peace in our hearts.

So what is Peace ?
Peace is a sense of knowing that everything is going to be okay – no matter what the circumstances of life dictate to me.  Peace is linked to trust, no fear or insecurities welcome. Trust is linked to faith, faith is linked to Almighty God.   I, for one, need to know that there is something much bigger and more powerful than the I, me and mine. That Power is God, who loves me and has my back!  It’s going to be okay!  So life can throw its diversities and devastations at me, but because of the Peace of God, it’s going to be okay.  He knows, He sees, He cares, and believe it or not, He is in control.  It’s going to be okay!  Peace is knowing and trusting the God who created me.

But where do I find it?  Peace starts in the soul.  At best our souls are in a state of disrepair, empty, often bruised, sorely fragmented sometimes even broken and lost. That is why soul-care is so important.  Don’t neglect the soul – and be mindful of the souls of others too.  Words, said or written, can cause havoc to the soul.  “Sticks and stones can hurt my bones but words cannot harm me” –  is just not true!  Words have consequences !

Peace – wholeness of being, this is good soul health, and good soul-keeping will be required.  So, slow down, less hurry, live simply and simmer in the Scriptures to come to know God ... and the Peace He offers as a gift.
Peace  I leave with you, My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you.        Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.   John 14:27
In other words, don’t worry, don’t be anxious, or fearful because …. everything is going to be okay !

But I need a little help here.  Peace is far more than that.
Judy Pohorille,  a friend from a writing group I attended some years ago, coincidently sent me this message on Peace – so timely, that I need to  include it in this post.  It captures Peace far more eloquently than my technical version of it. She is a remarkable woman, who writes beautiful crisp crackling English prose and poetry.
Judy has seen and known much suffering in her life and therefore I suspect can fathom the depth of Peace far more than many.   Here is her writing :

“There is a part of the sea known as “the cushion of the sea”.  It lies beneath the surface that is agitated by storms and churned by wind.  It is so deep that it is part of the sea that is never stirred.  The ocean floor reveals evidence of having remained completely undisturbed for hundred, if not thousands of years.   The Peace of God is an eternal calm like the cushion of the sea.    It lies so deeply within the human heart that no external difficulty or disturbance can reach it.  Anyone who enters the presence of God becomes a partaker of that undisturbed calm.”

The peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7.

StnNuVLbpURtBxJxTpC4QYmm (1).jpeg Ocean bed

 

 

FREEDOM DAY

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOUTH AFRICA!

images.jpg fireworks

Today is Freedom Day in South Africa.  It is a public holiday to remind us that twenty one years ago the cloak of Oppression was lifted when all South Africans freely went to the political polls to vote for a new government to rule the country and its peoples. Twenty one years is a short period of time when one thinks in terms of nations.  Liken that to a person, and one can understand that the new South Africa has a long way to go in becoming a full mature, functional and prosperous nation.  At twenty one who isn’t still wet behind the ears, coming through the troubling teenage years with all its rebelliousness, rejections, broken promises and looking to find true identity and purpose. It is not easy, even for the best of us !  The distressing recent xenophobia displays, and rapid peace interventions are perhaps a sign on a maturing process taking place….a getting to know thyself of sorts.  Happy birthday South Africa, may the next 21 years find you firmly engaged in building and planting prosperity and peace on the African continent.

And don’t forget to plant your Care Gardens for the Care Africa Movement project.
Plant some seeds in your yard, for food, and Plant a garden in your heart by reading the Bible every day to feed your soul. Send me a photo with your name or project’s name and help me build a photo blog with your Care Garden on it.

Freedom is not cheap, and Oppression comes in huge forms. Vividly seen from the TV news are evident results of oppressive leaders and governments who are hell bent on holding onto power, position and wealth, in spite of great cost to their own people.  War, mass protest marches, mass migration from nation to nation seems to be a sign that Oppression rules almost everywhere in our Global Village.

But Oppression also comes in subtle forms, often nestles in the soul, and in the family where it is not so easy to detect, yet the outward reaction tells the tale.  And when you think about it, is the soul not the place where the darkness can grow until it reaches  monsterous proportions.?  Eventually it vents itself into further Oppression causing  the cycle of death, demise destruction – creating dark and dingy prisons of sadness, shame, sorrow and mourning –  resulting in the captive soul – and a loss of liberty.  Oppression causes this to happen on the soul, family, national and global level, as history has shown us.   And peace is far off !

The Bible speaks of setting the captives free.  Luke 4 and Isaiah 61 are Bible pieces that depict the human condition.  It brings with it hope to those who are oppressed, depressed and suppressed.  Those who  battle depressions, afflictions and addictions – seekers for peace, but also for those who are the peace-bringers .

       … To preach good tidings to the poor,
            He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted,
            To proclaim liberty  to the captives,
            And recovery of sight to the blind,
           To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
           To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

This is a song for freedom, true freedom, that transcends any tyrant or political system or person, or addiction that can hold us captive.  Its the song of salvation that Jesus Christ sings over us… for He came to set the captives free.  The real day of freedom is the day of salvation, the day of second chances and new beginnings, a freedom that is well worth celebrating.            

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