Columns

 

June 24, 2015

Treat every day as your first and last… the secret to happiness

They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Great things take time and patience to bring to fruition. We know that is true yet we also know it takes but a day to change everything. A day is a period of time stretching from dawn to dusk. At this time of year, we have long days of endless light. It is a time of heat and growth, of warmth and wonder. That, however, is not the only way to measure a day. Whether short or long, hot or cold, a day is…

 

June 17, 2015

The sound of a boiling kettle is the prelude to a sacred act

It is the first thing most of us do every morning. You are probably doing it right now. You sit down, reach for the cup and breathe a deep sigh of satisfaction. We start and end each day holding a mug, a cup or a glass. We punctuate it with tea breaks, coffee stops and what I like to call ‘tincture time’. Without such moments, few of us could survive intact. The tea cup stands before us as an invitation to…

 

June 10, 2015

In letting go of baubles, we stand to gain everything

Just as there are many ways to live, so there are many ways to die. It is true that we don’t always have a say in how we live or perish. There are, however, simple ways of living that can prepare us for death irrespective of when or how it comes. It can be said that all life is a preparation for death. From the moment of conception, we are edging towards the end. Facing that fact and realising that death is integral to living is perhaps the greatest lesson we can learn. Our actual extinction is, of course, only the final stage in a long process. Throughout the average life, a person dies many times. We die to… 

 

June 3, 2015

A loveless hell? It’s closer than you might think

Imagine a world where people lived only for themselves. They would pass each other on the street without caring to stop for a chat. In the face of distress, they would simply look the other way. Imagine a world where people no longer listened to the great message of love. It would be a world without sacrifice, feeling and that form of friendship which relieves all burdens. People would be left to endure their agonies without a healing hand. Imagine a world in which…

 

May 27, 2015

A most primal urge, dance is a joy to behold

In many ways, it is the most primal of all human activity. Even before they can speak, it is something that babies do quite naturally. The music plays and they sway to the sound, a perfect rhythm which we describe as dance. Dancing is integral to every culture, tribe and civilisation. From the most primitive to the most advanced, it binds people together in celebration of their common identity. Indeed, the way we dance signifies who we are and what we value. There is a big difference between…

 

May 20, 2015

A key that is so important, you use it once and throw it away

You turn the key, open the door and it hits you – that unmistakable scent of home. Suddenly, the problems of the day subside as you enter your comfort zone. For that is what home is: a refuge of comfort and peace, a sanctuary from the world and its pain. We so often forget that the key is much more than a device to gain access. Symbolically, it is …

 

May 13, 2015

Why children are a moral compass in this ‘serious’ world

Some moments are precious beyond belief. They are those that you least expect, but when they happen they stay with you forever. Like a bolt from the blue, they alter how you perceive everything. I was lucky to have …

 

May 6, 2015

Switch off the gadgets, give and you will find happiness

Is there a key to securing happiness this side of paradise? It is something we all crave but how many of us feel truly content? We long for joy, yet there are few who can say they have found it. It doesn’t help that we …

 

April 29, 2015

The night we wept for joy to learn our baby son was okay

He came into our world four years ago today. Delaying as long as possible, he yielded to the inevitable only after being induced. Following a traumatic birth, our youngest child finally found …

 

April 22, 2015

Listen to the silence. It’s a song of life

Why are we so scared of silence? Why must we fill the air with noise or crowd every space with sound? It is as though we cannot cope with the gentle hum of nature, the pure vibrations of …

 

April 15, 2015

Prisoners in a world devoid of literary love

My sons are in the unusual position of having a writer as their father. I say ‘unusual’ because we live at a time when, sadly, the written word is in decline. The literary culture in which I grew up – one dominated by…

 

April 8, 2015

It may seem intangible but every soul shines bright

We call it by many names. Some say ‘soul’ while others say ‘spirit’. It is that in each human being which makes them who they are. It is that which defines each person, that which makes them unique. You see someone smile and there it is, that ‘something’ which …

 

April 1, 2015

Show some compassion this Easter

For all our many faults, human life is still a wondrous thing. No matter what we do, or where our choices take us, we can always become better people. We can always rise to new heights and bring others with us. We are not condemned to wander perpetually on a pathway of …