WHEN GOD HAD FINISHED the stars and the whirl of coloured suns
He turned his mind from big things to fashion little ones:
Beautiful tiny things (like daisies) he made, and then
He made the comical ones in case the minds of men
Should stiffen and become
Dull, humourless and glum,
And so forgetful of their Maker be
As to take even themselves quite seriously …
Caterpillars and cats are lively and excellent puns:
All God’s jokes are good – even the practical ones!
And as for the duck, I think God must have smiled a bit
Seeing those bright eyes blink on the day he fashioned it.
And he’s probably laughing still at the sound that came
Out of its bill!
FW HARVEY (WRITTEN WHILE A PRISONER-OF-WAR IN THE HOLZMINDEN CAMP, GERMANY)
ASK YOUR GRANDPARENTS …
Sure, you know your grandparents (or your elderly parents) pretty well. But when was the last time they shared their hopes and dreams and memories with you – and you really listened? Here are a few questions that might spur such a conversation – and you and your kids might be fascinated!
What surprises you most about getting older?
Who was your best friend in school?
When you were 12, what did you want to be?
Where were you the first time you saw TV?
What’s the scariest thing that ever happened to you?
What was the hardest part of raising children?
How did you celebrate the end of World War II?
What was the first car you ever drove?
Did you ever have a hero? Who was it?
In your opinion, what has been the biggest change over the past 70-80 years?
TODD TEMPLE/TRACY GREEN – ‘MARRIAGE PARTNERSHIP’ MAGAZINE
HEY, I’M BACK!
Then there was the young boy who ran away from home and stayed away all day. When he came home after dinner, he found the family sitting around the fire, and nobody said a word. Not a word. Finally, he couldn’t stand it anymore and said, “Well, I see you still have the same old cat!”
MARGARET MEAD – ‘BLACKBERRY WINTER’
THE LOOK IN THEIR EYES
I like youngsters. I want people to be like them.
I don’t like old people unless they’re still children.
I want only children in my kingdom.
It’s been decreed from the beginning of time.
Youngsters – twisted, humped, wrinkled, white-bearded – all kinds of youngsters, but youngsters.
There’s no changing it, it’s been decided, there’s room for no one else.
I like little children because my likeness hasn’t yet been dulled in them.
They’ve not botched my likeness – they’re new, pure, without a blot, without a smear.
So, when I gently lean over them, I recognise myself in them.
I like them because they’re still growing, they’re still improving.
They’re on the road, they’re on their way.
They’ll no longer grow, no longer improve.
They’ve come to a full-stop.
It’s disastrous – grown-ups think they’ve arrived!
But with grown-ups there’s nothing to expect anymore.
I like youngsters because they’re still struggling, because they’re still sinning.
Not because they sin (if you understand me) but because they know that they sin, and they say so, and they try not to sin any more.
But I don’t like grown-ups.
They never harm anyone; they have nothing to reproach themselves for.
I can’t forgive them – I have nothing to forgive.
It’s a pity, it’s indeed a pity, because it’s not true.
But above all, I like youngsters because of the look in their eyes.
In their eyes I can read their age.
In my heaven, there will be only five-year-old eyes, for I know of nothing more beautiful than the pure eyes of a child.
It’s not surprising, for I live in children, and it’s I who look out through their eyes.
When pure eyes meet yours, it’s I who smile at you through the flesh.
But, on the other hand, I know of nothing sadder than lifeless eyes in the face of a child.
The windows are open, but the house is empty.
Two eyes are there, but no light.
And, saddened, I stand at the door, and wait in the cold and knock. I’m eager to get in.
And he, the child, is alone.
He fattens, he hardens, he dries up, he gets old.
Poor old fellow …
Open, all of you, little old men!
It is I, your God, the Eternal, risen from the dead, coming to bring back to life the child in you.
Hurry! Now is the time.
I’m ready to give you again the beautiful face of a child, the beautiful eyes of a child …
For I love youngsters, and I want everyone to be like them.
MICHEL QUOIST – ‘PRAYERS OF LIFE’
HELP THE EARTH
We’re only borrowing the earth while we’re here.
We must hand it on to the next generation.
Let’s do what we can to improve it.
Or at least cause as little damage as possible.
Do the simple things:
– join in community clean-ups
– try solar energy
– walk, cycle, carpool, catch a bus
– watch over our oceans
– protect the forests.
PATRICK LINDSAY – ‘BE HAPPY’
One of the nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever we are doing and devote our attention to EATING!
TIME TO BREAK FREE?
She was a human chicken that had begun to be aware of herself, but had not yet attacked the shell that enclosed her. Because it was transparent and she could see life about her, she did not know that she was in a shell, or that if she did not exercise the might of her own life, she was sealing herself up to death.
Many who think themselves free have never yet even seen the shell that imprisons them – know nothing of the liberty the Lord of life wants to give them.
Men and women fight many a phantom when they ought to be chipping at their shells.
GEORGE MCDONALD – ‘HIGHLANDER’S LAST SONG’
TAKE YOUR PARTNERS …
The waltz is all about protection.
It’s a dance that says, “I have you in my arms, my dear. All is right with the
FRED – ‘CALL THE MIDWIFE’