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The Tree

4m1W7GThe tree remembered being planted in the churchyard those many summers ago. For he saw the young daughter of the squire slipping in a copy of that new book on ‘Pride and Prejudice’ to wile away the long sermon. This blissful rural scene was oblivious to the battles being fought on land and sea to fence in the tyrant Napoleon.
The tree brought to mind the parishioners chattering excitedly having been told of a war far away over whether humans could own humans; trees never own each other more than they can own God’s sunlight.

He then lived many summers and slept for many winters before Johnny, the blacksmiths boy, proud in his khaki uniform marched off to France.  A few months later, his family came weeping to the yard even though Johnny had no grave there.

It seems hardly any summers at all after the Great War, that his branches were swept back by a gaudily painted plane sprouting smoke and crosses flew overhead with another firing in pursuit. Now he saw the night sky filled with new stars, all talking to each other as they silently rotated above.
More recently, he was overjoyed when a young family came to stay in the disused church which had been converted to a house.  They played in his shadow and touched his bark in games. And so, he felt the pain even more as the chainsaw cut into his flesh to make way for another room for washing, games and fitness machines. But through it all, he knew sorrow for humans who neither live for summer or sleep in winter but destroy or are destroyed in ever season.

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Summer Postcards

Here are some reflections I wrote last summer on time, change and hope.

summer_postcards2

Click here to read this collection in Wattpad.

 

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Double Enigma – My story

Double

I wanted to write this story for years; it has literally haunted me!

So here it starts..

Click here to read it on Wattpad.

 

 
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Posted by on 09/07/2017 in fiction

 

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A thought for Christmas

From  The Celtic Christian Tradition

From The Celtic Christian Tradition

 
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Posted by on 23/12/2014 in spirituality, wisdom

 

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Christmas Nights

Bright Christmas Tree designAs a child the most magical of times were the nights before Christmas. The Christmas tree with its multicoloured lights, I imagined had a thousand places within its boughs where tiny arboreal people lived, the wall decorations cast sparkling reflections from the open fire and bedtime was less of a chore as each sleep got me closer to ‘the night’. Christmas Eve itself was succession of wakenings so that I could reach down to the bottom of my bed to feel the long woolly sock. This was of course in expectation that Santa had been to fill it. Time and time again the garment was disappointingly empty. Then… then as if by magic, it felt fat and heavy and above all crinkly with the small presents inside. Sleep was gone for ever as the woollen sausage was hauled up and item after item retrieved from its innards. Sweets, toy cars and once a flute were unwrapped and put to usually noisy use. In some ways this little gifts were more looked forward to than their bigger companions hopefully below the tree itself . It was as if then these were gifts in dreams rather than of dreams.

 

But what now of the Christmas nights in late adulthood? Well, it has to be said that most are too similar to those of the rest of the year to get much notice. But from time to time, the old spirit of excitement wells up. And for an instant there is something special about them. For if we are open, there is a whiff of wood-smoke mellowness, a sense of a deeper hope and an intangible feeling that this year things will be different. In fact, strange as it may seem, at the end of the year we can sniff a new beginning.

 

However, unlike childhood’s desire to rush towards the big day, now we want to walk to towards it slower and to linger in each minute of carolling waiting. We want to stop the clock.

 

Needless to say we can neither hurry this time nor decrease the pace of its passing. On the other hand, we can relish each second as it passes, open it as the presents they are and savour the thought – the thought as to how we could make the next one bigger and even better.

 
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Posted by on 21/12/2014 in christianity

 

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A good thought for Christmas

Desmond Tuto quotation

Excellent thought about forgiveness

 

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Exporting Winter

With age, I less and less look forward to winter. But these great pictures almost makes me look forward to the snow. But that’s art for you…

Citizen Sketcher

14Feb09_Snow Angels_Sketch Swap_Pines

A few weeks back I was part of an Urban Sketchers art exchange. I had partners in Girona and in Sao Paulo. There were other swaps with NYC. All told, about 40 artists participated.

We each did sketches of our towns and sent them off to our partners. The drawings were meant to arrive as a surprise, so I’ve been waiting til is was safe to show these.

14Feb09_Snow Angels_Sketch Swap_Bronze

I’d been fed up with the cold and wet of winter, and was feeling envious of these guys in sunny countries. Somehow that meant I really had to paint some snow. They had to see something that could only be found in Montreal. Perhaps there’s a little northern pride going on.

We were lucky enough to get the last snow of the year that very weekend. I got up early and headed straight to Mount Royal Cemetery to get these scenes.  It was…

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Posted by on 06/05/2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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