Monday, December 5, 2016

Mission In Memoriam

Last year, my good friend, Elena, lost her father ... and just a few months ago, after a year of battling lung cancer, the removal of one lung, and many other complications, her mother passed away.
When she found out I was going to Jerusalem in November, she asked if I could light candles in memory of her parents and make a donation to the church.
And what better place to do that than the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also known as the Church of the Resurrection.
  
This door is the one entrance to the church.
And just beyond it is the Stone of Anointing where it is believed Jesus was prepared for burial.
 
Upstairs is Calvary Chapel.
Which is where I made the donation.
And was able to light the candles in memory of Elena's father and mother, speaking their names as I did so.
I consider myself to be a spiritual person rather than subscribing to any particular religion.  I do believe in signs.

As I was leaving the chapel, something floated from above, directly in front of my face. 
"When angels are near, feathers appear ..."

It is believed that white feathers represent protection and that our loved ones have crossed over into the spirit realm.
It was a very moving moment.

I saved that little feather and attached it to the wings of an olive wood angel that I gifted to my friend upon my return home.
Sending you blessings for a beautiful new week.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Something to Smile About

My last post was about the death of my husband's uncle who he was very close to.
On Friday, yet another uncle passed away.
And just yesterday, the mother of his very good friend died.
Sad days indeed, and a reminder of his own father's passing 10 years ago in the very same month.
We were unable to attend the burial service of the first uncle in Jordan because of a business trip to Dubai that my husband could not cancel.
We left early Tuesday morning, arriving to dusty, warmer weather.
After checking in, we always head straight to the Dubai Mall, have soup and sourdough bread at Nordsee, visit the Japanese bookstore and then take a quick walk outside to see the iconic Burj Khalifa.
While my husband attended business meetings, I was able to walk around the hotel grounds and sit outside at one of the many restaurants where I could read and have a drink.
As you can see, I was not alone.
I was engrossed in my magazine and the folks at the next table laughingly informed me that a fine feathered friend was stealing my nuts.
Next thing I know, a young dove came and sat right in the bowl.
Every time I see this picture it makes me giggle.  
I'm used to the crows in Sri Lanka who will steal your food if you turn your back for a second.
But have never had a dove come join me at the table.

Definitely something to smile about.
Happy Sunday!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sunset of Life

Just two weeks ago, we were able to visit my husband's uncle in Irbid, Jordan.  The roundtrip drive takes several hours so it is an all day affair.  On the way back to Amman that day, I was snapping pictures from the backseat window of the amazing sunset we were witnessing.  
Our friend, Mohammed, found the perfect spot to stop along the side of the road so we could truly enjoy the spectacle.
THE SUNSET OF LIFE

In the sunset of life,
The shadows are dim;
The years orchestrated,
By life’s fickle whims.

Where once there was brightness,
A life filled with light;
It drifts toward the sky,
On shadows of night.

The sweetness of youth,
Is a memory now;
Yet holds all the sweetness,
My heart will allow.

For memories fade,
And 'tho time slips like sand;
My time is dictated,
By God’s simple plan.

In the sunset of life,
I have found joy and peace;
I shall celebrate life,
'Till my sunset has ceased.

(Allison Chambers Coxsey)
Jerash, Jordan

This morning my husband's uncle passed away from prostrate cancer. He wanted to be at home with his family and that's where he was all throughout his illness and until he died.  We are grateful we were able to visit him one last time.

This morning in Kuwait, we are having our first truly cloudy day of the winter season.
A reflection of our current mood.
May he rest in peace.

Blessings,

Friday, November 18, 2016

Emergence

This picture of Jingles describes how I felt for several days at the beginning of the week.
I just wanted to keep the world at bay.
So I retreated.
On Tuesday, while checking plants on the balcony and talking to a friend on the phone, I was mesmerized by this little insect that flew directly into a tiny hole and then reemerged a short while later.
Emerging: "the act of becoming known or coming into view"
It was a true reflection of how I had been feeling.
That night, I was inspired by a post by my friend, Maureen, about a community coloring project in Brooklyn; so did a bit of my own color therapy.
And my youngest son sent the below image with the message "it's weird actually having an Autumn".
So, on Wednesday morning, I took a walk with my crocheted leaves, and created my own little Autumn here in the desert.
I left a little love behind at my neighborhood park.
And that afternoon I attended a volunteer meeting at The Secret Garden to plan our Saturday gardening day.
Finding this little fella in the dirt at the garden certainly brought a smile to my face.
Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Supermoon

The moon was reigning over their world, glowing its full splendor to all those willing to look up.
Irina Serban

My husband woke me at 5:30 am so I could see the setting of last night's supermoon.
From our balcony this morning, I took this picture through sleepy eyes.
Last night, I had to wait for it to circle it's way around buildings before I could get a glimpse of it.
Of course, using my phone means that I don't always get the best shots, but most of the time, it's the only thing I have with me.
Like when we were in Jerusalem and I saw a crescent moon over the old city.
Or when we were in Jordan and it was peeking through the cypress trees.
And shining over the city of Amman at night.
This morning, since I was up, I figured I'd better make it worth my while, and reached for my big girl camera.
That's the tip of a palm frond in front of the moon.
Closer.
And even closer.
I do love a good zoom.

The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.
Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections. 
Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

Blessings for the week,

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Unintentional Absence

Lack of motivation.
Connectivity problems.
Travel.
Election depression.
All of these things have contributed to my absence over the past month.
On November 3rd we traveled to Jerusalem to visit my husband's family.  He talks to his aunt almost every day ... she is 86 years old, has been blind since the age of 2, lives alone and is unable to travel, so we must visit when we can.  She told us that she thinks this may be the last time we see her but, of course, we are hoping that is not the case.
Our time spent with family always involves lots of food.
Chai and aqras zaatar.
Tea and thyme bread.
Turkish coffee and sabanek (spinach).
While in the old souk we also had a delicious fresh pomegranate juice.
And breakfasts looked like this.
There also was a whole lot of crochet going on.
The college daughter of my husband's cousin asked if I could make her a scarf.  We arrived on a Wednesday, I walked to the local yarn store with the girls, made our purchase, agreed on a pattern and I immediately started crocheting.  Every spare moment was spent working on an infinity scarf for her which I was able to finish by Friday morning.
I then immediately started a cowl, using the same stitch for the youngest of the girls ...
 and was able to finish it by that evening.
A good thing since we left the next morning.

I have to tell you that a hdc in the back loop only is very time consuming.
And I've not crocheted anything else since.

Hopefully now I am back on track with lots more to share.
Peace and blessings to all,
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