Sunday, 23 April 2017

On Moving Countries

What I miss most about having moved from South Africa to Jerusalem, is my garden. The absolute greenness of it.  The profusion of flowers all in pastel shades of blue, pink, mauve and some purple, soft butter yellow and bright  shining white.  I miss the birds that visited every day and who came to splash in my two bird baths, from the tiny white eyes to the large and noisy hadedas. I have photographs of a hadeda standing in one of the baths on a particularly hot day.  He stood perfectly still for over an hour whilst his partner shouted at him from below. It was very entertaining.  I miss the butterflies, the bees and even the cheeky squirrels who would come right up to my patio steps looking for treats.  I collected acorns for them, which they loved and did not forget, from one year to the next. 

I miss my pet spider, who made the largest and most intricate golden web. It stretched across one of the pillars on the patio and was attached to a bamboo wind chime on the other side. She was there for more than a year and I was very careful not to disturb her. 

But most of all, I miss the peace.  It was just the most tranquil of places. Everyone said so. It was a quiet oasis not far from a busy road and yet shielded from the noise by the high hedges and several big old trees.

The house next door was where I had often played as a child, with the granddaughter of the owner, who just happened to be an old friend of my father's family.  In fact, my father's boyhood home was just one block away and I always thought how very strange that was.  That I should have come down from Central Africa and eventually, year's later, bought my home in a complex built on land that I knew so well from my childhood.  My parents said that it was meant to be and I agreed with them. I felt safe there and cocooned. I had made the garden into a perfect picture, a living picture, always changing as the seasons changed and yet always filled with a certain magic.  It was definitely where I belonged and yet, after sixteen years, it was time to move on.

I will always miss my garden, my perfect little patch of beauty.  My own small world which I had hoped to keep forever, but it was not to be. I now live in an apartment five floors up.  It does have a small balcony where I have put a few pot plants. I have a wonderful view over Jerusalem and the biggest bonus of all, my daughter and her husband live just downstairs. This is my home now and I am grateful for it every day. Who knows what the future holds?  Perhaps one day I will be blessed to have another beautiful garden.  In the meantime, I  have the use of a green and quiet park, just five minutes away and of course, my memories..  
This post is written by Rosemary Kahn, retired teacher, freelance writer and author of Grandma's Hat, Naomi's Tonsils, Why Unicorns Eat Lavender, Relationships and a number of School Readers

Monday, 3 April 2017

Recommending "Healing Your LIfe Through Activity"

I have just finished reading the updated version of Shoshanah Shear's book "Healing Your Life Through Activity." What an excellent read it is! I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone in the medical profession; those who are about to start any university course to do with medicine; for pharmacists (especially those pharmacies that stock assistive devices and wheelchairs); first aiders; housewives and even house husbands. We never know from day to day, what the future holds for us. This book is a step in the direction of "being prepared."

R.A. Kahn, retired teacher and published author

Sunday, 1 January 2017

When the Past Provides Inspiration.

Are you from the time period that enjoyed to watch "The Sound of Music"? The "Sound of Music" was a family favourite in our family. We saw it on the big screen, purchased the record - remember those? We would listen to the songs for hours on end and practice many of the songs. Some of us would even practice some of the dances that went with them. That famous twirl being one of them.

Finding joy and incorporating joy into your life has become rather popular in recent times, but it's not a new idea! Julie Andrews sang many a song that helped one to internalize just how important joy is and gave us wonderful clues as to where joy can be found.

"The hills are alive, with the sound of music..." A famous start to one of the songs of this musical but it is so much more than a song. When one has joy in your heart, you can literally hear music wherever you are, especially when out in nature. The truth is, if you do not feel joy in your heart, by spending time in nature and listening to the wonderful silent sounds of nature you can begin to hear that music that Julie Andrews spoke of and if you will let it, the music will fill your heart with joy. So it really works both ways.

I was about to do a little research for a project we are working on when I stumbled upon this wonderful video. 50 years after the production of "The Sound of Music" Julie Andrews re-visits the places where most of the scenes were filmed and provides some wonderful behind the scenes insight into the story behind this special film.

If you have not seen the film or if it has been years since you have, do yourself a favour and look up the old movie "The Sound of Music". For those familiar with the film, take a break and enjoy learning a little of the story behind this film. Let the songs fill you with joy and inspiration for the week ahead.


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