Appreciate the little things

“Look at what you’ve got, and make the best of it. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”-proverb.

This was written on a tiny piece of paper and handed to me with my cafe latte, and as I looked out at the setting sun I realized these were very wise words. Life is what you make it. Approach it with anger, you will receive anger back, but greet each day with a smile, and you will be amazed by the joy you will get back. Appreciate the little things; a great cup of coffee, a child’s laughter, and a wonderful sunset.

I live in paradise, I have 3 wonderful children and a loving husband, and I am about to leave for a month long trip back to England to visit my family. I feel blessed and full of abundance. Thank you world, from the bottom of my heart, and may there be many more beautiful sunsets in my future.

A Smile from Beyond

Eight months had passed since my father in law had gone over to the other side. We had already cremated the body, and scattered his ashes in the ocean. However, the formal Balinese ceremony had not been performed, so here we were, on a small fishing boat, bobbing up and down on the ocean, trying to summon his soul back, in order to have him present at the ceremony.

We had a priest in the boat with us, who rang his bell  intermittently, and chanted his incantations in to the wind. Just being in the presence of a priest gives me goose bumps, and the thought that he was conversing with my father in law’s soul had my whole body tingling.

The clouds were turning dark, and drops of rain began to fall as the boat rocked in the waves. Was this a sign? The priest turned to us and said

“He will be there”

On the journey home, everyone sat in silence, lost in their own thoughts. As we got closer to home, the sun started to poke its head out from behind the clouds, and arriving in front of our house, we all stared in awe at the double rainbow above us. This was most certainly a sign:

“welcome back bapak”

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(bapak means father in Indonesian)

This was written in response to the Sunday photo fiction for 10 May 2015

https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/sunday-photo-fiction-may-10th-2015/

Idyllic Community

When it comes to defining an idyllic community, the Balinese have pretty much got it sussed. The way of life here is based around the idea of a group mentality, rather than individuals, and has followed the same structure for hundreds of years. I am amazed at how well it works, and even though there are many temptations around them, the essence still holds strong.

The island is divided in to many small villages, all of which have their own committees. Decisions are made as a group, and work is divided equally. Every member bands together to keep the village clean, and helps each other when there are special ceremonies. Traditions have been passed down through the generations, and every one just knows what their part is in the whole scheme.

No one can get too big for their boots, as the village makes sure that everyone is treated equally. Arrogance and individualistic activities are frowned upon, and keep the people humble. Families stay in one family compound, and support each other, every generation plays a part in bringing up the children.

In my travels, the only other communities that I discovered that worked on similar principles were the kibbutzim in Israel.I had the pleasure of living in one for a few months when I was younger, and experienced first hand a community dedicated to mutual aid and social justice.

The kibbutzim are completely self sufficient, consisting of living quarters, schools, and communal facilities such as a dining hall, swimming pool, clinic, laundry etc. There are chicken coops, and dairy cattle sheds as well agricultural fields, growing fruit and cotton. To get from place to place the people either walk or ride bicycles. When you arrive you are provided with clothing, the same as everyone else. You are no longer an individual. The work is divided between the people, and jobs are rotated so everyone experiences all tasks.

Everything you need is right there, and there is very little reason to leave the grounds. However, if you need to go in to town, there are cars that belong to the community, and anyone can use them, providing they book in advance.All decisions are made as a group,

Both the kibbutzim and the Balinese communities are fantastic places for young children and the elderly, as everyone is well cared for and made to feel useful. However in both cases, it’s the young that start to get itchy feet and want to experience life outside of the community. The future of these idyllic communities lies in the hands of these people, and I certainly hope that they can see the benefits of keeping these values alive.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/idyllic/”>Idyllic</a&gt;

Going in Circles

“We are going round in circles! Somebody is not rowing properly”

“Its not me, I am doing it like you taught me”

“Well, you must be doing something wrong!”

No matter how hard they tried, the boat continued to move in circular movements, creating more and more frustration between the people in the boat. This was supposed to be a fun day out, but certain members of the group were so focused on doing things right, the fun had been taken out of the activity, and everyone was feeling annoyed.  Everyone that is, except the little girl at the stern, who was quietly day dreaming, her oar in the water, unknowingly steering the boat round and round.

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Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring writers

Photo from Ady, author of the blog The Bourne of Infinitude

Dengue Fever

After losing her head, she realized the rest of her body was falling apart….

She had been driving herself crazy, worrying about her teenage son. He had been skipping school, and making up lies about everything. Her little boy was changing before her eyes, and she felt powerless. For a control freak, this was making her head spin. She could not stop crying, and was not sleeping at all. It did not take long for the stress to take its toll on her body. Her joints started aching, and every move became unbearable.

The dreaded dengue fever had seized the opportunity while she was weak, and had invaded her body. There was nothing more she could do, but release control and allow the disease to run its course. There is no cure, just rest and hydration, and of course, try and stop worrying!

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This was written in response to Mondays Finish the Story‘s prompt