A view of my tree and Nativity statue ... the balloons are from Dan's birthday last week.

A view of my tree and Nativity statue … the balloons are from Dan’s birthday last week.

Hello dear friends.

It is Sunday and I have come to write on my blog but my mind is blank … hence I sit here with an equally blank page staring at me also! Time to write what is in my heart methinks.

It has been such an intense period with Geoff’s illness: 7 days in hospital and now 9 days since he returned home to recover. He has certainly improved considerably in the last few days but still, the bleed on his brain still remains according to his latest brain scan, but it’s not stopping him now. He is up and doing things … but just not too much.

It’s a wait and see scenario. More brain scans and appointments until the bleed has dissipated and gone. I have been pushed ever onwards and just when I’ve now had a chance to catch my breath, Christmas appears on the horizon! Yet, I am not put off by the enormity of it and I’m not sure why.

I’ve bought some beautiful glittery cards on Friday and later on, I will write some out to send, despite the fact that I have received very few this year … and I feel sad that this old tradition is slowly fading away.

And, my Christmas tree is up and looking more beautiful than ever as the little fairy lights torment and tease as they flicker on and off. I am amazed that the cake too got made despite hold-ups due to hospital visits. How did all this happen I wonder in amazement?

Christmas for our extended family (ten adults and five children … perhaps more) will be at our home this year. I offered to host it earlier and so I see no reason to throw in the towel because of our latest little drama. Again, I am surprising myself, but something tells me it’s important to keep going; not to stop and get bogged down by concentrating on Geoff’s health. Besides, everyone is pitching in and bringing food.

As if all this is not enough, I’ve also begun a comprehensive clean of my beautiful old wooden furniture. Someone outta stop me folks! I am loving the smell of furniture polish as I go about my business. As my timber cabinets begin to sparkle under the influence of cedar oil, I am able to stand back and see how wonderful my Lounge Room looks and it makes me feel good.

An updated view minus balloons!

An updated view minus balloons!

Of course, I have a plan … which I think makes it even more enjoyable. I have Christmas music playing, the tree is lit up and a scented candle wafts on the breeze in front of the Nativity statue. Another part of my plan is to do a little every afternoon – you know that nothing time of day – between afternoon tea being had and getting dinner prepared.

It’s such a lovely time of day. The sun is getting lower in the sky. The day is winding down and therefore my furniture polishing regime seems to be an enjoyable endeavour, not a chore.

When Geoff questions my enterprise, I reply, “I’m not trying to impress my Christmas guests, I am wanting to impress MYSELF!”  Geoff nods. This is the best attitude to have, he seems to say. Something about this reminds me of Nelson Mandela who died a few days ago.

I have a theory about why he was so revered around the world: it was because everything he did was not done to IMPRESS anyone.

Mandela lived such a life and made his decisions according to his own inner compass: his conscience. He had been imprisoned for 27 years … shut away from the world. Here he learned wisdom and developed this unique inner compass: not embittered or made ‘less’ by his experience.

It is said that anyone who is viewed by the world as a great figure of influence, has suffered hardship in their earlier years. Pope John Paul II was another figure of this ilk, enduring first the Nazis and then the Polish Communist regime until he became Pope.

There are others too who have this same claim to fame: Mother Teresa was another who endured great spiritual darkness as she went about saving the sick and poor in Calcutta. While everyone thought she was a saint, she could only see her poverty of spirit. She lived by her own inner compass: not to let her feelings stop her from doing good … or to impress the world either.

It teaches us that those of us who seem to have been put aside’ at various times in our lives, or who have endured hardships which lasted a long while, need to remember this lesson and learn wisdom from it. It seems that in turning inwards and allowing the hardship to make us ‘better’ instead of ‘bitter’ they were transformed and found their authentic selves.

I do not think for one moment that I can equate myself with those great people like Nelson Mandela! Far from it. However, I can  learn the lessons from looking at his amazing life and aspire to be like him in finding my own inner compass and authenticity.

I believe that this is the greatest legacy that Nelson Mandela left the world.