Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Escaping......

......the hustle and bustle of Christmas it was lovely to wander through the wood. The sun was warm creating a mild December day and lots of birds were flitting around.
There was a marked change in the trees' appearance since my last visit at the beginning of the month.
The trees are resting, but soon their sap will rise and the green shoots of spring will be here again.
I am feeling a change too, I see groaning shelves of food and gifts piled high in the stores, I want a simpler more modest Christmas than that being offered.
My thoughts turn away from Christmas and family gatherings to those who are less fortunate. In particular I am haunted by the terrible images of the little children who have fled Syria. Over 6 million Syrians are now displaced. A million children have been left to survive as refugees after being orphaned or separated from their parents. They are now living hand to mouth in tents surrounded by snow - these innocent little victims are surely deserving of any help that can be given. 

28 comments:

  1. I agree with you Rosemary - it is so dreadful to see the images of the Syrian refugee camps while all around us there is excess and indulgence at every corner....

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  2. Yes, as you say, so easy to forget these innocent victims in all the hype of Christmas. Thank you for reminding us x

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  3. Modesty and humility because of all these terrible situations around the world.Solidarity for those who are in need.There are people around us, a neighbour, a passerby, the miserable could be next door to us...In greek "anthropos" means a human being who looks up, who is positive. You did an excellent post to remind it Rosemary!

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  4. Thank you for this post Rosemary. There are so many innocent ones suffering right now. We must stop and think how we who have so much can help practically and also change our own attitude to the temptations of excess and self indulgence.

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  5. The trees are lovely.
    Feel sorry for the innocent children caught up in the war of their parents, and sometimes it's not the parents either, it's others. At least most of them don't recognize Christmas in their religion, but it is sad to see those photos without the children having really warm clothes on.
    Down here we don't seems to get photos of troubles in Syria, we hear only sometimes about it in the news, on TV or on the net. I normally have to go afar on the net to find out about Syria and other countries that are having trouble.

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  6. You are absolutely right. Many do not live in the warm and cosy homes like we have. I do not talk much about how Joe and I celebrate the holiday but we do not buy gifts for family, friends, or each other. Our church has two underserved neighborhoods we do work in. We buy gifts only for those kiddos.

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  7. Dear Rosemary, I really appreciate your post! My husband and I don't take part in the whole Christmas shopping craziness anymore and keep our own celebrations much more simple. Things that are going on in Syria are just awful and as usual the children are hit the hardest. Your photos that you posted are really tugging at my heart... Still I would like to wish you Happy Holidays!
    Christina

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  8. You're so right Rosemary. Thinking of those who aren't as fortunate and try to lend a helping hand somehow is far more important than the overload of Christmas you can see in shops now. I pass on that and so glad I'm not the only one.
    Marian

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  9. I wrote to the Red Cross to see if we could provide a temporary home for a refugee family or orphaned children. No way! Governments dead set against it. Something about weakening cultural ties too. Yes, I can send money but a warm home, food and security cannot be parcelled up. It seems we are not a global village when it comes to helping one's neighbour.

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  10. It is a shame that this is happend in our world.
    Greetings,
    Inge, my choice

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  11. A very valuable reminder Rosemary. We should always help others as much as we can and be thankful for what we have.
    Jean x

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  12. This is a beautiful post. I am feeling as you this Christmas. I long for simplicity and the real spirit of Christmas instead of the commercial side. I love the architecture of winter trees, that image is lovely. Wishing you peace and happiness for this Christmas and in 2014. x

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  13. I do agree that Christmas has become far too commercial and out of hand. It is not my favourite time of year to be honest and I have been ignoring all the hype for weeks. We too take it simply, decorations from the garden and no great indulgence on food and drink. Even so, we live in an unequal world.

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  14. I love to walk in the woods at this time of year too - they are so peaceful after the frenzy of the shopping crowds.
    I agree with you about a simple, modest Christmas. Surely this terrible situation in Syria should be a reminder to us all about what's truly important in life, particularly care for the well-being of others who are less fortunate.
    I images of this conflict are very haunting, but I hope, all the same, that you have a lovely Christmas.

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  15. Dear Rosemary,

    The number of orphaned children in Syria is astounding, and it does not look as though that issue will be resolved any time soon. It seems that the balance of regional and international power trumps basic humanity. Sadly, sending money or materials to this situation probably would not be effective. I don't know what the answer is, but I do believe in the power of prayer to raise consciousness.

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  16. A walk through the woods can give you a break from the sumptous reality of ours which is in such a strong contrast to those in war or need. Lovely and sensitive post.

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  17. As rusty duck says, we live in a very unequal world. My grandparent's, parent's and my own generations thought that perhaps the world was gradually becoming a better place - it seems frighteningly unlikely at the moment.
    We even have a food bank in Harrogate this Christmas.

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  18. Thank you for this post Rosemary. I agree. We cannot imagine what life would be like for families in these terrible situations. It would be wonderful if we could all give, that others could enjoy a life half as fortunate as our own.

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  19. So true, Rosemary. we don't think of the hot Middle-East as having snow, but the cold must just add to the misery and heartbreak there. Such an evil, evil conflict!

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  20. Thank you for those haunting images of Syria, Rosemary. I have never thought of a refugee camp under snow - what difficult conditions indeed for these unfortunate people. We are proud that our sons have asked for gifts involving buying goats and vegetable gardens for impoverished people in Africa via a charity this year (they know we have been doing it ourselves for a few years). The commercial emphasis on over-indulgence at every level is really off-putting, and makes me also wish for a simple Christmas meal with family. Thank you for a timely and thoughtful post.

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  21. Amen to all that you wrote Rosemary,
    I have always had simple christmas times.. when my parents were alive even simpler.. more thought for the poor and he have
    nots.
    I chose to live here where I am to be away from maddening crowds.. To see mr. robin is a thrill.
    I have been following all this horror on the news.. and have said to myself over and over.. if i had money. i would bring some of those poor poor children to be in the comfort here of my home and give them love.. nothning else..love , warmth, food.. poor poor people.
    I sometimes am ashamed to be part of the human race, that can commit such atrosoties and politicians stand by and give speeches on how they might solve it.

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  22. Yes, Rosemary that is actually what Christmas is about. Thinking of the less fortunate and supporting them. It is a political issue. I believe people like you and me would do anything to help. What do the politicians do? They do not care a copper! They are only interested in re-election and in keeping their power. I think what we can do is voting for the right politicians and party. I believe though, and I am sorry to say that, it is alright to enjoy life and it does not mean at all that we do not care. Wishing you wonderful days! You are such a treasure in the www! Christa

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  23. Dear Rosemary,
    you got the gist of Christmas - helpless in the face of so much unhappiness and suffering, but if everybody does a bit it will be a bit better.

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  24. Strange how not many people getting the full-on Christmas seem that happy about it, if the blogosphere and my friends are to be believed. Maybe the age of excess is over?? I hope so, when there is so much that can be done with so little to make things better for someone else.

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  25. It's heartbreaking always to see how children suffer in many parts of the world. War in all it's forms is a terrible thing - the innocents of every age, babies to the elderly suffer. Even without war, but having to survive in despicable, inhumane conditions, is also sickening to us who appear to have everything and more, while little ones live moment to moment, many never reaching adulthood. What can we do? It's all so hard. Sending money which never reaches the children is useless - supplies shipped are usually stolen. I've visited the villages in Africa where smiling children go to school with no shoes and empty tummies, where tiny babies sleep in crowded orphanages because their parents have died of AIDS or drugs..........taking little presents doesn't really do it, giving cash at the source (to the nuns or caregivers is best). These lovely kids in the photos deserve so much more.............whether Christians or whatever. My heart hurts, my guilt simmers, my prayers will be given up in hopes someone can help them through the winter and beyond.

    Thank you Rosemary for making us think about those less fortunate. I for one will make do with less this Christmas.............I do not want gifts and certainly don't need a ton of food. Looking about the overloaded stores a few days ago made me cringe - I couldn't wait to get back home and think about the true meaning of Christmas. I think the coming year will see changes for me.

    Hoping for gentle blessings for you and your family.
    Hugs - Mary

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  26. I agree with you too Rosemary. The true meaning of Christmas has been taken over by the huge commercialisation of the season. I too feel like escaping from it all and giving my money to those in need.
    Sarah

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  27. I know and love Syria and it is so painful to me to see the plight of not only the children,but of the parents and others too. I already regularly support the Red Cross in its work there but thanks for reminding me to give an extra donation. I am going to start supporting UNICEF too.

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  28. Good point, rosemary. Christmas in my country is just a seasonal event and is very commercialized but some people get the idea, giving and sharing and love and forgiveness. Fund raising for the less fortunate seems to be easier at the Christmas season, but heartbreaking problems exist all the year round. I hope that tenderness and compassion wouldn’t get lost in the daily rush after Christmas is over.

    Yoko

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“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you - you have to go to them too.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh