SAVOR OF THE SEASONS

Every season has its own beauties, its own duties, its own blessings and it’s own lessons.

Spring is the time of new beginnings that comes after the hibernating quietness of winter. New shoots, new growth, new sprouting, new leaves… Its a time of new life, exhilaration at the stirrings of nature, excitement at the newness of it all. Its wonderful to see the earth shake and shrug off its widow mantle of white and begin to don a garb of colors, green, brown and more!

Summer brings the fullness of growth and the budding of the fruit. A time of hard work, tears and sweat, it carries within itself a hint or hope of a harvest to reap. The heat of the day becomes a harbinger of the cool of the night ahead. The color spectrum moves more towards the blue-green-yellow end, a vividness that displays the splendor of the earth in its fullness!

Autumn comes in to paint with its brush of yellow, orange, red, brown colors, to mellow the ground and everything else. The fruit has ripened, the grain grown great and everything bows low so it is easy to be divested of its pregnant burden. There is a rush to gather in the harvest, for a chillness in the air portends the impending cold. There is a scrambling to finish the gathering, to maximize the storing of resources for the season that’s just around the corner!

Winter with its monochrome whiteness seems to speak of the stillness of death, but in reality is truly the quietness of rest and restoration. Earth and it’s minions have earned their Sabbath sleep and no one can grudge them that, for they have toiled hard. Even the waters slumber under their blanket of frozen whiteness, but underneath lies a world of actively teeming life just waiting for the call to come forth renewed!

Life is programmed for and as a cycle of growth stages, with even the moon and the tides growing through a waxing and waning. The beauty of the mountains is the contrast of heights and valleys, while repeated retreat of the sea waves is the true cause of a delight to stand before it.

The courtship, the building of a nest, the birthing there in, the growth that brings spreading of wings is all a preparation for the flight from and dismantling of the nest.

After a period of rest, life then moves on to a new cycle, a new place, a new nest, a new everything. Nature’s example gives hope for mankind, to evolve and grow with each season of life, without resistance or solemn refrain though there maybe pain!

Life, cannot be stopped but will bubble forth, unless you dig a grave and build an epitaph over it – consistently constantly continuously!

Keep moving with life and don’t build a tomb!

*Photo courtesy https://m.escolakids.uol.com.br/estacoes-do-ano.htm

THANKFULLY YOURS

Thankful for the life you have given me,
Birthed safely from a woman, a woman to be.
Life could have ended in a fatal way,
But you thought to keep me until this beautiful day!
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Thankful for the barren search of the early years,
When I walked the valley of teenage fears.
I floundered and flopped around with bitter tears,
Until you set my heart and feet towards solid shores!

Thankful for the times of marital growth,
While I resisted and fought the urge to bolt.
Balancing parenthood with wifehood wasn’t a breeze,
Until I knew you were the One I had to please!

Thankful for the season of serving publicly,
Where I saw my efforts bear fruit productively.
It was a favor you bestowed graciously,
I didn’t deserve even a bit of it seriously!

Thankful for the days that are yet to come,
The history of my past will enable me not to succumb.
Pleasures and pressures there are still to overcome,
You will hold me up until I am fully done!

© SABINA TAGORE IMMANUEL
*Photo https://unsplash.com/photos/p2OQW69vXP4

BEAUTY AND BEST

Shorn off your glory,
You still stand tall,
Bearing in your basic berry
New life for self and for all!

Your beauty may wither and fade,
Your covering may shrivel and decay,
Your worth remains but unchanged,
For your hips hold within a potent seed!Beauty without depth has no claim,
Of power to impact beyond the grave.
Charm without content is no gain,
If it sustains for only immediate fame!Nature in many forms shows the way,
Of what is key beneath the display.
Rosy allure is not for dominating sway,
But for sustaining life & transcending the day!

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PERSPECTIVE PERCEPTION

 

night view

For many years now I have been living in St. Thomas Mount area in Chennai, S.India. Known in modern Tamil as Parangimalai, this small hillock of about 60m (196.9 ft) above sea level, very close to the Chennai International & Domestic Airports, has been the site of the Apostle Thomas’ martyrdom and is, therefore, one of the famous tourist destinations of the city along with the Marina Beach. The top of the hill can be reached by means of 135 steps, but there is also a road that reaches around the back of the hill.

For me, climbing the hill by way of the steps has always been an anticipated thrill. When you climb the steps, you slowly rise above the city and a breathtaking panorama starts unfolding before you, bit by bit, step by step. As you climb, people, buildings, traffic, etc., shrink and reduce before your eyes. Finally, you reach the top, step on level ground, take a deep breath and swivel around to enjoy a 360-degree-view of the city. You can see miles around and glimpse the city spreading to the horizon as far as eye can reach – east to the sea (the Bay of Bengal), north to city’s port (built as an artificial harbour) and industrial area beyond, west to the suburbs and south to the airport and beyond.

From that height, much of the ugliness of the city, including its dirt disappears from sight, leaving you awed at the beauty of the view and dumbstruck at the nuances of the vista. At twilight or dusk, a blanket of darkness slowly begins to cover the city and lights begin to twinkle here and there. At nightfall, the whole city landscape looks magical with diamonds of light embedded in a background of black velvet that leaves you gasping for breath at the wonder of it all!

It is fascinating to note how familiar things look so different when seen from another vantage point, with things that seem to loom over you actually shrinking to almost nothing. A high point vision, a wide angle perspective and a panoramic view of life actually help to readjust and realign our perception of how things are or seem to be. Most often we rue our lot in life, our portion on earth and our position in time because we minimise our niceties and maximise our insecurities. All we need is just another look from another viewpoint for things to appear in the right order and right color.

Like it or not we are more like chickens, running to cower under a shelter, than like eagles that eagerly await the storm, bodies quivering with excitement and wings widespread with anticipation! A different outlook will be enough to transform us from chickens scurrying under cover to eagles confronting the storm headfirst! We need a binocular or telescopic sight rather than myopic or microscopic tunnel vision!

However much I want, I can’t stay up there, marveling at how things changed when seen from up there and I regretfully begin my descent down the hill. Once I’ve had my fill of the view, duty calls and climb down the hill, descending the same steps into the world of daily duties and cares. Just as when I went up, in the exact opposite way, the city begins to loom larger and larger, resolving itself into building, streets, people and a million other things. Finally, I am back on ground, walking into the decay and dirt of mundane life, but now armed with something to show for my time up there. The look from the hill usually fills me with an insight that restores and readjusts my vision as well as my outlook of ordinary tasks. A different perspective had birthed a different perception as well as hope!

We don’t get to stay there on that high point or at a different vantage point. We go there to get a whiff of fresh air, a breath of newness and a look at the end of the horizon. We go there so that observation of the vista helps readjust our sights and restore 20/20 vision so we can better handle the commonalities of affairs of life. We come back. not only with healed perception, but also with a hidden gift  as the poet of The Daffodils declares:

 … I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils (or the hills!).
(William Wordsworth (1815) )
*Photo courtesy of the internet

LIVE LIFE KING SIZE

Live well this life here on earth,
For you have received true rebirth.
Live well this life with rhythm and rhyme,
Though it is short or long in time!

Live well as God’s true intended
Without this world having befriended.
Live well because He is truly constant
His gifts He gives freely at every instant.

Live cleanly by resisting the devil
Purifying yourself from every evil.
Live secure for He is your best friend,
Constantly ready to grant your right intent!

Live wisely with your tongue under a bridle,
Don’t let it wag with talk that’s truly idle!
Live content without any bitterness or gall,
Doing good to others outside and within your wall!

Live without weight in your head or heart,
You can’t carry anything when you do depart!
Live simply without any guile or even little greed,
Your heavenly father takes care of your every need!

Live patiently with perseverance your every pain,
We’ve been promised only suffering in this domain.
Live together with others who are of common faith,
Standing together in prayer with who faint or fail.

Live your life well for this is still His turf,
Make it a hymn or a poem overcome every quirk!
Live your life to the nth for this is still His kirk,
He’s gonna see that you are safe until the end!

SABINA TAGORE IMMANUEL
*Poetic form of Sunday Sermon by Rev Dr.Chadwick Samuel Mohan (@chadwicksamuel)
© NLAG CHURCH, LITTLE MT, CHENNAI, INDIA
*Photo courtesy https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwja0qKD5_LXAhUB3Y8KHbmYBuQQjhwIBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DCNNSrIpdmS4&psig=AOvVaw3lhypq8gdNgggivZlwOG_V&ust=1512561016543420

TREASURED PLEASURE

 

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When God is my deepest pleasure,
I display Him as my highest treasure.
Who can know the worth of His greatest measure,
Or understand the extent of His gracious pressure!

When God is my eternal loving Father,
Why do I need the favor of another.
For Him I am not a nuisance or a bother,
I constantly look to Him for anchor and tether!

When God is my source and supply,
I don’t need to anywhere look or apply.
He won’t let even a day go simply by,
Without any provision or something for me to buy!

When God is my only Lord and Lifegiver,
I just need to look to Him to change my behavior.
Where could I run from my precious Savior,
That teaches me to love everyone as my neighbor!

When He is my ever constant friend and Lover
I have not to seek anyone to be my protective cover.
He’ll overshadow me with His kindly power
I run eagerly after Him for His glories to discover!

When He is enough to satisfy my deepest desire,
What else do I need for to reach or aspire.
He is with me in every day I breathe and respire,
How can I not follow Him and scintillate as a live wire!

             © SABINA TAGORE IMMANUEL
*Poem inspired by a tweet by John Piper: “When God is our deepest pleasure, we display him as our highest treasure.” https://t.co/xMHkX9mKKf
*Photos courtesy http://unsplash.com

HEAVEN’S GAIN, EARTH’S LOSS

Everyone here on planet earth
Just is passing through what’s life,
A journey so short in space & time,
Yet a fleeting trial for what is to come!

Some make it fine, others make it shine,
Many often only pine or repine.
Some become kind, others become refined,
Many, of course, make only a beeline!

Every soul that anchors in Christ,
Has no serious fear for day or night,
Naught can disturb them, slight or blight,
They just know to live by faith not sight!

Their days may be seventy or seven,
Their homes may be like hell or heaven,
Their might may heighten or lessen,
But they would only to their Lord often listen!

Such ones don’t seem to matter while alive,
We have often just brushed them aside.
Yet somehow they have to managed to survive,
Until they do stand before Him and jive!

None can measure the extent of their worth,
Nor realize the depth of their lonesome berth!
Many know not that earth has actually disdained
What heaven holds dear as great gain!

© SABINA TAGORE IMMANUEL
*Photo: https://unsplash.com/photos/nr80w-MnNVk

DEPARTURES & ARRIVALS

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A few days ago, I was returning from a funeral and pondering about the quick way a life just passes on – one minute here and the next gone. I was thinking about how a person is here and is suddenly gone away, not there any more.Just then my car happened to be passing the airport and I watched a flight land and another take off. Suddenly it struck me – life is full of arrivals and departures. We watch loved ones take off one day to another destination and another day we welcome another loved one come in from a different place.The thing with departures and arrivals is that, while we receive with joy an incoming one, we stand by with some pain watching an outgoing one. We are excited and watching the skies and the boards for signs of arrival. We stand by wistfully, hoping to somehow delay a departing one.Why is this so? Why this contrast when they are, after all, in both cases leaving one place and reaching another? The reason is that in one case, our ranks swell, our numbers increase and there is addition; while in the other, our ranks deplete, our numbers lessen and there is indeed a subtraction!Its not that they are lost, but its just that they are not physically present with us. We know in our minds that they are indeed safe and enjoying new life, yet our hearts throb with their absence, the lack of the physical presence. We feel left behind, lost and alone, unable to share in that life.In the case of arrivals, we are excited about the newness of it all and the way the new one will change our lives. We are physical beings and so physical presence does make great inroads into our existence here on planet earth.However, in the case of departures, often the one leaving is generally so excited and filled with the wonder of starting a new life, facing new challenges, the sights to see, the people to meet and cultivate, the new opportunities that will be available etc, that they seem to forget us who will be staying back. In fact, it may look like that they are insensitive to our pain and longing!Its not so and its indeed good that the newness will occupy them and we have to let them be so. Its that expectancy that will make them carry them over the loss of our presence and help them settle in the new life. Otherwise, they will feel bereft in the new life and will not progress on!Even so, births and deaths make an impact on the routine of day-to-day mundanity and monotony of life. There is no denying that, whether its a newborn or a demise, both stir up and cause a whirl in the steady stream of our life. In both cases, we have to adjust and realign ourselves to the change they bring. Of course, a birth is often (but not always) is preferable over a death (again most often but not always).Yet, if we but really pause to think, contemplate and understand, we would see that the departing one is actually going to live a more fuller, more satisfying and more fulfilling life. This thought is the one that would enable us to bear with our loss, our pain and our anguish – that our loved one is in a better place, better environment and a more profitable (for them) location. In sensing and seeing their relief, release and realization, we can lay aside our grief and carry on, waiting eagerly for us to be together again.It will be only a short time before we are reunited together. It is this thought that would/should energize us to carry on and complete our race. May we take strength from this and of course, with the arrivals who will sweeten the remainder of our time!Even as I write this, I can say that the family that lost its loved one is doing exactly the same. A baby in the family is proving to be the succor and the comfort that eases the pain of the absence of the departed one!In conclusion, let me note that in an airport the departure area comes before the arrival one and even so in life!© Sabina Tagore Immanuel

*Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

GONE ON WITH THE WIND

Gone from what is called life,
Gone to live another better life,
Gone from the shackles of pain & death,
Gone to the freedom of sustaining bliss.

Gone from the bottles of earthly life,
Gone to drink from rivers of heavenly life,
Gone from the food that rots the bones,
Gone to eat from the tree that restores youth!

Gone to be bathed in the rays of eternal sunshine,
Gone to a life of everlasting gladness,
Gone to walk in the streets of golden joy,
Gone to laugh and dance for every time!

Gone to a place of peaceful coexistence,
Gone to a realm of loving kindness.
Gone to a home of freedom from care,
Gone to a land of all that you longed to have!

Gone because life, not death, called you,
Gone because healing, not sickness, overwhelmed you.
Gone because joy, not sorrow, filled you,
Gone because God, not devil, claimed you!

Sabina Tagore Immanuel