At a church service recently, Rev. Graeme Bruce told the children the story of Admiral Collington, whose statue stands just south of Newcastle.
The ships in the Admiral’s time were made of sturdy oak wood. He always carried around with him a few acorns, and Mr Bruce had one with him to show the children.
When the admiral came to where the great oak trees were being felled to make ships such as his one, he planted acorns from which other mighty oaks grew. Just as when we plant seeds they, hopefully, will flower and grow.
This reminds me of a new neighbour who came to stay beside us. There was an area of communal ground which was overgrown and full of litter with a broken fence.
Instead of moaning like the rest of us, this new neighbour took it on himself to tidy it up and, with his lawn mower and strimmer, soon had it looking better.
He also tidied the litter and sawed up the broken fence and took the whole lot away to the dump. What a difference he made.
Another neighbour gave me a gift which a member of her stroke club skilfully made.
Then, there is a man in my block who, despite bad arthritis, usually puts out our bins.
And we all enjoyed the gooseberries and blackcurrants which the previous owner of my house planted a couple of years ago.
Here is a poem of mine which sums it up:
Is there a good seed in your mind
That you can safely sow?
A kindly word or timely deed
To spread around then leave to grow.
Show a good example
In the hope that this will flourish
And the results will multiply
From which others get some nourish.
As you plant the seed
Of some inspired thought
Do you watch it gently blossom
Until results are wrought?
Have you pulled out all the weeds
Of revenge and anger cast away
Filled up your mind and heart
With peace and joy in each new day?
Then sprinkle each one you meet with love and tender care,
Take time to simply look around
Take time to stop and stare.
So let us all take steps today
In this world of strain and strife
To help make a better place
In this garden which is life.
Knox’s UF Church