Walking where there was snow

A few short weeks ago

seems to emphasise

the wonder

and glory

of the life on display, 

both in its familiarity 

and its foreign character.

Then it occurs to me 

that I may be meeting 

this tableau 

with an increased sense 

of relaxation 

that is enabling 

a fuller awareness 

of my surroundings.

Feeling more truly 


than I have 

in some time.

Swathed by sun and blue sky 

this leaves me 

deeply grateful 

for this double gift.


This is the first in a series coming from our recent trip

Layover in Singapore.

As usual

There is a cross-section

of humanity.

Young, old

and everyone in between

including a Buddhist monk.

Families are the same 


Children behave

and misbehave

as they do.

‘I’m not doing anything’

says the young child

Hiding amidst 

the tables and chairs.

Next to me

her father wears

a benign, yet knowing smile.

What gives me pause

is the sight of

an elderly Asian worker

pushing a trolley 

for a nearby eatery.

What’s life like for him?

Holy Thursday

Good theology, good liturgy

gives life,

expressing faith

through word and symbol.

I was delighted

when the Holy Thursday

foot washing ritual

was expanded.

Not only did priests

wash congregants’ feet

but those congregants

washed the feet of other congregants

and so on.

This lasted as long as the Holy Spirit

wanted it to last.

This action broke open the Gospel:

‘I have set you an example,

that you also should do as I have done to you’ (John 13:15)

for all gathered

in a powerfully inclusive manner.

I felt blessed to be present.

Valuing gifts

Over 40 years ago I first read a reflection called ‘Persons are gifts’. It contains much wisdom about valuing my giftedness and the giftedness of those around me. From time to time I would share the reflection in my ministry, especially with Year 12 students.

You may have had the joy and comedy of watching a child under 1 open a present. For those who have tried hard to buy the gift it can be very deflating – as all they are interested in is the wrapping with its colours and sparkles.

Before we laugh too hard at the baby’s behaviour, it struck me that teenagers and adults can treat the gift of another person in a similar way – too busy making judgments about the externals to focus on the gifted person inside.

So, in our relationships, let’s not get too focused on externals – in ourselves or others. Rather may I focus on my giftedness, lovingly placed there by God, as well as the God-given giftedness of each person in my life.

This will take the form of being kind to myself and others – as well as compassionate and accepting. Thus, our salvation comes in community through the loving character of our relationships.


Still, early morning

brilliant blue sky

mirrored in

mill-pond calm water

gently lapping waves

at water’s edge.

I am enveloped

in a living prayer

of grandeur

and gratitude.

For a brief time

I immerse myself

in this numinous moment

and revel in it.

To fracture or build

I sit here

in my home

of 35 years.

Familiar surroundings.


Outside the front gate

had been home, too.

The railway trees have been

a constant over time.

Their presence,

their flowers in season and with them

Bees and lorikeets

Have given me joy, and

a connection with the natural world.

Their summary destruction

Has been a blow

Leaving me

Feeling dislocated

Dismantling my emotions

Dismantling my sense of belonging.

What’s left? 

What’s next?

Guided by the Spirit

an answer came online

in a friend’s share:

‘Focus on building the new’.

Along with this prayer:

‘God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change

The courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference’.



Cut down



Home for bees


and who knows

what else

 – no more.

Done in the name of


Do trees deserve

less respect

because they cannot speak to us?

We stand

witnesses to this carnage.


The workers do their job

But are owed no disrespect.

The government 

have the power.

We are informed

Not consulted.

We feel so much

and can do so little.

Our grief

has the backdrop 

of our 35 year presence


Part of God’s plan

Or a cul de sac?

Gum tree

A tree,

like all the others.


I am transfixed.


The pale trunk

grows this way and that

pale and shining in the sun.

The tree possesses

a unique majesty,

enhanced by the eucalypt leaves

standing out against trunk and sky.

Its spiritual presence

only enhanced by

the joyous cacophony of lorikeets.

A glorious example of

Scotus’ ‘thinness’:

the tree playing its unique role

in God’s plan by being

fully and truly itself.

A new year

May the sunshine of this morning

lighten your day and

any dark spaces of your year.

May the love in your life

for yourself and others

be the sun

enabling you

to see the shadows better.

May your relationships help you

to be more fully yourself

so that your actions

nurture your dreams

into reality.