“With a single phrase, you can heal a wound or tear it open. Even today, choice words in precise order bear power unmatched by amplified images and sound and technical magic”

Jerry Jenkins Writing for the Soul p. 54



“Burnett taught me to marvel that a shriveled brown bulb can produce a tulip, that dead sticks can give birth to roses, and that even people, shriveled by illness and deadened by grief, can still blossom. Her book helped me to see the miracle of new life bursting fort from apparent death.”

Katherine Patterson on Frances Hodgson Burnetts book “The Secret Garden”.

One hour in the park. Autumn, Christchurch, New Zealand.

All is suddenly quiet.  After a bread feeding  frenzy where squawking, squabbling, and flapping of wings  filled the air with sound the sudden quiet changes the atmosphere. We sit in the sun and listen to contented quacks and little splashes as white, green and black ducks bob up and down, to and from the river bed, in search of yet more food. Although no that the giver of bread has left, there seems to be enough to go around and calm pervades this whole search.

“ Look at those ducks as they go around like vacuum cleaners, just getting the stuff off the surface.” Matt remarks to me.  “I think there must be lots of little bugs and those ducks are just going duoduoduoduoduo.”  ( That’s the noise ducks make when they vacuum apparently).


“Mmm. Mmmm, yeah going through and having a look at all the stuff I need to do, there’s a fair bit. Mmm.

More silence, other than me typing and recording every word my studying-husband-says.

I sit in much coveted sun. Sunlight is strong and warm here, but out of it, in the shadows, all you find is cold. I only need move one foot over to the shade of a tree to be frozen by the crisp air.

“Ohooo Wohoo wohoo” a bird cries in the distance, people murmur as they walk past and a car alarm sounds simultaneously.

There is a young couple about 20ms to our left who have set up a camera and are taking pictures of the lake and each other.  The ducks waddle past Matts feet, he watches them, distracted for a second from the overwhelming amount of work that still needs to be completed.

The shade has come over me, I need to move again before my bones freeze. So I do, leaves crunch deliciously under foot.

We met a lady earlier, I don’t know her name, and I doubt that I will ever see her again, but we met, and sat on the same hill together while she feed the ducks. She was the one who brought 6 bags of bread and started the mad rush for food from all surrounding ducks. They way they scrambled for it  reminded me of images of USAs black Friday.  She seemed kind, laughed while she told us that the ducks were her children and she loved them. “My best friends.” She said. “ My best friends”.  I thought it was sad that they were her best friends and hoped that this wasn’t really true.  They climbed ALL over her as they feed and she patted them in a very endearing way which made me smile.  She had short brown hair, was wearing joggers clothing and a foreign accent- European I think. From somewhere in Europe, although, I am sure she has lived here longer than I have, and maybe for many, many years.  After about 15 minutes, she finished feeding the ducks, got up, smiled, said “Have a good day” and left.  I liked her, I thought, if we knew each other longer, we would probably be friends and share coffee and stories of our lives.

I wonder about people, about their lives, about how few I know, about how many friends are yet undiscovered.

A little boy breaks the silence, “ HELLO!!!! HELLO DADDY!  ((hello – this is “Daddy” answering in a very subdued and slightly embarrassed way. ) DADDY!!!!! DADDY CAN WE STAY HERE!!!!! ( 2 second pause.) DADDY CAN WE GO OVER THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OOOooohhhhhhWWWWWEEEE!! ( he whines)” He and his silent sister have now moved on, to, “over there”, I suppose.

“Bowalalala. I wouldn’t mind heading home before we, freeze.” Matt speaks to me again. “Mmm” I grunt back as I copy down his strange sounds and words. But he is right. The sun has left. There is no warmth in this fading light. If we don’t leave soon, freezing, is eminent. It has been a lovely hour.


Because this is my very favorite movie EVER on youtube, and because I just feel the need to share it about once every 6 months, and because sometimes we all just need a little validation…
Watch this if you want to smile =)

“Validation” is a fable about the magic of free parking. Starring TJ Thyne & Vicki Davis. Writer/Director/Composer – Kurt Kuenne. Winner – Best Narrative