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Hello to our much loved friends and a Happy New Year to you all.

It has been a over 2 months since our last post and events have moved swiftly in that time. Noel had his life transformed with a painful back injury that has taken over two months to respond to treatment and is now starting to resolve. He returned to the UK in late December 2017 and was blessed with a pain free 35 hour journey.

We both ran a 5km Park Run in Moor’s Valley Country Park in Dorset, UK yesterday with Clare coming in 2 seconds faster than Noel. That was a good feeling for us both, proof that healing does take place and that life goes on after injury. Much gratitude to all that helped Noel heal, especially to our friend Valda who gave Noel a home in Australia while he recovered.

As you will know from our last blog Clare returned to the UK in late October 2017 to be with her mum, Margaret who has been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Margaret’s treatment options are limited and we are currently living with her to assist with things around the house and garden as well as driving to numerous hospital appointments locally in Bournemouth and further afield in Oxford.

Clare named this as being “Grace-Time” and we have both tried to understand what that means, it has been such a challenge that we wanted to share it with you. The word grace is nebulous and perhaps hard to grasp, yet it is a word that brings hope, peace and calm when we speak and behave grace-fully in difficult situations. We sing “Amazing Grace” and there is the Paul Simon song “Graceland” based on Elvis Presley’s home of the same name. We both experienced grace when we sat in the cathedral in Santiago for the pilgrims mass at the end of the Camino walk last year. Perhaps they are little pockets of time that allow us to recall the very best of who we can be when the right moment arrives.

The word grace may have special meaning for you and if it does we would love to hear from you to tell us more.

One of our challenges will be to both understand grace and to act with grace at times of hardship and difficulty. Everyone has hardship and difficulty in their home or work lives, some struggle with illness or pain, while others struggle with money or poverty and some of us just “hit the wall” and feel the stuffing has been kicked out of us.  While we may not be able to control what happen to us, we all have the choice of how to respond to what is happening.

Do we cave in and shriek, howl and scream and immerse ourselves in the dirty water of the muddy pond? Or like the lotus flower can we rise ourselves above the maya of the dirty water and remain clean and untainted by the events around us?

Perhaps this is a divine choice, to behave with grace despite what is going on around us. Not denying the events, but accepting them and responding with love, peace and calm to reduce the pain experienced by ourselves and others? Can we do this? Yes. Will we do this? Is that the “grace-time” choice? With love and best wishes for 2018, Noel and Clare.





4 thoughts on “Grace-Time

  1. Hi Noel and Clare, thank you for these. You know Mary Oliver on it ? “You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it. ”
    My sense of it, is that we can manipulate anything in life, and in particular ourselves. The Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han talks about it really well, he calls it self exploitation/self manipulation. Grace I think is when the One, relentlessly, ruthlessly and beautifully touches us, and there is no way we can ask, manipulate, bargain or pray for that touch. It is given

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely words – sorry to hear of your struggles but glad you have grace to help you through. Well done re the run. Amazing. Wishing you both a very happy new year. With love Sarah x


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