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More From Ted Witham

November 22, 2021 by Ted Witham (Western Australia, Australia)

It’s been a year since I wrote my last meditation, and the delightful season of Djilba (a name given to the first weeks of spring by Aboriginal Australians) has returned. Djilba is the season of warmer days, blossoming trees, and gorgeous wildflowers. It is when our many marsupials and lizards conceive a new generation of creatures to be born in summer.

The coming of Djilba is a welcome relief from the cold, wet days of Makuru. This year it also feels like a relief from the hard days of the pandemic. Here in Western Australia, we have endured very few days of lockdown, unlike our compatriots in Melbourne and Sydney. Even so, rising vaccination rates and new optimism about our world finding a way to live with this virus lead to more positive outlooks.

In this time, my wife and I have moved house to be closer to grandkids and to the increasing medical care I need. As the curvature on my spine increases, so does the pain. But my mobility decreases. I still walk most days (our little dog wouldn’t allow me to do otherwise), but it is becoming more of a chore than a pleasure.

One of the benefits of our new house is a large English-style garden. Tall hollyhocks grow at random. Bright pink and red geraniums provide color. Native peppermint trees give dense shade. The backyard, in particular, is a place of peace. Cheeky birds like willy wagtails and parrots come and go. 

Just sitting outside is a pleasure. We eat most meals outdoors and even take naps there. I don’t know if my back will compel me to walk less and less, but I do know that I have been granted this garden to enjoy, even if my deteriorating health forces me to sit more. 

I can only think how God has blessed us. I know we live a very comfortable life. And I know that retirement means I have time to slow down in God’s presence. Among the roses and the banksia, I am grateful for the awesome blessings. 

I give thanks to you with all my heart, Lord. I sing your praise before all other gods. — Psalm 138:1 (CEB)

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