Monday, 26 December 2011

My Garden

When I looked out on the garden recently, it was wall to wall green, which sounds great until I tell you that it was mostly weeds. A few small shrubs poked up above the expanse, and a brave flower or two spotted the vermilion with blues and reds, but “weed green” was definitely the theme that came to mind.
I needed to get in deep, without disturbing the flowers, so a trowel became my preferred weapon.
As I dug down, needing to go twelve inches for some roots, I pondered the parable of the sower. My path has weeds, my rocky soil has weeds, my weedy area has weeds and even my good soil is full of the dratted things. The good plants only ever seemed to have shallow roots – never more than a few inches, and often got uprooted while dealing with the unwanted. Most of the time they got replanted in the clearer soil, but a few were broken.
Several days later, things look different. Swathes of brown surround colourful plants and brown leaved shrubs, preparing for their winter sleep. It looks good, clean, and ordered. My back aches, but it's a good feeling, well earned and worthwhile.
I know what's really there, though. Under the ground, the roots I missed, or couldn't remove – some finding their way to light from deep under the concrete path. Minuscule seeds, left over from the beautiful yellow dandelions wait their turn next spring, ready to grab my reclaimed land. I can ignore them for now, of course, there's plenty of time to deal with them later.
I guess there's a parable growing in there - somewhere.

Friday, 18 February 2011

What do you need to be rich?

You are rich if... own properties in lots of countries. have more than one car. can change your mobile phone every year. need to insure your jewelry. pay someone to do your ironing. can holiday abroad every year.
...your children have a room just for toys and games. pay others to decorate the house. need a gardener to look after your gardens.

You are rich if... own more than one property. can buy a new car every year. have a mobile phone for all your family.
...your children have lots of toys in their bedroom. can buy ice creams when you go out for the day. can holiday every year.

You are rich if...
…you can pay the rent or mortgage every month.
…you throw away clothes because they are out of fashion. can eat out in restaurants. can send your children to university. can keep a pet.

You are rich if...
...there are more rooms in your house than people. can buy new clothes before they wear out. goes off before you can eat it. can buy presents at birthdays and Christmas. can visit local attractions from time to time.

You are rich if...
...some of the family don't have to share a bedroom. can replace clothes as they wear out. can choose what to cook for each meal..
...some of your family have a job.
...all your children go to school.

You are rich if...
...the whole family can sleep in the house at the same time can buy toys the children can share.
...some of your children go to school.
...there is food for every meal.

You are rich if... have a place to stay that is safe at night.
...your family eats something every day. have a change of clothes for every family member.

So how rich are you?
How far do you think this could go on? Where do you think you wouldn’t feel rich any longer? How little do we need to feel rich?
Do you even need to be rich to be happy?
Since you have read this using a computer, it's likely that you are in the richest 5% of the population of the world.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Who am I?

Lots of people have asked this question in a myriad of ways, and I haven't found a perfect answer yet.

First though, Glyn Hedeg isn't my real name. It's a pseudonym for the legal me, Richard Jones. Do a Google search for my real name and you'll be inundated with thousands of possibilities.
Glyn Hedeg, on the other hand, almost fills the first page with the stories I've had published so far.

So how do I define who I am?

What am I like? Balding, middle aged, glasses. With a fantastic smile and great dark brown eyes. But that's the outside, what about the inside? I don't mean the gloopy bits, of course, but then you already guessed that. Am I even competent to write about myself? Should I get the people I relate to to define me? My wife, children, or friends? What about people who don't like me - do they get a say?
I like to spend time on my own, but also love meeting new people. I can dance up a storm (though my two boys complain about "Dad dancing"), but can't get a party going on my own. I can stand up and give a great lecture, but failed teacher training. I play clarinet in a band, but only in front of friends.

What do I do? I'm a software engineer by trade, though have tried various other jobs, including labouring. Does that define me?

What about what I believe? I'm a firm believer in democracy, even though it doesn't always work the way I want it to. I'm a Christian too, but what I mean by that and what you understand probably doen't match up fully. I care about people, but don't always follow up with actions. Is this enough for you to know who I am?

I've changed, too. I'm different to who I was when I was a teenager. Heavier, for sure, but calmer too; I don't lose my temper any more. I've been through depression, and come out the other side - was it the same me that experienced that?

I guess the only way for you to know who I really am is to be me for a while. Even then, you'll only get the me that's now, not the process that brought me here.
You could live with me, but even then you'll only see part of me, like I'd only see part of you.

So, I guess I can't get a proper answer. What I do know, is that I like being me. There's no one else quite like me, though I overlap with lots of others - particularly with my name.