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Changing the world one word at a time. Find me at: http://amazon.com/author/mariarattray or: https://ponmyword.com

No better time to promote, than right now…

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A few years ago my husband and I spent some time living in Penang, Malaysia. There I met the most beautiful man, who to this day is a very close friend. We share similar concerns about the environment, about materialism, and the lack of care for the planet. The galloping and frightening pace of change from where we were less than three generations ago, to where we are today, we discussed at great length.

When I first struck up a conversation with him I asked about why the tides around the island…


And through that, being born again…

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There’s no interview. The position is challenging and fierce. It comes with no salary. It leaves you absolutely exhausted every day, deprives you of sleep, and the free time you once enjoyed, but you wouldn’t trade it even for free access to the biggest bank in the world.

Welcome to the World of Motherhood, where love begins and ends. Welcome also to the longest and most fulfilling chapter in your life.

It might be physically impossible to count the ways a mother expresses her love. Where loving warmth meets a teachable moment, that’s where you’ll find a mother, confidently wielding…


Celebrating the birth of a friend’s little boy…

Photo by Catherine Hammond on Unsplash

The inspiration comes from the poem, ‘Oh, the Places Youll Go!’ It’s all about seizing opportunity, and being open to adventure.

Dearest William,

CONGRATULATIONS!

Today is your day,

You’ve landed on earth

And now you must stay.

Today‘s your ‘birth’ day!

And you’re perfect, we think.

But we know that the years

Will fly by in a blink.

So from feasting on milk,

Over which you now drool,

Soon you’ll be shopping

For clothes fit for school!

Oh the things there you’ll do,

Oh the people you’ll see,

The teachers you’ll have,

And the student you’ll be.

The friends that…


To look in a mirror and like what they see…

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It was a Friday night. Late opening in our city, a night when it is de rigueur to shop after work, and then enjoy a simple meal out.

My husband needed some business clothes, and we went down to the basement of a large store in the men’s section. It was a store where he always found clothes that he liked, so we spent a fair bit of time looking. Our daughter, quite young at the time, perhaps three or four, was with us.

She was always a good little girl, well-behaved, and patient for the most part.

We duly…


It’s not about always behaving perfectly, but more about leaving no room for compromise.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

When I was quite a young teacher I had a boy in my class who was invariably late for school. Sometimes he could be as late as one hour, and that is almost always the time in the classroom where important information, or teaching, takes place.

As the eldest of five children, his father was in the army and often away from home. I felt for the mother. She seemed constantly on edge, as was her young son. He would slope into the classroom, and though I greeted him and quickly explained what he had missed, without judgement, I could…


Children are one of our potentially overlooked natural resources.

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The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.

To be the perfect parent would be wonderful, though the reality is that few of us are, so hope you enjoy the reassuring quote below.

“A perfect parent is a person with excellent child-rearing theories and no actual children.

So aiming to be a good parent, and not seeking perfection, is what it’s all about. We are all perfectly imperfect, and that is a great thing. Our world is a much more interesting place for that fact alone.

Parenting is a tough…


Sunshine and the race goes on…

It wasn’t so hard to wake early. He’d set his mobile, and left his blinds up during the night. The combination would be a perfect alarm clock. And he was right. Who would have believed it? After the ferocious storm, calm reigned and the sun shone brightly from a cloudless blue sky. He was excited.

He checked his mobile — only six am and much too early to text his friend. He snuggled under his blanket, grateful for an extra bit of a sleep.

The next thing he knew it was well past eight, and he was instantly on the…


Allow your kids to be bored. Then stand back and admire their creativity!

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

When I was a child, weekends were relaxed. We enjoyed lazy mornings, walks in the countryside, or down by the river, stop offs for morning tea, on occasions, and, so it seemed to me as a child, bike rides, and endless play time in the back garden.

If the weather was less favorable, we’d play games inside, and just enjoy being a family.

Because that’s what weekends were about, relaxing at the end of a week, simple downtime, and later, preparation for the week to follow. Some respite from work pressure. Relaxation of rules, and just being carefree.

There was…


A three-for-one response…

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Today Agnes Laurens issued a challenge to write an acrostic poem using your name. The last time she issued such a challenge, it was to do with offering a word, and its meaning, peculiar to one’s culture. I could have written a book on some of mine, and yet, I failed to follow through, so this time I felt duly challenged to complete one.

Then today I read another poetry challenge by Orla Kenny, so being a thrifty Scot, I decided to combine the two.

But I’d only just finished reading these amazing stories on random acts of kindness, so…


Rain!

Rain!

The first flash of lightning woke him up. James sat bolt upright, and listened. It came as predicted, that eventual clap of thunder.

“Bugga!” he said in anger.

It was Friday morning, the day before the ride. Another flash, closely followed by yet another loud clap of thunder, and rain, lots of it, the kind of rain that says, don’t plan on going too far. I’ll be here for a while.

“Bugga, bugga, bugga!” he bleated between clenched teeth, his secret swearword that he used when his mum wasn’t within earshot, and his way of letting off steam. Always mindful…

Maria Rattray

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