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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…


Can death, and restored wellness allow a family to move on?

Photo by Kamyab Lotfollahyan on Unsplash

Ailsa braced herself for her meeting with her father, but she needn’t have worried. His eyes lit up when he saw her, and she threw herself into his arms and released her tears.

For a while no words were spoken, the two just locked in an embrace that spoke volumes. Eventually though, John broke the silence.

“I’m so sorry darling. I couldn’t see any other way out…I couldn’t bear to have to lean on you.”

“It’s alright Dad. It’s alright,” Ailsa replied as she folded her father in her arms. “I’m here now and I’ll always be here for you…


Deception…and life can go on…

Photo by Kamyab Lotfollahyan on Unsplash

Moving in with John went so much more smoothly than she could have imagined. Deception, for a time! Refuge, for as long as she needed.

They simply went with the rhythm and flow of day-to-day living, John caught up in work commitments, and Helen finishing off the remnants of her study. It was a surprisingly easy merging of two people, once lovers, and now happy, considerate companions.

Though he had thought deeply about it, John had felt it was not his place to ask whether Helen had informed her parents. He was relieved when she raised the topic herself.

“For…


A heart-wrenching goodbye…could things possibly get worse?

SoPhoto by Kamyab Lotfollahyan on Unsplash

So caught up in their grief, the family had put Cam in charge of Alistair’s belongings, clothes, his wallet and loose change, and as an afterthought, a small pocket recorder which had sustained a lot of damage, and as far as the police were concerned, was irreparable.

The funeral was a private affair. The decision had been made that he be laid to rest alongside his grandfather.

Grief was heavy, too heavy, worsened by the many questions that, like festering wounds, refused to scab over with answers.

That the church hierarchy’s silence was deafening, sidestepping all questions, was hard to…


One door quietly closed…oblivious to heart break on the other side…

Photo by Kamyab Lotfollahyan on Unsplash

In the days after Anna returned home, Helen had time to think, too much time! Might the love she and Alistair had shared be her one allocation in life?

Frailty was her constant bedfellow, fear ever present. She realized her eyes would have to locate a new focus to enable her to crawl through the demands of the next few months’ broken chapters.

There were only two sides to the equation, the blindingly scary, or the wonderfully exciting. Either was hers to choose.

So deep in thought, she almost walked past him.

“Helen, how are you?” …


Plans turn to grief:

Photo by Kamyab Lotfollahyan on Unsplash

Helen anxiously made her way to John’s apartment, head pounding with anxiety, but she calmed herself with the thought that the past was just that, and had nothing to do with the task ahead of her. This could be an assignment for a client, and she would treat it that way, sorting out the latter period of John’s life one box at a time.

But she could never have been prepared for the aura of sadness that hit her when she unlocked the door, almost as if no joy had ever taken place within the walls. Yet it was more…

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