New Leaves

Okay folks! I’m going to level with you and you’re probably not going to agree with me…

You know all those beautifully crafted books on the ‘inspiration and motivation’ table in your bookshop? The ones which, somewhat irritatingly for those who are OCD enough to care, won’t sit right on your bookshelf at home because they’re too small, or too square, or too thin?

The soothing, matte cover entices you to pick it up and slide your palm across it… and when you open it, you’re met with a spectacular array of orange sunsets and waterfalls and extreme close ups of droplets sitting heavy on thick green  leaves.

Each photo is laced with wise words we see stitched on cushions, coasters, coffee cups and small, extortionately priced pebbles and metal tokens.

I’m being facetious. But I hope you get the idea that I’m really not the kind of girl who buys into the ‘little book of calm’ culture.

Now I’ve prefaced my post with a stinging crit, I’m going to contradict myself royally by admitting that I saw one such little book in a charity shop and, having been quite moved by words I’d never heard before, I bought it!

One of the things that I believe about life is that every one of us, without exception, needs to believe in new leaves. No matter how good or bad we are, no matter what our race, creed, culture, we all have areas of our lives in which we need to turn over a new leaf.

Arnold Bennett inspired this reflection by putting it like this:

The chief beauty about time

is that you cannot waste it in advance.

The next year, the next day, the next hour
are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.

Arnold Bennett

I love the idea that at any given moment,  I can turn over a new leaf.

It doesn’t matter about the charred mass of rubble behind me, it doesn’t matter about the blotted page I’m standing on now, the next step is onto an unspoilt canvas.

God put it like this:

“I–yes, I alone–will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again”.

(Isaiah 43:25)

New Living Translation

And so it is, that I have to swallow my cynicism, and allow hope, once again, to permeate my soul.

I hope you can too.

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