I’m sitting in our garden room on a morning that promises to herald another warm day; warm on the North East Coast of this island is a relative term, so I guess inland it will reach another 5c at least. And I’m reflecting on the day ahead, if that’s not a peculiar thing to say; my wife, one daughter and granddaughter are going to meet another daughter for a girlie weekend, with shopping, meals out and all the fun and laughter that will go with it. I love to think of them enjoying their times together; they’re not exclusively female times and frequently I’m there too, but it’s essential for them to just hang out and it’s lovely to think of that happening. I’m aware that for many reasons, not every mother gets to spend time with her daughter and that is to their mutual loss.

I’m also aware of my own day opening out, after I’ve taken them to the station. I shall be spending time on my little piece of England, my allotment, and enjoying planting more vegetables; hopefully I shall be going out this evening with my camera gear to take some night time shots and I love doing that. It’s the first time I’ve used the DSLR to do that, as the previous time was with a 35mm film camera, so it will be interesting.

But I’m also very much aware that I’m so privileged and blest to be even waking up this morning, as the past 2 weeks have seen many lives lost in various places on earth. Those travellers who boarded MH17 thinking that would be another routine flight; those families on both sides of the Israeli/Gaza conflict; and those who lost their lives when the Algerian plane went down in the desert, on a routine internal flight. Life for all those people has ended abruptly, without warning in most cases their hopes and dreams have never been fulfilled; one child a hour has died in Gaza alone.

So I want to encourage you to live this day valuing the moments you have because in truth you CAN make a difference by your presence on this planet. If you’re going to work, make a difference! Don’t just fill a time slot before going off to do something “more important” or something else that you particularly like doing. The whole of your life is filled with moments and you inscribe on each of them the value you place on them. Don’t trash any of them by being less than you can; remember that you are privileged, as I am, to be here with your feet above the ground and not under it. You ARE able to turn each moment into something plus, or something minus; YOU choose and no one else does. Be thankful you are where you are, because the truth is you could be somewhere much worse; even if you think you’re in a dead end job with few prospects, begin to find out where you’d rather be and make steps to change your situation.

And remember that each moment is priceless, is non returnable, cannot be revisited; that might help you to focus more clearly on your wonderful day ahead.