By the time you receive this contribution, the possibility will be very strong or may even have been realised that the family and I have moved to my own charge in Ayrshire. I did receive the wonderful news that I have been asked to preach as sole nominee on 26th May at a linked charge.
I would therefore like to take the opportunity to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the way that we as a family and, in particular, me as Assistant Minister, were received and cared for by you all. The help with donations for the Manse and the support all the way through has touched us deeply. It is the one thing that will remain with us and the memories of our time in Mearns will be treasured. Thank you to all. If any of you are on the way to the borders or even further south to England and are passing by Ayr, you will be most welcome for a coffee (or even tea, as I have trained myself to make a very good cuppa) and cake!. My mobile number will stay the same
I would like to talk a little about treasure in my last piece for the Magazine. We sometimes think of treasure as something seldom found. Lots and lots of programs can nowadays be seen on television about all kinds of people searching everywhere for treasure. It may be sunk somewhere or buried somewhere. People are always searching for treasure which will bring them riches. It usually is in some desolate and obscure place as well. The sad part is that they seldom find any treasure that will bring riches and happiness. Millions of pounds are being spent in this search and families are being torn apart.
The good news is that treasure can be found in anybody and everybody. It is the memories that we gather throughout our lives. It may start as childhood memories spent in the family home or on holidays.
It may start later because some of us do not have particular fond childhood memories. I always tell people they need to gather as much good memories as possible whenever possible. It could be something as simple as setting your foot out of your front door. You can smell the changing of the seasons in the air. Did you ever take the time to smell nature after the rain? Did you take the time to step on new snow and listen to the sound it makes? Did you ever build a snowman? You must actively make time to record these memories in your head and store it for a rainy day.
I recently sat next to an elderly lady on a plane. She would occasionally smile and even laugh out loud. After about 30 minutes together, she asked me if I found her laughing to be bothersome. I said no—if she indulged me with what it was all about. She told me that she takes the time whenever she is alone to remember specific times and events in her life. Sometimes it is about her children and grandchildren. The time when they started to speak and the things that would sometimes come out of their mouths.
Like the time her grandson replied to a preacher’s sermon about people kicking other people out of their homes. He replied out loud: “Yes, right up the bum!”
The secret is that she observed events and made a mental note (she called it an imaginary purse) to remember that one. As soon as she reached home or the place she stayed at that particular time, she will write it down. She will then revisit the events a few times over the next weeks or even months. She had hundreds of them. That made me think as well. I found to my astonishment that I had hundreds too.
We will take such memories from Newton Mearns. Safely and secured within our own purses.
I have shared a lot of these memories with people back in South Africa. The Scottish sense of humour; the beautiful scenery; the castles and the rain. YES, the rain, because we got to spend a day indoors as a family with lots of crisps, popcorn, movies and laughter. New memories were made right there and then.
ALWYN (and the Landman Clan—yes we found that the Landman clan did exist back in the ancient Kingdom of Fife. We’ve got our own Tartan! What a possible memory to explore!