Acts of Giving


Two and a half years ago, when building work forever altered the back yard of my home here in Castlemaine, I envisioned the back yard becoming like a woodland and planted lots of trees.

My vision is becoming a reality as the yard is full of happy trees and the ground is littered with the leaves that shower gently down, softening what had become a harsh landscape after all the construction work.

Each tree is special but it is the two Manchurian Pear Trees who really seem to have minds of their own. They have determined how they will shape themselves and fit in with those around them.

A strong wind snapped the central limb of one of these twelve  months ago. Effective pruning has resulted in this tree having a relatively compact, bushy effect. She is now just the right size and is looking particularly lovely these days.

By contrast, the one shown here had grown tall and lanky and her upper limbs seemed to suffer from any winds that swirled past.

So two nights ago, she took advantage of a very gusty southerly change this tree, and discarded a central limb.

I was distressed to find branches laying at her feet and to see another limb left waiting to snap.

What is interesting is the timing of it all.

I was going to lunch with Carol, who felt the need to share a leg of lamb and who happens to know about trees. She had invited another friend who was only too willing to come to my house and provide the much needed surgery to ensure that the tree would effectively reshape itself as its ‘friend’ had done.

The unexpected visit of these friends to my home to help my tree led an interesting exchange of services.

John perused my book shelf and his hand went to one of my favourite books, the Tao of Art by Ben Willis. I photocopied a chapter for him, we relaxed over coffee and talked more freely.  I offered to help John get his work on line and to release his equivalent of ‘Anastasia’ in an online setting.

Clearly there is something to this concept of Random Acts of Giving.

Random Acts of Giving

Amidst the sometimes stressful frenzy of Christmas shopping, the idea that giving to others can be good for your health and happiness can feel a bit of a stretch.

But a growing body of scientific research shows exactly that.

It’s now clear that doing good for others without any expectation of reward – known as behaving altruistically – can give you better physical and mental health and even help you live longer. Read remainder of article

This year Christmas Day was very special, thanks in large part to the giving nature of some friends.

It is timely to remember that it is healthy to be giving all year round.

Rather than making any New Year Resolutions Anastasia and I are going to actively promote ‘Random Acts of Giving’.

Feel free to ‘gift’ any suggestions of what might constitute ‘Random Acts of Giving!’