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Remembering some hard times

 


“A grain of sand can produce a beautiful pearl but too much sand will kill the oyster”.
How does an oyster produce a beautiful pearl from a grain of sand?

Dr Peter Marshall, Chaplain of United States Senate expressed it this way:
“The treatment of trouble is splendidly illustrated by the oyster into whose shell one day there comes a tiny grain of sand. By some strange circumstances this tiny piece of quartz has entered into the shell of the oyster and there like an alien thing, imposes pain and distress and presents a very real problem.

What shall the oyster do? There is no point in denying the reality. The grain of sand is there, and no grumbling or rebelling will do any good. The grain of sand will still be there. So, the oyster recognises the presence of the intruder and right away begins to do something about it. Patiently, with infinite care the oyster builds upon the grain of sand layer upon layer of plastic, milky substance that covers each sharp corner and slowly bit by bit a beautiful pearl is made.

A thing of wonderful beauty has wrapped around trouble. The oyster has learned to turn grains of sand into pearls, misfortune into blessings, pain and distress into beauty.


Growing up on a farm in northern Victoria, following WW2 there were a number of lean years for many families. We had to learn to live with meagre supplies and lots of hand-me-downs. Hand-me-down trousers, hand-me-down shoes and hand-me down bicycle. As children we knew no difference, our basic needs were always available, and we knew our parents cared for us.

But then there were some grumbles. I remember having to ride the bike 2 ½ miles to school. That was alright in fine weather but when it rained, and my father liked that, the first mile of the road to school became a mud quagmire and riding the old bike through the mud was not much fun. I remember the thick heavy clay mud getting jammed between the wheels, the supporting forks and the back mudguard. We needed to get a stick to prise the mud out and then try to struggle on for the rest of that mile hoping it didn’t clog up again. And then, when we did get up momentum the muddy water would splash back from the front wheel which had no mudguard. We grumbled and complained but there was nothing we could do about it. 

I guess the good that came out of this pain was the opportunity given to us, to at least have a good basic education. This was our oyster. Years later I was able to take advantage of this when given the opportunity to go to university for advanced education.

Yes, adversity and difficult times can eventually produce a good outcome.


The bike I rode, in my “hand-me-downs”, to the Gannawarra school in Northern Victoria.

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Laurel from NSW

Laurel from NSW

At Laurel’s wedding in 1946 she was gifted presents including coupons for sugar rationed during the second world war.

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Mocco from QLD

Mocco from QLD

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Maureen from VIC

Maureen from VIC

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Anatole from VIC

Anatole from VIC

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