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THE BARLOW STICK

“This is a piece of driftwood that my family found on the beach in Cornwall where we used to go for our holidays. In our family, like every other family, sometimes we had rows and ructions with the kids as they were growing up. As a child growing up in Yorkshire, a word used in the playground was “Barlow”, said in order to take time out and call a truce.

So this is our family Barlow stick, and whenever there was a row in the family, someone would pick up the stick and say “Barlow” so we would all have to stop whatever we were doing and sit down and talk to each other.

In every house I’ve lived in, and I have moved quite a lot, our Barlow stick sits in front of the fire in the main room. The kids have all left home now and we haven’t had to use it for a long time but it serves as a reminder that you don’t always have to be locked or stuck in conflict. You can stop at any point and this free gift from the beach reminds us that you can live a life that’s marked by peace as long as there is some way you can stop, and that’s what our Barlow stick is for…”

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