Awakening February in green.
The season is a rather neutral thing. Human can become emotionally ruffled (angry/depressed/sad /raged/elated/happy/joyous) at the somewhat unexpected/unprepared fluctuations of seasons/environments. But for plants, they are just faithful. No matter how the external environmental conditions may vary they draw from the inner perfectly programmed strength and orderliness imputed to them. Great role models for the human.
“…The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season*, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.” (Note 1)
“He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season*,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.” (Note 2)
time (of an event)
Notes: 1. Quoted from Book of Deuteronomy 28:12
2. Quoted from Book of Psalms 1:3
My heart’s Variations on a Theme, my ocean. Given an option I would choose the ocean if I were a gull with wings. There are two views of the same section of the Pacific ocean being superimposed in this picture. I took them at the end of 2015 on a clear sunny day in California. I have inverted the bottom half of the second picture. The inverted waves are symbols of what are moving inside a heart that cannot be stilled. The top half of the original first picture has the bird facing the opposite direction, flying away from the shore. But during my editing she has somehow turned around towards the shore and nearer to the audience. I have seen many gulls onshore in the city. I am told that they come in to scavange for food often near the dump-site or where passers-by have left unwanted stuff behind. Has the ocean become less habitable for gulls? Or perhaps the shore is a more convenient however brief respite? Sometimes I wonder whether we have unwittingly domesticated gulls because I just read a poem about tame gull.
What a sad thought it is. Given an option I would choose the ocean if I were a gull with wings.
A conversation (excerpted*) between the fishermen:
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?”
They answered Him, “No.”
And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish…Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.
An Ascending to the throne. Sometimes we read or watch official news of a deeply venerated longstanding monarch depart from this world at old age, having reigned over his faithful subjects for many decades. The news is often of a standard pattern: solemn, reverent, tastefully laced with a tinge of sadness which comes with saying goodbye and yet realistically portraying the inevitable passing of a perhaps antiquated and soon to be forgotten historical era. The male commentator has a well-trained, constrained and unhurried voice with medium pitch, and tends to present the appearance of a stiff-upper-lip somewhat dispassionate English gentleman.
The narration, the tone and texture, the colors, the costumes, the deliberate movements, the choice of musical backing, the props, the participants: their ranks and titles, clothing and decoration, brand names of what they wear, spouses and children, vehicles, entourage, facial expressions, mannerisms and many more minute but supposedly pertinent significant and interesting details on such historical occasions.
More importantly is the brief but positive biographical narration about the monarch’s life and his achievements, which should include all the good he had done to others. Humans in general like to read good positive factual reports of what a person, monarch or beggar has done for others, which is the gist of a purposeful life; an ascending to another throne.
Verses for thoughts:Psalms Chapter 24:1-4
(A Psalm of David) The earth [is] the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
Windows of hope yet.
This was taken awhile ago. My young wards like visiting artificial abodes for wild creatures. I go along. But I can feel a sense of sadness for no particular reason. On the other hand, I find solace in the following verses (promises) for living creatures. The windows into another world out there beyond the horizon promise a safe place and an assured full life for even the little birds.
The desert creatures will meet hyenas,
and one wild goat will call to another.
Indeed, the night birds will stay there
and will find a resting place.
Sand partridges will make their nests there;
they will lay and hatch their eggs
and will gather their broods under their shadows.
Indeed, the birds of prey will gather there,
each with its mate.
Search and read the scroll of the Lord:
Not one of them will be missing,
none will be lacking its mate,
because he has ordered it by my mouth,
and he will gather them by his Spirit.
He has cast the lot for them;
his hand allotted their portion with a measuring line.
They will possess it forever;
they will dwell in it from generation to generation.
(Verses taken from prophet Isaiah’s book 34:14-17)
When Kate/Blue Flower goes back to her birth place she does not realize it is to be an Evanescent encounter with her past. It is just a normal assignment she decides to undertake last minute out of love when her sister Liz calls. It is not difficult to buy the air ticket and fly to this town. But Kate has not anticipated the sequence of events that follows. Yes, fifty years of staying away is a long time. Why did she stay away for so long?
No, she did not suffer from any sad memory of that place. She just left for higher education and youthful pursuit for a better future in terms of career and dreams. Yet, her sudden returning to the town sets off a chain of events which she has never thought would happen.
One morning she receives a phone call from Beautiful Flower, “Blue Flower, guess what, I have a pleasant surprise for you!” Beautiful Flower has told other classmates who still remain and they want to meet Kate too. So they have agreed to have an alumni gathering with Kate as their honorary homecoming guest. Kate is not prepared but she has to agree. How can she say no to these folks who have never left their past? Beautiful Flower continues to say, “‘You-know-who’ will be there. He is longing to see you again!”
She means a boy named Joe who used to fancy Blue Flower. Kate does not really look forward to see any one of them. She was never close to them and stayed at a distance not because she disliked them. Rather it was disinterest. Perhaps it was because she was always a dreamer, or a writer-to-be of another story, another world. While looking through old photos Liz finds a family photo. Their eldest brother Bill was 15, Liz 11, Kate 5, a younger sister Pam 3 with their mother carrying their year old baby brother Ron. Their parents were young and good looking. It was a happy family picture. Liz wants to get it printed and let each remaining sibling have a copy. But Kate does not want hers.
“Why?” Liz looks flabbergasted. “But we all look so nice in this photo!”
“I was not happy. Don’t you notice?”
“But why? Was it after mom started caning you to make you study?” Liz asks. (She always lives in forgetful oblivion and has no idea of how others live.)
“No, I was never caned. I was always the best student in class. I was just living in my own world and longing to become someone I wasn’t.” Kate tries to explain in vain because deep down she knows Liz would not understand her.
The vision first came when she was around four. She either dreamed or saw in her vision she was a prince from Manchuria. She was too young to have heard or understood anyone mention that country or dynasty. They had no television or movie then in their little town. They could not afford books. She bought her first story book at 13 when she won monetary rewards for winning top prizes in academic performance. But in her detailed vivid vision she was dressed with Manchurian royal garment as a prince and wore a sword. She led her army to fight many battles and set free those held captive by the enemies. One day she saved a princess. If it was mere story and imagination who put them in her mind and heart? She wonders now. There were many such dreams and/or visions through out the first two decades of her young life. If she was a prince she would marry a princess and not another prince. She made up her mind since then and lived that dream for six decades.
“O, please come to the alumni gathering,” Beautiful Flower continues to urge her. “They all miss you and want to see you! You know how popular you were in school! Everyone loved to read the stories you wrote! You know, they just asked me whether you have come to write a book about this town!”
What can Kate do? She is not going to disguise herself to resemble the teen they remember or expect to see. Even Beautiful Flower had a shock when Kate turned up suddenly and declared her former name (Blue Flower). She has changed into someone else. She has reached a point in her life that she no longer cares how she looks to others. At 69 it is too late to try a second makeover. She does not expect any old crushes (one-sided on their part) to fall head over heels for her again. “How to relearn a lifestyle you have never really learned, or lived, or believed? You will only end up a hypocrite.” Her conscience reminds her.
So on this evanescent evening Kate turns up at the alumni gathering as she thinks she really is now.
As she drives across that same old river she pauses on the bridge. It used to be a narrow wooden one. The government has rebuilt a new concrete bridge alongside the old one which they have kept for unknown reason. Why do people keep old things like this rickety old bridge? She wonders. The river is calm and quiet. She can see water creatures moving down there. Her sister’s Japanese car is perhaps seventeen year old, the same age of her house. It still runs strong and well. Kate finds the small car amazingly powerful. It is a rare old thing that still works so faithfully. Helping her sister means clearing off unwanted old stuff. Kate finds it easy to throw them away. But Liz hoards them. For hours she would hold a piece of old paper or a faded photo and tries to decide to keep or not to keep. She lives in terms of memories. She surrounds herself with them.
“Do I really need memories?” Kate wonders. She has discarded many long ago and told herself she did not care. Her younger sister, Pam, another fonder of old memories, last year sent her an alumni photo in which Pam was surrounded by old men who used to be boys, and Joe was in that photo. He still looks good. She was told he has always been a good man. Pam used to consider him a likely perfect potential brother-in-law. But it did not materialize. It never could have been. Pam once asked her hopefully, “What if…?” But Kate smothered that wishful thinking, “There is no ‘what if’ in my life dictionary.”
Kate looks now at the same shadowy watery path beneath the bridge. Has the water changed? Do natural elements change? She recalls reading somewhere that no water is ever the same at the same spot of a river. Why? Because water moves. So does her evanescent life. She was once so sure that her life would not change. But it has changed. She had happiness so firmly grasped in her hands but how soon it had proven her wrong. (To be continued)
For everything there is a season — a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.