a hermit-traveler’s snowy November 2019

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Two years had passed since one November up a mountain lavishly painted with snow. It was a new experience for a hermit and yet a traveler in life for decades. The snow came just as notified through the weather forecast on the internet. Nothing really changed when it came and the locals above the city of the clouds lived as usual. The traveler was somewhat caught in surprise but the priceless Canadian “chauffeur”, a fellow traveler like the hermit-traveler was not shocked. To her it was really nothing because she came from the snowy and colder part of Canada. She was well prepared with all the normal preparations for her sturdy land rover, and her trailer home, hardware and software. They went to school as if nothing happened. Some students were deterred by closures of roads, and the school had to suspend the penalty for no-show of the students. But not this brave woman from Canada all equipped with her amazing driving skill. So the hermit traveler went to school as usual snow or no snow. What a memorable day riding/gliding on snow and seeing many cars in ditches as well, while praying real hard not to slide into the ditches as it seemed the norm to join the rank then.

Looking at the old photos, priceless memories returned and said, well done my friend! Yes, well done, my dear friend across the distance in the colder and more extreme-weathered land. It is comforting to know that you and your loved ones are together, staying healthy and well, holding onto your dreams and visions.

2021-11-02

a memory of a lost year with hope

“That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, the happy highways where I went and cannot come again.”*

We have not met for quite a long time and then we get together again from time to time. At time like this, for a year plus now, each gathering of friends in person is rare and precious. We can no longer gather a big group like we used to do, but the few who manage to do so take the bother to come and bring their personal warmth and care to the rest. It is really a time to ponder and consider.

Why did we not value our previous freedom when we were so free to walk about, to drop in as and when the wind brings us and the smell of Spring time stirs us? Last year was a harsh Spring for us all as we were all caught unprepared by the news. We found that we have made promises that we could no longer keep. We thought it would be over soon and some of us had postponed our reunion to Summer, then Fall, and then were crushed by the harsh Winter.

For 365 days, daily I stand at the window for a while, and scan the sky, why? I listen to the whispering silence out there, and ask in quiet response, is this new dawn bringing me a time of joyous connection with a long lost one today? Each dusk I sit quietly giving a passing glance at the world outside the glass panel, undeterred by the futility and weariness of waiting. We are separated by an ocean or two. The ocean is too vast to cross. Yet we do not lose hope.

Not all of us are without bags of ages laden on our feet. Yes, the weariness of time. A year had left us, taking some friends with it. We still call those who remain, in a renewed hope with Spring around the corner of our garden, taking virtual coffee and cookies, a glass of wine or two, singing half-forgotten lyrics with whatever words and phrases we recall from old. Yes, we shall not give up. We are thankful we are still around and available for our old friends. Let us press on to be a season of hope makers for each other, my dear friends. Cheers!

Star and coronal and bell
April underfoot renews,
And the hope of man as well
Flowers among the morning dews. (A. E. Housman, ‘Spring Morning’)

*a quote of A. E. Housman

A November day in 2014 —a time in the light of another life

I have been thinking about time and found this picture in time passed. This was taken in a place called Baray, at a remote province in an ancient kingdom. It was an ordinary sunny day for a transient traveler. I did not know then I was to return and extend my stay because there was a long story to be written.

I chose this picture at random. When I look closer now I notice the immaculate hand carving on the piece of wood that held up the stairs, commemorating the timeless care and love for art of this people.

Unlike an outsider like me from a relatively developed city, the dust is of no consequence to them. I looked at the superficial cover of dust everywhere. But the artist looked at each piece of solid material (in this case, real wood) underneath the dust cover and decided to make a beauty out of it. I looked at the bicycles and wondered how anyone could bear to ride on them. The proud owners looked at them as valuable assets that enhanced their livelihood. I looked at the lean chicken and wondered they would be of any commercial value. The farmers told me that they didn’t normally eat the chicken as they were considered expensive dishes. They kept the chicken for their eggs and an important day in the future, or for a valued guest from a faraway land…

Yes, I will remember that November day in 2014 —a time in the light of another life, for a long time.

Praise, 2021-02-03

Lost and Greek coffee

lost on the way to a short hiking trek
Bridge ahoy!
Voilà, Greek coffee! All is not lost!

One day in September 2015 I went on a new short cut to reach a place after examining the Google map and feeling confident. But soon I was lost and somewhat tired in the unusually sunny weather.

Being very new to this area I was a bit concerned with the wild creatures or other stuff. However, it was too late to turn back and I was stubborn and tenacious like a bull dog biting a piece of juicy meat and would not let go. So I plodded on and on despite the increasing heat of the day. I was expecting something refreshing, a sort of reward and bonus for my seemingly endless unrelenting efforts.

It was indeed worth it. This big Greek fair showed up (somewhere in USA) in a church at the end of my journey! And it was marvelous. I visited the stalls and ate all the goodies. Of course the coffee was a big bonus!

The moral of the story is: Be tenacious when you feel lost. Continue to expect good. You will get what you expect!

RDP Saturday: LOST

Click here: For those interested in brewing the Greek coffee