Posted in photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit

Return to the house of dreaming swiftlets: i could have loved you better

an autumn in life
an evanescent autumn day

My Evanescent Love. Kate writes in her Note III as she remembers the river. After the bridge, she continues to drive toward the alumni reunion dinner at a city seven miles (11.2654 kilometers) away. She and her sister Pam used to pedal their bicycles to that town to study before it became a city. She was 13 and Pam was 10.  Pam’s legs were short and had a hard time cycling that seemingly unending distance. But now it is too short a journey for Kate as she enjoys driving long distance alone, meditating on the plots of her stories. She has other matters on mind.

“What am I going to say to all these strangers?” She thinks of the old men and women whom she has not met, not in their adulthood anyway. She tries to think of Joe, the only boy in school who owned a motor cycle and tried to court her by daily standing outside Kate’s classroom looking at her. After they graduated from high school he wrote letters. He brought gifts to her house. He flew to visit her when she moved on to another city to continue college. She is not prepared to meet any of them, especially Joe. Of course there is no hard feeling after all these years.

It was a sunny morning. Joe flew in the previous evening and stayed with another friend. They arranged to meet in the capital park. Kate went to the rendezvous with her two best friends at that time. The two girls hid in some nearby bushes while Kate talked to Joe. Kate told him she could not develop their friendship further as she intended to pursue a higher study and a profession that might take her overseas.

“You cannot wait for me,” She said, “you are the eldest son and heir to your family plantation. You will do well by marrying another girl and fulfill your duty to your parents.” Joe did not stand a chance to proclaim his willingness and ability to persuade his parents. He was hurt deeply. Kate finished her monologue and left him standing in the park alone. She left him. Later the two friends came out from their hiding and were both flabbergasted. They told her she was crazy to dump this young man with such good prospect. He was well-mannered and good looking too. From then on they called her “Mad Kate”. Soon after that she introduced him to a distant cousin and persuaded him to marry her.

It was just her way of distancing herself. She is never the person they think she is. She was popular in high school and college because she was considered an enigmatic figure. In those days people were curious about the wide range and depth of stuff she seemed to know. She read widely and wrote profusely. The youth in those days liked to read and were drawn to her because she exuded positivity and enthusiam. She was a self-made counselor and problem-solver. She formed a “laughing club” which sole agenda was telling original jokes. She was selected for the school debating team because of her encyclopedic mind and her ability to organize and apply thoughts as quick as lightening. No, she did not have any other suitor since Joe. She was not the kind of girl with whom any young men would want/dare to approach to build an intimate relationship.

As Kate recalls this side of her past life she feels as if she is observing some random scenes in a memoir or movie of someone else. It is another person, another life. She is just a bystander, like Peter Drucker’s book in that title, her favorite. It is the personal relationship part that she has left out from her interaction with others. She has found an old autograph about her from her high school friends in Liz’s old stuff. Her late brother-in-law had wrapped it up with a piece of protective white paper and stored it in one of the display cabinets. Here is the comment (written by someone she can no longer recall) that touches her because it was an accurate observation:

“Dear Kaz (how she was known to some): Looking for a space in your auto. is just like looking for a parking lot on a busy street… It just shows how busy…oops…eh popular you are. It’s a great achievement (to be proud of) to gain so many friends in the barely 2 years here in K____(the capital).
Indeed thru’ our ‘Psycho…Club’ (?) I have come to know (to learn) so much of you that I think I’ve been doing nothing worthwhile at all. You’re so different from all the people I know of…You know, you’re quiet, yet terribly naughty; uninterested, yet so concerned; …oh…unromantic, yet ever so genuine at writing romantic stories. I like that piece of story with…”

Kate has forgotten this autograph book and all the people who had written in it for her. She looks at the name who penned the above note and tries her best to imagine who she/he is and what the writer perhaps had looked like. But she just cannot recall. Kate wanted to become a psychologist then and formed the club for those with similar interest. The person was not one of her best friends and was possibly a mere fellow club member. Looking at this note now, Kate regrets she had not made any effort to know the writer more.

There are many things in her life she wishes she has done or not done. They were mainly decisions. Some decisions are irrevocable. A counselor cum editor once warned her, “You will one day regret this decision. Please don’t make it.” But Kate was too engrossed in her own dream to listen to the wise woman.

As she parks her car near the entrance of the restaurant, she can see a few persons standing there and Beautiful Flower waving at her. She can see Joe clearly. He has not changed much, the same built, the same shy boyish look and smile in his eyes. Has she ever wanted to learn to love him, a man? She cannot recall. She probably never even thought about it. (To be continued)

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Posted in photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit, writer's blog

A Surprise return to the house of dreaming swiftlets: a short story attempt

Lutong River
Surprise
Surprise. Surprise. She never expects to go back after an interval of nearly fifty years. She never expects to see and walk on the same street and lane that leads to her old house. Today is her birthday.
The phone call from her eldest sister Liz sounded desperate. She was in fear. So being sisterly Kate decided to buy the ticket and fly with Liz-six years her senior. Liz has lived alone since her husband passed away a year and half ago. Kate has been away from her family since thirteen. The place they have landed which lies between an ocean and a river is her birth place. Her parents and siblings have all moved away but Liz and her late husband had decided to settle in this quiet and sleepy town with a handful of old families whose shops line the main street faithfully. Kate left at thirteen. She returned once in a while to see her parents before they moved. After they moved to another adjoining town in her university days she has stayed away completely.
But today Kate walks on this street and this lane again. And today is her 69th birthday.
She has forgotten the river but the river has not forgotten her, as it shows itself as she strolls to the back of the row of shops. The scene is spectacular. She has remembered a river of black water in which lurked crocodiles, as some folks warned her. She was a little girl then and was forbidden to go near it. But this beauty that reveals herself today is different. She is a class of her own: calm, serene, and breathtaking like a painting created by an unknown sublime painter of an imaginary place.
She does not mean to walk far but the same country lane entices and beckons her to walk on. So she walks and tries to remember the little house she used to live. There are big modern houses interspersed with smaller older wooden houses. She stops at a wooden house which is far inside with a driveway leading to its front. The green lawns on both sides are well trimmed. Someone has planted lovely red and yellow flowers in front of the stairs. The little house is on low stilts. She has dreamed of this place many times and remembers its details. The verandah, the stairs, shape of the house and the large garden. It is all there in this real life picture! She remembers her dad built it and they moved in when she was eight. How can this house still stand at the spot with the same look after sixty-one years? The ocean, the wind and rain storm, the river flood…the ages, do they not corrode and wear out even human looks? Has time bypassed this place? She asks.
The only change is the coat of white wash that someone has clothed the naked wood. She takes some photos with the permission of the owner. The perspective from the side makes it look bigger. Indeed, she remembers its rooms, three bedrooms and a sitting room. The dining area, kitchen and bathroom are on the ground floor in an annexed building. They moved in before it was painted. And her dad said they would paint it before the next new year. Yearly he told them, yes, it will be painted this year-end, before the next new year. It was never painted. Once she even wrote a short story about a house that was never painted. It was published by a local press. And it is now painted white.
Who are the new residents? Edible-nest swiftlet. Someone is using it as a house for the birds to build their nest, nurse their young and rest when the sun sets. The swiftlets are the new tenants. It is daytime and she cannot see them. The swiftlet nest farmers have boarded up the windows. There used to be one through which she looked at a blue, green and red bird who perched daily on a branch which stretched its arm toward her as she sat for hours after school daydreaming of the plot of her new story. She has always wanted to become a story writer. There was no TV, no radio, no mobile phone, no PC in those days. Story books were rare and costly. All she could do was dream and daydream her own stories. Verse by verse, chapter by chapter, plot by plot she dreamed them and seized the ears of any willing heart to listen to the stories that seemed episodes of an unfinished saga. The house was surrounded by lots of green trees then, tall and handsome. Her bird friend sometimes danced from branch to branch, tree to tree.
And now she is standing here looking at a forlorn habitat without the trees. Where are they? Not one tree is left behind. They too have migrated. She wonders where the bird has flown. Has he found his new home and settled down? Do birds settle down? Are they too, like humans, creatures of habits? Looking at this sun washed white house no one can imagine what habitat the birds have behind these walls, simulation of dark caves…? She likes to imagine the swiftlet parents soaring high and far to hunt food and bring home to feed their young. A man once told her the swiftlets have flight path. He even brought her to a place where the swiftlets gather because of the richness of insect supplies. He said that they would always fly through a pathway to the food source and later return the same way to their habitat. They never missed the flight path home.
Here she is, today, looking at the place she once called home. It dawns on her that she too, has a flight path home. How else can she explain this homecoming after nearly five decades? Has the flight path followed her all these years of traveling further and further from home? Like a string tied to her heart without a visible sign and yet in the unseen realm it pulls the other way, so she suddenly finds herself there without any warning? During the years when she was away she remembered the place as dusty and rather primitive, to which she was ashamed to bring her teachers or classmates. She remembers being taken by surprise when her high school Australian geography teacher suddenly turned up during school term holiday in the little town looking for her! Apparently he flew in to visit the adjoining town and asked someone to take him to her house. Her house did not have a formal address. But the folks knew each other and she was the only kid who took a plane to the capital city to study. So it was effortless to find her.
Looking at the beautiful lawn, flowers and solid white wash wooden house she realizes it looks rather nice. Why was she so ashamed of it when she was a teen? The land owner’s house has been demolished and rebuilt. Yet he has kept this house designed and built by her brilliant dad sixty-one years ago. The present owner is the eldest son of the former land owner. He is pleasantly surprise when she introduces herself even though he cannot remember her. He remembers Liz and all her other siblings except Kate.
I was the little girl who left at thirteen. She explains. He smiles and nods his head. What is your name? He asks kindly. Kate. He seems confused. There is no Kate in his recall. She asks him how old he is. 77, he says. You? He asks. 69. She replies. I have never seen you, he says. She too has never seen him. I know your younger brothers. She mentions some names. Then he tells her one of them had died. What do you do? He asks. She tells him she is a writer. From his silent response she knows the answer is beyond him. However, he is too polite to ask her how she really makes her living. You have a family? She shakes her head. Then he says that it’s better as she can be free to travel where she likes. Have you traveled away from here? He shakes his head. No, I am always here.
She waves goodbye and walks back toward the row of shops that line the main street. She notices that they bear the same old names just as they have been known for decades. There are few new names. The old signboards. The same layout of their wares. The old wooden shelves. The glass display cupboards. The goods. The trade. The faces of the shopkeepers, the children of those who passed away. Nothing much has changed. When she reaches a cafe named “United Profit” she decides to have a cup of coffee. As expected, her old primary school classmate “Beautiful Flower” greets her. She cannot recognize Kate. Kate remembers her. She asks, are you Beautiful Flower or Gentle Flower? They are two sisters. The lady answers, Beautiful Flower. Who are you? I am Blue Flower. Kate answers, removing her sunglasses.
Kate’s real name is Blue Flower, a name she hated and changed the minute she left home. The lady’s wrinkled face cracks as she smiles. I cannot believe it. I just cannot. Blue Flower. O Blue Flower. Is it really you? You look so different now! Kate has dyed her hair medium brown but it turned light gold in the process. She doesn’t know why. Perhaps her real hair color has turned white. What a nice surprise! Beautiful Flower exclaimed. Kate doesn’t remember much about her. But Beautiful Flower says, I was your classmate until form five (equivalent to Grade 12). Kate pretends she remembers as the lady enthusiastically talks about the past. At thirteen the children left this little town and went to a bigger town to continue their secondary school education (Grade 7-12). So Beautiful Flower was one of them. But she returned after Grade 12 and took over her dad’s business since then. Have you ever left this place? No. Travel? No. Joined any clubs? No, unless you count joining our clan association too. Clan association membership is hereditary. Being the eldest child, Beautiful Flower was automatically awarded membership at the demise of her dad. Beautiful Flower seems genuinely elated to see her. Why? Kate wonders.
She decides to ask whether Beautiful Flower ever thinks about the meaning and purpose of her life? She has never married. No suitors? No interest or hobby. Daily she sits in the coffee shop and manages the business. Her younger siblings work for her. They seem contented and easy with lives. No stress. They live above the shop. The married ones move out. Four sisters remain unmarried and one had died young. Kate shares her own testimony of how she encountered God at the peak of her professional career with ample material comfort. She felt empty and meaningless to continue with life as she watched some of her close friends suffered incurable pains, illness and death. One day she went with a couple to a worship meeting and God poured his love on her. That was the beginning of her journey with God. she challenges Beautiful Flower to ponder over this life and death matter. They briefly talk about three women, all their former classmates, one died of childbirth, two of cancer.
Beautiful Flower, we just cannot live life without a purpose. What is yours? Find yours. Kate challenges her.
Yes, Blue Flower, I will ponder over this. I am so so happy to see you. She says. Kate wonders why.
They have black coffee and take a picture together. they exchange phone numbers.
Please come back to see us again. As Kate leaves Beautiful Flower urges her.
Why such an encounter? Kate asks. Then she remembers Beautiful Flower. A student who failed her primary six exams and had to repeat one year and thus became Kate’s classmate. In the secondary school she had the same struggles to pass exams and Kate offered to help her, took pain to explain the lessons and helped her with homework. Was Kate exceptionally good to her alone? No. Kate has lived her 69 years (minus the toddler’s time) trying to help others, the weak and the sick. She just felt it was her duty. She did not particularly love them but she looked out for those in needs and tried to meet their needs.
A boy failed his exam and had to repeat and became Kate’s classmate too, like Beautiful Flower. His name was something like Glory. But he was just the opposite. In those days, teachers beat up kids who could not perform in class. Beating became this boy’s daily routine by default. Kate felt it her duty to help him out of his dire straits. She really tried. She made him learn lessons during recess time. She taught him shortcuts to memorize important facts. But he soon fell asleep and snored loudly. It was impossible. He received his daily beating for six years. And he quit school after that.
Beautiful Flower managed to pass exams. It was like a little miracle.
Yes, we all have miracles, big and small. Kate smiles to herself. Today is her birthday and she has two presents. Miraculous presents. Who would have thought she could find her way, her flight path, home after all these years? Or rather, who could have imagined that the flight path has found her after nearly six decades? Blue Flower has returned home after all.

Posted in God's blessing, photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit

a resilient solo color show


resilient-red

I am often attracted to flowers by the roadside because they are Resilient. It is not easy to find a picture for this week’s photo challenge. Although I have stocks of other plants which are typically drought resistant in more arid zone, I decided to choose this one. I took this picture during a walk to the local town centre last October. It was hard to find flowers along the road and this tiny red one stood out because of its color. As I paused and looked at it I noticed how little soil it needed to thrive. It required little space and the leaves and stalks were small. I ask myself whether it served much purpose because it was alone and tiny. I would not have noticed it if I had not deliberately looking at the ground to spot a flower. Looking at it now, I suddenly realize that my question of its significance is irrelevant because it was the only flower around that morning! it was the star of the show at that time and space.

~~~~~~~~~~~
‘Flower Carpet Red Velvet’ is a vigorous, low growing, spreading shrub with green leaves and good disease resistance. It has deep-red flowers that bloom from late spring until the first frost. It prefers hot warm conditions and just blooms and blooms and blooms. This is a genuinely easy-care groundcover rose – consistently one of the most disease-resistant roses ever bred – ideal for both home gardeners and professional landscapers. Simple to grow and easy to maintain, without any spraying or even fancy pruning. And during the long flowering season, this rose will self-clean so that there’s no need for fancy pruning or deadheading. Can thrive in a variety of soil conditions. A perfect commercial landscaping plant for low-maintenance color. (Information from various online sources)

Posted in poetry, thoughts, words of thoughts and spirit

“forever young”: “I was so much older then; I’m younger than that now” ― Bob Dylan

bob-dylan“The future for me is already a thing of the past-
You were my first love and you will be my last”
― Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan – Love and Theft: Piano/Vocal/Guitar
“DESTINY is a feeling you have that you know something about yourself nobody else does. The picture you have in your own mind of what you’re about WILL COME TRUE. It’s a kind of a thing you kind of have to keep to your own self, because it’s a fragile feeling, and you put it out there, then someone will kill it. It’s best to keep that all inside.”
― Bob Dylan, The Bob Dylan Scrapbook: 1956-1966
“You need something to open up a new door, to show you something you seen before but overlooked a hundred times or more”
― Bob Dylan, Writings and Drawings
“Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul”
― Bob Dylan, The Bob Dylan Scrapbook: 1956-1966
“I was so much older then; I’m younger than that now.
From the back pages”
― Bob Dylan
“You don’t have to be afraid of looking into my face. We’ve done nothing to each other that time will not erase.”
― Bob Dylan

There is really no adequate words to explain Bob Dylan. For those who have been his life-long friends and also those who like his music even when they are too young to understand. Can anyone truly know what he means in the poetic lyrics he wrote? Or perhaps we each interpret and read our own messages in them. I really like him a lot. Why? I cannot explain. I imagine many are like me who are happy that he has been awarded and recognized as the latest Nobel Laureate for Literature. Did he write literature? I would think he did. In my last visit to a library I borrowed his audio autobiography titled Chronicles, and here is a brief write up I copied/excerpted from his website as follows:

volume one SEP 21, 2014
“I’d come from a long ways off and had started a long ways down. But now destiny was about to manifest itself. I felt like it was looking right at me and nobody else.” So writes Bob Dylan in Chronicles: Volume One, his remarkable book exploring critical junctures in his life and career. Through Dylan’s eyes and open mind, we see Greenwich Village…Dylan’s New York…side trips to New Orleans, Woodstock, Minnesota and points west, Chronicles: Volume One is an intimate and intensely personal recollection of extraordinary times.
By turns revealing, poetical, passionate and witty…is a mesmerizing window on Bob Dylan’s thoughts and influences. Dylan’s voice is distinctively American: generous of spirit, engaged, fanciful and rhythmic. Utilizing his unparalleled gifts of storytelling and the exquisite expressiveness that are the hallmarks of his music, Bob Dylan turns Chronicles: Volume One into a poignant reflection on life, and the people and places that helped shape the man and the art.”

Time has changed much in the world around Bob. But has he changed much? Is he crossing to another New Horizon right now? Will the newly awarded recognition of poetry and literature in his song lyrics change him? I doubt that it would. He is Bob Dylan, always.

Lyrics from a song called “Forever Young” (1974), written by Bob Dylan.

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you

May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you

May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift

May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

Visit Bob Dylan’s website by clicking here:
(http://bobdylan.com/news/bob-dylans-nobel-banquet-speech/)
Here is a link to the song:(https://youtu.be/jtFEzhaNrT4)
Photo credit goes to: http://bobdylan.com/news/lyrics-1961-2012/

Posted in Bible verses, photography, thoughts, words of thoughts and spirit

a new nostalgic meaning

new-horizon-in-green-purple
a New Horizon is a triple vision this year. I parked my car outside the gate one day to get down to lock the dog before I drove into my garage. Then I saw this plant across with new bloom of purple flowers. After the previous night rain the leaves looked clean and lush. I took three pictures and could not decide which to discard. So I decided to put all three in one here.

The earliest purple dyes date back to about 1900 B.C. It took some 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye – barely enough for dying a single garment the size of the Roman toga. It was associated with royalty for a long time. The color purple is a rare occurring color in nature and as a result is often seen as having sacred meaning. Lavender, orchid, lilac, and violet flowers are considered delicate and precious. Additional words that represent different shades, tints, and values of the color purple: violet, plum, lavender, lilac, puce, thistle, orchid, mauve, magenta, royal, amethyst, wine, pomegranate, eggplant, mulberry, plum, lilac, thistle, orchid, mauve, purple.

My late mother loved purple. She dressed elegantly and held herself well. None of us inherited her grace. Looking to a new horizon, I suddenly feel nostalgic instead. O how we miss our mom.

Bible verses from Proverbs 31 about a virtuous woman:
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Posted in thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit

We all have a ‘magic’ tank, onto the next exhibit

aquarium-singpaoreMagic is not on my mind when I take out this picture from some old albums and decide to post it. I took this during a visit to Sentosa Underwater World in Singapore in 2014. It had since been closed down in June 2016. I read that the animals are being transferred to another aquarium in China.

I found a poem online at random and post below to reflect both sides of life one may stand at the same time.Inside and outside.Which side are you now?

Rebecca Leven-Hill
Feb 4, 2015
Aquarium
The world is an aquarium
We all have a tank
With a paragraph of information about us next to our tank
When people see you they notice your looks and move on

If you are a tall skinny blond boy with blue eyes the girls will stop and get to know you
If you are a shorter boy with brown hair who has acne and is wider people might just move onto the next exhibit
The people in the tanks can’t tell what they people on the outside are saying
But they don’t care
They are all unique and they know that
People will always judge but they are not the ones you should try and impress
You are the only one who can truly judge you

Posted in photography, poetry, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit

Tiny flowers and a poem

tiny-flowers
Tiny Tiny Flowers – Poem by Eloida Capuno: i always look
out for
those sweet
tiny
flowers
more than
the others
in the garden
with their
vibrant
colors
huge
and exotic
maybe
because
the little
ones
like some
innocent
children
are left
to fend for
themselves

I thought I would just post another poet’s poem on tiny flowers today. I took this picture because they are so tiny and their colors so quiet. When I look closely I realize that each flower is a cluster of many tinier flowers! Each tiny flower forming the overall formation is so orderly and cohesive with others in shape and size. I like the poem because I can also identify the little flowers with young poor children being forced into the street and left on their own to make a living. They are not completely helpless. They soon learn to form their own tiny regimental group just to stand together and survive together. Where do they learn to do so? Is there a program in their genes? I believe so. Even tiny flowers.

Posted in photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit

Daisies and stars: I see thee glittering from afar

yellow-daisies-white-butterflyTiny but not to be ignored. Often we are conditioned to think little of small ordinary things, such as the daisies of the field. Yet, more often than not, the small things are what that make up this world of vastness, like each droplet that makes up the seemingly borderless oceans that cover the whole earth. Likewise, whilst some more popularly favored flowers, such as, roses, are reserved as a majestic symbol, field flowers which are hardly mentioned in memorable imagined or factual narratives continue to bloom in their quiet unassuming yet resilient manner. A daisy symbolizes innocence and purity. It can also symbolize new beginnings. Other meanings associated with the daisy are faith, cheer, simplicity, loyal love, beauty, gentleness, youth, modesty, and romance.

I ask, what did some great painters paint? Claude Monet painted water lilies and poppy. He spoke this, “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” But he did paint daisies too. What did great poets write about? Surprisingly I found some poetic writings on daisies. Like Wordsworth did, the poets noted how this tiny flower glows and shines like a pretty star. I took the picture while visiting and staying in a remote tropical outback. The tiny flowers cheerfully greeted me with their radiant color every morning without fail. The country suffers draught yearly for a long period which can come to half a year. The daisies without artificial irrigation vanish and hide themselves in seeds perhaps as I cannot figure out how the root survives in the surface powdery dust. When the rain comes they burst forth from the crust and rise with the crescendo of the torrential rain, with yellow blooms that outshine others. They are truly amazing shining knights in the wild.

“Daisies infinite
Uplift in praise their little glowing hands,
O’er every hill that under heaven expands.”
-Ebenezer Elliott, Miscellaneous Poems, Spring, line 13.

“And daisy-stars, whose firmament is green.”
-Thomas Hood, Plea of the Midsummer Fairies, 36.

“I see thee glittering from afar–
And then thou art a pretty star;
Not quite so fair as many are
In heaven above thee!
Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Self-poised in air thou seem’st to rest;–
May peace come never to his nest,
Who shall reprove thee!”
-William Wordsworth

Shine on, little stars.

Further notes on the meaning of yellow daisies: (Quoted)
The color yellow is symbolic of friendship and joy. Yellow is the color of sunshine and is associated with joy, happiness, wisdom, and energy. People of high intellect favor yellow.

Paintings by famous painters on daisies:
Famous Oil Painting Bouquet of Gladiolas, Lilies and Daisies by Claude Monet
Daisies by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1894)
The daisy chain by Maude Goodman (1936)

Posted in photography, poetry, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit

I saw a crowd, A host, of golden shinning daffodils

Shine little flowers, just like little stars.
shine-yellow-flowersOne day a woman decided to plant a single bulb. This single bulb turned into many more and soon she had a field filled with daffodils. The daffodil field has refreshed many tired and wearied hearts and her story of a mere small and humble start with just one single bulb which grew into a vast sea of beautiful yellow flowers has motivated others and changed the belief that a small thing is too small to matter. Daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus. Their flowers have a trumpet-shaped structure set against a star-shaped background. In temperate climates they flower among the earliest blooms in spring. I took this picture in early spring. Daffodils often grow in large clusters, covering lawns and even entire hillsides with yellow. The flowers symbolize friendship, and are some of the most popular flowers due to their unmatched beauty. Here is a poem all about daffodils and stars, beautifully presenting a lively picture of daffodils that dance like the stars, shining and twinkling. Even a lonely traveler stops feeling lonely in their company!

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Posted in photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit

just feeling local: first aid in entertaining

local-ge-refrigeratorTh

e past in another town another world. The museum is quite good and has the local artist done some really good historical pictures. But the articles I display here are the ones that tell a thousand stories, each in its own time. The first aid in entertaining is not a refrigerator. The company had manufactured a radio for the hassled housewife to entertain herself while coping perhaps with a failure of other appliances in the kitchen (according to my imagination)!
Local

Posted in photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit

She did not meet the local

a January morning.jpegIt was a beautiful clear morning in January. She had newly arrived in the new place for a fortnight stay and was waiting for someone to take leave to show her around the scenic places. On this day the host of her lodging place and his whole family accompanied her to a local mall where they could shop for some branded stuff. It was a sunny day and the sky looked dripping with a lovely blue, indeed her favorite color. It explains why the sky occupies a big portion of the photo. No, she did not take any snapshot of the local shopping mall and the local, mainly young people busy with buying or looking at stuff.

Did she miss anything in terms of local life? Her collection of the photos are mostly skies and cloud and trees and water and mountains and roads and a few ordinary house dogs. What kind of travel memento are these? Someone asks. She agrees that they are not much of a memento as there are hardly any people or cultural or historical stuff or building or monuments. When she asks herself why she did not seem to show interest in taking their photos, she realizes that she just doesn’t want to be attached. She can remain detached as long as she records the general picture of nature. When she returns home or travels to another zone she still has the sky, the trees, the water, the mountains, the cloud, the roads, the green plants, and perhaps the occasional encounter with someone’s ordinary house dogs. In a way, you can say she prefers the non-branded generic stuff to which one needs not be particularly attached. General and not specifically Local .

Posted in God's blessing, photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit

The rain came on the night I departed

A precious H2O account.
january-rain-dropsThe rain came on the last day of January. I was getting ready to pack and leave. It was just an ordinary rain and it was not exceptionally heavy or spectacular. The drops were large. And I was looking out of a glass window at a parched dry garden being newly nourished and replenished of its green. On good days the owner came home and plodded through the garden plowing, digging and planting. A guest who came for a month joined her. The two happily gardened and imagined the beauty when the garden would be in its full bloom in a new season. The arrival of rain was a good news to them. The two ladies saved time and efforts as the garden sprinkler system had broken down and water had to be carried manually.

I recalled one unpleasant experience of an arid land in a distant country. I arrived in March and was confronted with draught. The rain did not come for months. I was indeed in shock as I had then come from a land of plentiful rainfall. I was told that the drinking water came from the drain/well. I dared not think of the sources of the drain/well water. I asked my hostess when the rain would come. She said normally it would come in late May, or June, or July. I left finally in July/August. She rang me and told me the morning after I left that the rain had come in the night like a troop of army. I could imagine the dusty brown earth and the dry bare trees hungrily gulping down the heavenly water.

Water shortage remains a major issue in many parts of the world. I just watched an interview of a missionary and she said that a significant percentage of the world’s poor population are in danger of dying of thirst. The water crisis is the #1 global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation), as announced by the World Economic Forum in January 2015. 663 million people – 1 in 10 – lack access to safe water. In low and middle-income countries, 1/3 of all healthcare facilities lack a safe water source. Globally, 1/3 of all schools lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation.

After returning to a station of life where there is plenty of safe water both in terms of rivers and rainfall, I feel I could breath easier as I walk through lush green trees and surround myself with green plants, acknowledging and giving thanks to the Creator for the rich blessings I have enjoyed often without even noticing how precious they are.

Indeed, water is precious to this earth. So are many things which we have taken for granted.

Some facts (Quoted from: 1990-2016 Water.org): The world doesn’t stand a chance without water. It spreads disease. Compromises safety. Makes education elusive and economic opportunity farther out of reach. The lack of access to safe water is deadly, dangerous, and a major obstacle to the people of developing nations becoming economically empowered. It is what is standing between billions of people and their health, safety, and the opportunity to unlock their true potential.

Posted in photography, thoughts, travel, writing

There is a mysterious cycle in human events

tree-eveningvia Daily Prompt: Realize I now realize that this is a mysterious shot taken at Sep 12, 2015, 11:35 PM according to the description. But I cannot remember how I could have gone outside to take this photo at such a late hour! When I check other photos taken on the same day I find that they depict daytime and not night. How could I have taken some photos in the morning, paused for a whole day, and went out again just to take this one picture? It does not make sense. Anyway I give up guessing. It does not matter. The story in the picture is nice to ponder: it seems to tell of a mysterious setting for a rendezvous for at least two. The dark trees, the traffic junction, the lamp post, the distant low mounds, and the sun captured in its yellow water-color painted sky backdrop. The setting stirs up a writer’s imagination without boundary.
By the way, because the lamps seem not lit I conclude that this picture was taken in the day and not at night. It did not really matter whether it was day or night. I was alone that day and not meeting anyone.
“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

Posted in photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit

the tree and a house

a story of a Tree and a house.
tree-and-houseThis is a strange picture. At a glance it may look an ordinary snap shot on a fine day, but when I look closer I see a blending of the trees in the foreground and the house at the back. It looks as if the tree has grown onto the wall of the house and some parts have climbed and covered the roof. The trees were actually planted on the upper slope and the house was at a lower ground. When I look this photo I was attracted by the lovely blue sky and did not notice the effect of the trees on the house. It was late September last year. I had newly arrived in this new place and was fascinated with the sky. It is too late to ask why the tree that looked like it plastered itself onto the wall was in such a state? It looked as if it did not belong. Perhaps it would be restored in spring. I never managed to find out as I left and moved on eventually. I do wonder whether the road side trees were planted by someone else. They were not meant to be part of anything except to adorn the roadside and give shade to joggers like me. The house too was not meant to be part of the scene. It just happened to be there and caught at random together with the tree on camera. Strange how life too could turn out this way for two totally unrelated beings. In this case, a tree and a house.

Posted in photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit

mirrored conversation

Mirrormirrored-counterHere is another picture I took inside the cafe of many lamps and reflections. It was quite early in the day or evening (?) and there were only several guests two of whom engaged in deep conversation near the counter were captured in this photo at random. The place actually looked quite nice and cheerful. Pity we did not stay for a meal or even a drink. I was attracted by the many reflections when I took several photos despite the brief stay.