Portrait of Lines, a fish’s statement… “I am somewhat shy but pretty in a gentle unassuming way. Do you know my name?” (The fish and I started a voiceless conversation thereafter…)
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
I decide to use these three pictures to depict 2017 presentation of a phase in my traveling life. I would call it a year about friends. Old, kind and gentle friends. Old does not mean chronologically aged. It means something familiar and one has already accustomed to. I suppose I have been re-kindled in someway by an extended autumn-winter stay with a long separated family, being re-climatized and inspired to walk long walks and write lots of short haikus in their land. I have also visited my long abandoned birth place in another extreme land’s end and written a story about a love that could have been but had never really materialized. Then I was brought to a place high up a mountain range covered by snow and yet has this beautiful lake which has gently displayed its beauty and given many a perfect placement in friendship, for some it is a beginning, for some a progressing in the continuum, and for some a final maturing. I am thankful that we are friends, whatever stages we are at. These pictures are etched in only the momentary memory at the point of a contact. Will I ever forget when I grow chronologically old? Will anyone who really loves their friends?
Friends are to rejoice and celebrate together. Here are two stories about what friends are for. I recently had an interesting experience. During a house renovation I found that I had lost two items, an old laptop PC which I use to store old family photos and an old but hardly used vacuum cleaner’s accessories. They were not of any present day monetary value. However I was disturbed by the idea that an illegitimate loss might have happened in my territory, and I became restless and sleepless that night. After spending hours fine combing the house I sat down and prayed that the items reveal themselves and be returned if taken by persons without asking for my permission. I heard in my heart that I should bless and not feel upset. So I obeyed. After the renovation was finally completed I went to the same back store and saw the vacuum cleaner accessories nicely kept in one paper box on the shelf. When I went into a back room I saw the laptop miraculously appeared, clean and in tact complete with its docking system on a shelf. When I look back now I begin to understand how much it had meant to the shepherd and the woman in the following two stories to see their losses reversed. So, I too call my friends to rejoice with me!
The two parables below were told by Jesus about the true value of life. What it means to be lost and found, both to the owner and to the valued friend, both the lost and found one and also the one who rejoices together with the owner.
Luke 15: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Power of God’s word heals.
Read this prayer aloud and let your heart agree with it: Heavenly Father, thank You because You’re my Father and I’m your child. I have been born again. I am born of You. You are my very own Father, and I am Your very own child. Hallelujah! It is written in Your Word that “my God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” [Phil. 4:19]. I believe that in my heart. You supply my physical needs – that is, healing for my body – for it is written in Matthew 8:17, “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Jesus took my infirmities. He bore my sicknesses. What He bore, I need not bear. Because He bore them. I’m free; I’m healed. I believe that in my heart. I say it with my mouth. It’s mine. I have it now. He meets all…
View original post 90 more words
Satisfaction of Spring’s color
I decide to give the topic Friend another go. It is too good a theme to miss. Here is a picture I took of human and their dogs. It is reassuring to watch how friendly interactions can take place between: human and human, dog and dog, human and dog, nature and creatures. All basking in the backdrop of a beautiful day, a beautiful lake and its beautiful mountain, beautiful sunset, sky and cool breeze that touches the beautiful water before it touches those who stand at the shore. Such a lot of beauty manifests when we are in unthreatening friendship with each other.
Friendship draws thankfulness. Thankful for life. Thankful that we are alive.
A beautiful verse for us to ponder today:
John 15:15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. (A love note from Jesus to His friends)
Here is a conversation overheard.
Child: Mom, I can touch the clouds.
Mother: No you can’t.
Child: Yes I can.
Mother: No, they are too high up.
Child reaches her hands into the water, and says, “See, here they are, not high at all.”
Mother: No, you are not touching the real ones. These are mere reflections.
Child laughs and ignores the mother. She continues to play with the clouds’ reflection in the water dancing at the touch of her hands. She is happy.
If the reflections do not have a meaningful purpose why does God create reflections? A point to ponder on.
I decide to share this picture of a beautiful snow-capped Sierra Nevadas, taken in January 2016 from the window of an Amtrak train. Here is how the journey is described in their web site, which I find quite appropriate from my personal experience. This was the first time I traveled by this train. The experience is different and rewarding.
“Experienced travelers say the California Zephyr is one of the most beautiful train trips in all of North America. As you climb through the heart of the Rockies, and further west through the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas, you may find it hard to disagree.
The Zephyr runs daily between Chicago and San Francisco, coursing through the plains of Nebraska to Denver, across the Rockies to Salt Lake City, and then through Reno and Sacramento into Emeryville/San Francisco.”
Psalm 18:33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
Psalm 50:11 I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine.
Psalm 72:3 May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful.
Psalm 76:4 You are glorious and more majestic than the everlasting mountains.
It IS Easy Being Green!
I took this picture by the roadside. When you look at the picture closer you will find that it is not perfect. It has a lot of lush green leaves but it also has leaves with holes. It is by the side of a little park which is regularly maintained by odd job workers who merely cut the grass or trim overgrown branches which intrude onto the road. Otherwise the plants just grow as they like. Rainfall is ample and there is no lack of tropical sunshine. The color of green is common and people do not particularly notice it. The park benches were painted green once and soon faded. Why are there holes in the leaves? Well, the insects and birds and other creatures live here and thrive too. Some mornings we can hear beautiful melodies sung by birds of unknown names. In the evening we hear all sorts of other little creatures each performing its utmost best to outdo each other perhaps. We cannot see them. The bushes are thick and the trees are tall and form a green canopy surrounding the park. The footsteps of the wind often sound like those of the rain. But when we hear the sound of creatures we know it has to be the wind and not otherwise. Green is an easy color. So are others. The Lord has made them all, beautiful and awesome! The wonder of all is that we can hear the colors before we see them.
Tiny flowers by the wayside. We often walk pass them. Sometimes we step on them. Not because we are callous and uncaring. We are conditioned to see big things. Big and loud colorful stuff. In my recent travel I visited two entirely different countries and in both places I found some tiny flowers which looked so insignificant that they could have been easily excluded from my camera. When I returned and looked at the photos I found the exceptionalism in me stopping and looking at something small and quiet.
I ask myself why I have taken photos of some tiny flowers by the wayside. When I walk in the park across my patio why I do bother to look at the grass and the tiny leaves that are sprouting out from the crevices between the rocks and record their existence for a moment?
I did not come with perfect eyesight since young. The class teacher discovered this when I went to school. Artificial lenses helped me to function to some extent but it finally reached a point when I had to do a RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange). Taking photos of tiny things was not an easy task previously. After the RLE the tiny world becomes bright and clear and attractive. I see butterflies and bees and other tinier creatures too. Such a tiny world may be considered by others as tiny and ordinary and part of mundane living, they are fascinating to me. I can spend a whole morning walking and watching little things and feel my spirit rejoicing inside. A happy song will birth and lift me to another level into another realm of reality.
Bible verses from Psalm 104 (excerpts from NKJV):
He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.
The trees of the Lord are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the junipers.
The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.
How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.
Tiny 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.
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!”
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)
Shine little flowers, just like little stars.
One 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.