Known here as the city flower of Xiamen, bougainvilleas can be found anywhere on the island and even in our district which is on the mainland. The one pictured here is from our campus in Jimei.
I have not contributed to the LAPC for years, and I was reminded of it when I saw Soybend’s post linking to LAPC and decided to join the challenge again.
Perfect timing as spring symbolizes new life, and I feel that I am starting all over as I’ve retuned to China after being away for three years because of the pandemic.
And seeing so many different kinds of flowers on campus this spring gives me so much joy. Walking by the lake and hearing the chirping of the birds and seeing these flowers — I wish it will always stay this way.
These flowers can be found in different parts of the campus.
Fine cherry blossoms
Pretty and red, lovely spring
Springing one to life.
I’ve been telling my husband that we’ve been living in Xiamen for years, but there are still many places we haven’t gone to see. So on Sunday we went to Zhonglun Park. Xiamen has a lot of parks; every district has at least one park and Zhonglun Park is just one of these parks in Huli.
As it was Sunday, the park was a little crowded. Many were taking photos of the cherry blossoms, while others were having a picnic on the wide lawn. We just took a couple of photos and then left. I would definitely go back on a weekday.
Kindness and Love
Much energy spent
In anger is better used
Spreading kindness, love.
You are still thought of,
Though seven long years have passed.
These flowers — for you.
Tree Trunks and Roots
A tree, a branch, roots —
Roots falling from the branches
The banyan, a tree.
Grateful and happy to be back in my second home, Jimei. 🌹💕
It’s been months since I last posted, and though there were so many things I wanted to write about, I just couldn’t find the time. Nor the right words.
I hope to update this blog again soon.
For now I’m sharing photos I took yesterday when I went out for an early morning walk on campus.
Yes, I’m back in China with my son. And after three years of being apart, we are finally reunited with my husband. 💕🙏
I hope to catch up on reading posts from blogs I follow. So, see you soon.
“And miles to go….”
It’s been quite a while since I last posted; it feels like years even though it’s only a couple of months as so much has happened.
This morning in class, I told my students it felt like I had not met with them for years, even though it was only in July that we said goodbye for the summer break. I forgot how to use some of the features of our virtual classroom.
Though I went to Cebu twice last year, and to Manila this year, I haven’t left the country in over 2 years. The last flight I took was 2 weeks ago, coming home from Manila, and I felt so sorry for myself for feeling nervous about the turbulence.
Before the pandemic, I took 4 flights every month for almost 4 consecutive years, and always took red-eye flights that I was too tired to worry about turbulence.
These days I easily get nervous, scared. I’d rather pay more than take a late afternoon flight. But I know I should overcome this fear.
I still have some traveling to do. I still have to see my husband again.
There’s still so much that needs to be done. There’s still miles to go….
Friendship: A Haiku
Nor faith nor pointless gossip
Should ruin friendship.
The road we travel
There aren't just two roads, nor three
There are as many as the people who trod them.
No matter which one we take,
We'll get to where we are meant to be
Easier for some, harder for others.
But nothing should be a surprise
To one who believes
Everything happens for a reason.
And the discerning mind
Will comprehend that reason
And journey on,
Inner Peace: A Haiku
Your world's too noisy,
And you barely hear your soul,
Go in, find quiet.
I have been terribly busy with work and studies and duties at home this past month, and trying to avoid negativity as there’s too much of it in the world right now.
But somehow being in this world, you just cannot avoid it, unless you find time to be quiet, away from people who do not want to be quiet.
May you find peace within as we continue to live in this world where peace seems elusive. — T.
Words and the mind
By words we learn thoughts, and by thoughts we learn life.”
—Jean Baptiste Girard
Today I went to Sunday Mass for the first time in years. In his homily the priest talked about how in the past, Christians recited the Psalms as they went about their work. For those who have not read the Psalms, these are songs that either thank or praise God, or ask for God’s mercy and protection.
The priest said the recitation of the Psalms set the tone for the Christians’ day — their faith gave them strength to continue working, gave them joy to work on their tasks. It would have been so different had they started their day by complaining as soon as they woke up, “Time to work again!”
And I quite agree.
I am a morning person, and when I see the beauty of a quiet morning, I feel so grateful for the day, and this feeling of joy and gratitude sets the tone for my day.
My day may not be perfect, and some things may annoy me, but I can always call to mind the things that I’m grateful for, and my day still ends with thanksgiving.
I know this may sound easier said than done to some people, but it is possible to be optimistic first thing in the morning and to keep that optimism at the end of the day.
Count your blessings. There’s lots of them.
I hope you find many things to be grateful for this week! 🙏
Wishing you wisdom,
In using the wealth that will
Come your way this year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Blue: Paintings and a Haiku
Sky, ocean touching
In the horizon, meeting.
Sky and ocean blue.
Yellow: Flowers and a haiku
Exhausted, energy spent --
Find something yellow.
“The best revenge is living well.”
“Living well is the best revenge.” — George Herbert
I feel very fortunate to have come across this aphorism when I was relatively young. I think it was from an episode of Seinfeld that I heard it, and it was the first time it made sense to me because at that time I was rejected by someone I was madly in love with, and he had already moved on.
When I heard Seinfeld say, “The best revenge is living well,” it was like figurative scales came off my eyes, and I thought, “Why do I cry my eyes out when he is having a good time? Why do I let him know that I’m suffering when he is happy with his life? Why do I think he’ll be unhappy if I tell him I’m unhappy? He won’t! Because he doesn’t care!”
It’s amazing how an episode of a sitcom can change one’s life, but that’s what an episode of Seinfeld did for me. It made me realize that I lose if I let the one who broke my heart know that I’d become hopeless without him. I decided I was going to get my revenge by becoming a better version of myself.
A quick summary: I got over him; I’m happily married NOT to him; he and I have become best friends, me becoming his confidante for years now.
This is a lesson I always share with young friends who tell me about being betrayed or dumped by a friend or boyfriend/girlfriend, or adults who, sadly, have hatred for other people.
Harboring anger or hatred towards people is really exhausting because it takes a lot of energy which could be spent on something more productive.
Instead of spending time and energy badmouthing the person you hate or are angry with, use that time and energy trying to feel better, to look better, or to do something that will benefit you — start a hobby or a project, read that book you’ve been putting off reading for years, visit an elderly member of your family, do some gardening, exercise and lose weight and feel and look better. There are so many things worth spending your time and energy on rather than feeling angry with a person who most likely is not spending a single minute thinking of you.
In other words, LIVE WELL. Once you focus on trying to live well, one day you’ll realize that you really don’t care what the other person thinks anymore. And that is going to be such a relief.
I’ve heard angry people say they want the ones who hurt them to suffer. Anyone who was hurt has the right to feel anger, but it is also important to be aware that wishing for others to suffer simply proves that you, yourself, are suffering. Misery loves company after all.
If you let the other person know you are suffering, you lose. He wins.
Don’t let him win.
Live well. And win.
The boat and the bird
Snapped this photo earlier from behind the old wet market in my city. I make it a point to stop by this spot whenever I go there either in the early morning or late afternoon. The view never disappoints..
Tranquility: A Haiku
When burdened with life's
Unending demands, the soul
I’ve been so busy multi-tasking. Once again, I’m a full-time student and on top of that, a full-time teacher.
It’s hard to find time to be quiet when now the only reason I wake up early is to work on projects my professors have asked the class to do. Though I enjoy being a student again, I miss having some quiet time. I miss going up to my property to do gardening or just raking fallen leaves which was what kept me contentedly busy last year.
I do enjoy being busy — I feel I am learning so much from the tasks the professors assign the class; I feel productive making lessons for my own classes in the university; it makes me happy spending time with my son….
Perhaps it’s time I practice being quiet for reflection while busy working or studying. I’d probably end up more productive.
Time is precious. The earlier a person realizes that, the more certain he will be he won’t regret its passing.
How are you spending your time?
Happy Weekend! 🌹💕
Do you remember how we spent hours
Talking about everything
And laughing about nothing?
Do you remember how we walked for hours
Not really knowing where we're going
But kept walking anyway?
Do you remember walking in the rain
On a rainy April day?
Sadly, you don't.
But I do.
And it's sad when you're alone
In remembering happy times
You spent with those
Who have forgotten.
Yesterday I texted with a former co-worker who was once mistaken for my mother when she brought me to her husband’s workplace. We had not seen each other for years, and I was happy catching up with her.
When I reminded her of that time when she brought me to her husband’s workplace and the trip that we took after that which was full of hilarity, she said she had forgotten all that. And it truly made me sad, not just because she had forgotten but also because, I know, one day I will also forget.
A day will come when all those crazy things that made me laugh will be as if they never happened. My friends and I are all getting close to that time when our memories will cease to be memories. No one will remember.
The practical side of me says, “Would it matter that no one remembers when you’re already dead?” No, it wouldn’t matter when I’m dead, but right now when I’m still alive and capable of remembering, I cannot help feeling sad knowing that some of the best times I’ve had with people I care most about have been forgotten by them. Not because they don’t care but because those memories have been buried underneath newer memories and retrieving them is not as easy as it used to be when they were younger.
I, too, am guilty of forgetting many things, and I know one day I will forget walking hand in hand at the park with my husband, reading books with my son, laughing with my family, driving around the city with my best friend, having coffee with my other best friend…
These are all memories which, at the moment, I am still capable of recreating and remembering, but inevitably I will forget. C’est la vie.
Youth and wisdom
When I was three and twenty
I thought I knew everything that mattered
It didn't matter that I could not find
"The value of x in an angle,"
As long as I knew who mattered in a love-triangle.
Friends came to me for advice,
I listened; I counseled
And thought I was wiser than my folks,
Who could not understand how young people thought and loved.
A score and more have passed,
And now I can find
The value of x in an angle, even in a circle!
I have learned more about the world than I did
When I was three and twenty.
But then I have also found
How cocky I was at twenty-three
Giving advice that now seem silly,
Thinking I knew better than the elderly
Whose wisdom I now think to be sound.
Thoughts while flying
When you reach a certain age,
You tend to look back at your life
The same way you look down
At the view from your window seat
Thirty thousand feet above the ground.
You see the blueness of the ocean
The greeness of the mountains
And you marvel at the beauty
And feel peace emanating from within you
But then as your plane nears the city
You see the unsightly smog hovering over it,
The gray waters that surround it
Then you get a sinking feeling as the plane descends.
Memories give us the same sense --
Of happiness when we think of the good times,
Of loss and sadness when we think of the bad ones.
But we can choose to look at the amazing view from our window seat
And fasten our seat belt and look straight ahead
When the view only brings sadness.
I was very busy and stressed out for most of the week, but today I had time to meet with friends I had not seen in about 5 years and we spent the whole day together. They took me to the beach and had breakfast and late lunch together. It was great to catch up and have a really nice conversation.
The resort we went to called Bluewater Maribago in Mactan, Cebu had lovely old trees.
It had been a while since I visited a place that I really liked, and today was a treat.
I would love to come back to this place in the not too distant future.
Taking this trip feels like
Going to a battle
With only courage
As your fuel
For which you have a full tank;
Experience and knowledge --
Your only ammunition
Of which you have barely enough.
Yet you go on, you fight
On a suicide mission
For the future,
For the ones you love,
For love. For life
Waiting: A Haiku
This latest chapter
In what has been a dull life --
Full of adventures.
Clichès: A note to self
Hang in there
You're stronger than you think
You've been through worse times
And you've come out stronger each time.
Good times never last,
But neither do bad times.
These are all clichès,
And you know it.
Just as you know
This life you live
Is the most clichèd of all.
Solace: A Haiku
When the world’s all noise,
Spouting words they think are wise,
Your silence — solace.
Shine: A Haiku
In dreary darkness,
Your tender light warmly shines —
This eager soul thrives.
Colors: A Haiku
Different colors —
Red, yellow, green together —
Beautiful as one.
Have a beautiful weekend!
Blessed Morning: A Haiku
Pure and quiet air,
Water droplet on a leaf —
A blessed morning.
Weariness: A Haiku
When your weariness
Of this long, exhausting life
Is strong — be stronger.
Compassion: A Haiku
Others’ pain and suffering,
One shows compassion.
A blessed weekend🙏
New Day: A Haiku
A new day, new life
The old, pain-filled year has passed.
This new one brings hope.
I had a very busy November and December, and this busy-ness is not ending with the end of 2020. Yet, I am very grateful for so many things, and I’m sure we all can find things to be grateful for even though we may have suffered some.
But life has always been like that, hasn’t it? We win some; we lose some. We can acknowledge the pain, but we shouldn’t let it stop us from living because life isn’t all pain. There are joys, too. We just have to open our eyes and hearts to them.
Thank you for visiting my blog. I wish you and those you hold dear all the best for 2021. May we all find more reasons to be grateful in this new year. 🙏🙏🙏🙏
Faith: A Haiku
To keep believing
Even when things seem hopeless —
It’s faith; it’s courage.
No one goes hungry,
No one feels he’s left out —
Openness: A Haiku
Your soul’s true beauty
In this world is unnoticed.
But I, I see you.
No need to look far.
Just outside this old window —
Yellow: A Haiku
The sky’s gray again.
Yellow — your brightness gladdens
A dull, lonely heart.
LAPC: A Labor of Love
Labors of love for food.Lens Artists Photo Challenge: A labor of love
Simplicity: A Haiku
Outside one’s window
Is something that can give one
A reason to smile.
Have a lovely week! ♥️
I caught this caterpillar feeding and quenching its thirst this morning. It was a treat to see this.
Have a lovely week!
Caught in the act
Snapped this picture early this morning in my garden.
Gardening is fun! ☀️🌼🌺
Beauty after the rain
I took these photos the morning after an evening of heavy rain that nearly got our house flooded.
I think it’s important to find something to be grateful for and happy about after a stressful time. And the flowers in my garden give me just what I need.
Have a lovely day/evening!
Unwind: A Haiku
Rushing like they’re in a race,
One needs to unwind.
I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to write or read (except for the news and short FB posts.)
I need to unwind, but….
This is a photo of a flower in my garden. I don’t even know what it’s called. I have to look it up. If you know its name, please let me know. 🙏
Have a great week!
Biking and hiking
It’s Saturday, so my cousins and I went biking AND hiking!
We went to see the place where we used to spend our weekends when we were kids. It has become a jungle over the years because of neglect, but we hope to change that. Soon. ♥️
Togetherness: A Haiku
This life may be hard,
But with you, this daily toil
May your days be happily spent with the ones you love. ♥️
Busy: A Haiku
When you love the thing
That you daily do — who says
You’re at work? Life’s fun.
Have a lovely week!
My Garden: A Haiku
Always something new
A new leaf or a flower —
My little garden.
My mornings begin with a visit to my garden, and each time, a new bud makes me smile. How can I possibly have a bad day when my garden always gives me a reason to smile?
May our mornings always begin with a smile. ♥️
Biking and Views
Every weekend now since early June, I go biking with my cousins, and each time I make sure to take lots of photos. These are some of my favorite ones.
Have a fun week! 🚴☀️
Winter’s gone for now
Once again the world is filled
With colors of life.
Plant whisperer tales
There’s no need to yell
I can hear you well, so well
Just please be gentle.
When I just started gardening, my aunt said to me I should talk to my plants like my late mother did. We both remember very well how my mother talked loudly to her plants — loud enough for my two then-young and naughty boy cousins who had fun “hurting” my mom’s plants. My mom would “talk” to her plants and say, “What was that? A little boy hurt you? And you’re upset?”
Now I don’t worry about kids “hurting” my plants, and I don’t talk to my plants. But recently I planted a couple of cutttings of flowering plants and I’ve been waiting to see them grow and for leaves to come out. Two days ago, I jokingly “said” to the cuttings that if they didn’t show me any sign of growing, I’d just get rid of them. The next day I saw the tiniest green thingy on the one stem, and I had to laugh. It may all be coincidence, but I was just so happy to see it.
Like I’ve written in another post, gardening takes a lot of patience, but it can also give one happiness, no matter how simple it is.
My mornings begin with a visit to my garden, and each visit is an exercise in patience and a gift of simple joy.
Fragile: A Haiku
Your passionate love
Which you proudly say is true,
Without faith — fragile.
Quietude: A Haiku
Strength, wisdom, kindness —
They can only come to one
Who knows quietude.
Now that I’m back home in the house where I grew up, and living with my two sisters and a nephew and my son, it is not very often that I get to find some quiet time.
I am way busier now working from home compared to working full time in China during the last 17 years, which makes me treasure more those years of solitude and reflection.
Thankfully there’s gardening and visiting my tiny garden in the morning allows me some much needed quiet moments.
Patience and Gardening
After having my flight cancelled five times in the last 5 months, I decided I would not think about when I can actually go back to China and just live my life as if I’m never leaving home again. This decision led me to pick up gardening as a hobby.
Thankfully my sister had postponed throwing away our late mother’s flower pots and plants that badly needed some tending.
And tending I did!
At first my sister was doubtful about my resolve to take over our mother’s garden, but it didn’t take long for her to realize I was serious about it!
Now my morning routine has changed a little: instead of reading the news while having my morning coffee, I now visit my little garden and water some of the plants while having my morning coffee. I get to enjoy a quiet and cool morning seeing green plants (not many flowers yet), and blue sky and also hearing birds chirping.
Tending to the garden is quite relaxing and rewarding. I especially like seeing new leaves come out.
Though I miss my quiet life in China, I’m beginning to readjust to living at home again — I’m slowly finding ways to have some quiet, “me” time despite being busy every day. (I’m typing this at close to midnight.)
Gardening reminds me of the need to be patient — some plants take longer than others to grow, but they will grow if you take good care of them. And when they do, you’ll feel a certain kind of joy that those who have never planted a thing could never understand.
Just as I have to be patient with the plants growing, this pandemic has taught me and a lot of other people, I’m sure, to be more patient as well. These days there’s so much uncertainty, and things change so quickly sometimes and sometimes they don’t. All we can do to stay sane is to let things be when there’s nothing we can do about them, and to always do the best we can with those we have control over.
This is one reason I like gardening. I can plant when I want and feel I have accomplished something when the plants grow. I have control.
I hope you find something to make you feel good about yourself every single day. 🙏
LAPC: Delicate Colors
“A flower’s appeal is in its contradictions — so delicate in form yet strong in fragrance, so small in size yet big in beauty, so short in life yet long on effect.”– Terri Guillemets
When kids your age were running,
You were just learning to walk.
When kids your age were talking,
You just uttered your first word.
When kids your age could bounce a ball
You just learned how to throw.
Don’t worry, son.
Life is a game
Not just for the fastest,
The strongest, or the smartest
But for the ones with the most patience as well.
And we have a lot of that stuff.
We’ll get there.
What a child remembers
Days after he received the Nobel Prize for Literature, Albert Camus wrote a letter to his elementary school teacher to thank him for the kindness shown him as a pupil. I was reminded of this letter today when I read this article. (Link opens another tab.)
The letter in turn reminded me of one kind deed that my late aunt (my late uncle’s wife) showed me on my birthday when I was still 9 or 10 years old. I have many memories of my childhood, both sad and happy ones, but the memory of my aunt giving me money and kissing me on the cheek on my birthday because she said I looked so sad (and I was because my parents had nothing special to give me then!) is still as vivid in my mind as on the day it happened.
It seems to me a kindness shown a child remains in their memory long after they grow up and become adults themselves.
Camus’ gratitude, my own experience of remembering my aunt’s kindness and also reading the testimony of Dr. Herzenstube’s at the trial in The Brothers Karamazov, when he recounted how Dmitry as a grown man had stopped by his office to thank him for giving him (Dmitry), a pound of nuts when he was only a kid – these convince me that when you show a child kindness, they will never forget it and will remain grateful for it for the rest of their lives.
Some may say, this world can show many adults who had received kindness from their parents yet are ungrateful to them. Perhaps so, but the kindness or love from parents are to be expected because the parents had brought their children to this world. It is when the kindness is unexpected that the impact is stronger and therefore unforgettable.
Camus’ teacher was not family; Dr. Herzenstube was not family to Dmitry; my aunt was family, but not my parent, and she had her own 7 children! They did not have to do what they did; but they did it, and that’s what made the children who were recipient of their kindness, remember them well for, into their adult lives.
A child never forgets an unexpected act of kindness. Be kind to a child when you see one. You’ll never know when this child will show you his gratitude.
Here is Camus’ letter to his elementary school teacher:
Dear Monsieur Germain,
I let the commotion around me these days subside a bit before speaking to you from the bottom of my heart. I have just been given far too great an honor, one I neither sought nor solicited. But when I heard the news, my first thought, after my mother, was of you. Without you, without the affectionate hand you extended to the small poor child that I was, without your teaching and example, none of all this would have happened. I don’t make too much of this sort of honor. But at least it gives me the opportunity to tell you what you have been and still are for me, and to assure you that your efforts, your work, and the generous heart you put into it still live in one of your little schoolboys who, despite the years, has never stopped being your grateful pupil. I embrace you with all my heart.
Perfect: A Haiku
You’re not the kindest,
Nor the sweetest, gentlest one —
But you’re you — perfect!
Locked: A Haiku
Locked in by someone,
One desires freedom; locking
Oneself in — tragic.
Morning Rain: A Haiku
Early morning rain
Kissing away last night’s sins —
Blessing this new day.
Height: A Haiku
Unreachable — but this soul
Light: A Haiku
In this deep darkness
Is hope and faith that I’ll find
You — my light, my guide.
LAPC: Cropping the shot
This week Patti challenges us to show how we crop pictures we took, and for people like me who don’t know much about photography, the explanation/reason she gives for cropping her photos, are really helpful.
Before the crop:
As I am not quite good at focus, almost all pictures I take get cropped!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!🌹
Sweet: A Haiku
Those delightful words
That escape your teasing lips —
Unhealthily sweet. 😛
Comfort: A Haiku
Not a soul in sight,
No water to quench the thirst,
A bird sings — comfort!
Secret: A Haiku
A subtle, gentle touch,
A softly whispered secret —
A memory kept.
Dance: A Haiku
Stretching, bending lines,
Curves, graceful and lithe those limbs —
Quiet dance with time.
Someday: A Haiku
Your sweet smile, laughter —
Who knows why? I hope to see
What you see — someday.
My son has a very infectious smile and laughter. Most of the time though, we don’t know what makes him smile or laugh. We are just happy to see him happy.
Sometimes he makes me say, “dinosaur” and then, “roar!” And that’s enough to make him smile as he walks away from me.
If only our joys could be as simple.
The other day, I got a message from Ahmed asking if I could help promote the comic book he created which features a superhero with Autism. This project aims to spread awareness about Autism. It’s called The Epics of Enkidu. You can click the link to learn more about the project.
Game: A Haiku
Like these solid blocks,
Colorful — the life you’ve lived.
Yet it was all a game.
Dream: A Haiku
Heart pounding, pounding
Wishing it had not ended,
That sweetest of dreams.
On friendship and marriage
This year is the 14th year my husband and I have been married. It may not be that long for those who have been married for at least two decades, but I am grateful we have come this far and are as committed to each other as we were on our wedding day.
As I reflect on my marriage, I feel so grateful that my husband still has the patience to stay married to me. I joked about it with my Facebook friends, but in all honesty, I really am grateful. I am not a very easy person to live with — I can be really mean to my husband, but we do find more reasons to laugh about with each other than reasons for meanness.
I don’t think there’s really any special secret to a lasting marriage — friendship and commitment are all that’s needed.
Flower of the Day: Lilies
Thirst: A Haiku
One wilting in thirst.
Kiss: A Haiku
Early morning touch
Of the rain on soft petals —
Reminder of a kiss.
Delete: A Haiku
If I lose you now,
I’d rather have memories
Of you all erased.
Though I prefer to remember everything I’ve ever gone through — even embarrassing, painful ones, I can understand those who would rather forget.
LAPC: All Wet
This week Tina’s challenge is to post “wet images.” I don’t have a lot of those, except for the ones below taken on a rainy day.
“Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton
“One can find so many pains when the rain is falling.” — John Steinbeck
Inconspicuous: A Haiku
A tiny detail
Often unnoticed, sometimes
Makes a thing complete.
Youth: A Haiku
Supple body, mind
These ephemeral presents —
Quickly lost in time.
Hearts: A Haiku
Distance hardens not
The hearts that hear each other’s
Beating though apart.
May your love grow strong though this pandemic keeps you physically apart. ♥️🙏
Fearless: A Haiku
One tries to be strong,
Facing this frightening storm —
Fearlessness is strength.
May you find the strength to face the storms in your life. 🙏🌹♥️
Grateful: A Haiku
For this life, for love,
For the pain and the lessons —
This heart is grateful.
Peace: A Haiku
May your soul find peace,
May your memories of love
Come back, make you smile.
List: A Haiku
A flower, a book,
A walk by the lake, a look —
Memories — a list.
Island: A Haiku
I’ve been long at sea,
Tossed by indifferent waves,
Then I see you — hope!
Discover Prompts, Day 28: Focus
Clouds: A Haiku
Oh how I long to be
Above you again, looking
Down. Proud. In rapture.
Team: A Haiku
Storms have come and gone,
Yet you and I,here, still stand
Always one — a team.
Hidden: A Haiku
Brazen you, you try
To open what’s long been shut —
The secret, hidden.
Magic: A Haiku
Not a boring sight,
No silly words. Everything
With you, is magic.
Offering: A Haiku
Not just this bleeding
Heart or this aching body —
Me. All of me — yours.
LAPC: At Home
This week Amy challenges us to post pictures of home.
For years after my father died, my mother was the core of our home — everything planned or decided depended on what was good for her. This was especially true in her last years. Because I worked away from home and only came to visit twice a year, home was my mother.
Though she has passed on, we still keep some of the stuff that was part of her daily routine — such as her rosary beads which she prayed daily, twice a day.
Now that she’s gone, the attention has shifted to the young ones — my son and my nephews.
Where home in the past was the sight of my mother praying and the sound of her voice directing the cleaning of the house, these days it’s the sound of my son’s endless chatter and the banging on (not really playing) the (not computer) keyboard, ukulele and of course the sound of my voice constantly reminding him to quiet down.
Our home is probably the noisiest in our community (thankfully we are all relatives — all first cousins who understand– living in separate detached houses), but for as long as my son is happily noisy making what he thinks is music, I’m fine with it.
Elixir: A Haiku
A once selfish soul
Wished death. But you came — your life,
This love — elixir!
Song: A Haiku
I played a love song —
Melancholic melody —
Hoping your heart hears.
Note: A Haiku and a Thought
Simple scribbled word
On unpretentious paper —
A note makes one’s day.
It does not take much to put a smile on someone’s face — a very simple gesture of kindness or thoughtfulness can do that. A text message asking how somebody’s day went can make that person feel that someone cares. A flower picked from the garden to give a family member one is stuck at home with, can most likely brighten that person’s day.
We do not need to do something “big” to prove we care and make someone happy.
Sometimes a simple note on a Post-It can do the trick.
Tempo: A Haiku
This music of us has risen
To a crescendo.
Instrument: A Haiku
So deftly played by your hands —
Makes music of love.
Music: A Haiku
In this unfriendly
And chaotic world of mine,
Your calm voice — music.
Discover Prompts, Day 20: Music
Three: A Haiku
When love unites two,
In time Two won’t be enough.
Then there will be three.
New: A Haiku
Leaving or moving —
A new place, different faces —
One remains the same.
In the distance — sounds carried
By the morning breeze.
Thank you, Ann-Christine, for this week’s theme for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.
Have a lovely weekend!
Distance: A Haiku
Not the thousand miles
Between us dividing us —
Pride in a sad soul.
Slow: A Haiku
Though painfully slow
Almighty Time seems to pass,
You’ll surely get there.
Whether we like it or not, time goes by. And we’ll get to where we are supposed to be whether we like it or not.
We can’t stop Almighty Time from passing.
Discover Prompts, Day 16
Scent: A Haiku
A walk down the shore,
Cool breeze blowing — ocean scent
Leads to thoughts of you.—–
Discover Prompts, Day 15
Solitude: A Haiku
At home with those whom one loves,
One dreams — solitude.
We love our family, and they love us too. But we miss being alone, and I’m sure they do too.
May you find time for quiet reflection.
Strength: A Haiku
Overtakes the weary soul,
Be still — till strength comes.
Have a lovely week !
Lens- Artists Photo Challenge: Second Time Around
I did not participate in the LAPC Challenge for months because of my very busy schedule, but today I am able to squeeze in some time to write a post and John’s chosen theme is something that most of us, I’m sure, can easily find photos for as there are many places we would like to revisit or imagine revisiting at this time when we cannot travel to any place outside our home cities.
The first place I would really go to again as soon as travel bans are lifted is Jimei, where my husband has been living all alone for three months now after my son and I left. Jimei has been my second home for over 17 years, and this is the longest I’ve been away.
Last year, I was so lucky I got to see the U.S. of A. for the first time, and before the virus broke out. I got to see New York and Boston and enjoyed every minute of it. I was looking forward to seeing Washington, DC and Maryland in June this year, but I guess it’s not meant to be.
The one other place I would really love to visit again is South Korea, not just for the place but to see my best friend again.
I hope we all get to travel again soon, and have the chance to revisit places we love and create new memories.
Have a lovely week!
The Past: A Haiku
Songs that made cry,
They remind me of the pain.
The heart hurts no more.
Time: A Haiku
Leaves one wondering, waiting.
Slow or quick — time flies.
Healing: A Haiku
No ships, buses, trains;
Planes stop flying — quiet reigns.
A blessed Good Friday to all.
Flying: A Haiku
These thoughts, these wishes —
Unspoken yet deeply felt,
Towards you, they fly.
Hope and Gratitude
My last post wasn’t very optimistic, so despite my busy schedule, I am determined to write another one just to do my share of encouraging anyone who reads this, to have hope and to always look forward to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel; and more importantly, to cherish this time when you CAN stay at home and prepare your meals and/or sleep in instead of rushing to work without breakfast.
I, too, cherish this time when I can be with my son for a much longer time — we’ve been together since December 23rd when I came home, and then we left for China and stayed there for a little over 2 weeks, and then came back home on the 11th of January. My flight was cancelled three times; I rebooked 3 times. Finally a couple of days ago, I just asked for a refund.
With the “community quarantine” order in our city, classes have been cancelled; malls have been closed; public transportation, suspended. Thankfully, being at home all day has not really affected my 9-year old son that much. He has not gone to school or to his occupational and speech therapies for almost a month now, but simply having all of us at home — me, my two sisters and my 17-year-old nephew — is enough to make him happy. He does speaking, reading and writing activities with my sister, and PE activities with my nephew. Having my sisters and nephew at home allows me to do my online teaching for the university. Though I am way busier now than if I were back in China teaching in a classroom, I am grateful for the time I get to spend with my son and be able to contribute to the progress he makes by reading to him, talking and playing with him.
This is not the first pandemic the world has seen, and it probably wouldn’t be the last. But humanity survived previous pandemics when they did not have as much means to fight the enemy as we do now with advances in science and technology; when they did not have as easy a means to share information as we do now. I don’t think it is a false hope that we will overcome this one.
So believe that things will be better because they will. And in the meantime, focus on the many things you can do while stuck at home — because if you really look, you’ll find there are many tasks just waiting to be done that you have not been able to do because you had to go to work. Now is the time.
May you always find a reason to be hopeful and grateful.
The Precariousness of Life
This photo was taken exactly a month ago when my family went to a park. Back then we never thought it would be sometime before we could go out for a stroll again. Our city has been under a “community quarantine” for almost three weeks now. My sister, my nephew and my son have not left our house for almost a month now. I get to go out for essentials.
The streets are eerily quiet; most businesses are closed. The streets and the air are much cleaner, but somehow it is not easy to enjoy the quiet and the clean air when you are very much aware of how people who have lost their jobs are suffering and fearing for their future.
These are very uncertain times.
When I left China in early January, I thought I would be back in two weeks. Now, it’s almost three months that I have not seen my husband, and we still do not have any idea when we will see each other again, or when he will see our son again. Sure, technology allows us to talk with each other everyday, but we all know the limits of technology.
Perhaps it will be sometime before our world goes back to normal. Even then, it will probably be a different normal.
The only certainty is: life goes on. Sadly not for everyone; but for humanity as a whole, it goes on and will continue to go on.
Wishing you a peaceful weekend.
Traveling with a Child with Autism
My son was only 5 months old when we took a 1-hour and 20-minute flight to Manila and then a 2-hour international flight. I don’t remember him ever crying on the plane.
For the next five years, we flew an average of 8 flights a year, and though there were a couple of times he did not want to sit during takeoff or landing, most of the time he behaved himself well. The bigger he is getting though, the more worried I become about travelling with him because of how he behaves, not in the plane, but in the airport where he loves running around. But so far, for the past 9 years, I have always been grateful at the end of each trip that both of us made it to our destination safe and sound.
Going through security check
I can’t remember what year the pat down at the airport that we often go through started, but when it did my son who, back then (ages 4-7) was easily scared by strangers who tried to touch him, would scream and try to run when an officer approached him. A couple of times, a supervising officer yelled at me to hold my son and calm him down even after I explained that he was autistic. That was 4 or 5 years ago, and the officers doing the security check have since become more understanding and crouch down to my son’s eye level and do the check while I rhythmically say “pat, pat, pat, pat” with him. Whew.
In December last year, we took a train to another city and also took the subway several times which meant going through security checks several times. By the time we had to take a flight home, he had gotten so used to the pat down that it didn’t bother him anymore.
Practice makes perfect.
Gadgets and toys
Unless he is very sleepy or very tired, my son would never sleep while traveling. He likes being in a car, train, bus or plane and look outside the window, singing. But if there is nothing interesting to see, then that’s when he asks for the iPad. I always make sure the gadgets are fully charged whenever we travel because some planes still do not have power outlets/USB ports in the seats.