Morning: A Haiku

Arise! The sun is up.

Come and see what daylight brings.

Come! Beauty awaits.

I am a morning person, but my husband isn’t. But once in a while I can get him to go out for a walk with me early in the morning.

This morning we had beautiful weather at 15C (59F) and walking past the lake I spied an egret (one of the few who haven’t migrated south). To me it was a beautiful sight, and made me smile. (I know I sound like a drama queen, but it is that easy to make me feel happy!)

And it came to me that there’s so much beauty to see early in the morning that people fail to see because they are still in bed. I feel lucky to be able to see and be touched by such a simple sight.

I hope you find something to make you smile today.

Happy weekend!

T.

The moon, the moon, the moon

For those who follow my blog, you’d probably notice I’ve posted several photos of the moon lately.

I love looking up at the sky and seeing a beautiful moon. And I thought people feel the same way I do, but one evening years ago walking with my best friend, I said, “Hey! Look at the moon! So beautiful!” And he said, “It’s just the moon. Come on!”

And then last night on my walk home from the office, taking these photos, two girls passed by and murmured, “What’s she taking pictures of?”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I’m glad I see beauty in ordinary things and occurrences. I am thankful I can still see.

The soft moonlight makes things look gentler. It hides the ugliness visible in the daytime and makes them mysterious. Guy de Maupassant’s story Moonlight comes to mind.

May you see beauty around you. 💕

T

LAPC: Candid

Gentle and glowing,

She dazzles every creature

With her candid pose.

—–

I know Ann-Christine suggested candid photographs of people and animals, but I don’t have lots of those that I think I can share publicly. Then I saw the moon tonight and thought, “What a beauty!” And I attempted a haiku praising the moon, and thought of the word “candid.” So there. 😉

Have a lovely week!

T.

Lens Artists Photo Challenge: Candid

LAPC: Filling the Frame

My favorite subject for photography is flowers as I find them easier to frame than it is to frame a building or a wide, open space or a moving animal. And flowers, whether you zoom in or out, almost always come out beautiful.

Here are some photos of flowers I have taken over the years. They all “fill the frame.”

Have a lovely week! 💕

T.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Filling the Frame

Weekly Photo Challenge : Pedestrian 

The first time I came across the word “pedestrian” as an adjective was in an article by a literary critic describing a writer’s use of language as such. “Pedestrian” — ordinary, uninteresting, lacking imagination. 

Pedestrian, as an adjective,  is subjective. What is ordinary isn’t necessarily uninteresting to some. 

Just look at this lotus leaf …

An old decaying leaf. 

While people were eager to take photos of the flowers nearby, hardly anybody noticed this leaf except for some (perhaps equally pedestrian beings) like me who see something interesting in this old leaf, with droplets of rain on it. (My husband who saw this photo just now said it’s nice. “It’s dirty but nice.” Hmmm. OK.)

There’s nothing pedestrian about this leaf from my perspective. But then again pedestrian IS subjective. 
Weekly Photo Challenge: Pedestrian 

Daily Prompt: Symphony 

A symphony of natural beauty

Here’s a collection of photos I took from the day my plane landed in  Vancouver to the week I spent in Alberta, and to the last day I spent in Saskatchewan. 

Canada is a beautiful country, and the Canadians I’ve met are such wonderful people. 💕

Daily Prompt: Symphony 

Flowers at Berry Barn

Yesterday my friend took me to the Berry Barn, a wonderful place where you can pick berries, see different flowers, shop for things for your garden, and jams and tea and all sorts of souvenirs, or have a meal or snacks in their cozy cafe with a view of the South Saskatchewan River. 

What attracted me most was the … flowers. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did taking them. 

Have a lovely Wednesday! 💕
T. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction 

Walking around a park or any place where I can appreciate the beauty of nature gives me satisfaction. These past couple of days I’ve seen so much beauty in Canada. So much beauty gives one so much satisfaction. 😊

I hope you enjoy the photos. 💕
T. 




Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction 

Daily Prompt: Create 


Create. I pondered on this word and realized this should make any creative, thinking human feel humble. We try to “create” beautiful things, useful things, amazing things, but what we create can never surpass nature. 

Nature’s beauty and design are beyond amazing. 


Have an amazing Saturday!
T. 💕
Daily Prompt: Create

Focus on the Ephemeral 


Just like I don’t have the confidence to call myself a writer, I cannot ever call myself a photographer. But I enjoy writing and taking pictures among other things that introverts like myself enjoy doing.

When I take photos, I try to make them look the same way I see them with my own eyes. And to me it can be very difficult sometimes because first, my hands aren’t very steady; second, I do not know much about lighting and that kind of stuff; and third, I just use either my iPhone or my iPad to take pictures.

One time while I was walking with a friend, I stopped to take pictures of flowers, and he shook his head and asked, “Why do you take pictures?”

Good question. That time I only said because I like doing so. But having thought about it, I think I now know the answer.

Perhaps subconsciously it is an attempt on my part to capture moments that are simply that — moments, ephemeral, temporary. There may be flowers and leaves and trees everywhere, but as Robert Burns said, “And this same flower that smiles today, / Tomorrow will be dying.”

They may look the same, but it’s not the same flower, not the same moment, not the same minute.

Every photograph is a record not only of the subject (flower, leaf, sunset, or ocean) but also of a certain ME, at a certain time, at a certain place with a certain person. Everything we do leads us somewhere. We are always changing. Everything around us changes. As Heraclitus famously said, “No man can ever step in the same river twice.”

You can’t record every minute of your life. But you can keep photographs of certain moments of it.

Have a lovely week!
T.💕

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

“Gather ye rosebuds…” (WPC: Evanescent)

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Nothing symbolizes the evanescence of life more than a beautiful flower.  Life has its beauty and its fragility, reasons we value what little time we have. The beauty of a flower is as ephemeral as its short life.

Evanescent. Ephemeral.

The only way to deal with the evanescence of life is to enjoy every minute of it.

Carpe diem. 

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To the Virgins,  to Make Much of time 
By Robert Herrick 
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And, while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Evanescent 

For Women (who like to laugh) Only

forwomenonly

May 20th is a commercial festival for lovers in China. You may ask what that is. Like Singles’ Day (11/11) which is an unofficial festival to celebrate being single (1=single),  May 20th (or 5/20) is considered lovers’ day because the Mandarin for 5-2-0 (wu er ling) sounds close to “wo ai ni” which is Mandarin for “I love you.” I know. It’s just a reason to go shopping which seems to be  young Chinese people’s favorite pastime.

I’ve heard several young Chinese talking about this day, and somehow I was reminded of a conversation I had with a twenty-something friend where she lamented her boyfriend-less situation and how difficult it was to find Mr. Right. I wasn’t very sympathetic with her because it isn’t actually that difficult for a young woman like her who is tall, attractive, well-traveled and smart. In fact, lots of young men from her university like her, but as she says, “They’re not handsome nor smart enough.”

That’s the real problem: she’s waiting to meet someone who is handsome AND smart! In this area, she isn’t so smart.

I think there are only four kinds of men according to how realistic women view them for their looks and smartness:

  1. The BBC-DOCUMENTARY type. This is the kind of man you can listen to for hours. He can talk about a variety of subjects, and you just feel you are growing in intelligence just by listening. Never mind what he looks like! You don’t have to sit facing each other over a cup of coffee; you can just walk next to him and talk and listen and walk and talk and listen. That can be romantic too. 

  2. The TOO-HOT-TO-LISTEN-TO type. This man is your multivitamins for the eyes. Just looking at his handsome face makes you smile. Never mind if he’s telling a tragic story about the death of his dog, you don’t hear it because your mind is somewhere else with him where he’s not talking. It doesn’t matter if that mouth is  spewing out pseudo-intellectual or even idiotic statements. It’s not meant for words anyway! (Incidentally, my young friend prefers this to the first type!)

  3. The GHOST type. This type of man you have probably been with for too long that you can’t stand looking at his face or listening to his voice, but for some reason you’re stuck with him.  Nothing he says makes sense to you. Nothing he wears makes you want to look at him.  So you just let him talk, but you don’t hear him; he walks about the room, but you don’t see him. (Honestly, I don’t know why some people insist on being together when being so only makes both parties unhappy!) 

  4. The OCCASIONALLY-HANDSOME-AND-SMART type. The occasion being when you’re in a good mood and you find him so adorable and so smart. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder. What is handsome to one woman when she’s happy, may become ugly when she’s unhappy. This kind of man’s handsomeness and intelligence all depends on your mood. He can be the handsomest and the smartest when you’re in a good mood, but he can also be a candidate for the third type when you’re in a bad mood.

This is a superficial observation, and I’m writing this just for fun (partly to comfort my young friend). But what I really want to say is, sometimes we cannot choose who we are attracted to, and sometimes too, the very thing that once attracted us to one person may be the very thing that we would one day find most annoying about that person. Hence, these emotions we have towards people are truly unreliable. It is always wiser to listen to reason than to our emotions when we choose someone with whom we have to share the rest of our lives.

Have a lovely week(end)! It’s already weekend for me! Yay!

T.

Daily Prompt: Exposed 

“Violet by  a mossy stone 

Half-hidden from the eye …” — Wordsworth 

I saw this beautiful little flower by the side of the road during my morning walk last weekend. From a distance, it truly looked quite ordinary  but, since I had not seen this kind of flower before,  I knelt down and took a closer look.  I thought it was beautiful, so I took this photo. 

This particular violet flower is no longer “half-hidden from the eye.” Its beauty is exposed for my readers to see. 🙂 

Have a lovely week! 
T. 


Hidden Beauty in Nature’s Design 


I saw this flower yesterday for the very first time. I haven’t gotten around to finding out what it’s called. The colors and their arrangement really attracted me. 

Today’s Prompt is “spike.” From this angle, one cannot see the spike (stalk) that holds the flower together, yet, though not as conspicuous as the petals,  it  is part of this flower’s beauty.  

Have a beautiful weekend!
T. 

Daily Prompt: Spike 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Flight = Freedom = FUN 

The theme for this week’s photo challenge is FUN. 
I took this photo last month during a short visit to Kuala Lumpur. I noticed there were so many birds in the area, and I really wanted to photograph a bird in flight between the two towers. Since I’m not good at photography, and I only had my iPad to take pictures, it was not very easy. But I managed to do it.  

The “fun” part of this post is not about taking photographs of birds in flight, but it’s the thought of flying as free as a bird. 

People take pictures of things and people and places they find beautiful, and they use all kinds of tools to have a better view: selfie sticks and drones. Birds don’t need such tools. They can see beauty in different angles. 

Birds can fly to places they want to go to, and they don’t need visas or the right skin color to do so. 

Birds can fly freely and see the beauty of this world. 

If humans could do the same, wouldn’t that be fun? 

Love on a Gloomy Day

dead leaf final

Beauty in the eyes of love

It’s cold and cloudy in Jimei again. I’ve already said this several times this week: This weather is depressing.

But luckily, there are people who can see the sun behind the clouds. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Yesterday, I was walking with a young friend, who was gushing about a guy she’s in love with. She thought I was a mind reader because I knew exactly how she’s feeling and what went on in her head whenever he failed to reply to her text messages right away. Sigh.

She was very happy and kept smiling. She said she even noticed herself smiling while walking alone even though it was raining.

Been there, done that.

But I’m happy and excited for her. I don’t plan on telling her to be ready for the heartaches. Anti-climactic. (But you, dear readers, who I’m sure are older than my friend,  if you’re suffering from a broken heart, might be able to help yourself recover by reading this article on the science of a broken heart — a good read.)

My young friend’s happiness and excitement makes me think that falling (romantically) in love is perhaps the most effective cure for pessimism.  To one who one is in love, even a single dead leaf looks beautiful.

Perhaps it is better for us to always feel like we are madly in love because, then, everything can be beautiful; every little thing can make us smile.

Of course, that is not possible (or is it?)

I guess we are all entitled to falling madly, stupidly in love once in our boring lives.

I wonder if there is such a thing as falling smartly in love?

The Yellow Flower

gladiolus

Rain falls on the yellow gladiolus.
Like gentle kisses on its petals,
Glistening in the light,
Droplets of rain
Draw its beauty out.

Alone among the reeds,
It blooms and opens
And looks up to the sky
And welcomes the rain
That gives it beauty, life.

Somewhere else
There’s a white gladiolus
But for now, alone among the reeds,
The yellow gladiolus is happy to be yellow
And to be kissed by the rain.

********

It was drizzling when I walked to work today. I stopped by the wooden bridge to have a closer look at this yellow gladiolus that stood alone among the reeds by the lake. Beautiful. I thought it looked even more beautiful with the raindrops on its petals.

And then…