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.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: A quiet moment

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. 🙏

T. 🌼

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!🌹

T.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cropping the Shot

Rainy Days and Memories

“Into each life, some rain must fall.– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It’s that time of year again — cold and raining. And the thoughts that crossed my mind last year, surfaced again this year as I walked by the lake and felt the cold wind on my skin.

Funny how such ordinary things as the rustling of leaves, the breeze on one’s skin, the chirping of birds can bring back a flood of memories — all those feelings from years ago come back and seem so fresh. Yet, you are brought back to reality as soon as you tell yourself, “That was then, this is now. And now you are wasting time and energy thinking about it.”

My best friend has told me many times I think too much of the past, that the future is more important. Maybe so.

But one has no control over what comes to mind, or does one? I can shake off thoughts that come to mind, but there is no way I can stop these thoughts from entering my mind. Even saying, “I will not think about it,” is proof that I AM thinking about it.

Walking in the winter rain does this to me all the time — full of drama in the head. But this too shall pass.

Hope you have a lovelier weather than what I have in my neck of the woods.

T.

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

Life, Love and Flowers

“Life is the flower for which love is the honey.” –Victor Hugo

All these photos were taken during my trip to South Korea early this week. Although I went there not for sightseeing but to comfort my friend, I ended up going to so many places that not many tourists get to see (in fact most of the places I’d been to had zero tourists! Except for me.)

I am glad I had time to take photos of the flowers I had seen. Flowers are my favorite subject for photography. Hope you like them.

T. 💞

2017 Favorites

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” — T.S. Eliot

Below are two of my favorite photos that I took this year. Both are records of my first visit to North America and of the very first time I saw  snow-covered mountains. That feeling I had as I looked out the window and saw those mountains will always be as vivid as I felt it when I was on the plane flying to Alberta from Vancouver.

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After all the pain and sorrow of 2016, 2017 was overall a calm and peaceful year for me. And I am very grateful for that year. I have no idea what this year is going to be like,  but I continue to be hopeful. I am ready for another beginning.

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

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Canada

img_2011Weekly Photo Challenge:
2017 Favorites

Daily Prompt: Focused 


“Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.” — David Hume

There is so much beauty and goodness in our world, but some people are more focused on what’s ugly and bad. 

Even the most ordinary flower by the side of the road has its beauty. If you just learn how to stop and have a closer look, you will see. 

May you find beauty in your world today. 💕
T. 
Daily Prompt: Focused 

Of flowers and funny mothers 


I bought these flowers yesterday with my mother in mind. She would’ve turned 83 today. She loved flowers and liked to have fresh flowers on the altar, so I always bought some on Sundays when I was home.

I miss my mother. I miss hearing her voice, especially her laughter. She was a funny woman who could not tell a story without standing up and making gestures and lots of facial expression. But she only did that in front of her 4th grade pupils and us, her family. She always seemed different when with other people.

At her funeral, my sisters unanimously voted for me to give the eulogy. The youngest always gets the least easy task. I was unprepared (funeral was held three days after she passed on) — sleep-deprived, a restless 5-year-old to look after, and a flight to catch –and I was unable to deliver a eulogy my dramatic yet funny mother would have liked. Sorry, Ming.

These days what it feels like is wanting so much to speak with somebody but the person can never be there anymore. Not even a video call or even a text message. Just silence. And a big part of you just wants to break that silence even just for a minute, even if what she says is the same thing over and over again.
T.

Daily Prompt: Overcome

I took this photo this afternoon during a walk with hubby.


On a 12-hour flight to Vancouver and another 12-hour flight back to Manila, I watched 4 movies altogether. I liked three out of 4: Logan, The Accountant and Collateral Beauty. The fourth one was Passengers, which ironically, my friend really thought I would like because I like the idea of a life beyond this planet. But no. 
The three movies all have the theme of overcoming something. I plan to write a review of each one, so I won’t write much about them in this post. 

There is no grief, obstacle or  challenge in life that we cannot overcome, if we only persist in overcoming them and not let them overcome us instead. 

I’ve had my share of challenges, and I’m facing really tough ones these past couple of years, but I haven’t given up yet, and I don’t see myself giving up. 

I hope you won’t give up either. 🙏🏻

Have a lovely weekend! 💕

T. 

Daily Prompt: Overcome

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 

WPC: Purple Collage

 

 

For this week’s  photo challenge, I made a collage of all the purple/purplish flowers I used on this blog. Why flowers? Because I love flowers. Why purple? Because…why not purple? Lol. I realized I have several purple flowers in my folder.

Have a lovely day!

 

T.💕

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage

Daily Prompt: Relieved 

This may sound very simplistic, but it is quite true: when I am stressed out, all I need is some alone time (not necessarily a quiet place, but a place where I don’t have to talk to anybody) and a bit of nature to to look at — flowers, trees, lake — and then I can recover. My problems may not be solved, but at least I’d have the energy and the clarity of mind to face them.


When people are unhappy about things, they want to cure themselves of this unhappiness as quickly as possible, and do things that most often just add to their unhappiness. I think we ought to embrace this unhappiness first before we let it go. And then we can look to nature to remind ourselves that everything is being taken care of.

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” –Luke 12:27

I believe nature can help heal our unhappiness. We just need to spend time with it and be relieved of our worries by it.

Nature loves patience: always remember that. It is a law given her of God Himself, who has blessed all those who are strong to endure.” –– Gogol, Dead Souls

May you find relief from all your troubles. 💕
T.


Daily Prompt: Relieved

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

Daily Prompt: Purple

One of my sisters is crazy about things purple. So far she hasn’t thought of dyeing her hair purple, or maybe she has but can’t bring herself to do it, which is good.

So whenever I buy her something, I make sure it’s purple. One good thing (for her, (but not so much for me) about her obsession is whenever I see something of this color I immediately think of her, and even if I’m not interested in the thing itself, part of me is tempted to buy it for her.  Grrrr.


When I saw these flowers on campus, of course I remembered my sister. Luckily for me, she’s not crazy about flowers.

Have a lovely a week!

T.

The Daily Prompt: Purple

Have a good life

I’m back from a much needed break. I went to Singapore and spent time with friends, visited Gardens by the Bay and took photos of the flowers in the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest.

I had promised myself and my husband that after this trip, I would focus on working on a project that needs my undivided attention for it to be completed this year. This means I have to forgo my hobby of writing for now, and that means no WordPress.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you enjoy viewing these photos I took in Singapore. Until we meet again. 🙂