In dreary darkness,
Your tender light warmly shines —
This eager soul thrives.
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. 🙏🙏🙏🙏
Labors of love for food.Lens Artists Photo Challenge: A labor of love
Snapped this picture early this morning in my garden.
Gardening is fun! ☀️🌼🌺
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!
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!
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. ♥️
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.
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.
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. 🙏
“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.”
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!🌹
Though I prefer to remember everything I’ve ever gone through — even embarrassing, painful ones, I can understand those who would rather forget.
May your love grow strong though this pandemic keeps you physically apart. ♥️🙏
May you find the strength to face the storms in your life. 🙏🌹♥️
Have a lovely week !
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.
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! 💕
“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.
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.
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!
Weekly Photo Challenge:
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. 💕
Daily Prompt: Focused
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.
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! 💕
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.
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. 💕
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!
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. 💕
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!
Daily Prompt: Create
Blindly we love
Blindly we hate
Blindly we believe
That love can defeat all hate.
Only commitment can.
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.
Have a lovely a week!
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.
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