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Archive for the ‘Close to Nature’ Category


It is a gray morning here. Weather disturbance  Marce has intensified into a tropical storm. Although there is no typhoon signal here in Metro Manila, the sun hasn’t come out today.

I miss the sun and I miss the beach too. It has been so long since I’ve visited one.  Nissa’s family spent last week at the beach.  Nate told me that he had a wonderful time swimming even at night.  It must be lovely to stay outdoors on a sunny day. It must be lovely to dig your toes in the sand and  smell the salt air. It must be lovely to just idle around and think of  lovely thoughts about life.

A picture of Nate playing with his daddy.

A picture of Nate playing with his daddy.

Moments of bliss. Moments of being thankful. Moments of just being happy.  It takes  a moment to experience simple joys.   Barefoot, while the sun touches your face and you hear the sound of the gentle waves.  The sea beckons  in all its glory.

 

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Aching arms.

Blistered fingers.

Would you believe? I gardened for three hours straight this afternoon but I am finally done with trimming the carabao grass, close to the roots because sudden rains make them grow like crazy. My son joined me an hour later and took charge of re-shaping and  trimming our other plants. The Arius tree is now a perfect cone-shaped. We usually decorate it with lights during the Christmas season.  Watch your calendar, it’s sixty-three more days to go before Christmas.

Our two pets Mimi (the kitty) and Noki (the dog) are happy when we stay in the garden for a while.  I laughed when Mimi turned her face and looked at me while trimming the grass and with each snip of the garden scissors in my hands, she bobbed her head, that was crazy dancing I expect :)  If she could speak aside from the “meow, meow” we always get to hear when she’s hungry, maybe she would say “dance with me, let’s go crazy”.   Noki is happiest when he could run around, bark at the passersby and makes himself cozy between our Fukien tea plants.

I always bring my small radio outside when I garden. Don’t you think it is nice to listen to familiar songs and music of your younger years? There was this program aptly called Saturday Memories, an eclectic mix of 60’s, 70’s and 80’s music interspersed with OPM. OPM is an acronym for Original Pilipino Music.  Filipino singers are a talented lot. They are internationally recognized  in the music world.

I sang  along with some of the songs that I knew of old. Perfect day to garden, perfect day to enjoy music.  There was a portion of the program where they played inspirational songs and for a while there I stopped and listened. Footprints In The Sand narrated with a background music…how lovely. It’s one of those messages that make me cry, emotionally charged with  a good feeling that God will always be there no matter.  Then the inspirational poem Desiderata followed.  Until now, when I feel down, the words of  Max Ehrmann inspire me.

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story….”

I think most kids of the late 60’s and 70’s are familiar with these lines. As if those were not enough, they played  You Raise Me Up.  Goose bumps to the max. I suddenly remembered Dad. They played this song at Daddy’s funeral almost nine years ago.  It is a song of faith and belief in God.  And every time I hear Josh Groban sing this, it makes me want to cry.  And Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s version of The Prayer is the highlight of the afternoon. It was here that I cried.

♪♫♫I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your Grace
To a place where we’ll be safe….♫♪♫

It’s indeed a Saturday of memories.  What song made an impact in your life?

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I am excited. Truly.

A few days ago, I saw this on Mary Oliver’s timeline. Her new book Upstream will be released in a month and I just hope this time I would be able to find a copy.

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It’s the newest collection of Mary Oliver’s essays.  I’m always on the lookout for Mary Oliver’s quotes online  and luckily I found one on Blogger. Would you believe, the author quoted  a poem of Mary  every day for a year and did a short write-up of what those words meant  in  her life?  I am still on the first few entries but I was able to find some poems which are not included in the only two books I have of Mary Oliver, New And Selected Poems, Vol. 1 and the lovely edition of A Thousand Mornings.

Then I found these on her wall too and I was l smiling like crazy. Her words inspire me, lift me up and give me that boost I sorely need when I feel down. To appreciate  the beauty of the  natural world around us, what bliss!

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One of my favorite poems is this, The Wild Geese.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

 

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I went back to gardening  after letting my hands heal for a few days. Goodness, I have to trim the carabao grass again, they have grown quite wild in three weeks.

This morning I was at the garden at 5am, still dark for some but it was nice to see the world unfolding with a hot cup of coffee and the company of our dog Noki.  Mimi went back to sleep besides mom as soon as I opened the door to our dirty kitchen.  Have you ever spent an early morning smelling different garden scents? The sweet aroma and spicy scent of oregano, the spicy and sharp fragrance of ginger leaves that linger,  the lemony smell of calamansi flowers and the intoxicating scent of gardenia flowers  captivate the senses. You wish you could put each scent in a bottle and maybe use them to make scented candles.

Last week, I trimmed one of our calamansi trees. Time is a gentle and  nice reminder that new life will always be something to look forward to.  Look at those healthy leaves sprouting like crazy.  It is always nice to see something growing in one’s garden.

new life

The rhizomes of the turmeric I bought at the wet market have finally produced buds.  I planted them in three pots and they are thriving nicely. It is  my first time to try cultivating turmeric in my garden.

Ginger foliage

Ginger foliage…

I only have one potted ginger and the roots are ready for harvest. I wonder if ginger produces flowers just like the turmeric. I can’t wait to see it blooms.

And these capped my early morning garden adventure, my bleeding heart blooms.

Bleeding hearts

Bleeding hearts…

It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought. ~James Douglas

 

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My lovely  Ruellia

My lovely Ruellia

And it’s not enough that you trim the grass,

taking shot of a lovely bloom is a must.

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“Everyone needs an emotional foxhole. A place to hide when life’s storms hit” – richard paul evans

When the ocean  meets the sky

I took this shot several years ago  on one of our road trips.  The calmness of the sea always brings peace to my soul.  I wish I could be here once more. It must be nice to wake up early and retrace your steps on once familiar places.  It must be nice to sink your feet  in the rich sand and feel the gentle waves  lapping at your toes.   It must be nice just to be here  alone.

 

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When you walk through life with pain and suffering, God is there walking with you, holding your hand lest you stumble and fall. When you reach your destination, He is there rejoicing with you.

I posted these words on my FB wall a year ago. A few words culled from an earlier blog post,back when the journey of getting well was my priority.  For every pain, there’s a moment of rejoicing. For every setback, there is a time to contemplate. For every smile that comes your way, it seems like there is a light bulb that mirrors your path to happiness. Sometimes  nature does that, it makes you rejoice, contemplate and show how life makes you feel and it enriches your soul.

It’s another day to feel God’s love and let you know that life is wonderful.

a banana blossom

I miss our garden in the province where we have this lovely ornamental banana plant  nestled among the trees, trying hard to show its face.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the start of  Holy Week,  I pray that it would be a solemn and blessed celebration for all of you.

 

 

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