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Joy In The Morning


She always wakes up at 3am

And it is a ritual that has no rhythm

Except maybe the sound that an early morning brings

Silence –

And her thoughts wander

Savouring the days of old

She smiles –

There would always be other days like this

She would always treasure

What the morning brings

She knows –

Life is short

Choose to be happy

Choose to be an inspiration to others

Choose the joys and not the pain of living

Choose what life brings

A joy in the morning.

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For the past three weeks, Mom has been attending Sunday masses on TV.  She finds it hard to walk when it is raining and the streets are slippery when wet.  Sometimes, she drags her feet when she walks. This morning though, I asked her to go with us to attend the Sunday mass at the nearby parish , a five-minute tricycle ride from our place.  The weather is just right, nary a sunshine in view but it is windy.

Sometimes she complains that she finds it hard to breathe so my brother has to accompany her to her internist for another check-up. She underwent an ECG and was prescribed a blood thinner which she has to take for a month on top of her other medications and maintenance.  I explained to her not to focus too much on what she feels, that is so stressful.  She always tells me that what she does here is “sleep and eat”. I told her to take a rest while she is here with us.  I know, she sometimes forgets that when you are getting old,  the aches and pains  are more pronounced.

She used to avoid having her photo taken but that has changed  in the last few days. I always tell her that I’ll send her pics to my youngest brother whom she hasn’t seen for so long because the family is based in Tulsa.  She is amazed at the number of photos kept in my gallery mostly shots of flowers, food and Nate with the latter having the most of it.

Mom at 87....

Mom at 87….

The wrinkles and gray hair speak of  life’s journey, the number of lessons learned along the way  and wisdom’s highlights too.  Some people always say that when you reach the age of 80, you are so blessed and beyond that, everything is a bonus.  Maybe that is true in a way because life nowadays is so stressful.  My mom is the youngest among four girls so you can just imagine, the eldest is now around 95 or older.

Sometimes I wonder, are we luckier than their generation because we are surrounded by gadgets and things that make life easier? Mom never learned to use a cellphone except to shout over the phone (she is hard of hearing so she has a tendency to make her voice louder) to us and say, “kumusta“? She never learned the use of computer but she knew how to use a typewriter, not the one-finger touch system but all fingers locked into their proper places on top of the keyboard.  Sometimes, I wonder what she is thinking while deftly playing solitaire every afternoon  before  watching the three-o’clock news. She  depends on the news tickers because she could not understand the newscast. Oh but she enjoys a good movie on CinemaOne and always waits for Maalaala Mo Kaya  every Saturday night. She shouts with  Luis Manzano’s audience  on Minute to Win It every afternoon.  Come to think of it, she is more updated with the news than I am.

She  always asks  why some people do not want to bury Marcos at Libingan  followed by a question of why  there  are so many people dying on the streets.  Let me see…it is hard to explain, can you?

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It’s been a while.

It’s been raining cats and dogs here for the past days and I only saw the sun showed its face briefly early this morning (for a few minutes actually)  then she played hide and seek  with the thick clouds  never to show up again the whole day.  We were alarmed when Marikina River reached almost critical level because the rain dumped so much in thirty minutes causing the river to swell. Marikina is adjacent to our town so they have to open the eight gates of Manggahan floodway which is so near to us.  There are pockets of water in some areas until now. Old folks call this “siyam-siyam”,  nine days of prolonged rained brought about by the southwest monsoon.  Well, it is the rainy season so what can we expect but I am praying hard that flash floods won’t be a problem for us  during this wet season.

You wonder what the smell of rain is. It threatens but at the same time the sound of raindrops gently falling on the roof is quite soothing. The drizzle is quite nice for the plants but the downpour makes them swim too much in water. And when it rains, you have so much time in your hands to read. I have just finished my 79th book on Goodreads’ 2016 reading challenge, 18 books in advance.  When you are lucky to find a subject quite different from your usual reading genre, you devour it with gusto. I found a treasure in reading The Secret Ways of Perfume. You would think that a scent of a perfume is just that, something you like but we don’t know the complexities of how it is made, you need a detailed study on the combination of scents (the essences of flowers, herbs and spices). There is something that soothes, energizes, inspires. lavender, bergamot, roses…learning the world of perfume creation. How nice!

How was your Sunday?

 

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It’s a wet and cold morning and it’s been raining on and off since the start of the weekend.  Hanging habagat  (southwest monsoon) is definitely here. It was a busy weekend though. It’s a good thing we were able to finish some gardening chores early.

When you are forced to stay at home because of the weather, you either keep busy or you relax to your heart’s content.  I did both…haha! Aside from gardening, I was able to find time to read two books over the weekend and to watch two movies on YouTube.  Yes, you heard it right.  For the first time in so many years, I caught myself finding some inspirational movies that would lift the soul and strengthen faith. The Song of Bernadette did just that. I could not remember the last time I watched this movie. I found a version in Blu-Ray. The Song of Bernadette is a 1943 drama film that tells the story of Bernadette Soubirous, a young visionary of Lourdes  who later became a saint. From February to July 1858 in Lourdes, France, she  reported eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This  film is based on the true story of Bernadette Soubirous, and adapted from the book written by  Franz Werfel.  What a lovely, lovely way to spend two hours straight infront of my computer and see this film.

Lately, I was lucky enough to find more books on faith and redemption and how beautiful life could be  despite the treacherous journey  and the unfaithfulness of mankind.  Alicia Ruggieri  is new on my list  of authors  and I like her writing style. She writes grace-filled and Christ-centered fiction. If you have time, try to read her A Time of Grace trilogy. The first book made me really cry and think of life, it’s beauty and its angst. The Fragrance  of Geraniums is such a beautiful book.  I am in the middle of reading the second one entitled All Our Empty Places  which picks up the story where it left off in the first one. I wonder if I’ll be able to find the third and the concluding book in the trilogy. I am not really into trilogies but this one is worth it. There are those stories that make you feel they’re real and you get into them like you would a story of a friend or yours, you feel the sadness, the triumphs and the pain. You feel that hope is not a dead thing but a journey that makes you look forward to another day.

A friend  suggested another writer and poet. The blog is truly inspiring. I searched the link. You may visit it here.

It’s raining still  and I am caught with these words, we are all special in God’s eyes.  God’s grace overflows.

 

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Saturday Quote


“Maybe our world will grow kinder….
Maybe the desire to make something beautiful
is the piece of God that is inside each of us.”
                                                         – Mary Oliver

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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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Welcome August dear, I hope you will be kind enough to limit typhoons that visit our country when you are around.  Please, please, please, no more flash floods that wreak havoc to my peace of mind and stress to those people in a number of provinces regularly visited by storms and typhoons.  We just had three typhoons since the start of the year and I am thankful that they are not that destructive.

July, you were some kind of lazy, you know that? Uneventful long afternoons of sunny skies and sudden thunderstorms but you were kind enough to inspire me to overhaul my garden. Maybe, overhaul is such a strong word, I was inspired to dig the earth and plant more, prune one of our calamansi trees and our lone Gardenia shrub.  I got blisters on my hands and little cuts too but that’s part of a gardener’s life.  I am glad that you gave me enough time to catch up on my reading and discover books that are a delight to read.

I stopped watching the news lately because all they ever show are body counts of dead people on the streets who the authorities say are drug pushers/users but what is sad is there are those innocent victims (students and young professionals) with a promise of a bright future. Mistaken identity or were they at the wrong place at the wrong time? I hate these extra-judicial killings, they violate human rights. Social media say that there is due process when the suspect  belongs to the higher ladder of society but the ordinary man on the street is an easy target.  One thing that I know,  go to the root so the branches would die.  Goodbye July, I hope this time next year, everything would be just as peaceful as before.

Looking forward to more days of reading and since Mom is here, I know August would be a happy month. Our dog Noki is happy too because Mom is around. Our cat Mimi has found a nice bed to take a nap while  Mom watches her favorite programs.

I asked Nissa how I could post the video she took of Nate while he was dancing. The dance moves….priceless  :)  They attended a birthday party last Saturday.  He brought home a  set of  Robocar Poli  because of his winning get-up, that of  Iron Man!

Here’s my wish for you, may your August days be happy too!

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