Posts Tagged ‘inspirational’

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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Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’……..
And the first one now

Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

These  words give me the shivers. They inspire me to understand  a bit of what is happening to my country. I am crying for the future of the next generation. I am crying because I could not verbalize what I feel but you said it well.  I am crying for the sense of decency that is slowly overshadowed by hate and ugly words. I dream of a nation where the people embrace each other and be one instead of being divided by ideologies.  Times are really changing. Words hurt, destroy a nation but they also inspire and give meaning to life.

I dream.

Thank you Bob Dylan.

You are an inspiration.


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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.


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!



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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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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If there is a rating more than five stars, I’ll give this book a six. It’s one of the best books I’ve read to date, my 70th out of the 100 books I challenged myself to finish for  Goodread’s 2016 Reading Challenge. I am afraid my review would not be enough to describe the beauty of this book, how well-written it is so I won’t even attempt to write one. Suffice to say, this book is beautiful, inspiring, awesome…..beautiful, inspiring, awesome. Truly a masterpiece. Lisa Wingate is a gifted writer.

prayerbox-standingcover I didn’t know I was on the last page when I read these lines.

“None can contain the magnificence of a wave kissing sand or the perfect spiral of a shell drying translucent in the sun or the fire of morning over endless water.

Or the beauty of a hummingbird as it hovers just an arm’s length away, mysteriously out of season on the day before Thanksgiving, it’s wings stroking air,rapid, invisible, powerful. Frozen in time for only an instant.

And then it flies away, growing smaller and smaller against the blue of an endless sky. Until finally it disappears into heaven.”

There are so many lovely quotes that I found in this book that  I copied  to my journal.  The prayer box reminds me of another blog post I wrote exactly a year ago. My  thought box is a discarded chocolate tin which contains  square  scratch papers of different size and color (filled with words, quotes, single lines, messages and reminders) which I have to sort out again  whereas the prayer box is a treasure trove of  inspiring words and letters religiously documented over the years.

When a book touches  you where it matters the most, it is certainly a winner.

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I’d like to borrow this quote from Anne Geddes which I think is a perfect description of what a father should be.

     Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.
Just saw this in one of my notes at Facebook early this morning. I know I posted this here somewhere but I can’t remember the exact date I published it. I usually blog about him during his birthday and birth anniversary. We lost him one December night back in 2007.  We will be celebrating Father’s Day this coming Sunday.
I am reposting a blog I wrote eight  years ago barely a year after we lost Dad.  I can still remember I was crying while writing this little tribute to him.  Good memories will always linger in one’s heart. Treasuring the times that he showed us how much we were loved.  I wrote this on a Father’s Day too.

Yesterday, on my way back to Manila from Pangasinan, I brought home the Kodak Easy Share digital picture frame which contains more than a hundred pictures of dad when he was still alive. My brother painstakingly collated every picture he has in his own album and uploaded it. It’s only more than six months now since we lost him but when I watched and viewed the pictures once again, it seems as if he is never gone. Some pictures have captured him vividly –  a few months after he retired, his daily routine there in the province with mom, his joys in seeing his grandchildren in every important occasion that we had, his delight in meeting old friends and contemporaries, and always, his ever ready smile for everyone. It made me miss him all the more.


I am the only girl in a family of three boys so you could say, I am Daddy’s girl through and through. I’ve always found it easier sharing everything with Dad,be it simple things like the news headlines, how to plant and take care of a vegetable garden,how to fix things at home when the hubby is not around and yes, how to throw a ball in one of our rare baseball games in the province. One thing I could never forget though were his stories on how he struggled as a teenager to find work so he could finance his studies. He worked for thirty-one years in UST and that pretty much influenced all of us (his four children) to study there and embraced a true Thomasian education. He taught all of us the value of hard work and the value of always treating other people with respect.


It was through him that I learned the basic skills of cooking and he was the one who taught me how to make an estimate when it comes to preparing dishes for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas. I must say, dads really come in handy when they are in the kitchen. For him, it was  “hands-on” all the way. He will just watch you if you are doing it right or not and who would not learn from that? I think guys do cook better, there are more  guy chefs that I know and heard of. Or maybe, they do love to eat that is why they are more successful in the kitchen.


I was envious of his skills in playing the guitar together with my uncle (his brother) who used to play the violin.  One thing vivid in my mind was when we were still young and  televisions were not yet in fashion, nights were spent listening to him playing the guitar accompanied by his best friend in our neighborhood who played the ukelele. He even composed a song or two in our vernacular language. Those were the days, quiet ones seeing the other side of my father.


Dad was a disciplinarian but he was never strict with us. He would always say,”you know what is right or wrong, follow what your conscience tells you”. Learn from your mistakes, such familiar words that have shaped my view of things. Yes, I do remember one thing that he always reminds us,”you carve your own destiny”.  That was my dad, the ever practical but ever-loving one.


I miss you Dad…..happy, happy Father’s day!


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The power of the written  word was what she revered, how thoughts on paper could change your perspective, and, on occasion, your life.

We could touch another soul through ink or in this case, through a few words that inspire. Above quote was lifted from the book by Kristine McMorris, Letters From Home.

Letters are always welcome, hand-written words are priceless treasures. I seldom receive snail mail now but when I do, I think of what inspiring gifts are written inside.


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