Sunday, March 30, 2008

Prima Luce

early morning light in our garden

We are on daylight saving time (DST) starting today *grins*. I don’t mind having the "time" one hour in advance that much. Yes, it might mean losing one good hour of sleep or having to adjust one’s body clock. Not to mention changing the time of all our watches and clocks (unless they are equipped to auto-adjust during DST period), and getting a bit disoriented in keeping your schedule. But they are just minor hitches compared to having the sun until 9-10PM: you can have evening barbecues, longer afternoons to do leisure activities, or just spending the evening outside chatting with some friends over a glass (or maybe a pitch) of beer *winks*. And on the practical side, now that the price of electricity and gas (and almost everything) is perpetually increasing, we can save money and energy by using daylight at the break of dawn and the better part of the evening instead of turning on the lights.

It’s interesting to note that the practice of adjusting clocks is practiced for more than 3000 years. The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and Romans used variable water clocks and who knows, maybe the Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England was also a variable sundial (well, I’ve read somewhere that during summer solstice, the sun is in a particular position with respect to these prehistoric stone circle). Benjamin Franklin, during his stay in Paris, observed that Parisians rise early in the morning to maximize the long daylight hours (well, even if they don’t want to get up, they would be forced to do so because church bells would be ringing and canons would be fired to announce the start of the day. I don’t think anyone can go on sleeping with that kind of noise *giggles*). And contrary to "common" knowledge, it wasn’t Franklin who established the use of DST (although he did write a satire about it, encouraging people to wake up earlier in summer) but it was William Willett, a British businessman. Willett advocated advancing the clock in order to take advantage of longer daylight hours in summer (source: wikipedia).

But with or without DST, one thing I like about spring and summer (aside of course, from the good weather) is that we have longer hours of daylight. Just imagine being able to stay outdoors without having to hurriedly end it with the coming of dusk! You can really make the most of your spring break or summer vacation. One can have dinner in your own yard or balcony or even just inside the house with the windows open, watching the sunset and the dramatic change of the sky from clear blue to reddish orange to black with stars twinkling in the night sky.You can hear the cacophony of birds’ twitter as they roost in the nearby bushes and trees. And as darkness falls, you can light candles or lanterns to prolong the evening in a romantic glow.

Just thinking of these things already makes me feel light-headed with glee. No matter how romantic a white Christmas seems --- snow slowly falling, enveloping everything in white; dazzling Christmas lights; hollies and mistletoes hanging on doors or windows;I would still prefer having longer afternoons walking along the narrow winding roads of a medieval town, or watching sunsets by the beach (wish I could soon go some place near the sea *sigh*), or just having a nice lively dinner with a couple of friends outside under the twilight dusk.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day With Dandelions

a dandelion in our yard

It seems that sylphs and naiads heard my plea *wide grin*. I woke up to a clear sunny day. It was a welcome change after the squally weather we’ve had this preceding week.It was still a bit cold for my taste, but tolerable, especially with the bright sun claiming its rightful place in the sky.

I think the dandelion in the picture can better describe the sun as it appears today. Dandelions brighten the expanse of the still dewy untrimmed lawn the way the sun lights up everything its rays touch. The manner by which they tease bees and small white butterflies is akin to the sun’s mischievous play with fleeting wisps of clouds. These wild flowers lord over the green willful grass as the sun reigns in the blue sky. They are little balls of fire warming the spirit as they herald the coming of cheerful warm days just as the sun is a ball of yellow bright flame freeing us from the last vestiges of winter.

Dandelions are considered “weeds” by some because their leaves cover neighboring plants, robbing them of sunlight. Moreover, they propagate fast because they produce light seeds which can be easily dispersed by the wind. On the other hand, they are considered to have culinary and medicinal uses. They can be used in salads and soups, even the flowers can be fermented into wine or turned into jam. They can also serve as a diuretic medicine (hence the name "pissenlit" in French --- literally means "to urinate in bed"). And its sap is said to be effective as a mosquito repellent or a remedy for warts (source: wikipedia).

Personally, I don’t like dandelions when they grow in our humble vegetable and flower plots. But having them in the yet-to-be-mowed part of our yard is a pleasant sight. They put a dash of romanticism and vivacity in the otherwise wild tangle of weeds.They look like dainty golden pixies as they sway to the serenade of Zephyr's sonata. Their vivid, gay color brings a spring in one’s step, light-heartedness in one’s spirit, optimism in one’s disposition. Their spiky petals (actually florets or small flowers as dandelion flower head is composed of these little flowers) are like shafts of warmth that lifts one’s morale. They bring a note of cheeriness, a prelude to the symphony of spring. Now, I just hope this good weather continues *cross fingers*.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Short Allegory

Pelargonium, also known as Garden Geranium
one of the many plants of my in-laws

There’s something about you that obliges me to speak in whispers and sighs. Is it your fragile beauty holding up against the world’s coldness and indifference? Or that smile on your lips as you gaze at me innocently? Or maybe the pale blush on your smooth white cheeks while you murmur your secrets to my ear?

I wish to press you closer to me… to feel your tender gossamer skin against my rough calloused hands… to breathe your faint delicate scent … to hear the imperceptible quickening of your pulse as I look at you leisurely, lovingly, longingly…

Do I sound delirious? Perhaps. But I am not to blame, for your fairness and grace compels me to call the Muses. How I wish to possess you! Yet, it would be cruelty and selfishness on my part. The price for giving in to this whim is to see you hurriedly, excruciatingly, unequivocally perish. I will only destroy your gentle guileless spirit.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Garlands

a hazel tree catkin

The first week of spring is certainly strange. Instead of a sunny and not-so-cold weather, it was wet-and-windy. I neither expected a temperature of around 20°C nor a day-in-day-out clear sky, but hardly did I imagine that it would be this dismal. I don't find late spring snow unusual for I have experienced it in the past (we even had an incident of a hail storm). But at least when these winter-like episodes happened, the wind wasn’t that strong. At present, not only is it rainy and gloomy, but the wind is pretty gusty and forceful (you can even hear it howling at night). Oh, we do have occasional burst of sunlight or sudden clearing up of the sky. But they’re not enough to dispel the chilliness in the air.

Since the weather is quirky, I decided to post a photo of these garlands of flowers which I found intriguing. These dangling floral clusters are called aments or catkins. I read that they are called as such because they resemble a kitten’s tail. You’ll find these filament-like blooms on birches (trees with white bark), poplars and hazel trees . With numerous aments, these trees looks like a scene of a child’s innocent antic: a denuded tree decorated with a profusion of confetti. I find this sight amusing because it brings back memories of childhood follies: making a casserole of leaves and wild flowers for meals, hanging strips of fabric on branches of trees to build a house, using rocks as furniture...

I just wonder why birch trees, like apricots, plums and forsythias, grow flowers before they have leaves. Since leaves manufacture and store food for the plants, I’ve always assumed that plants need to have leaves first before they can produce flowers. I guess I was wrong. And that’s a good thing *grins*. Having flowers after the winter months is such a great pleasure.They bring gaiety and a sense of festivity in the otherwise bare monochromatic surroundings. But I would enjoy them better if only the sun would stay long enough in the sky without being covered by dark gray clouds. Nymphs and Anemoi, please hear my wish for a better weather--- lots of sunshine, no heavy rains and just a light breeze enough to rustle the leaves and stir the scent of freshness in the air.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Stairs, Heaven and Men

I don’t know what it is about stairs that make them so fascinating. I like looking at them, especially street stairs in old towns or villages with narrow oblique roads. I don't know why. Maybe because I grew up in a town where there’s this long stair leading to a lake: going down is a breeze, but going up is such a feat, so as kids, I and my friends always turn it into a race.We even have this game where a flight stairs is necessary: I don’t remember the name but it’s like some sort of twister game with the stairway serving as your mat or game board.

Anyway, I believe this interest of mine in stairs is shared by many.Probably because a stair represents the ups and downs of life. Or perhaps it prompts us to see things on a different plane, which by the way is true: the perspective of things varies with the level of step we are standing on.Or simply because it entices human curiosity--- it invites us to take the "path" and see for ourselves what is at the end of it, or in this case, what is at the bottom or top of it.

I would like to think that even ancient human civilization is preoccupied with this construction/architectural feature as shown by their stair-like towers --- the ziggurats of the people of the Mesopotamian valley, the pyramids of the Egyptians and the pre-Columbian societies of Mesoamerica, the ancient Hindu temples of Cambodia and India. It is my conjecture that this interest in building sky-reaching infrastructures are not only for the purpose of being used as royal tombs or temples… or as indications of the greatness and splendor of their reign… but is also a manifestation of needing and wanting to reach the heavens, to join the Gods and from that high place, survey their kingdom. And the means to arrive at that elevated place is through a flight of stairs. Hence, stairs become a symbol of man’s movement to a higher sphere Even if we don’t want to be philosophical about it, the word “stairs” or “ladder” has made its way in the English language to mean socio-economic-cum-status mobility --- hence the terms “social climbing” and “climbing the corporate ladder”. I'm not a socio-linguist, but I guess there's some truth in this.

Turning the hands of time to the 16th century, the use of stairs as an ornamental, symbolical and functional construction design is likewise seen in many castles (well, at least in renaissance France). For these grandiose abodes, the stair is one of the focal points of interest. They serve not only as a means of access to the higher or lower levels of the chateau, but also as a great piece of architectural work --- a showcase of grandeur and excellent craftsmanship. A classic example is the openwork staircase at Chambord--- the largest castle in the Loire valley. This particular stair consists of two generously decorated interlaced spiral stairs designed in such a way that two people going on opposite direction can go their respective ways without meeting. Moreover, it is the “navel”, the pivot by which the whole caste was conceived and designed.

And speaking of the double spiral staircase, it reminds me of the structure of DNA: a double helix. I know it sounds quirky, but as I see it, the "steps' are represented by the base-pairs and the parallel 'balustrades' are the sugar and phosphate bond groups. Sssssh, but perhaps, Leonardo da Vinci (who’s reputed to have designed Chambord) had already some notions about it *with a conspiratory twinkle in my eyes* After all, he was also a botanist and an anatomist, among his other accomplishments (remember the Vitruvian Man: the two superimposed figures of a naked man with his arms and legs extended inside a square and a circle?).

Errrrr, do I sound like something out of a historical mystery fiction? Uh-oh, I guess I have to stop giving a free leash to this bizarre thoughts of mine. This is just a wild theory anyway *winks*. In any case, I find it poetic that the staircase --- the heart of Chambord castle, has the same form as the DNA. They both are the keystones, the crux, the “holder” of something intricate, impressive and grand: the staircase for the majestic Chambord the DNA for distinct, varied complex life forms.

Well, probably, my assumptions and views are far-fetched… once more, my sentiments and thoughts run ahead of me *lopsided grin*. It's just that since I'm talking about stairs, my mind seem to be treading its own "stair" --- each step brings me to a different perspective or meaning of things. Anyway, whatever explanations, observations or interpretations there are about stairs, I know certain things to be true: I like staircases, I prefer sitting on the steps rather than leaning on the banister, especially with a good book, and I find that reaching the top of a really long flight of stairs in a steep incline without breaking a sweat is small triumph to be chirpy about *wide grin*.

Make A Wish Tag

I was tagged by Bogie to make my wish and let it be carried by this comet making it's round across the galaxy. So here goes...

I would like this people to make their wishes too: Freda, Ricka, and Rojoy.

Here are the rules:
1. Think about what it is that you want more than anything, what your heart’s desire and fondest wish is, and what it is that you would wish for if you were to see the above wishing star flame across the night sky.

2. Right click and SAVE the blank graphic above.
3. Use a graphics program of your choice and place your wish on this picture.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Paschal Thoughts

Mosta Dome, Mosta, Malta

In the spirit of Easter, here’s a photo of the inside of Mosta Dome in Malta. During World War II, three bombs were dropped on this spot.Two of them bounced off while one was able to penetrate the dome. But miracles do happen.The bomb, which could have destroyed the church and killed 300 people who were inside at that time, did not explode.It seems that God is really there for us when we need HIM. HE listens and answers our prayers: maybe not in the way and time we expect HIM to respond, but HE shows his magnanimity in a subtle, more significant fashion.

The replica of this bomb (called Il-Miraklu Tal-Bomba in Maltese) is on display in the church’s museum along with other liturgical artifacts and relics of the Rotunda of Santa Marija (Mosta Dome).The church itself is richly-decorated. Despite its opulence and grandeur, you feel a certain sense of serenity, humility and grace.I guess being confronted by God’s compassion and clemency, we learn to acknowledge our mortality and imperfections.Perhaps, that’s why churches and other places of worship are humbling and comforting --- our trespasses notwithstanding, we are still forgiven and accepted into the fold owing to HIS benevolence and goodness.

I wish everyone a blessed Easter. May we all acknowledge and submit to the Almighty's love and grace.

Beautiful Life Award

I was given this award by Francine --- a young woman living a beautiful life with her husband in the country of wine and cheese. I'd like to thank her for sharing this meaningful citation. Now I'm tempted to sing "I believe I can fly... I believe I can touch the sky..." *giggles* (no need to tell me I'm out of tune, so yes, I'll stop giving my vocal cords a hard time. Even I don't want to ruin this bright, sunny day!!! *winks* )

I'd like to pass this on to Maya, Tweety, Gracey, Bogie and Wendy: all these ladies are spreading their wings and making each moment of their lives as beautiful as they are --- inside out.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tempus Vernum (Spring Time)

daffodils in our front yard

I wandered lonely as a cloud:
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

- an excerpt from I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud
By William Wordsworth

We are now officially in spring!!! The day started out fine: it’s still nearly zero degree Celsius this morning (the ground was covered in frost) but it was SUNNY :). Yesterday, the weather was so erratic--- the sky was bright one moment, then, covered the next. There were even short episodes of snow. But the snowflakes melted upon reaching the ground (so no chance of some last-minute snowball fight).

I’m really looking forward to spring (but of course, even more to summer). Well, for one thing, I wouldn’t have to put several layers of clothing just to keep myself warm. Second, I can start weeding and planting (good luck to all those plants and seeds. I hope they are tenacious and sturdy enough to withstand me and my hands *winks*). And we can go for short walks even just within our area. I don’t really need to go somewhere grand and renowned or to remote and uncharted places (although I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity if it presents itself. That’s for certain :)). All I need is a good dose of sunlight and good company. The only glitch is I’m now starting to sneeze which will last until the end of summer (yep, curse this pollen-sensitive nose!). Oh well, you can’t have it all :).

And to celebrate the coming of spring, here are some photos of daffodils (genus narcissus, also known as jonquil or buttercup. (And speaking of buttercup, my mind suddenly played the song: “ why do you build me up, buttercup baby just to let me down…”). I think this yellow spring bloom is aptly named – narcissus. You cannot put daffodils in the same vase with other flowers. They secrete a substance that wilts the rest of the bouquet. I guess they really don’t like competition :)).

Like hyacinths, there’s a legend about the flower having sprung from where Narcissus died. There are several versions of this folklore but the constant element is that Narcissus is a vain youth who became so infatuated with his reflection on a pool of water. He was so obsessed with this image that he died:
1. of thirst --- he would ruin the reflection if he drinks from the pond.
2. of starvation--- he wouldn’t and couldn’t stop staring at his image that he wasted away.
3. of drowning --- he reached out to touch or kiss his likeness, fell into the water and drowned.

Whatever is his manner of dying,the bottom line is that he died on account of his self-absorption. We know that vanity goes beyond the physical level. That’s why we talk of egoists, swellheaded, megalomaniac people. Certainly, as human beings, we all have our own share of conceit. But sometimes we become too engrossed with our own importance that we forget we might be a big fish in a small pond, but we are probably imperceptible in an ocean.

I think it’s only prudent to keep in mind that reflection we see in the mirror is merely that--- a reflection, a two-dimensional representation. And we owe it to ourselves to avoid getting trapped in this mirror-image, particularly a misconceived one. The eyes can play tricks on us, especially our own eyes. We are susceptible to see what we only want to see. And the risk is that we might meet the fate of Narcissus: lured into a false security of our greatness, trapped by our delusion of grandeur, hence, we refuse to leave our stance purely for the sake of preserving our image --- a false, misshapen one at that We begin to lead a life of self-deception and end up wretched and alone.

Anyway, enough of this misgivings. I’m supposed to talk about spring and the cheerfulness it brings. Excuse my wandering thoughts. Sometimes, one topic just leads to another… and I couldn’t help not expounding a little bit on it. In any case, it’s a real treat that spring has arrived. I hope today is the start of cloudless, warm days :)).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday

Somewhere near the Col du Soulor (Soulor Pass) in Pyrénées, France

Since I started my Wordless Wednesday series by writing a few words about my photos, I’ve decided that I might as well continue with this trend. So for today’s entry, this landscape is somewhere near Col du Soulor (Soulor Pass: approximately 1450 m above sea level) on our way to Col d’Aubisque (Aubisque Pass: has an altitude of around 1700 m and is usually part of Tour de France, a cycling event where Lance Armstrong won first for seven consecutive years) in the Pyrénées. Traffic in this road to and from the department of Hautes-pyrénées usually alternates every 2 hours because of its narrowness and serpentine feature.

The panorama is spectacular. It is in fact a known viewpoint. However, because of its altitude, the temperature can be really bone-chilling and the wind strong during the cold season; and the sun can come too harsh and strong during summer. Having seen both cols or passes, I cannot help but admire those cyclists riding their way up on this steep, narrow, sinuous road at a fast pace, battling against fatigue and gravity, compounded by the sharp gust of air and the dizzying height. So, hats off to the participants of this cycling tournament!!!

see my other wordless wednesdays
see other wordless wednesday participants

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Plum Flower Confetti

Flowering Plum Tree (Pruniers à Fleurs) in our garden

Well, well, well, it seems that spring is really knocking on our doors. We’ve had sun during the latter part of the morning and the early afternoon. Although still a bit drafty and cold, when the sun breaks through the clouds, it is really warm and bright. Actually, I would have dared go out and do some gardening if not for the wind. It can still be chilly if you’re not under the sun. More so when there’s a strong breeze.

Aside from our forsythia, our ornamental plum tree (pruniers à fleurs) is also in bloom. I really don’t know the tree’s exact name in English because it’s different from cherry blossom which in turn should not be confused with the cherry tree. All of these trees are of the same genus, but I don’t think one can eat the fruit of the ornamental types whereas the fruit of the “real” (for lack of a better term) cherry tree is edible. Well, I think one easy way to distinguish pruniers à fleurs is that its leaves are brownish-purple while those of the comestible cherries are green.

In any case, it’s such a pleasure to see this tree in bloom. The flowers are so delicate; small, thin and soft. A light gust of wind can easily scatter the petals showering you in a flurry of pinkish “snow”. It makes me think of haikus, of walks in the woods, of sitting under a shade with a good book. Oh well, just a little bit more patience, and spring will be here :)

Another Tag

I got this tag from Rojoy :

I have randomly selected 5 of you below to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 5 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list!)

It’s real easy! Tag others and see your Technorati Authority increase exponentially! The benefits of Viral Linking:
- One of the fastest ways to see your technorati authority explode!
- Increase your Google PageRank fast
- Attract large volume of new traffic to your site
- Build your community
- Make new friends!

I'm tagging Heart's Desire, Lalaine,Bogie, Maya and Wendy :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tempus Volat Hora Fugit

A belfry in Ghent, Belgium

From the moment we enter this life we are in the flow of it.
We measure it and we mock it, but we cannot defy it.

We cannot even speed it up or slow it down. Or can we?

Have we not each
experienced the sensation that
a beautiful moment
seemed to pass to quickly,
and wished that we could make it linger?

Or felt time slow on a dull day,
and wished that we could speed things up a bit?
-Edward Norton as Eisenheim
in The Illusionist (2006)

How easier life would be if only TIME would do our bidding! But alas, like gravity, time is something beyond our control. Of course, we can create artificial environments where such factors can be manipulated. However, I believe that kind of life is not life at all. Some people may prefer to live in a fabricated world: who wouldn’t when things go the way you expect them to be? when you can dictate the circumstances according to your liking? when you can slow down or speed up time at your command? Still, I don’t think a person will take root, grow and fully use his potentials in such situations. You can only shape glasses and metals into intricate and exquisite objects when they are subjected to high temperatures. And I believe this can also be said of us.

Although time seems to be an adversary, especially in this fast-paced world we live in: where 24 hours is not enough for an ordinary day, where there are too many things to do in so much little time, where everyone tries to get ahead of the next person to him… it can turn out to be our guide in navigating life. Many of our life experiences have taught us that a number of beautiful moments, meaningful events, momentous occasions pass too quickly. They are gone too fast too soon. Hence, we become more aware of the fact that each second counts... that we SHOULD make each moment count.

I believe in order to do so, to be able to grasp and make room for such significant moments, we have to discern what is important for us. Sometimes, we get too caught up with going after what the rest of the world wants when at the end of it, it doesn’t make us happy. We lost precious moments in achieving something we don’t really need. We have to take a moment and identify what is it that would make us complete. Time is not a commodity we can afford to waste. And to correctly identify our fundamental priorities we must first know our selves: what we want, what would make us happy. We should go after them because that is what we truly desire and not because it is what others think we should have.

And I think it is also important is to respect our own rhythm. One should not act, move, get ahead in life for the mere thought that we should be in sync with the rest of the world because that is what they EXPECT us to do. I believe that by respecting our own beat, our own tempo, we are on the track of being able to fully master our present and future, our own lives. Perhaps, by doing so, TIME will not flee from us but rather walk with us.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

In Fieri

forsythia in our garden

With spring officially just around the corner, forsythias are in bloom. They usually start to give flowers in February or March: marking the end of nippy, biting weather although sudden shoots in temperature are still likely.But at least, the worst of the chilly, gloomy winter has passed.

I like this plant for they can withstand below zero temperature and adverse weather; and still continue to thrive and give flowers the next season. I find it as a symbol of hope: that no matter how cold and dark the circumstance is, there is always enough strength within us to make it through. That we may be weathered and beaten, but as long as we hold on, we can still emerge from our desolation and shine.

The flowers are like a burst of sunshine in the otherwise barren, bleak, seemingly lifeless landscape. I like their gay, bright, warm color: it’s so full of cheerfulness, of exuberance, of promise. It’s like we are on the brink of something wonderful… giddily waiting for the next thing as we witness flowers start to flaunt their beauty…when we hear a child’s carefree laughter in the park… the moment we look into our loved one’s eyes…

The Longest Human Line Tag

Maya and Rojoy tagged me. Here it is...

Here's the rule:

Copy the entire list and add your name on the person who tagged you.
Then tag at least 5 friends (but you can tag as many as you like)
and visit their blog to let them know you tagged them.
Abie - Journey to Life
Abie - MyPlanetPurple
Kaptyurd by Howell

Would you like to join me Jana, Tweety, Island Paradise, Gracey and CC ?

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Girl from Senobium

In planet Senobium of the Brenogal galaxy, there lived a girl who wondered about the sky: Why is it blue? Can I reach the end of it or is it infinite? Are those clouds as soft as cotton? Can I play on top of these clouds like the Carebears I see on that box with a cathode ray tube? Are there winged creatures up there? So many questions, but she had no answers. What she had were just vague notions. But she knew they were not enough. Hence, she embarked on a journey for explanations.

She found her answers in planet Scientia. And to add more to her delight, she found a part of herself in her odyssey. She realized she enjoys the process of proving hypothesis and scrutinizing phenomena. The logic, the analysis, the thrill of arriving at a conclusion after careful examination … it was quite exhilarating. There was always this fear of failing, of being confronted with obstacles, of coming to a dead end. But her longing for responses to all her questions is an irrepressible force. It is enough to overcome all apprehensions.

In the adventure of immersing herself in the world of theories and discoveries, she realized that there’s another way of revealing the beauty of nature. She found planet Humanitiesimus: it's a different world, yet not entirely contrary to the former. In fact, she perceived them as complementary: like Mars and Venus, man and woman. Moreover, words, images, facial and body articulations… they provide not only an outlet for one’s sentiments and feelings but also as a way of reaching out to others. They are forms of communication… a beacon of our need to reach out and be part of something more than our selves. Poems are not just meters and rhymes but a mine of emotional and psychological consciousness. Novels and stories are not only about narrative styles and plots but also an expression of one’s thoughts and imagination. And when they move you, you cry and recognize that crying is not just the result of lachrymal glands doing its function, but a sign of one’s emotional state. When you hear music, your body moves with the sound and acknowledges that dancing is not only the contraction and relaxation of muscles but an articulation of being in harmony with the sound we hear.

And every night before this girl sleeps, she wishes upon the stars and comets to understand more the mysteries of the cosmos for she knows what she have is infinitesimal compared to its vastness… like a tiny speck of dust in the great ocean of knowledge. There are more to discover, to explore, to learn… and that she’ll never be able to fully grasp the meaning of everything around her. However, she will still dance for joy of recognizing them if not to fully comprehend them... sing praises to the Primum Movens for without it, there's nothing... continue to seek and discern what she is allowed to find and understand… And maybe, just maybe, she will find an answer to her greatest question: her place in this universe.

There goes your tag Bogie (8 random facts about me) and Rojoy (the “I” tag). I tried answering them at the same time and I came up with this. I hope you don’t mind my changing the rules a little bit.

Waiting for Summer

Clivia, more commonly known as Bush Lily

They say patience is a virtue. Looking at this clivia, I say this is true. It takes years for this plant to give flowers, but once it does, you will be rewarded by such beauty. The vivid contrast of the orange flowers and the green, glossy leaves restores one’s spirit. It makes me think of a lush tropical forest, the chirping of birds overhead, the bright-colored wild flowers here and there…. And upon reaching a clearing, there is a spectacular waterfalls --- you can hear, see and feel the water gushing and tumbling down into a series of cascades, forming a pool of cool, clear water and a stream winding its way through the crooks and crannies of rocks and earth. How wonderful it must be to bathe in that natural pool after a trek in the forest!

As you continue to get lost in the charm of this delightful plant with its crown of trumpet-shaped flowers, you are invited to step into the glassy blue lagoon and make your way towards the base of the falls. The lulling, comforting color of the clivia’s leaves is like feeling the cool, soothing water lapping around your body. The powdery yellow pollen of the flower is akin to the riverbed sand tickling your feet. The vibrant color of its petals matches that of the sun as you bask in its warmth. Running your fingers on its smooth petals and leaves is like being under the water cascade, with streams of water gliding down your body.

Ahhhh, patience is really virtue. One must wait until winter is over, for spring to change into summer. And then, I can savor the color and feel of sunny days. I don’t need to go to exotic, far-away places. Just to have a cloudless blue sky, to feel the sun on my skin, to smell freshly-mowed grass is already bliss for me. But for now, I just have to content myself with looking at this plant and letting my imagination bring me to that warm, bright place.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

our schefflera

I love growing plants. The problem is I don’t think I have a green thumb. Indoor plants die after a few months because I either watered them too much or too little. As for outdoor plants, I’m only lucky with a handful of bulbs and a few annual plants. I am more fortunate with roses, but I couldn’t take much credit because I think our roses are inherently sturdy, hence they can withstand my handling :).

We have books on gardening and taking care of plants. I try to follow them, but maybe my ineptness in horticulture exceeds my botanical interest. But miracles do happen. This schefflera (commonly known as umbrella tree due to its stems containing several leaves forming an umbrella like structure) has been with us for about 2 years, and it’s still alive and growing. Well, it doesn’t matter if its typically robust like yucca( a plant that appears to be a trunk with long, elongated, sharp-edged leaves) and agave (looks like aloe vera). What is important is that it lasted this long!! And what's more, it continues to grow!!! Most of our indoor plants only last several months. (By the way, we also have yucca and agave and they have been with us longer than our schefflera :)). Hooray!!!)

Well, I’m featuring our schefflera because it presented us with this heart-shaped leaf. I know, I know they are two leaves which in the process of their growth weren’t able to develop individually . Maybe a glitch in their DNA replication or something… hmmmm… interesting… too bad I’m not a botanist… maybe I can try experimenting with it… naaahhh! My imagination is running ahead of me… I know this occurrence is not that abnormal… Hey, some cells just don’t develop the way they’re supposed to… and I think plants are more susceptible to gene manipulations... That’s way George Mendel tried his first genetics experiments with peas… and we have a lot of hybrid plants, particularly flowers – whether natural or man-made… and I’m not yet talking about genetically modified plants which is rather a big issue as of the moment.

Anyway, before I turn too geeky, I’d just like to say I’m so happy about our schefflera. Maybe, this time, my plants are beginning to understand that I mean them no harm :). And I’d like to think that this particular leaf is its way of showing it likes me, too. It loves me, it loves me not… it loves me!!! (Don’t burst my bubble please:))

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Linker Chain

I got this linker chain tag from Maya and Bogie. It seems that its the week for tags and awards :).

WE all know that we need to get more links from one another join this linker chain.* To get more more traffic.* To increase technorati authority.* To get more back links.* To gain more friends around the world.

Here are the Rules:
First copy and paste the list below.
Do not remove any content from the linker list.
Just add One LUCKY NUMBER to your blogs
If you don't like the concept...say no. :-/

The main goal here is we are going to circulate our number of friends. The more people who will join the "LINKER CHAIN", the more links we can generate. Lastly, write only ONE LUCKY NUMBER for your blogs... Keep it simple and short, I know some of you have more than one blog. The color for the link should be only black, gray, or white, depending on your blog's theme. Please avoid using any color, ok ?

Hundreds and thousands and millions only no more trillions for chrissake lol.....ok lets get started.
1.) 6966 2.) 609 3.) 066 4.) 066 5.) 606 6.) 669 7.) 699 8.)214 9.) 713 10.)YOUR LUCKY NUMBER HERE!

I'm passing this chain to Tweety, Francine, Rojoy and CC.

Golden and Diamond Award

I received another set of awards from Maya, a golden credit card and a diamond award. Well, I'd like to say that our friendship is without limit. And as the old saying goes, diamond is forever... so is our closeness.

I'd like to pass this on to Bogie and Wendy. Here's to friendship :)

Wine Tag

I was tagged by Francine – a girl who seems to have quickly adapted the French taste for wine and cheese. It’s about what kind of wine I am and the result is…

You Are Chardonnay

Fresh, spirited, and classic - you have many facets to your personality.
You can be sweet and light. Or deep and complex.
You have a little bit of something to offer everyone... no wonder you're so popular.
Approachable and never smug, you are easy to get to know (and love!).
Deep down you are: Dependable and modest
Your partying style: Understated and polite
Your company is enjoyed best with: Cold or wild meat

I’m no wine connoisseur, but I am partial to white wine (please see my “about me” section). Well, that’s a good thing because I prefer white over red meat. And chardonnay is a type of white wine that goes well with fish and poultry meat. Well, there goes your tag Francine.

Now, let’ see what kind of wine Maya, Island Paradise, Jana, Lalaine and Flip My Blog are.