I’m in the garden

garden

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~ e.e. cummings

How much nature do you need?  For me, I need it!

When I am not working, I spend most of my time in nature.  Being in nature makes me happier, healthier and peaceful. Nature can be just our backyard.  One can spend the entire weekend gardening getting my hands dirty.  And that’s exactly what I did this past long weekend.

David Suzuki suggests that we take the nature challenge by going outside to:

  • smell the flowers
  • find the bug
  • fly a kite
  • write and sketch in the park
  • identify the trees
  • birding
  • listen to the wind
  • skip some stones
  • get my feet wet
  • take photos

And much more.

More than likely, I will be spending more time outside and it will take me away from WordPress.  So my friends, if you don’t hear from me, I’m in the garden.

Leave your “i” behind.

Canada’s renowned scientist David Suzuki received an Award for Science from the U.S. National Wildlife Federation DrSuzuki-computerSmcalling him “one of our strongest allies north of the border.” 

“Our highest priorities must be the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil that provides food and the biodiversity that keeps us alive and healthy.”   – Dr. David Suzuki

He is also a nature enthusiast that makes use realize that nature is good for all of us. It’s a known fact that we benefit by spending more time outdoors than spending more face time. I can attest to that.

Being at work 7 hours a day in front of the computer contributes very little for my well-being.  The minute I take coffee and lunch breaks that means green time for me. A walk around the block can depressurized me and calms me down.  Spending time in nature reduces the negative results of automatic thoughts and redirects my mind to being playful and extrovert.

This is plain science and all I need is me as the guinea pig.

For the month of May, David Suzuki launched the 30 x 30 Nature challenge by spending 30 minutes in nature for 30 days. That is doable.  I extend this challenge whoever reads this wherever you are in planet earth.  This is not limited to Canadians.

So I say to you, get off your butt, walk away from the computer, go outside, breath and relax.  Not to mention, unplug yourself from any gadgets and open your ears to the sound around you.  Leave your “I” behind. No iPhone, iPod or iPad.  Can you do that?

Then come back and tell me what you did in 30 minutes and how it fells. See that space below for comment?  That is for you.

A sign of recovery

Video

Riding the BC Ferries from one island to another is always an exciting trip for me especially when El Capitan will announce that there is a pod of whales ahead.

A rare sighting happened on Monday, February 3 when there were two pods in sight off the coast of the harbour in Nanaimo, BC.  The pod of orcas hunted the pod of dolphins and ended up killing two of them in full view of the ferry passengers.

Orcas is also known as the killer whales.  They are the wolves of the sea.  This is a transient group that hunts for  mammals including seals.  The resident Orcas eat salmon only in this area.

With the return of the dolphins and the boom on harbour seals, it’s indicative that the water is recovering  This means that there will be more interaction such as this in the future.

This is the nature of things as  David Suzuki will say.

Source: The Province

Octoberian Costume Birthday Party

Fearing that I will miss the birthday party for the month of October while I was walking the Camino, they waited until most of us are present.  We celebrated it in style: costume birthday party just in time for Halloween.

It was all start cast:  Mini Mouse, Ginger of Gillian’s Island, Captain James of Star Trek, Ghost Buster, The Venetians, Race Car Driver, Pirate, Nemo, Nurse (a real one), Lulu the gypsy fortune-teller, M&M, Pikachu, Priest (a real one) and much more.

Minie, Capt. James & Ginger

Minie, Capt. James & Ginger

The leading person who turned 60 years old is my brother who looks like David Suzuki.

Lulu, the gypsy fortune-teller is a very memorable character in our family life.  She was my mother’s friend.  How she suddenly appeared in our life remains a mystery.

Suzuki and Lulu

Suzuki and Lulu

Mother has a way of helping out people.

I remember how Mother helped Lulu take a bath.  Lulu was apparently so dirty that the water turned brown.  She doesn’t speak our language and we only spoke English to her.  She came in and out of our apartment, bee-lined to the kitchen, helped herself out on any food to eat and made herself at home even Mother was not around.  Lulu called my mom Mother as well.  Mother is Mother to everybody and everyone.

Having had her fill, she takes out her Tarot card and starts reading them.  Talking to herself mostly and suddenly, she will say, Mother is here.  Huh? No she’s not, I said.  Next thing, Mother walks in the door.  How did she do that is beyond me.

Lulu gives Mother a reading whether she likes it or not.  Mother doesn’t mind.  I don’t know if Mother believes in fortune-telling or palm reading because it is quite contrary to our belief system.

One day, Lulu read in the card that we are going far away to another land.  Mother did not believe on that either.  And it did happen.  How did she do that?

Back to the party.  The Filipino tradition, if it’s our birthday, we are responsible for throwing in the party, bring our cake and eat it, too.  We do not wait for anybody to throw us a surprise party.  We do not wait for anybody.  We let the whole world knows that it’s our birthday and we invite as many people as we can to help us celebrate.  Celebrate we did.

As for my costume, I wore my hiking gear; boots, poles, backpack, hat, waterproof jacket and pants, iPad in a red leader pouch,  a camera, gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, etc.  Gosh, cannot believe I carried these for 15 days.  Eventually, I had to divest myself since it was boiling inside the house with all these characters and cooking going at the same time.

The Pilgrim

The Pilgrim

The cake is always gigantic.  There was no blowing of the candles because most of us are sick of colds and we definitely want to keep the germs to ourselves.

Birthday Cake

Good times, good times.  Happy Birthday to us.

Related link: Tenth month of the year

September 22, 2013 Extravaganza

There are so many activities that are worthwhile today.  Which walk should I attend? 
When I started planning today’s walk, the first option I chose was AIDs walk.  I have supported this walk since I have I know people who have this disease.  Now, it’s just another illness like a common cold.  The only thing is there is no cure, only prevention.  It is a good cause. 
Suddenly, invitations to go out for walk came up such as:

These walks are about Reconciliation.  I think it will be a gathering of all Nations to walk towards reconciliation.  Reconciliation is a good thing in order to have peace and unity.

Walk with Us
 It will be a very interesting day. 
Not only I will be with esteemed leaders such as Suzuki and the Elders, Dr. Bernice A. King, a Baptist minister and the youngest child of iconic U.S. civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will deliver the keynote address at the start of Canada’s first-ever Walk for Reconciliation. 
Sorry, Aid Walk Vancouver some other day.  I have a better offer. 
Related Links:
 
 

You Must Change Your Ways….

As I get older and wiser, I am more aware of the children and their concerns for their future.  My hope that there will be a home for them I call Mother Earth. 
I want them to enjoy Mother Earth as I did when I was younger, in nature, to know all living creatures big and small. 
Recently, two high school students came to our meeting to voice their fears about their future.  They are young activities.  These students needed our help financially to help them kick off their environmental campaign against the government’s plan of expanding the Coal Harbor. 
We could hear from their voice how distressing it is for them to grow up in a polluted place in Vancouver.  We could feel their fear and we supported them, financially, just enough funds to help them pay for the flyers, bulletins and maybe buttons. 
What a courageous and remarkable young minds. 
In 1992, a 12-year old girl traveled all the way to Rio de Janeiro and spoke to the United Nations Earth Summit about her concerns on climate change.  She spoke for five minutes, five minutes that silenced the world.  
That little girl came from Vancouver, BC, Canada.  Her name is Severn Cullis-Suzuki, daughter of David Suzuki, a Canadian environmentalist.  This is an excerpt of her speech. 
“I am afraid to go out in the sun now because of the holes in our ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what chemicals are in it. I used to go fishing in Vancouver, my home, with my dad until just a few years ago we found the fish full of cancers. And now we hear of animals and plants going extinct every day – vanishing forever. In my life, I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and rainforests full of birds and butterflies, but now I wonder if they will even exist for my children to see. Did you have to worry of these things when you were my age? All this is happening before our eyes and yet we act as if we have all the time we want and all the solutions. I’m only a child and I don’t have all the solutions, but I want you to realise, neither do you!” 
 
21 years later, nothing has changed.  She returned to Rio again in 2012. She explains from a new perspective why it is that she believes humanity will act to change our future. 
If you don’t know how to fix Mother Earth, please stop breaking her.  Be part of the solution.
 
Related Links:

30×30 at Play

This is the third week of David Suzuki’s challenge to take 30 minutes of outdoor activity daily for the month of May.  I am having so much fun with the challenge.

He has the right idea for the child in me ~ Playtime.  Of course, I have a playmate, my nephew’s son; Baby James.

 look ma no hands 

Here are a few games you can play in nature as suggested by David:

•Hunt for bugs! Try to spot one you’ve never seen before, then find out what it is. (Be sure to put the bugs back where you found them.)

•Grab that kite that’s been gathering dust and fly it in a nearby park.

•Indulge your inner child, and climb a tree or roll down a hill. Or better yet, take a child with you.

•Go on a simple nature scavenger hunt. Search for something feathered, something with legs, something very old, and something changing.

•Invite family or friends for an after-dinner stroll down a green street.

•This weekend, take a hike in a local park or conservation area.

•Head to the nearest woods for a “forest bath.” This Japanese practice improves sleep and increases vigor.

•Get your feet wet: head to the nearest body of water and dip your toes in.

•How long has it been since you’ve skipped stones? Visit your nearest creek or pond and try your hand.

•Make a mud pie. You know you want to.

•Take a walk in a park or a forest and search for animal homes. What kind of creatures lives there?

Most importantly, have fun!

Related links:

Atheist and Zen

What does an Atheist and a Zen have in common?  They are both have a column in Common Ground magazine.
David Suzuki
David Suzuki writes an article about Science Matters.  He is an atheist. He denies the existence of God but his work, in my opinion, is about godly matters such as the Nature of Things.  His mind is fascinating and captivating.  He was born in Vancouver, Canada.  I have attended his lectures.  David wrote the book The Sacred Balance. 
Eckhart TolleEckhart Tolle writes an article about Finding Zen.  He is the author of the Power of Now and his latest book, A New Earth.   A spiritual teacher, born in Germany and took residence in Vancouver.  I have never seen him nor read any of his books. 
Common Ground has articles about Sufism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sahaja Yoga, and Inter-Faith, to name a few.  However, I still have yet to see an article about Catholicism. 
Reading this magazine expands my curiosity about other belief systems.  The more I understand the more I become in tune with my own personal faith as a Catholic.  Catholic means “universal”. 
Excerpt from Suzuki: Science of Breathing:
“Your next breath will contain more than 400,000 of the argon atoms that Gandhi breathed in his long life. Argon atoms are here from the conversations at the Last Supper, from the arguments of diplomats at Yalta, and from the recitations of the classic poets. We have argon from the sighs and pledges of ancient lovers, from the battle cries at Waterloo, even from last year’s argonic output by the writer of these lines, who personally has had already more than 300 million breathing experiences.” 
About.com excerpt from New Earth:
People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness, that is to say, dependent on form. They don’t realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly. They look at the present moment as either marred by something that has happened and shouldn’t have or as deficient because of something that has not happened but should have. And so they miss the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself, a perfection that is always already here, that lies beyond what is happening or not happening, beyond form.” 
QUOTE – Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard: Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backward. 
Keeping this quote in mind, I don’t believe in the Power of Now.  However, I know what awareness, mindfulness and what is.  At least with the Science of Breathing, I learned about science as well as part of my faith, knowing that I am breathing in the argon of those people at the Last Supper.
 
 

 

Howyadoing?

Having fun yet?  Enjoying the outdoors?  Feeling good? 
Well, if you are not, do something.  Get out there. 
Weekend was spent doing gardening and with family.  I think I had an overdose of family activities.  Or I think it was heat stroke due to unseasonable summer like weather.  I could spend all day in the garden and still not be able to see all the miracles in a small patch of land.  All of these activities made me feel good. 
Walking underneath a sakura tree when the wind is blowing, it feels as if it’s snowing.  This little girl sure knows how to have the joy of  falling blossoms on her. 

This is week two of 30×30 David Suzuki Nature Challenge.  Join, come and live the Nature Challenge.

 
 

30 x 30 Nature Challenge

Number 30 represents the number of days in the month of May.  The next 30 is the number of minutes it takes to be healthy.  And you may want to add 30 easy steps in attaining a healthy and happy lifestyle that cost a cinch. 
For the next 30 consecutive days, David Suzuki came up with this brilliant idea how we can connect with nature.  The more we connect with nature, the smarter, healthier and happy we become.  He further stated that getting outside even makes us nicer and more likely to clean up the planet let alone our act.  Staying indoors will give us the cabin fever and you know what it does do to your disposition in life. 
I can attest to what David is saying since I wander around, meander or plainly loiter on this earth.  During my coffee and lunch breaks, I go outside the board; rain or shine.  I definitely need to go out and be in touch with nature.  Call me a snob, call me unsociable, call me a loner, I prefer to be out walking, taking a peek what is coming out of Mother Earth, listening to the birds singing, feeling that wind on my face, basking on the early morning sun, and much more. 
But of course, going out takes so much effort, eh?  Nah, rest assure David made it more possible for us to have fun and for your benefit.  And the benefit has a ripple effect.  Only you can discover this benefit once you take the challenge. 
So, I say, come and join the challenge even though it’s a Canadian Challenge.  You can also partake in your own country and encourage others.  Join, come and live the Nature Challenge.