Plant your own garden, Decorate your own soul

Plant your own garden

Layla Pie and Miss Pretty planting the hydrangea

After a while, you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises. 

Summer rain

Weather forecast for the first day of summer. Rain.

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain.
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

Lavenders

Lavender Harvest. A good day. Rain the following day.

After a while, you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

Bouquet of flowers

Flower girl.

And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn and learn.
With every goodbye, you learn.

 

Note:
I originally posted this title on June 13, 2013, here. According to Dear Abby, it was a poem AFTER A WHILE by Veronica Shoffstall. Much to my surprise, this is my top post and most visited. As a curious person, I wonder who Veronica Shoffstall is?

In my searches, I cannot find a reliable source to indicate that Veronica is the real author. In the Urban 75 forum, this question Who is Veronica Shoffstall came up. Apparently, it was a Spanish poem written by Jorge Luis Borges. With the help of google translating it to English, much to my surprise (again} so it was his poetry.

I really don’t know whether it was plagiarism. That is not for me to judge. I just want to throw some more light into the validity of who I am quoting.

At any rate, it’s still beautiful poetry.

 

Miles Fly By

Moses at Mt. Nebo

At Mt. Nebo overlooking the Promised Land

It’s a long road to freedom, a winding steep and high.
But when you walk in love with the wind on your wing,
And cover the earth with the songs you sing,
The miles fly by. (Song by Medical Mission Sisters)

It was a hazy, hot day when I took this shot from the top of Mt. Nebo. I can’t even tell you what the Promised Land is? There are so many roads that would take you there, but the question is what path to take.

Santiago de Compostela The Way

The Road

From this road, it appears that the path I thread on was smooth. Paved. Hot on my feet. Vehicles zooming by. I wished for trees along the way to shelter from the blistering sun. There were no short cuts but to stick to this road until we reach our destination.

A thought came up recently from one of the articles I read.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Santiago de Compostela The Way

An elderly couple walking hand in hand

Metaphorically speaking, the road is the way to a destination. Roads have mostly been destroyed to use the comfort of a vehicle. Fast. Furious. Get those rocks off my road!

I’ve been thinking lately about my sister and her husband, who passed away recently. When her husband had his first bout of illness, the doctor gave my sister something to think about. The sickness is operable but no guarantee of a good result. It’s either the blood clot in his brain to be left alone, live a good quality of life and monitor his health.

My sister, with her infinite wisdom as a nurse, opted to provide a quality of life for her husband as she made a vow for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health at their wedding.

Santiago de Compostela The Way Fog

The fog of unknowing

From then on, we entered into a foggy road having to stick together along the path. We cannot see what’s ahead, nor can we know what’s behind us.

FOG. F.O.G. How can I eliminate this fog on the road? A light in my head and I thought. FOG. Focus on Gratitude. FOG. Focus on God. FOG. Focus on Goodness. I could think of so many meanings of fog.

Miles flew by.

Many events and memories happened between my sister and her husband. Their two younger children graduated from high school, entered university and received their diploma. Some got married and four grandchildren soon. They travelled. A lot. Two significant trips that they have wanted to do: Holy Land and going back home to New Zealand, the birthplace of her husband.

Five years. Ten years. Fifteen years.

Santiago de Compostela  Map

Map guide starting from France to Santiago de Compostela

To be on the road, we need a map to guide us to our destination to provide us with some knowledge of the place. But the path we take is more important than the roadmap. In our way, it becomes personal how we face the unknown, exploring the possibilities of quality life instead of quantity.

My brother-in-law lived for another 15 wonderful years receiving the best care one can ever get from my sister.

Back to the question: “Where do I see myself in 5 years?”

My answer: Alive.

 

Epic Lines

jose fuster

In the galaxy far, far, away … someone said this epic line:

“May the force be with you” became a famous line on the 4th of May. Hence, we sometimes use this line “May the 4th be with you!”

The Star War saga has so many lifelines that we can use as tools to improve the human race namely:

  • Once you start down the dark path, forever it will dominate your destiny  – Yoda on Fate
  • Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering – Yoda on Consequences.
  • In a dark place, we find ourselves and a little knowledge lights our way. Yoda on Problem-solving
  • The fear of loss is a path to the dark side – Yoda on Anxieties
  • Who’s the more foolish; the fool or the fool who follows him? – Obi-Wan Kenobi on Obedience
  • The ability to speak does not make you enlightened. Qui-Gon Jinn on Silence
  • I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die. Qui-Gon Jinn on Inaction
  • Your focus determines your reality. Qui-Gon Jinn on Perception
  • Let go of your hate. Luke Skywalker on Freedom
  • Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi’s life. Anakin Skywalker on Compassion

And of course, this the famous line I use all the time:

Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.

100 days old and counting

It’s a celebration!

Happiness Square

For all those resilient folks returning to your old self that was your normal before becoming totally absorb having your cake and eat it, too, it’s time to celebrate life!

It has been more than 100 days since Covid became part of our daily vocabulary. We learned how to protect ourselves and others living in a bubble.

The old word bubble is back in style again.

How do you maintain your bubble? What old ways did you bring back to life to return to your old normal?

As for me, Covid or no Covid, I am normal as I can be until others changed their idea of what they think of me. Simple.

Your Best Self

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To commemorate the occasion of Jean Vanier turning 90, he released a YouTube video laying out his “ten rules for life to become more human” by sharing his thoughts on life and on growing older. He speaks about success, vulnerability, listening, fear … Continue reading

What Buddha Never Taught Me

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The year 2019 sounds so futuristic remembering a 1996 visit of Thailand. I feel nostalgic tonight. Photography then was archaic when we have to use a real camera, a film and the negatives processed. I could never tell whether the photos … Continue reading

What do you see? Spellbinding masterpiece door that led me to Caravaggio.

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A glimpse of blue sky, a wisp of clouds, birds, cathedral and concrete buildings is what I see in painting along the hallway wall of Malta’s airport.  Looking at the mural makes me want to run outside and feel that … Continue reading

I am a Pilgrim, not a Tourist!

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This gallery contains 1 photo.

It is a challenge and a hair-raising experience to go on a pilgrimage. It’s not an ordinary travel just because we paid an enormous amount of money to travel in luxury and be catered to. I join a pilgrimage because … Continue reading

Blessed be the Winter

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This gallery contains 1 photo.

It’s winter. I used to dread this season of long days of darkness. Very little light affects my health and mental well-being. I never had this problem when I lived in the tropics where the sun shines. Learning to come … Continue reading