faith hope love joy peace
strength to strength she glows
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:30-31)
dreaming Spring calling arise
putting on best dress
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This picture was taken in the depth of Winter. A neighbor’s front yard was suddenly in blooms. Lovely surprises. In the winter of human lives too, we make efforts to rise from bed, take a bath, comb our hair, put on colors and dress up. Is any guest coming? We do not really consider that when we do this dressing ritual. Human keeps ritual to maintain hygiene and sanity. So do other living things. They are not exactly things. They are living. All living beings have a beauty ritual to keep. And these flowers decorate themselves faithfully in the short burst of sunlight for the brief period of a semblance of Spring time, in the amazing grace of their Creator. Why be a beast when you can be a beauty?
The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land.
she looks out the train
and sees a face of winter
clear and bright and green
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~on her way down west she looks out and sees a spectacular green view in the depth of winter. It is close to evening and the sun is shinning. The field on the plain gives fresh hope of a renewal at hand even on old ground and hardened crust. she knows her 83 years old mother is a fighter. She believes in God. She is not going to give up despite the fracture and replacement of some body parts. She smiles when she thinks of her new born baby granddaughter, a new life has burst forth like an early spring, again a sign of fresh determined hope. She looks forward to this reunion with her own mother. When her mother is well enough to be on her own again, she will travel east to meet with her husband, her youngest daughter and the baby grand daughter. She smiles. God is so good.
12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
she was once a bird
a mother perhaps in time
sadly snared and caged
~~~~~~~~Visiting museum is not the senior’s favorite. Because she prefers to see life, its vibrance, enthusiasm and hope. The museum records a past. There is no hope there. There is hope in the future. Where are the children of this bird if any? The grand-aunt cannot help but wonder. That is why she prefers to visit the botanical garden and the aquarium. But the birds are not the only ones snared and caged in museums. Many others share the same fate too. Even human. How she looks forward to hearing the songs of the living birds again in her own garden, a tiny park in front of her home.
Song of Solomon 2:12 The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
do you see the dog?
the puzzled boy shook his head
~~~~~~~~~~~The senior remarks: Often we see with what we already see in the mind: While I am thinking of my little dog alone waiting for me to return after this visit, you are thinking of your outdoor discovery lesson. But what does the cloud really look like? It does not matter. It’s your eyes working with your mind. The point is: You cannot come to a conclusion for others. You can only conclude your own life.
Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; (Psalm 148:8)
she expects the rain
lightly and gently it falls
every drop a heart
~~~~~~Shapes of things are seen clearly with her heart. The physical shapes may not look what she actually sees. She knows it is more real inside than outside. Love too.
Ocean foams aside
Where have all the blue birds flown?
Reunion with light
The senior visitor is optimistic even when looking at the winter solstice and the vast changes of weather that have arrived with the season of general bleakness and cold.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5)
Fearlessly she leads
(her sister watches behind)
braving ocean tides
Remarks from a senior visitor: “The smaller bird is in front. Remind me of times gone by for me and my sister. Size does not necessarily count sometimes. On the other hand the adventurous outgoing one learns costly lessons. Courage needs wisdom too.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Words of Wisdom:
Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids.
Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the snare of the fowler. (Proverbs 6:4-5)
~~~~Remarks from the senior visitor:~~~
The real spectators
at the bottom of the tank
both looking at us
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
24 O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the ocean, vast and wide,
teeming with life of every kind,
both large and small.
26 See the ships sailing along,
and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea.
27 They all depend on you
to give them food as they need it.
28 When you supply it, they gather it.
You open your hand to feed them,
and they are richly satisfied.
29 But if you turn away from them, they panic.
When you take away their breath,
they die and turn again to dust.
30 When you give them your breath, life is created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
(Psalm 104:1, 24-30)
Romans 8:18-21 New International Version (NIV)
Present Suffering and Future Glory
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
Too far for my heart
draining silent tears at night
an ocean apart
~~~~~~~~~~~~Although I know we shall not try to communicate unless there is urgency to say something to make sure the other party know first hand what is happening, I still take up the phone often in an absent-minded way, pointing my index finger at the app. icon, in the process of touching the link to your screen. Then again, I check myself and tell my heart that I should not do it as you will be quite busy rushing to finish your speed reading assignment of the several hundreds of books within the time frame of a costly journey. Me too, my mind will remind me that I have tons of lectures to cramp into my brain on this side of the ocean. Alas, we are so far apart after all, each chewing words and papers day and night and night and day. sometimes I feel like these birds perched on a tiny rock in the middle of the ocean, focused on their current lives. Do they have a family somewhere on land, high on the cliff overlooking the vast water? I read that gulls do take care of their young birds until they are ready to fly away and become independent. I also read that gulls fly alone. In a way you and I are like them. We are not confined to a space. We move on with the currents of time. Sometimes I look at the photos you send and smile. You seem so young smiling with the sunset ocean behind you blowing gold specks on your wind swept hair. I told you you still look good. I have sent you the snow scene from the mountain here. You have commented that I look young and pretty. We have somehow stepped away from time. The time of stagnation. How amazing it is that I can make myself type so many words here for you. Telling you I have missed our time. Yes, like the birds at sea, I have flown too far. You too. Too far for tears to cry aloud. I just wake up to hear the seemingly dripping sound of tears draining from my heart. I still miss you. Thank you for the roses.