Friday, May 31, 2013

In The Warmth of Summer

Yes, summer had come! Too early this year. While the spring flowers are still flourishing, summer flowers are rushing to come out in the sun. Both seasonal blossoms fill every garden, flower bed, and the wild open fields. Even the blueberries have blossomed! So much to capture, and not much time to take them all. Would I be able to catch up in preserving all the gifts of this summer?

The sun is also shining everyday, with the temperature of up to around 24 degrees C. It's been said that this is the warmest summer here since 1860. The heat stings me, but it's tolerable. Men and women in sexy swimsuits recline on verdant grass carpets, "worshiping" the sun, a very common sight in the parks and private lawns during summer. Most people walk, stroll and go shopping in their shorts. Children play everywhere, their merry shouts resounding in the air. Birds glide overhead, others flitting, perching and chirping.

Every corner has the feel, smell and sound of summer. Every living thing is highly animated.

Sunlight dominates for twenty-four hours, sending us to sleep in the brightness of the night.

Oh what a cheerful, bright and colorful season it is! Another bliss for this joyful solitary wanderer!

More marvelous gifts of summer are on the way. More reason to be happy!

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Spring's awakening started some weeks ago, with the popping up of spring bulbs, though the trees were still bare. It was only last week when most trees started to have their little buds shooting up. The grass came out so green.

I particularly followed the growth of the birch trees. (Well, I'm obviously in love with the birch trees too!) From their tiny buds beginning, they spurted to their heart-shaped fan-like leaves in vibrantly yellow-green color. All the leaves exploded in just one day, creating a shower of leaves that glow in the sun. A day after, the foliage thickened in an unbelievable tempo. In just a matter of days, all the birch trees were completely clothed with mature foliage that concealed the branches and twigs that used to stand out. 

What an amazing growth!  The warm sunshine made this possible. Yes, everyday is warm and sunny, at times, too warm that we came to believe that spring and summer are joining forces to bring out the best of the natural world and infuse a lot of sunshine in the hearts of the people. For, indeed, every living thing is basking in the warmth and beauty of these two overlapping seasons.

Even the nights are bright as the sun doesn't sink any deeper than just below the horizon. 

Here are the gifts of spring that I gathered two or three weeks ago. 



pearl hyacinth

pansy, moss, dandelion, etc.

siberian squills



maple buds

anemones and tussilagos

rowan tree buds


pine cones


I know, this post is jammed with pictures, but I just can't help noticing such pretty little things and preserving them through my camera, then storing them here or sharing them to all nature-lovers in the world. Besides, I understand that many out there prefer picture stories to a thousand words. So I let the pictures proclaim the glory of spring.

And let the wonders of spring sing about the majesty of the Greatest Artist who designed all these things.

Friday, May 24, 2013


One of the most unpleasant feelings is that of being sick when spring is smiling beautifully and everywhere is saturated with colors and sunshine. Who wants to be sick, stay home and miss all these spring's joyous outdoor activities?

I had to cancel my scheduled job for today on account of this temporarily debilitating illness that knocked me down since last night. I was hoping to get better today but the illness persisted. I had been looking forward to this job and didn't want to miss it because I really love my jobs, and I like this particular woman I was supposed to work for today. So, I was forced to ask my boss to find a replacement for me.

I'm staying home the whole day, lying down most of the time, which is really distressing for this one who likes to do many things and is always in motion. Like what I usually say, "the hardest thing for me to do is doing nothing."  But my body needs rest too, especially when it's being worn down by an unavoidable illness.  In a way, I alternated between lying down, writing and reading, which is good enough for me. And I keep looking outside to feast my eyes momentarily on what spring is doing - such miraculous sights! Yes, miracles that bespeak of our Creator's great love for all his creations.

There are still many things that I want to write here, most especially the unfolding wonders of spring, but my body is too weak to sit longer in front of my laptop, though my mind is always galloping. But I will surely include them in my memoirs even though they're already behind.

So now, I'm surrendering to unwellness, though trying to make the most of my condition. Just looking at all the young green leaves rustling in the breeze is enough to give me inner strength and the feeling of being in the gentle arms of our ever-loving Creator.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Little Gastronomic Gathering

Last Sunday, the 12th of May, a lovely couple, Staffan and Maria, welcomed us to their home to enjoy a taste of Ethiopian meal prepared by an Ethiopian friend. I and my hubby had no idea who else were invited, and I got a big surprise to see friends I'm comfortable with.

It was a sunny and semi-warm spring day. A real fine day for a lunch gathering. Our male host, who is very sickly, was also in good shape that day and he warmly escorted us in.

The meal consisted of Injera bread, a traditional Ethiopian bread, along with spicy meat stew and some vegetables. Something new for me. The bread was really fascinating, but the meat was too strong for one who likes only lightly spiced foods, like me. But it was a yummy food. 

Dessert came in the form of different cakes, including a kind of cheesecake with raspberry jam toppings. 

I enjoyed the foods as much as the associations I had with good friends. Such occasion is rare for me here, so whenever someone invites, I seize the opportunity. And when I'm there, I really make the most of it, have much fun and cherish the moment, just as this one new gastronomic experience.

My heartfelt thanks to this loving couple who lovingly arranged for this gathering and to an Ehiopian friend, Genet, for meticulously preparing the foods for us.