Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Paradox of Spring Equinox

Just a brief note.

Today is the vernal equinox for this year, 2014. You may read the explanation from the National Geographic

And guess what's going on this day? A snow storm, class 1! We're having lots and lots of snow again, which is blanketing the already dry ground. What a cool way to commence a lovely season!

I can't help imagining the confusion this might cause to the birds who have come home from the south and the budding vegetation. I can see them like a video played backward, the birds flying back and the buds shrinking back into their safe shelter in the tips of the twigs.

And to think that yesterday was awash with sunshine! And a sundog loomed in the afternoon sky as if to herald the official arrival of  spring equinox.

I embraced this change of weather. Today, as I walked from one work place to the next, I savored the touch of the falling snow and the fresh whiteness that covered the ground. I turned my face upward and let the snowflakes caress my skin. Hmmm....blissful sensation.

So spring is making up for winter's shortage. And winter is here as a guest of spring. Just for a short while.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Is Chilling!

Spring has taken a short break since the past weekend and may extend to a few days more. What the past winter could no longer provide to us, spring is generously giving us at present. 

Yes, it's been snowing sporadically! Just a soft and gentle snowfall even while the sun is shining and bits of transparent cumulu-stratus clouds racing under a firmament of blue. Temperature is back below zero, at times down to -7 degrees C. 

It also appears that the buds are momentarily holding back from popping out and the bulbs are taking their time to come into bloom. 

Not bad at all. I like this brief pause, the chilly air that belongs to winter and the radiant sun of spring. Magical feelings exist even in moments of waiting.  

"The longer you have to wait on something, the more you will appreciate it when it finally arrives....All good things are worth waiting for." (author unknown)

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Firsts of Spring

The much-awaited successor of winter is finally here, though not officially. Two months too early, according to the meteorologists. That is, in this northern part of the country where the seasons usually arrive later than in the south. I haven't had enough of winter but I can accept that, since the warm winter could not give us more snow and the extreme cold that I longed to re-experience. The season was mostly drizzly, sleety and rainy, which melted the snow and slightly flooded the ground. But now that spring is here, the blankets of snow, roadside snow banks and snow mounds are swiftly evaporating.

Charlene N.K. photo

My four years' affinity with spring taught me how to read the subtle language of nature in this season, such as the thickening of each little twig of the trees, which is a telltale sign that leaves or flowers are budding;  the chirping and the flight of the birds;   the touch of the breeze;  the smell of the air, etc.  I have noticed these changes about two weeks ago.

Now, everything is happening in a remarkably fast pace that's escalating to the awakening of all the dormant botanical beings.

In keeping up with my yearly tradition, I'm also chronicling this year's spring by starting with the firsts of this season based on my personal sightings.

The first cloudless blue sky,

the first sunshine, when I caught sight of this man in the bus stop basking his face in the warmth of the spring sun ( I used paint daub filter here to protect the man's identity),

the first subdued sunset,

and a strikingly vibrant one a few days later,

Charlene N.K. photo

the first visible moon at night,

and a distinct one in the daytime,

Charlene N.K. photo

the first telltale buds swaying in the wind,

Charlene N.K. photo

the first halo phenomenon at 11:00 a.m.,

Charlene N.K. photo

the first offshoot of spring bulbs,

the first winter aconites,

the first snowdrops,

the first crocuses,

the first spectacular cloud formations,

my first stargazing capture (Jupiter is still hanging around the moon, but on the opposite side now),

Jupiter, Auriga, constellations, Charlene N.K. photo

my first macro shots of indoor pot-grown crocuses.

These, so far, are the notable sightings that I can preserve here. I will keep my eyes open for more spring blessings that I will store in my seasonal memory cyberbox.

"Everything is new in the spring....Springs themselves are always so new, too. 
No spring is ever just like any other spring. 
It always has something of its own to be its own peculiar sweetness." 
- Anne of Green Gables

Thursday, March 6, 2014


What makes friends stop caring? I mean friends who are oceans apart? Is it the long distance? Like in "Out of sight, out of mind"? But I always believed that "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." Looks like the first quote has more credibility.

I used to have heaps of friends I really cared about. They were good old friends who were part of my cherished memories. We had great moments together back in the Philippines.  Gradually, some started to moved out of the country in search of greener pastures. They were scattered to different continents. Yet, I loyally kept in touch with them. It went well. At first.

Then came my turn to migrate. Sure, it pained me to leave behind my remaining close friends there. But I must move on with my life too. During my first year in my new home, many of them showed interest in learning about my new life which I journaled in another website that has unfortunately closed down. I was glad that we were able to keep our friendship despite the distance. But then, as years flew by, the number of friends who care dwindled to merely two or three who mail me once in a while. (sigh)

Their silence, their not getting in touch at all switched on a mental spotlight aimed at some words they uttered: "you're just an e-mail away", "let's keep in touch", "keep your blogs coming", etc. I held up my end of the deal, sending greeting cards, postcards, letters, blog links, emails, which went unrecognized and unreciprocated. Then I got words that they were too busy or too lazy to write. I reactivated my sleeping FB account just to "meet" them there and thus keep our friendship. I took time like a caring friend to look at their posts and clicked like or dropped  comments. I got no acknowledgement. I posted links to my blog to update them. No one followed the links, except some from other continents. I tried and tried...still keep trying...and waiting.

I reached the point where I had to accept that those friends ceased to become part of my life. Friends care for each other. They find time in their busy lives to get in touch, even with just a simple hi or hello, or spare some time to read what they have to say as a way of updating them. Since these caring gestures have been missing for some years now, I have to move them out of my life and make room for the new ones who really care. Why stay friends with those who don't care at all? While I lost many, even those I believed to be my close friends, I gained and regained some, like long-lost friends from different countries with whom I've just been recently  reconnected and the ones I met online who proved to be caring and supportive. Best of all are the new friends I've met here who are truly loving and inspiring.

Accepting my loss of friends doesn't mean that they're out of my life for good. My arms are still open to welcome them back if they care. So my acceptance embraces two ways:  accepting the reality of losing my friends and accepting new friends who truly care.

O yes, despite the oddities of friendship, life is still good!

"With someone loyal, you act in loyalty;
With the blameless man you deal blamelessly;
With the pure you show yourself pure,
But with the crooked you show yourself shrewd"
- Psalm 18:25,26

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Be Kind To Everyone

Yes, that's the reason why we should be kind to all. We have no idea what kind of internal battle they are fighting, how much suffering they're going through. Some suffer openly, letting the world know of the inner ferocious monsters that they are wrestling with. Others suffer silently, not giving away a single clue of what's gnawing inside them, but perfectly managing to put on a quiet, well-composed demeanor.

Sometimes, we don't know what lurks behind their smiles, laughters, silence, composure, preoccupation;  behind their meanness, unfriendliness and other strange behaviors. Perhaps they're drowning emotionally but are trying to come to terms with their situation in ways that are deemed eccentric. So be kind.

(I must point out that the foregoing quotes are not my own words, though they perfectly express my own thoughts. I would like to give credit to those who eloquently expressed these inspiring quotes, but my sources failed to mention them.  Sorry.  But the background graphics are my own creations.)

Let's face it, all of us have our own battles to fight. But we can cope in the right way and win our battles. Here are some inspiring quotes from the Holy Scriptures that have helped many to cope. I used my own photographs as backgrounds. I'm sharing these as an act of  kindness extended to all my readers. 

To EVERYONE who is suffering and undergoing a lot of tribulations, YOU are not left without hope and backing. You, too, can conquer a world of trials and struggles!