Paying respects to our grandparents when all of us were in younger years.

I’m sitting amidst my paper clutter on this sunny Sunday. Not a dark cloud or a drop of rain for a change. No dark clouds from me either. For a change I am not fretting about my clutters or mutters. I am surprisedly at peace with it all. Hallelujah, eh? It would be wonderful if I could retain this chill most of the time. The thing not to do is search for the cause or sources of my bliss. I should have just sit and savour it and move on. BUT of course being me, I had to investigate and in doing so I caused myself some mild angst.

Since I did go down the trail of why, let me continue on and voice my thoughts. I had a visit from my neighbour across the back alley yesterday. We’ve been neighbours for over 40 years and had worked in the same institution but different departments for many years. We’re not close friends but neighbourly enough for her to call us on a few occasions for help. She has been a widow for about 14 years. She is quite hard of hearing even with her buds in. Long complicated conversations are rare. Sometimes she comes across as unfriendly and aloof because of it. However, yesterday, everything was in working order. She was cheerful and outgoing and hearing well. Conversation flowed. She was so content and peaceful, I think I’ve caught her mood.

Today our family did our annual visit to my grandparents’ place in the cemetery. We did not burn incense or paper money. We did not pour libation but paid our respects with our bouquets of flowers. It was my mother’s wish as she thinks it will make it easier and simpler for us when she and my father are no longer here. I think we might put it back next year. It is not hard to do and I do miss those rituals. Afterwards we had take out lunch on our enclosed deck. It was warm enough for mom and dad and cool enough for the rest of us. It was a perfect day for the cemetery and a family gathering on the deck. Covid has made me more sensitive and appreciative of such perfectness.

These 2 things, my neighbour and family, are most likely responsible for my feeling of well being. A thought did popped into my head that it might be a new supplement my doctor prescribed. I agreed to try it for 2 months and be reassessed. I’ve only started it yesterday. I was not going to look up the possible side effects. Against my better judgement I just did. My bliss kind of fizzled a little but I smartened up, realizing how strong and fast my thoughts affect how I feel. So, I’ve deleted, deleted and deleted those thoughts in my head.

It’s been a busy week. I’m fallen off my Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine of posting. But I have shown up here Monday and Sunday. It is good enough.


A Walk/One Difficult Thing a Day

I’ve left my mutterings too late tonight. However, I can make a start. What I won’t finish tonight, I will tomorrow. It’s been a full day for a natural snail like me. November can be dark. The mornings certainly are and I am feeling psychological unwell these mornings. I have to give myself an extra push and a talk. I tell myself it is the shortness of days and the darkness of the mornings that are colouring my mood. Once I get moving I will feel better. Sometimes my mood does get the better of me.

I work extra hard getting up in the dark of winter. There’s no light or sun to welcome me. I get up because it’s time. I get up to turn on the light and the warmth. And so it is the afternoon of the next day. I had to work no less hard this morning, rising and pushing back the dark. It’s a win once I’m up. There’s the morning rituals everyone has of brushing teeth and splashing water on your face. Then fill the kettle for tea and a breakfast of toast and grape jelly.

It’s Saturday. I got my swim morning back. Thank God that it’s not taken away again by rising Covid numbers. We don’t realize the value of things till they’re taken from us. I’m grateful to have this time to reflect on things small and large. Sometimes it is the smallest that matter the most. I love my winter Saturday mornings. I don’t quite love it the night before or the morning of. It always feel so difficult getting there in the cold and in the dark. But it is the after-swim-feel that I remember. It truly feels blissful. My body is warm, relaxed and so at ease.

It is this bliss that I work toward in all that I do. Sometimes I have to work through the difficult to get there. Knowing that makes it less difficult. Maybe the bliss comes from the difficulty of it. I try to do at least one difficult thing a day. Putting things away is in that category. I try to rinse my swim suit, goggles and cap as soon as I get home. It’s so easy for me to drop my bag in the kitchen and leave it till whenever. I waste so much time drinking tea and thinking about how hard everything is. I’m turning over another leaf till I fall off the wagon again.

Talking about tea, I feel the urge for another cup. Be back in a sec. Sometimes a tea break is not a bad thing. I put away the dried dishes waiting for the kettle to boil. I’ve done my hard tasks already. I can falter and stumble a little. I had my walk right after I did the lunch dishes. No dallying with a cuppa. No matter how grey the day, I always feel better instantly when I walk outside. The world seem to expand and I also. It works so I do the walk, even if it is just a short one.

Now the day and this post are done. Tomorrow is another day. Nothing much happening in the greenhouse. Yesterday with the sun the afternoon temperature got up to 22 degrees Celsius. Today was mostly cloudy with a bit of weak sun. I got up to maybe 12 C. Not all days are equal.


IMG_3629Another sunrise, another dawn.  The colours blossom across the sky.  I am awed.  I am elated.  I am soothed.  I am happy to be in this moment, on this earth.  I watch the light and the shadow dance, complementing, enhancing each other.  What would one be without the other, without the contrast?  What is ying without yang?  Can you tell the sweet without the sour?

Silly questions, I know.  I am like that.  I like to entertain these willy nillies.  Sometimes they lead to something profound – like a lightbulb, serendipitous moment.  I would like to have such a moment so I can rush out onto Preston Avenue, shrieking Eureka!  The traffic would stop, I am sure.  Someone would call 911 and I would be taken in for assessment.

But it would be a grand moment.  I smile at the deliciousness of it.  Imagine!  Discovering the answer to it all, whatever all is.  Let me linger in this bliss for while.  Life has been too serious lately.  I’ve been caught between a rock and a hard place too many times.  There is a softness and sweetness here.  It is good to sing, sway and dance.  Take it away…




There’s a price for bliss.  I suppose you know that.  I am paying today for that moment of sublime bliss in the garden yesterday.  My knuckles are swollen and achy, my hips stiff and unwieldy, not wanting to make the corners.  What the heck is the problem here?  Too much of a good thing?  A bliss is well worth the little achy creaky joints.

IMG_6848I close my eyes and see the rich black earth sifting through my fingers.  I see the brilliance of my purple petunias in the morning light.  I am infused with their colour and energy.  The pain leaves me as I slowly move through my qigong routine.  I have neglected my physical body these last while.  It’s reminding me to take care.

It’s good to come back to these familiar movements.  They seem so small and non consequential and yet they do so much for body and mind.  Maybe it is the time set aside to do nothing else but this.  I am into the moment and movements, feeling relaxed and blessed.  My body is important.  I am important.  It is another bliss -like a taste of rich, creamy ice cream on a hot summer afternoon.  Mmmm!  I so deserve it.

There is no need to do or accomplish.  It is Sunday, a day of rest.  Just be.


IMG_6846I love weeding after a good rain.  Everything looks so green and luscious.  I feel I’m working in the garden of our Lord.  The soil is soft.  You can easily pull the weeds out. There is so much satisfaction in seeing your work coming into its own.  How can I not stand back and admire it all?  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, do you?  I am not gloating.  I am just happy with my work.

IMG_6847To feel the earth beneath your feet, the rich soil between your fingers – is ecstasy.  It is what they call grounding, I suppose.  To me, it is simple bliss.  When we feel it, we should pay attention and celebrate.  Who knows when such a moment will come again. The memories can carry us forward when times are not so fortunate.  We know that this, too, shall pass.

Let us celebrate our lives with the fruits of IMG_1103our garden and our spirits.  Let us drink a toast to our friends, family and neighbours, for their love, friendship and the lessons they give us.   There is a reason and a season for everything under heaven.


Another night is conquered and I am sitting here in the warmth and brightness of my sun room.  So glad that it is over.  I thought that it would never end, but somehow it did.  So just let me count my blessings and appreciate my life.

You could say that I work in an unreal world.  I see the best of people.  I see the worst of people.  It can be a very good time or it can be a very bad time.  It can be full of adrenaline pumping excitement or it can be a tedious grind.  Such is my life as a nurse.  Some days /nights are wonderful.   Everyone works in sync with each other.  We are like a fine orchestra, each with our parts to be played…different but equally important parts.

Of course, there are times when everyone is out of tune.  There is no harmony, no melody to be played.  There are just fractured segments.  Everyone pays.  Those are the times I like to forget.  But those can be valuable times of learning.  We can learn to rewrite our parts so that we can all hum along.  I fret over those times too much sometimes.  How can I change?  What can I do?

For all we talk about getting to know ourselves and each other and living the authentic life, it is a bit difficult.  It is a lot difficult.  Best to just focus on the moment and do the best I can.  So I am feeling rushed for time.  I am breathless looking at the shift before me.  The call bells are ringing.  I have to do this.  I have to do that.  Oh, my God, how can I possibly?!!

I paused and took a breath.  I deleted the pictures in my head.  I put one foot in front of the other, answered one call bell at a time, emptied one bedpan at a time, checked this, checked that, consulted and cooperated with my teammate….I did the best I could.  Sometimes my best came with a touch of grouchiness, but I still made some of my patients laugh.  They still thanked me.  They are generous.  The night passed.

And I AM  here. The words are falling from my fingertips.  I am feeling at ease with myself and the universe.  And the sun is streaming through the window.  Soon I will go to bed.  I am happy.