Our Garden of Life

Leonard Nimoy tweeted, “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”

Sometimes when I see a beautiful flower in full bloom, I am tempted to pick and put it in a vase to enjoy it. Yet flowers stay longer right where they are until their petals close, wilt and fade. Sometimes in the best of moments, we forget to capture it in a photograph — yet perfect moments we experience are sometimes better left untouched, spared by the camera, and kept private.

Can we ever capture enough of the joy or pain, or the happiness or sadness of a moment? Many times, they remain just as beautiful or poignant, or hurtful pressed in the deep recesses of our hearts and minds, much like pressed or dried flowers…

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Image Source
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This indeed is our garden of life. The journey we take, with all our experiences, good or bad, is the garden plot in which we sow seeds of growth in a variety of ways —

These are the flowers we cultivate as we nurture the garden of our lives into full bloom – developing ourselves, cultivating our potentials until we reach our full flourishing. So as we dig deeper into the soil, the foundation of our spiritual selves, we also weed out what can hinder our personal growth.

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Each of our experiences, the people we have and encounter, are unique on their own, and provide for us an enriching life – despite the mud, thorns and prickly bushes —

 

These are mistakes we make, the hurts we cause or are caused by others, the toxic people we sometimes meet — all these provide us invaluable lessons and insights so we become stronger, better persons.

Our failings do not necessarily mar the beauty and dignity of our persons, just as thorns do not mar the beauty of a rose…

And life still remains beautiful!

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Note: This post was first published in 2015, and this is my revised edition (2018): new title, new photos and with minor edits.

I Wish I Were…A Nun!

One fine school day, during recess time, when I was a Kinder pupil at a Catholic school run by nuns, I hurried up to the chapel.

All alone in the silence, I tiptoed along the middle aisle until I reached the communion rail (pre-Vatican II days). Then gently I knelt, looked up at the big crucifix lording over the altar, and whispered with all my childlike fervor my simple prayer, “Dear Jesus, please make me a nun!”

In those days, nuns almost everywhere wore their white habits long, until their ankles, their neck and forehead also covered with their white and black starched headdress. So did those nuns in my school, and what often caught my attention was the big, heavy, rosary chain hanging from the waistline down to the hemline of each nun.

Because every evening, we would have our family rosary time at home, and each of us had our rosaries, the nuns’ huge black rosary beads fascinated me a lot. I do not recall any longer what else made my 5-year old self wished to be like them, but it was my ardent dream, my 1st ever.

Later back at home that day, I confided to my parents about my prayer in the chapel. Hearing that, my parents only smiled, then my Mom asked me if I were ready then to sleep all by myself in my own room because that is what nuns do. You see, as a child, I was always afraid of the dark.

Soon after, my childhood dream seemed to have gone beyond the glorious sunset.

A Dream's Glorious Sunset

 

 

How to Grow Your Friendship

Friends come and go, we often say. Indeed, as we grow older, some friendships fall on the way, so we just move on and grow into other friendships.

As we mature, we discover some friends were not real; others, we may have outgrown.

But to answer the question —

how do you make a friendship grow?

I’d like to quote one Indian proverb: “Don’t let grass grow on the path of friendship.”

Like a garden covered with overgrown grass, the beauty of friendship can easily fade with neglect.  You can only see the weeds, unless you remove these and nurture your garden of friendship back to life.

Yes, unless you nurture your friendship, it will not grow. Come to think of it — each friendship is unique…special in its own way, so much like the variety of plants and flowers in your garden. Each needs its own nurturing care, love and special attention.

Thus, with my own sets of friends, I try to give time to make our friendships grow. I

Cupcakes of Friendship

only need to make time for each of my friends, even for just a cup of tea or tall glass of iced coffee on a hot summer day, with a cute cupcake to boot, to make life a little sweeter with our bonding moments.