poetry, Travel

An Amazing Tree is a Symbol of Hope, Peace, and Endurance

path with several ginkgo yellow trees
Ginkgo tree lined path-flickr.com cc

Half the month of October is gone, fallen by the wayside like the autumn leaves.

My favorite autumn tree is the Ginkgo. It’s a tree I rarely see where I live, but abundant in Denver where I frequently visit my kids.

There is a Ginkgo tree in China that is 3,500 years old (give or take a decade). In China, the ginkgo  is a symbol of hope and peace.

After Hiroshima, Japan was bombed in 1945, the only living trees were a few Ginkgoes, which are presently alive. In Japan, the tree is symbolic of endurance and vitality.

An interesting aside, for book lovers, is a Japanese tradition. The ginkgo leaves were used as book markers as they are believed to drive away silverfish and other pests from paper.

During my last writing retreat, we had a free write of three minutes. I thought of Gingko trees.

Leaves shimmer gold

on a living fossil

Shaken by winds

of atomic magnitude

jolting earth, quake of destruction

Rises again, moves

across Asia to my world

 Saffron reminders

of hope and peace,

 gentle as a baby’s yawn

Lights the path with a glowing aura

gives itself for my delight.

To see some gorgeous photos, check these out:  An Ancient Chinese Ginkgo Tree Drops an Ocean of Golden Leaves.

Peace and hope for the rest of October.

 

Inspiration, poetry, Travel

The Inspiration of a Beautiful Garden

 

 Portal into a Garden-Denver Botanical Gardens photo by MAlvaradoFrazier
Portal into a Garden-Denver Botanical Gardens photo by MAlvaradoFrazier

On any trip I take I try to find a garden, whether a tiny patch of flowers in someone’s front yard or a botanical garden where I can get lost, inside my head and on the trail.

So I took the road less traveled between scratching shrubs, dirt, and rock, where spiny pine needles carpeted the earth. My eyes focused on delicate petals flying miraculous colors, every shade of purple, orange, red and yellow.

The scent of oak, a whiff of lavender, the sight of quaking grass reminds me that beauty exists among the everyday trials of life, a day of media news, or the sameness we sometimes feel.

I’ve been to this particular garden about seven times. There is always a new flower, a blooming tree or bush to entice me so I carry a journal, pen and my cell phone for photos.

This time, my thoughts spilled haikus, which is a good thing since I just read that Denver Botanical Gardens is having a haiku contest.

 

Japanese Smoke Tree-photo by MAlvaradoFrazier
Japanese Smoke Tree-Photo by MAlvaradoFrazier

A plume of smoke rose

lion-headed above the forest

welcoming summer

Chapungu Sculpture, "So Proud of My Children" by Nicholas Kadzungura
Chapungu Sculpture, “So Proud of My Children” by Nicholas Kadzungura

 

A tilt of face to

children reading together

a devoted mother

 

The stone sculpture is from Zimbabwe.

Pedestal of flowers-Denver Botanical Gardens photo by MAlvaradoFrazier
Pedestal of flowers-Denver Botanical Gardens photo by MAlvaradoFrazier

 

Forever entwined

Wrapped in a fragrance of love

Standing firm as one

Quote by Tao te Ching
Quote by Tao te Ching

 

This last one is not a haiku. I love the wisdom and peace of this quote.

Have a fun 4th of July. Enjoy.

 

Family, Parenting, Travel

Vacation Without the Distraction of Social Media

Panoramic view of Denver Skyline
Denver -Panoramic of Skyline, Photo by Casey Reynolds flickr.com

 

Sometimes, we have to take a break from blogging and social media. This is one of those times.

I’m visiting my twenty-somethings kids in Denver. Really visiting and being present with them when they are with me. So I’ve haven’t posted photos on Facebook, Instagram or elsewhere.

For social media upload it takes me a couple of minutes (seconds for my kids) to edit and upload the pics. That’s per post.

Not posting photos is difficult because everything is in bloom here and I found some inspiring exhibits at the Denver Art Museum: Women of Abstract Expressionism and Why We Dance: American Indian Art in Motion. I’ll share them another time.

My kids love to take photos and use Snapchat, so they apply endless filters and special effects on the pics.

Snapchat Image by Chris Pirillo, flickr.com
Snapchat Image by Chris Pirillo, flickr.com

This enhances some photos, but the ones of me end up being morphed into a chipmunk or face exchanged or with hearts on my eyes. Not funny. And don’t get me started on the geo-filters. Makes me miss vacations with the kids before they had cell phones.

Have a great weekend. Replenish and revive.

See you in a week.

 

Family, New Year intentions, Parenting

How Moving Made Me A Better Person

Capitol Hill neighborhood street, Denver
Capitol Hill-Denver 2016

 

This may be the year of no resolutions. Not because I don’t believe in them but I haven’t had the occasion to do so. Moving from the outskirts of Denver to downtown took up most of my time and all of my energy.

New Year’s Day began with my arrival to Denver to help my kids move into their new place, a smaller condo in a historic 1929 building which is much closer to their jobs.

On moving day, while I’m at the title company signing documents for the new place, my daughter calls me:

“One of the moving guys reeks of weed, I can’t even understand what he’s saying…”

After I finished laughing, because I thought she was joking, I told her to call the manager of the company and not to let them inside.

My son reminded me to be patient. No doubt he saw the steam accumulating above my head. The virtue of patience is a resolution I’ve had for a few years, and I’m better but can still practice it much more often.

God, the Universe, and Karma gave me an opportunity to see if I’d remember my resolution.

We headed back to the old condo, a ride punctuated with my daughter’s texts that her call to the moving company resulted in being hung up on, transferred, voice mailed, and finally the manager called her back. His response: the guy wasn’t high, he said he took too much cold medication. (I don’t think so).

When I got back, I took a deep breath and made the best of a potentially bad situation. I received a call that the manager was coming over. When he got to the condo, I explained how he could see how a mother would worry when receiving a call like my daughter’s and she was home alone. Sure, he said, he’s a parent too.

Long story short, the boss made things right, brought along another worker, stayed to supervise the move and gave me a 10% discount.

Later that day, my son caught the flu and between his bouts in the bathroom and sleeping, he got his bedroom semi-together. We really needed his help with moving things and reaching high areas since he’s over six feet tall, but we had to do without.

I went into full Mom mode, making soup, a pitcher of manzanilla (chamomile) tea, and babying him for two days.

So I’m the one unpacking and it’s the pits. If I could have gotten away with it, I would have dumped 25 coffee cups and cat figurines my daughter has collected from the segunda (second-hand store). This would have left her with 20 cups, more than anyone needs.

 

A benefit of moving to a smaller place with closets half the size of the last ones is one can see all the needless ‘stuff’ to donate or throw. There are bags of stuff.

I took a walk around the neighborhood, to find the post office and markets. I was pleased to find a bookstore. The chalkboard was full of great book quotes:

book quotes, bookstore window
Capitol Hill bookstore with cool window dressing.

The kids like their new place in this old brick building, but it’s hard adjusting to radiator heat that’s mounted in the ceiling. Nothing like central heat.

One cat, Heidi, likes jumping up to the windows and watching people walk by. The other one, Kiki, is still hiding somewhere.

So today, I’m going to rest, like Heidi, and maybe explore my intentions for the new year later.

Maine Coon mix cat, sleeping cat
Heidi loves her naps-www.alvaradofrazier.com