Tag Archives: flowers

Garden Enigma -Part Two

In order to understand what I’m talking about, you need to read this post of mine. Not only it will give you an extensive view of the place, but it will save me also from the trouble of rewriting everything again. 

They say you will only realize the value of something when it is no longer there. In this case, it is true. In someway it is. Garden wise, it truly is. Financial wise, it’s not. But to us, especially to D., The place is still the benchmark. We still miss it. We often talk about the time we were drinking wine and eating tapas in the huge gazebo, sleeping on the loveseat when he came home from work amidst the singing of the birds and buzzing of insects, lighting the firepit during the colder months, taking a nap on the hammock and enjoying the great outdoors in our property right outside our doorsteps. I even wrote some of my articles in the garden. Now, the place is nothing but a distant memory.

How many times we drove there and park just outside the gate nursing the pain in our hearts upon seeing the people who bought it altered the property beyond belief, ripping the period features we cared for and loved replacing them with modern ones that do nothing to enhance the beauty of our once beloved house it looks like a butchered example of those renovations when people failed to successfully marry the old and the new. I saw that the yellow climbing rose I planted next to the front door is still alive and thriving. That baby has grown enormous it almost reached the third-floor window and covered with big blooms. I wonder if they will rip it out too in given time.

They say be careful what you wish for and often times this cliché happened to be true. At least in our case it certainly is. If I could do things all over again you will be surprised when I say I will not alter a single decision I had made that lead us to our current house with the beautiful garden we never use. I have no choice. It was then “take the plunge and swim” or “stay put and drown.”

What would you choose? 

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A Safari Experience

Last Saturday was a corporate family day. They do this event once a year. I like it better than any other social occasions like Christmas party and such because, for an introvert like me, it’s heaven. You can be among people you are not forced to socialize with. They hired the entire place for member only, free food and drinks and personnel enough to cater to your needs. What could be better than that?

This time it was a zoo they hired. I was skeptical. I hate animals in captivity and if they are there to parade for your pleasure, I hate it even more. That is why I don’t go to the circus or zoo. But I was pleasantly surprised. There were no cages, no fences, all natural open-air surroundings. What they did basically is to turn acres of acres into a jungle, then section off the place into different rooms, each designed for the needs of a particular animal. The division is so subtle it isn’t obvious and each section is so huge you can get lost. You will have an impression that the birds are free to fly around but if you look closely, high above are concealed nets to keep the birds where they are supposed to be. You can even walk among the vultures. They keep track of your movements but other than that, they are pretty docile. The enclosures and viewing areas are so cleverly designed that you can watch the animals without interfering with their privacy. They don’t even know you are watching them.

They named the areas according to the kind of animals you will discover in that specific place; what do you think of Rainforest, Taiga, Tundra and Savannah? Inviting, isn’t it? 

There is an amazing play area for the kids (including big kids) with a huge seating area to rest tired feet, also a number of small play areas dotted along the way.  And those little interactive sections throughout the zoo are also fascinating. There are restaurants and places to drink and have snacks. The parking area is big enough to accommodate thousands of visitors. All and all, it was a positive Safari experience. No wonder the establishment is voted year after year including this year the best park in the country.

I don’t know if I’m going to be back. I hate doing things twice and new surroundings are much preferable than something I’ve already seen. Besides, once you already have seen something, the novelty is gone. How many ways you can see a giraffe for example.

But I did learn something. The lesson I’m walking away with is ‘give something a chance’ who knows, like me, you could be in for a very pleasant surprise.

(Pardon any mistakes. Too tired and too lazy to edit today)

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Intermission

My Wife the Gardener

She dug the plot on Monday –
the soil was rich and fine,
She forgot to thaw out dinner –
so we went out to dine…
She planted roses Tuesday –
she says they are a must,
They really are quite lovely
but she quite forgot to dust.
On Wednesday it was daisies –
they opened up with the sun,
All whites and pinks and yellows –
but the laundry wasn’t done…
The poppies came on Thursday –
a bright and cherry red,
I guess she really was engrossed –
she never made the bed…
It was violets on Friday –
in colours she adores,
It never bothered her at all –
all crumbs upon the floors
I hired a maid on Saturday –
my week is now complete,
My wife can garden all she wants –
the house will still be neat!
It’s nearly lunchtime Sunday –
and I cannot find the maid,
Oh no! I don’t believe it!
She’s out there WITH THE SPADE!

~ Peter (poem in an old magazine via Facebook)

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Prolific

At this time of the year, there are some plants that bloom prolifically as if there is no tomorrow. And rightly so because their days are numbered. They have to put on a show as best as they can for their beauties are transient, ephemeral. Their glory is momentary, their claim to fame is short and sudden. Luckily, they will have another chance to do it again though they have to wait long for it. But what’s another year?        

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Growth

Last summer I was walking along this (almost) barren coast in Majorca when I encountered these little beauties. And I thought: How they can grow and flourish in this extreme condition? 

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It was hot, windy, suffocating and dry; so dry, and yet they look as if they are having a good time. I envy their tenacity and perseverance. Tough little angels. 

While most of us are struggling to grow anything in almost ideal circumstances with the help of everything available to us, these creatures are happily surviving without help other than what they can find in nature. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from them. Don’t you think so? 

Unfurl

Emotional intelligence is growing as a recognizable and useful skill.

A step in developing emotional intelligence is learning how to identify and relate with people who are not awakened to their own emotional state and expressions. Emotional insecurity is common with people who do not recognize, see or value subtle sensitivities.

When attempting to be open-hearted with an emotionally insecure individual, they have core predictable responses. The stories will change, yet these energetic-attitude patterns are observable beneath the words.

My perspective of emotional security rests in a person’s inability to accept how another person feels, experiences life, and exists. The emotionally insecure person is challenged by existential differences.

This list of personal experiences reflects my insight, both as a person who feels insecure at times, and who relates with and loves people who also have insecurities. These are not judgments about a person’s character, yet identifying personality patterns can turn an old fight into a new response.

1. Defensiveness.

A person who is under attack and feels pressured will be defensive. It is a natural response for every person and just because a person is feeling defensive doesn’t make them emotionally insecure.

The reason a person becomes defensive is because emotions tap into identity and self-esteem. Without an awareness and capacity to operate with emotions, the emotional realm and its expression and languages are frightening.

Frightened people respond in two ways, either running from or fighting with the trigger. It takes time to see and operate securely with emotions and sensitivities.

Emotional insecurity is identified when a person is so defensive they are unable to hear or accept differences of any degree. Even everyday, scientifically provable facts can become a point of contention. When it comes to differences in feelings the mere presence of emotion and feeling can trigger the defensive reaction.

This entire list is varieties of defensive responses.

2. Redirection.

The emotionally insecure person will redirect blame, fault or mistake back onto the person who brings legitimate concerns.

In a secure relationship, all topics of conversation are open for discussion. Asking for clarification or bringing up a personal point or perspective remains a cause for celebration. Unfortunately, attempts to communicate become the cause for conflict and separation.

When a person does not feel safe emotionally, redirection can be a powerful tool for not owning one’s own participation and never having to take responsibility.

3. Misdirection & Storytelling.

Similar to redirection, misdirection takes responsibility and places it on an object or circumstance rather than the person bringing the concern.

Whether it was the booze, the full moon, astrological birth sign, or childhood event, misdirection blinds a person to what is happening in the moment. Even when there is legitimacy in the misdirection, it becomes a way to not hear and see the person as they are showing up, now.

Even legitimate, truthful reasons can be used for hiding emotionally.

Just because something happened in the past and influenced this moment does not make it the cause or thing that needs to be discussed. In talking about the past and over-analyzing what a person shares, the individual and the opportunity to deepen relationship are missed.

Rather than looking at what is really happening and being communicated, the cause remains unaddressed. A lot of endless, circular talking happens until one person takes responsibility and acts from their own center.

4. Comparison.

Just because people or circumstances are similar, comparison confuses the real issue. Rather than hearing and seeing a person or issue plainly, a filter is added. This creates confusion.

A son is not just like his father, a daughter is not just like her mother. People of any ethnicity, age, background, though similar, are completely individual and unique. The new person in one’s life is not just like an old, even if there are common points. Not all Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Discordians are the same. Each is an individual.

Reality is totally missed when framing a person as “just like so and so” or taking a situation and saying “its just like this other time.”

They aren’t just like so and so.

And this moment has never happened before and never will again happen.

5. Invalidation.

Subtle and pernicious, invalidation strikes at a person’s emotional, existential core.

Invalidation makes a person wrong for feeling how they feel. The emotionally insecure person, incapable of working with and coping with their own emotions, invalidates and puts down whoever is attempting to communicate.

The most damaging of emotional defensive patterns, invalidation can be difficult to recognize.

“You are being too sensitive.” is the battle cry of invalidation. Its variations mock and undermine a person’s subtle perceptions of reality and relationships with other people.

Invalidation is difficult to communicate with words, it happens as a feeling. The result of invalidation is the loss of trust and security. It can happen quickly and without warning, often unintentionally with careless words.

A person knows when it happens, yet often times cannot recognize what has happened until after the experience.

While recognizing emotional insecurity is one step, learning to relate and navigate the effects of emotional insecurity takes time. It’s a learned skill dependent on self-knowledge. How a person relates to their own self, operating with their own emotional nature, is the foundation, attitude and exact same relationship style shared with other people. Learning to relate with emotional insecurity with others first depends on how one relates to it within, first.

The greatest challenge there is how a person treats their own self when feeling emotionally insecure. The dynamic and internal dialogue are the relationship traits one lives daily within and without.

There is no quick fix for emotional insecurity. It is normal. Self-knowledge remains the cure.

“And God said “Love Your Enemy,” and I obeyed him and loved myself.” ~ Khalil Gibran

Relephant: Via Keith Artisan

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