Hong Kong!

IMG_0957If you’re not oohing and aahing over the plush florals randomly springing from  bridges and city crevices, similar to this blossom from  Kunming,

 

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you are dodging a good hundred dozen  or more of the 6,650 people per square kilometer.  Hong Kong!  After a recent school trip to Kunming, China (an iMovie coming up on that later) I stopped over in Hong Kong where we lived a while back…

Note to self:  It’s still a busy place!  Below is a quick phone view from my hotel, 24th floor and you can sort of see the harbor water through the buildings…sort of to the left-ish…in the back.IMG_1034

IMG_0972Such diversity lines the city of Hong Kong, a most intriguing place and  people!  Squashed into only 421 square miles, just 6 times the size of Washington D.C., the country is abuzz with activity, 24/7 and ablaze in exotic waterfront views!

Gracing the hectic flavor of one of the world’s showiet harbor cities, the serenity of color bids a claiming wave throughout  the metropolis.  As bougainvillea drips freely,  jettying out the unsuspecting landscapes (like this one in another part of China) your heart dares rest- for just a moment.IMGP0158The children of China steal your heart…

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and the market veggies wow their visitors with color!  Amist sky rises and name branded everything are antique style open markets, wet markets: the modern and the ancient all blend together as in a mixer pressed on “high speed.” There is no “slow” or “stop” button.

IMGP0026 1There are definitely some market food, “What is that?” moments…

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This is an easier one and I believe we are safe to call these mushrooms!

Need a bird while out shopping, well there are a few thousand on Bird Street…

IMG_1030or if florals are your fancy, there are streets and streets of tropical selections…

I had a couple of personal days, banchee running around this Asian mystery.  As far as transportation, if it moved, I was on it! Trams, subways, busses, ferry and walking for miles and lost most of the time…in a place that crams in more than 7 million.  It’s mind boggling,  leaves you dodging somebody somewhere all the time!  Of those 7 mil it seems that at least 100,001 of them are standing right where you are.  At least it was not monsoon season- just imagine adding umbrellas to the mix!

IMG_1012I can’t jingle it all into just words, be cause then you would miss the sounds…

I can’t upload sounds or you would miss the sauna heat and that fact that your clothes are dripping wet, two seconds after you step outside…

I can’t put it all into just pictures unless you are standing in an oven on 450 degrees!

Ah, but I tried to crack the door… my love affair with Hong Kong continues!

(Asia, cont. next time!)

 

You’re the Song

At the swimming pool one day the student swim teams were competing.  The colors and splash of summer still spilled on the wing but with a lining of competitive feistiness.  “I want to win!” was on their hearts and to the side I noticed a father.  I never had to even wonder, “Which one is your child?”

(All pics this week by yours truly…)

It was so obvious!  His teen seemed to be the only one in the pool, according to Dad!  His eyes, fixed on that boy like “white on rice!” as we say in the South, followed the son up and back, up and back. As the boy butterflied- free swam or breast stroked, the father whirred up and down the length, rooting him on with words of encouragement.

It so reminded me of Him and us…

Ever felt like just one on the backside of a zillion people on this earth?

Ah, but He has singled you out!  Me too!  Somehow His loving glaze bores through our souls in a one on one zip  line so that even in a crowd of zillion,

He only sees you….

Wow…I can’t explain it, just enjoy it…IMGP1483So there are no lone ducks in this word…

IMGP1901DSC_0118for in this whisper of time, called “life,” we are singled out one by one for

Hope. Eternal hope.

IMGP2159IMGP1774Feeling woobly in the faith?

Weak knee-ed in trust?

Like a child needing to realize the Father’s eyes?

We’ve all felt that way at times.

IMGP1903But the truth is,

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no matter  where our feelings sprawl raw,

we are always on His mind…Yes,  one  soul at a time.

IMGP2456Threading one tune upon another,

IMGP2550He singles us out of the chorus, rooting us on like we’re the only one in the pool!

IMGP1830Cause you’re the song, the one in the zillion- chorused choir

that drove Him to the cross.

Me too.

He bored a hole through all others just to get to you-

you’re the Song that played His heart.

He became Visible in the Flesh so that you never have to feel invisible,

again.

Ever.

With His eyes on His Son and you on His mind,

He spread His arms cross wise

so that I would know, and you,

we’re always on His mind.

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Ps. 42:8 By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. NIV

Though our lives span just a whisper of time-

we are that son and daughter in the pool…the

only one He sees….

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They Wrote It…I Didn’t…

I’m never one to promote graffiti but on my walk in the park the other morning, I couldn’t help but notice the plea…”Forgive…” Is it not the call of mankind to forgive and be forgiven? Is it not the first step towards the healing of relationships both sovereign and mortal? Image  Piggybacking on the last post,  I’m still thinking about Linda….   IMGP0051

Memphis Farmer's Market

Memphis Farmer’s Market

It was the Memphis Farmers’ Market where on a hot summer’s day I met Linda (see previous post) and discovered her plight, one that unearths thoughts of scores in a similar unfortunate patch. It was a day when even the non fightables tried to wing through heat blasted florals!  It was a time I was reminded that people’s dreams often crash sideways…haven’t we all been there at some point?IMGP0072 The Memphis Farmer’s Market… IMGP0109 Alongside people lolligaging, strumming a guitar, sampling plums, petting dogs and taming two years olds, I was reminded that those in severe need, long to know that people believe in them.  God believed is us enough to send His very Son to die for us. You see individually, He cares. Life CAN get better and is  “forgiveness” not a crucial stepping stone? Some of you have visited this blog from 80+ countries and I thank you so much for your time, your stops when you could be somewhere else.  I SO appreciate your visits and today I just want to remind us all that though we live in a crooked, in fallen world… where the topsy-turvy often looks straight and the straight line appears wavy, He never tires of loving us as children in need of hope. Whether we are plodding along a “Linda” path, in a season sprinkled with despair of finances, health, children, loss of a loved one or dream never come true…

A summer hummer from last year!

A backyard summer hummer from last year!

He is that Hope and Forgiveness, that we long to live.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16  KJV

It Could Be Me…or You

It could be me…or you…

and it is she…I met her a few weeks ago at the Memphis Farmer’s Market

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Homelessness can strike at any phase of life and for Linda it came at a most unsuspecting time.  It’s a story she shared with me and then said I could pass along to you.

Like a theif in the night, it crept in as the loss of health.  As a college adult, she was about to begin her senior year  when illness snatched her dreams, temporarily at least.

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IMGP0090 IMGP0096When I first met her,  a sweltering June  Saturday morning, I was at this market, laden with color and the buzz of local flavor. The Memphis market touts some nifty  garden boxes where locals grow color and browse among the veggies for sale…

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Beautiful plants and flowers  grace the grounds and even  non living wing-eds  try and take flight!

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Shop a little, walk a little, talk a lot, break for some tunes, for most folks

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it’s just an all around fun time.  But for Linda and her friends it proffers an opportunity to sell the “Bridge” newspaper, for a dollar.  It’s where I learned her story and my heart hurt, then buoyed in hope as she explained her situation.  At one time, she was homeless but is now in a transition house in Memphis and works at sharing the Bridge for a dollar.   It’s a start back up a long hill.

Meet Linda…

Photo taken and used by permission from Linda

Photo taken and used by permission from Linda

I’d like to give a big shout out for Rhodes College who is behind this wonderful effort to help people get back into the groove of life, the steps that stretch long and hard.  My  admiration for her and her friends swelled as I learned of their perseverance.

So, if you are in downtown Memphis, any day of the week and see her or her friends in a similar situation, please consider buying the Bridge, for more than a dollar.  They wear a name tag and walk various parts of the downtown area and markets. Volunteers help them by driving them to various locations.

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It’s a way to help people like you, or me, who could find themselves in a similar situation,  walking hot pavements, seeking people who care.  The stories are not of pity but now of… hope.

As for me, I’m picturing Linda down the road up a hill, flagging a cap and gown!

Again, a shout out for Rhodes College that helps them accomplish this endeavor!

Color and Life!

I just can’t get enough of either!

backyard little bliss

backyard little bliss

You think you’ve seen all the sweet you can drink in Deep Southern living, hard times, blessed times, all slathered across an earlier long stint in Asia. We ponder across the birthing of three sons on foreign soil and seeing them now chase life’s dreams…

Hubby D.'s radishes!

Hubby D.’s radishes!

Memories  spread across the rough and smooth paths:  The mysteries of Asian life: Korea touting her great food and breezy simple rice paddies, fronds swaying in fresh morning light.

Then there was Hong Kong: minty green light busses  edging across the world’s showiest harbor; the Lunar New Year raining in fireworks exploding in color in popcorn shrills across the sky.   It’s a place where ending sunsets skim over water in breathtaking grace. The colors calm the otherwise storm of a city with 5,000 people per square kilometer.

I revel, thankfully, in the bringing up of three sons alongside the greatest husband on earth, both of us carried under the love of the God of the Universe…

from some gardens in Memphis moments

from some gardens in Memphis moments

My mind meanders through the memories of good times, IMGP0060 1 hard times, but thankful that the trials were generally from the worldside in,

not the inside out… IMGP0094Yes, in seasons hard and good, life and color waft in and out, some thoughts  as flotsam scattering the high seas, others as light touches, tiptoeing across Gulf waves.

O this life so full of color…in any season.

Peek a Boo, we see you little singer song writer!

Peek a Boo, we see you peering from the grapevines,  little singer song writer!

This life so full of striking pain, and of sweet surprises…

may we never tire of opening morning sunrises.

They twinkle like gift packages…

that never fail to wink in Hope.

Memphis Botanical Gardens

Memphis Botanical Gardens

the Awakening

IMGP0078 It seemed she could awaken anything…Spring that is,

with her onslaught of showers, sun sprays and gentle taps of wonder…

And I hope with the coming of all things Spring your dreams awaken too

just as she wipes away winter’s sleep from her eyes… to hear IMGP0048 kids  in bare feet

running tip toed

squealing through grassy greens!

And just above birds that can’t get enough

of treble clefs and parks,  where  even solid objects take breath! IMGP0057 1 “Skee dittle to da!”  if metal knees needs a speed limit sign than surely our dreams … can take wings!   IMGP0092 IMGP0027 1 IMGP0130“Peek a boo,” we see you  still in your winter whites all fluffy,

gliding on the Memphis pond. She carries no thoughts of tomorrow just latches hold of Now.

Living Now in the brightest, best way possible.  Birds get it. Children understand it.  Lilies live it!

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  Matthew 6:28 

Consider the LIly final

So Spring or anytime, why don’t we simply consider the lily?  Lay worries aside?

Or maybe  you are soaked in trust and I should just speak for myself…

Me -who has a hard time resting with the lilies

or

running through  grass…in bare tickled toes!

If Spring Could Sing…

If Spring could sing,

she might be twilling in choruses

swirling apple blossoms and grape hyacinths!

Memphis Apple Blossoms!

Memphis Apple Blossoms!

Why, if she could even hum,

then could surely tout out loud about blossoms that never quit on wonder!

In curled stanzas

that jangle in rainbow arches, we’d join the chorus.

Yes, if spring could sing she’d lullaby in rosehips from the rooftops

and shout “Glory!” from the roots up!

Memphis jewels

Memphis jewels

Yes, if spring could entertain, maybe we’d be lulled happy in a

bed of pansies

during the Entr’acte between the Iris blooms and

Fun at the Memphis Botanicals where beds real ly are made up in pansies!

Fun at the Memphis Botanicals where beds really  are made up in pansies!

fresh buds on the wing!

If only spring could sing…

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Yes, we’d ogle over the arpeggio of budding plants!

Dennis’ radishes coming right along!

She’d twill “Glory!” from the bottom up, maybe

loud enough to wake the Miss Priss, aka Tiger.

(Well, sort of…)

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Miss Priss, aka Tiger, woke as a very angry cat that she has not been featured in a post for a long winter’s time. Well, she slept and slept and slept some more…(type Tiger in the Search box for some of her more colorful moments, especially one Christmas.)

Yes,

sign us up for blooms that dazzle in the day and we’ll together plan for

the  moonflower’s night encore.

 

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 Choruses symbiotic to dazzle will carry us through til

glory plucks like a harp.

 

Now did I say “If” spring could sing?

Oh, shame on me, shame… shame on me!

Why, I’m altogether blinded by her chorus!

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indoor jewels too!

Kitchen indoor jewels too!

 

Another fun click along the Memphis botanical andante...

Another fun click along the Memphis botanical andante…