As the fresh new snow blankets the ground and lays a layer of white powder on everything standing still, it feels like a permission for a new beginning. All is still, all is clean, all is white and a new chapter can now begin.
Yesterday the sun was shining as it still is today and the whole day, snowflakes shimmered in the sun, floating, dancing and eventually landing gently on surfaces, each in its unique glory.
Despite the bitter cold, I kept finding myself jumping up, grabbing my camera and heading outdoors to try and capture the magic of what was going on.
Every year at about the same time in November a new wind blows in Shanghai bringing with it the promise of a heartless winter to come. But there is so much to love about the way the fall forces itself on summer, not offering any apologies, simply making a bold statement, stripping the trees of their leaves, forcing us all to alertness and away from the laziness of summer warmth.
On a very early morning walk today, it was drizzling, fresh drops from a grey blanketed sky, the breeze was still catching its breath and getting ready to exhale later in the day, it was the time of morning magic. Soon winter will paint over everything with a muted canvas of grays, browns and whites, and the vibrant colors of fall will become just a memory. The few leaves I saw today with their glorious oranges, yellows and reds were just hanging on awaiting their turn to ride on the wings of the howling wind that is sure to come and carry them away…
What about this word destiny? Some believe it is already written, others are determined on rewriting it, some dismiss it completely and believe all is a haphazard series of coincidences… But aren’t we always changing the course of our destiny through actions we make and decisions we take? Isn’t blaming things on our destiny or our luck another way of abdicating from our responsibilities? How much of our lives are we directly responsible for and what part of them do we just allow ourselves to ‘go with the flow’ and just float inertly by. Going against the current, swimming upstream, creating a new path where no one has been before, isn’t that what humans where created for?
evening ponders on an unusually warm night in Shanghai
Fall, autumn, the time of separation, of big changes, of getting ready to go huddle indoors, and the time of little deaths. We get inspired and uplifted looking at the leaves changing color in the fall because it is just too overwhelmingly beautiful to witness. So death must have a beauty in itself like all things in life do. A leaf is born out of a magnificent blossom and it dies with an explosion of color. It is always about how we choose to see things, and this leaf was a magnificent vibrant yellow, can you see it?
Don’t you love the rolling of seasons and how elegantly each season fades into the next? Our glorious fall is shedding the last stage of vibrant colors as if it knows we will be yearning for brightness in the coming grey and white days of winter, so it saturates us with hues so bright that we yearn for the toned down palette that is sure to follow. In Shanghai’s streets these days the workers are busy sweeping away the fallen leaves and starting to bundle up for the coming cold.
We live in Shanghai, China with the other quarter of the Earth’s population who until a couple of months ago, did NOT recycle. All our trash at home goes in the same container and you could almost hear it screaming to be separated. Finally, a new and first recycling initiative is being introduced in homes in Shanghai. We were visited by representatives who offered us brown bags and brown containers to encourage recycling of just food waste. It is not too much, but it is a start.
Photo: A frozen salad in motion around Lea’s head rom the kingdom of plastic creations, hoping for it to go green for the sake of the whole planet…
At the end of summer so many little funerals are held in the great church that is nature. Flowers die, leaves wear their ceremonial dress of color as they sway gently to face their inevitable end, grains are harvested and their stems left to dry and return to the earth. So yes, “everything returns to the source of its arising” and so will each one of us one day. But there is a glory in this cycle of life and death, of flowering and withering, of fulfilling a purpose and then gracefully passing the baton to another. Flowers blossom again, trees grow new leaves, all is renewed and if we are lucky and if we have done well then perhaps so are we.
Dwelling on the mysteries of life that never cease to flirt with my mind and my soul.
It was a sunny, warm and shiny day today. Lea put on her fresh colorful Spring clothes and within seconds from the start of the egg hunt, she was covered with leaves, blossoms, soil and grass stains! She was diving, crawling, climbing, shaking trees and running wild till she and her friends collected a huge pile of eggs and candies (especially brought from Germany from the lovely Anja). Needless to say, everyone is on a chocolate high today!