Tag Archives: Garden

Acknowledging SA Media Freedom Day

Hmm, what am I inspired to blog about today? Let’s see…

How wonderful to enjoy this freedom of expression. Imagine if it were axed?

Today is Media Freedom Day here in South Africa, kicking off the Right2Know Week of Action campaign. The objective is to lobby our government to “Stop the Secrecy Bill! Let the Truth Be Told!”. The bill is before Parliament as I write. It could “have the combined effect of fundamentally undermining the right to access information and freedom of expression enshrined in the Constitution.”

If you care to add your name to the list, which includes such luminaries as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nadine Gordimer and Prof. Kader Asmal, click here: Sign On!

To offset the sombreness of the message, here are two pics to remind us that it pays to look up. I shot them just over our road this morning, to share a taste of the Jacaranda trees that are blossoming everywhere. Please excuse the imperfect focus – it was a bit windy:


JACARANDA TREE IN BLOOM – Johannesburg, South Africa


JACARANDA TREE IN BLOOM – Johannesburg, South Africa

And here’s a quote to go with that: “An optimist is the human personification of spring.” – Susan J. Bissonette

On that note, I’m rooting for the Secrecy Bill to be stopped!

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On a gardening note . . .

A gasp of wonder accompanies the unearthing of my first radish crop. Composted soil cakes my fingers and filters between my toes as I double dig my veggie garden until the sweat flows freely. Swiss chard, sweetcorn, peas, carrots, potatoes in piles of tyres, tomatoes, squash and the sweetest, fattest strawberries under the scorching African sun. All of these and more contribute to feeding our largely self-sufficient community.

This memory murmurs from a distant two years spent as an uchi-dechi (ull-time trainee karate instructor) on a Stilbaai farm. It enriches the playing fields of my mind, while fulfilling a lifetime’s gardening duty. I’m also left with an understanding of my mother’s (and her father’s) passion for the pastime. After all, there’s something kind of cosmic about getting down and dirty – as any kid, or enduro rider, can tell you 😀

So I gladly obliged when my Mom asked me recently to photograph her Spring garden:


A Glimpse of Mom’s Garden


POPPY with STATICE


HIBISCUS FLOWER

Yogi Raman, the fabled sage featured in Robin S. Sharma’s “The Monk who sold his Ferrari“, draws an analogy between the mind and a garden. He explains our natural tendency to think negatively, while emphasising the importance of plucking out all negative thoughts before they have a chance to take root. Just as one would lovingly tend a garden, starting with awareness of the weeds. One of his suggestions is “Opposition Thinking”, which entails immediately replacing an undesirable thought with an uplifting one.

Great advice, with a view to nurturing a mind full of beautiful metaphorical flowers 🙂


SWEET PEAS


CALENDULAS & CALIFORNIA POPPIES


NASTURTIUMS & POPPIES

In summary, Robin Sharma states that “The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts”. Something worth thinking about . . .

Oh, and a post about my Mom’s garden couldn’t be complete without mentioning Gypsy and Fudge, who live in one of the corners. They’re her guinea pigs – and grandchildrens’ delight! This is Gypsy tucking in, but thankfully not into the flower beds:


GYPSY the Guinea Pig

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Treasure

Treasure is best shared.


LITTLE PINK FLOWERS – Johannesburg, South Africa

TREASURE

Sugar pink
candy floss
Spring fresh
Flowers

Caught in Nature‘s
light show,
you’re Laughter
brought to Life

What a Gift
to the World
that you share your
Treasure!

Quotes to consider:

Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.” – Carol Lynn Pearson

“One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self; of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” – Bible

“A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure.” – Buddha

“Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

. . . and some more pics, because I just couldn’t contain myself to one 🙂

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Timely Message from the Writing Stratosphere

Wintry warmth soothes my bones, spreading Sunday laziness through my body. Indistinct doggie sounds decorate the background. A yap here, gallop there, punctuated by noisy chewing, which I’m determinedly ignoring. I mean, really, how much damage can they do out here? The first whiffs of Spring float her pending arrival on the still air. O The Oprah Magazine is pleasant company, serving up some inspiring women’s stories and stunning images. What’s this? The sparkle of our nearby pool reflects sweetly off the page.

INSPIRING ARTICLE – O, The Oprah Magazine South Africa


VIEW FROM OUR BEDROOM DOOR

Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat Pray Love shares some timely insight. ‘Nearly all the women I know,’ she writes, ‘are stressing themselves sick over the pathological fear that they simply aren’t doing enough with their lives.’ Despite the fact that each and every one is doing ‘a lot’. Doesn’t that ring a clanging bell? It does for me 🙂 Elizabeth confides something enlightening: after writing 5 books, never mind the millions of copies sold and the movie just launched, she worries that she hasn’t written the right kinds of books, or that she’s maybe dedicated too much of her life to writing, thereby neglecting other aspects of her being. She asks: ‘Can we all lighten up a little bit?’

Brilliant point, corroborated by my primary muse, our gorgeous Jina. She’s a staunch believer that when all else fails, and even when it doesn’t, the best thing to do is RELAX!


JINA AS A KITTEN SNOOZING ON JOE’S PAWS

And when you’re done with relaxing, PLAY!


JINA AS A KITTEN: ‘Please can we play?’

Uh-oh, hysterical barking. A silver-grey streak catches the corner of my eye. Okay, so even Jina falls short sometimes. Composure be damned, I rush to her rescue. Guess all we can manage is our best in each moment. Or for a fresh change, a little less than our best!
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Nature’s Art

SO much to be grateful for today, starting with the exquisite view when we awoke. Here’s a sliver of Autumn art on one of the trees that we gaze at from our bed:

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Subtlety

Subtlety has its uses.

JESSE ON BIRDFEEDER
JESSE ON BIRD FEEDER

Quotes to consider:

“Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“Subtlety is the art of saying what you think and getting out of the way before it is understood” – Unknown

“Subtlety may deceive you; integrity never will.” – Oliver Goldsmith Continue reading

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Intuition

Initiate a conversation with your intuition, in case it’s tired of talking to itself.

JINA AT BIRD BATH
JINA AT BIRD BATH

Quotes to consider:

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” – Albert Einstein

“Intuition is the clear conception of the whole at once.” – Johann Kaspar Lavater

“Often you have to rely on intuition.” – Bill Gates Continue reading

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