Category: Life

Pagoda

A pagoda on the sacred land of Sagaing Hill, Mandalay, Myanmar. September 2017.

This view reminds me of Rudyard Kipling’s Poem Mandalay or commonly known as On the Road to Mandalay.

BY THE old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea,
There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay! ”
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay ?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

‘Er petticoat was yaller an’ ‘er little cap was green,
An’ ‘er name was Supi-yaw-lat – jes’ the same as Theebaw’s Queen,
An’ I seed her first a-smokin’ of a whackin’ white cheroot,
An’ a-wastin’ Christian kisses on an ‘eathen idol’s foot:
Bloomin’ idol made o’ mud
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed ‘er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay…

When the mist was on the rice-fields an’ the sun was droppin’ slow,
She’d git ‘er little banjo an’ she’d sing “Kulla-lo-lo!
With ‘er arm upon my shoulder an’ ‘er cheek agin my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an’ the hathis pilin’ teak.
Elephints a-pilin’ teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence ‘ung that ‘eavy you was ‘arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay…

But that’s all shove be’ind me – long ago an’ fur away
An’ there ain’t no ‘busses runnin’ from the Bank to Mandalay;
An’ I’m learnin’ ‘ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
“If you’ve ‘eard the East a-callin’, you won’t never ‘eed naught else.”
No! you won’t ‘eed nothin’ else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An’ the sunshine an’ the palm-trees an’ the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay…

I am sick o’ wastin’ leather on these gritty pavin’-stones,
An’ the blasted English drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho’ I walks with fifty ‘ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An’ they talks a lot o’ lovin’, but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an’ grubby ‘and –
Law! wot do they understand?
I’ve a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay…

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin’, an’ it’s there that I would be
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
O the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay !

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Clouds

‘Clouds get in my way’. Sometimes we do not see the obvious because something gets into the way of our seeing. Clear our vision so that we can see what is hidden by our clouds.

Two jetstreams among the clouds. View from the A1 in the United Kingdom. April 2017.

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Sacred Space

Sacred space. A place to set your spirit free, deepen your soul, and expand your mind.

Cloister. Durham Cathedral, Durham, United Kingdom. April 2017

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Choosing

 

Choices. Shall I enter the place through the open gate or climb up the narrow stairs? Life is full of choices with risk at every choosing.

Alley in Durham. April 2017

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Valentine

Valentine Day – when two souls get together and start a dance

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Lanterns

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Life is colourful but many people are colour blind.

Overhead lanterns lining walkway between two shopping malls in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Celebrations of the Lunar Chinese New Year 2017.

Garden of the Soul

Nurturing and growing our souls is like maintaining a beautiful garden. It takes a lot of work and commitment. There is the tilling the soil, adding of fertilisers, planting of seeds, watering, and weeding. There are periods of silence when there seem to be nothing happening in the garden. At other times, there seem to be so much that needs to be done. The garden is constantly changing. So does our souls.

Sunken Garden in Butchart Gardens, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

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Sunset

At the end of the day; love God, love yourself, love your spouse and family, love your friends, love your neighbours, and love your life. The days are long but the years short. Here today and gone tomorrow. Love much, love often, and love deeply.

Sunset on the Pacific Ocean.

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Wonder

A child’s sense of wonder and awe is a wonderful approach to summer. By the time many of us reach the autumn and winter of our lives, we have become cynical and jaded. Summer is full of freshness; always something to delight, something to laugh at, and something to behold in awe. May we never lose our sense of wonder and awe.

Little girl watching salmon swimming in a lake in Capilano Park, Vancouver, Canada

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Marina

In Life there is always arriving and departing. Life is both a destination and a journey. We cannot determine our arrival and departure. We can, however, determine how we travel the journey. There will be ups and downs. There will be storms and rain. We are here. Endure and even enjoy the ride!

Marina in Ketchikan, Alaska.

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