Mountain and I - inseparable!
It is on top of a mountain that I feel at home.
Monday, January 23, 2017
That Special Tree
July 19, 2015
First spring moved to Virginia, I was pleasantly surprised
to discover so many mulberry trees growing around my neighborhood.I just returned from Peace Corps - Azerbaijan
and still felt nostalgia for the uncomplicated life there.So seeing a mulberry tree is like seeing an
old friend from Azerbaijan.In the
village where I lived, nearly every house has a mulberry tree in its court
yard.Right before summer arrives; the
mulberry begins to ripen.Women place a
huge blanket or tarpaulin beneath a mulberry tree, children kick, hit and
shakes its branches playfully as instructed by their mother or
grandmother.Their playful action brings
down all the ripen mulberries down to the ground.Women collect those precious little berries
and make jam for their homemade breads.My host mother makes the best mulberry jam.The taste of that sweet delectable glue on
toast is one of my much-loved breakfasts in Azerbaijan.
Just down the hill by where I live in Virginia , there are
two mulberry trees.One bears black
fruit and the other has white berry.The
white one growing on the hillside is my favorite.The fruits are bigger and sweeter.The tree boughs are strong and healthy; its
leaves are big with shinning dark emerald hue.Although the tree is very tall but some of its branches bend downward
and allow a petite person like me to have easy access to its fruits.Early June, I walk by the tree every evening
after work and collect its berries.Mixing them with yoga, I eat these miracle fruits two weeks straight for
lunch.Berries of any kind are
antioxidant.Besides providing me with
the best nutrition, the fruit is gift from god, free of charge.My neighbors often stop and look at me with
odd stare, drivers slowdown on sidewalk wondering what in the world I am
doing.I guess “civilized” people do
not pick fruits directly from tree.They
would rather purchase them from supermarket!
Even after the fruit picking season is over, the tree
continues to intrigue me.Its fallen
fruits provide feast to many birds and squirrels.Leftover ones decay and fertilize the earth.After the initial acquaintance with the tree,
I visit it often.Especially on a hot
summer day, its thick foliage offers a cooling canopy.Many times, I image myself hanging a hammock
under the tree, look up to the rustling leaves above my hammock, fall asleep
and have many many wonderful dreams.
One evening returning home from work, I looked up the tree
and saw a bird with bright red breast, perching on a branch and singing its
heart out.Then a black squirrel rattled
up and down the tree barks, chasing the bird out of its territory.I stood there enjoying the saga
unfolded.Gradually the sky turned pale,
gray and then dark.Afterward a magic
began.Tiny sparkling of lights came
into view underneath the tree.They were
fireflies.As an urban dweller living
most of my life in New York City, seeing a firefly is exciting to me.I was acting like a little girl, chasing and
catching the lights.Despite the
mosquito bite and the unbearable itches, I lingered under this special mulberry
tree for as long as I could.
That night in bed, the vision of that tree, calm, enduring,
with the wind whispering through their boughs, brought sleep and memories of
the peaceful periods in Azerbaijan.
Two months after the election,
some folks still refuse to accept the result. Hillary and her team continue to
blame others for her lost.I dislike politician
for most of them are egotistic and lack of a true motive to serve the public.They may start with a good intention, but
soon surrender to temptation; money, fame and power. Hillary and her husband are the epitome of
today politician.I am not a fan of
Trump but he had the audacity to voice what most of us afraid to say, so he is
a better choice.
While most of us are ready to
move on and accept Trump to be the next president, some arrogant democrat including
the Clinton, continue to play the blaming game.It is everyone’s fault but theirs.For them, accepting responsibility of their action is the hardest time
to do.To admit they are wrong is sin. Not only have they lost the election, they
have lost their self-respect. I pity
I was a Peace Corps
Volunteer.My contribution to the world
is no less than that of the president of the United States for my motive is
pure and humble.I admire candidates who
run their campaign at the gross root level, visiting small towns by bus and not
by private jet, asking ordinary citizen and not the Wall Street billionaires to
fund their campaign, talking to mum and pop and not Hollywood celebrities about
their unpretentious daily life and wearing a regular clothing and not a
designer outfit to shake our hands.
Hillary’s lost is inevitable.Anyone runs a campaign and lives his/her public
life as supercilious as hers will fail.History will validate that.
Over the years, I have written many
adventure stories and short essays, made countless entries to my face book and
blog.My affection of writing stems from reading;
and my passion of reading springs from my innate aspiration of adventure, and endless
love of nature.
My early writings,
received unexpected attention from friends and strangers, but they were “raw”, marginally
acceptable; plain, full of errors and as such received countless attacks from one
reader.I never paid much attention to his insensitive
and cruel remarks, for I know deep down inside he enjoyed reading my stories or
he would not keep analysis them and came up with those remarks. Nonetheless, I did begin to pay more and more
attention to my writing including narrative skill, appropriate grammar, and
organization of storylines.I read more intensively,
when come across some good descriptive words, skillful sentences, I memorize them
and try to apply them on my next writing.Sometimes, I find myself completely lost in my reading, unaware of my
surrounding and indulge myself to a piece of good adventure story.My
friends begin to think that I am growing odd, eccentric, and even anti-social.
Their reaction reminds
me of a classmate in the 5th grade.He was a quiet fellow, average student and always sat in a corner with
his head down, totally absorbed in whatever he was doing.One day, his behavior caught our teacher’s
attention.He was asked to stand up and show his hands.What we saw was astonishing, delicate little animal
figures carved out of a piece of chalk were exposed.I don’t remember what punishment he received,
but it did not stop him from carving. He
continued to live intensely in his own world making beautiful figurines.As soon as he had a piece of white chalk in
one hand and a knife in the other, he was happy.
Writing is a
lonely process but it is satisfactory one. It is this strange satisfaction,
this joy of molding words into sentences that gives me the most profound
incentives to writing.It is difficult
to explain and hard for others to understand.It is similar to the joy my 5th grade classmate had; his
chief delight in life was to crave a figure out of a chalk.
To my friends who
think I am growing odd, all I can say to them is: they have no idea of the fun I am
I may never be able to sell
a story for a penny, but if I have written a sentence that “sings”, I pay
myself a million dollars.
The creator of Spider man, Stanley Lieber, who is 93 years
old, was asked by a reporter when he intended to retire.He smiles and says “I enjoy what I do, why
should I retire?”
His reply echoes my friend Derrick’s answer to my repeated
question “when are you going to slow down, Derrick?”His answer is always the same, “I enjoy what
I do Chi!”
After he retires, Derrick works as a translator, devotes his
time to help the non-English speaking Chinese immigrants for their needs and
rights.His work is admirable but keeps
him very busy.Derrick is an old friend
and an excellent hiker.Many times, I
wish he could quit his busy translating work and join me for the outdoor adventures.My motive maybe a bit selfish, but I do want
to see him enjoy his retirement and return to his passion which I always assume
is “hiking”, period.
Derrick still enjoys hiking, I am sure.But his passion is more than just that.Helping others is also his “zeal”.He is one of those lucky individuals who know
exactly where his heart lies and is passionate enough to pursuit that desire
until the end. “Why should he
retire?”I finally understand.Maybe next time, when I announce that I want
to retire early, in stand I should say
“ I am changing my career to which I love so much that I
will never ever retire!”
Thanks Mr. Stanley and Derrick for waking me up, your
insightful advice and the commendable example of life.
A famous Chinese writer once wrote a story about his boyhood recalling
an innocuous but yet cruel act towards his younger brother.One autumn day, the author found his brother hiding
inside a chicken shed, instead of performed his duties as instructed; the young
boy was making a paper kit enthusiastically.The author was frustrated and angry, without a word, he stepped on the
nearly finished kit and smashed it into pieces.He left his brother in the shed with misery.It probably took his brother many hours to
make that kit.
Years later, they both grew up as an adult.The author became a writer and his brother was
a successful business man.That innocent
conduct resurrected one day from the author’s memory and since was tormenting him.Finally on one family gathering, the author brought
up the event.To the author’s surprise,
his young brother had no recollection of the occasion and laughed at his
brother for remembering such a childlike thing.But that did not make the author feel any better.He carried that guilty conscious well into
his old age and finally confessed his remorse through his writings.That story caught my attention and stay with
me for many years.
I was also once a young innocent but hot tempered adolescent.Many such shameless acts were placed upon my
elder sister.Today, my sister may not
remember any of those instances or possible she has already forgiven me.Yet,
like the author, I have this enormous guilt living inside me…………….
To err is human, to forgive, divine.
Not sure I can forgive myself, but one thing I can do.We once grew up together, and we can certainly
grow old together…..