Random thoughts... Happy Thoughts... Sad thoughts... Anything goes!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Climbing tree!

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest against the earth’s sweet flowing breast
A tree that look at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray
A tree that may in summer wear a nest of robins in her hair
Upon whose bosom snow has lain who intimately lives with rain
Poems are made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree
~~~Joyce Kilmer

Joyce Kilmer had a lovely poem on trees, I have no poem of my own on trees but I sure had fond memories of trees. It is not something that my eyes just appreciate but I got to climb a lot of trees not just when I was young but even when I was older.

I really had a carefree childhood. I lived in a compound with other families and there were lots of trees there. There were mango trees, Sampaloc, Caimito (Starapple), Santol, Mansanitas and Aratiles… and I got to climb all of them!

The teenagers build a tree house in the biggest mango tree there and the younger ones—that’s us get to stay there too. We would just hang around telling stories or we would be playing bahay-bahayan (playhouse) there!

You can’t really stay long in a sampaloc tree since there were so many higads (hairy caterpillars) that you’ll get itchy if you stay long.

The caimito trees were huge there and we could not climb from its trunk instead we would climb the concrete fences, run through it and go on top of a roof and climb from the dangling branches to get to the main tree and there we would get the fruits. Lots of fruits! We would eat some while we are still on top of the tree and then we would bring a lot down and eat some more! We would also get leaves and use the sap and place it in our skin and fold the skin and it would seem as if we had a cut!

We also climbed a santol tree. There was only one santol tree in our compound and we would tuck our shirts in our shorts when we climb it and place the fruits inside our shirts. There was an Atis tree beside the santol but we don’t have to climb it since it is not really a big tree. We just get the fruits and eat it and spit the many seeds!

The mansanitas is a very shady tree and has lots of fruits. We would get the fruits and we would roll it in our hands to make it softer before we eat them. This is the tree where my older brother fell and almost died… but after he got stitched and got better he still climbed it!

Now there were a lot of Aratiles that grow in the compound and it had so many fruits! You’ll get tired eating of the fruits since they are just so many. There was one tree though that was near the concrete fence and it had a nice formation. In the afternoon, I would climb it and stay where there is a place where you can comfortably sit and just watch everything from above. It was not really that tall a tree but then I was young and for me it was like I was on a very high place and it felt good!

In my high school there was were also some caimito trees in the quadrangle and occasionally I would climb and get some fruits. I even remember going on a retreat in high school where there was a big caimito tree and when my classmates told me to climb to get some fruits I really climbed. I got some alright but I had to hurry down since I heard a tuko. It was saying "tu-ko..tu-ko...tu-ko!!!" A tuko is an ugly lizard that clings to your skin and sucks blood! Yikes don't want it to cling to my skin so I hurried down and run fast to the safety of the retreat house where the windows had screen!

We transferred to another place when I was in third year and there were not much trees there. However, I remember one summer when I was in second year college that we went to a place nearby where there were lots of trees. We were with the caretakers son and he told us that we could climb trees! I got so excited when I saw a caimito tree. I haven’t climbed in a long time and I was there when I heard a man shouting with a bolo (a big knife) in his hands. He thought we were trespassers and he was mad! I was really scared and missed a branch that I turned and fell from the tree. I had to get up in a hurry though and ran as fast as I can since he was really mad! I thought that was the end of my climbing!

But just more than 3 years ago, our company had an excursion in Villa Escudero. There was a small tree there. I immediately climbed it and asked one of the guys to take my photo. I don’t know what happened but I fell from the tree. Everyone was shocked! Goodness, I too was shocked but funny, I hit the ground but it was as if there was cushion on my back. It was actually a bad fall but I was not hurt… oh okay, maybe just my ego…but after I brushed myself to remove the dust and see that I had no cuts and bruise, I smiled… a big smile to show everybody that I was okay… hehehe! It was better than showing how embarrassed I was!

So I haven’t climbed a tree for a while but am currently talking to a TREE… Hehehe not a real tree but a human... a biologist! This post is for him. I can’t really identify the many species he studies but I sure have fond memories of some…

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Conrad Hilton

When I was young my father told me lots of stories from the books he read. He was reading a lot of Positive Thinking books and how the rich became rich. One of the people he liked to talk about was Conrad Hilton, the great grandfather of Paris Hilton and the founder of the Hilton chain of Hotels. His story is not the same story I read when I was older but I liked his version better. I guess he changed some of it to add more drama to the story so I could appreciate it better.

His story starts with Conrad being a poor guy who immigrated to the to the US. One day he saw the Waldorf Astoria hotel and immediately fell in love with it. He looked for a photographer to take its picture and on its face he wrote “The greatest of them all, someday I’ll buy you!” He put the picture on his wallet and carried it everywhere he goes and would look at it everyday reading his note. In the end he was able to buy the greatest hotel! [Conrad’s real story on Waldorf here]

His story doesn’t end there actually for he would say that my mama did the same on him. That she took one of his pictures and wrote there “You handsomest of them all, someday you’ll be mine” Hehehe… of course there would be an argument if my mama hears his version. Seriously though, he liked the story because he applied the same principle and it worked. He told me how he got a clipping of Volkswagen beetle he liked so much in the newspaper and placed it in his desk. Every time someone would ask about his clipping, he would tell that it would be delivered soon and true enough after a few months he had his car!

But just what is the point to his story? That when you really want something, you have to start with something even if it is just a picture! That the mere sight of a picture will inspire you to work towards your dream!

So why did I suddenly think about papa’s story?

Well, my favorite auditor who went to the US last year finally answered my email after a long while saying they are okay but that life is not really that easy there! That he would go home from work really exhausted that he just wants to go to bed and rest! I know how much he misses his work here and the traveling from one province to another… and now he is in an entirely different environment! But he has his family with him and that counts a lot! Actually that’s the main reason he went, so they could all be together!

He promised me when he left that he will make good in the US and I told him that I believe he can do it. I know that he is having some regrets on his decision BUT he can’t really go back… so I want him to keep focused and never lose sight of his dream of a good life together with his family! I know it will take some time again before he opens his email so I am writing instead my best wishes for him here. Maybe if I envision them happy and rich it will be faster for them to make it! I certainly hope so!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

One lovely small yellow butterfly!

Just came upon a site on a pilot tracking the monarch butterflies on their long migration from Canada to Mexico. He flew with and filmed the migrating butterflies for 72 days using an ultralight plane (maybe one time I’ll get to view his film online). At first I was imagining thousands of butterflies on air on a massive formation but this was not so, as the pilot mentioned that they only gathered in great numbers in the ground when they come to rest.

What is spectacular though is that the butterflies that would be returning back to Canada are not the same butterflies that went to Mexico but their offsprings’ offsprings… actually already of the fourth generation. They have never seen the place they are supposed to go back to YET by instinct they would get there! Maybe it helps also that they are not traveling alone but with the other butterflies. Somehow, I wished that people have the same instinct. So many people really are lost and don’t really know where they are supposed to head to…

Anyway, just why did I suddenly surf on butterflies?

Well the other day was one of those NOT so good days… actually it was really a bad day! I felt lousy and agitated! But while I was walking on a dusty, polluted and crowded street on a hot day engrossed in my thoughts, I suddenly saw a small yellow butterfly. It was flying gracefully, unaffected by the things around it! It was so simple yet so lovely and seeing it was so unexpected that suddenly I felt at peace and lighthearted.

I don’t know but the site of a simple flower and those small yellow butterflies (oh ok… some white too but I still prefer the yellow ones) always does something to my heart. No matter how I feel, when I see them I would find myself lighthearted and for sure , a smile will form in my lips.

I still don’t know the species of the yellow butterfly but it doesn’t matter. I’m sure I’ll be seeing a lot more since I think I am one lucky soul!
Thanks for brightening my day, butterfly!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Prayer for the Dead

Today, I remember all my beloved departed. May their souls rest in peace! I also pray for all the souls that need my prayers, that they may finally experience Joy! and I also pray to all the saints in heaven, that they too pray for us who are still in our life's journey.