flower

10 Years After, Grapefruit Blossoms

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

10 Years After, Grapefruit Flower 2015

 

More than 10 years ago I was slicing a grapefruit it half with a kitchen knife.  I don’t recall exactly when.  It may well be more than 10 years.  There was really nothing unusual about it until i looked inside one of the halves.  There, imbedded in the grapefruit’s flesh was a seed that had already sprouted.  I had never come across a seed that had sprouted inside a citrus fruit.

I took this as a good sign, and I planted in a small pot.

The plant grew and grew over the years.  I gradually transferred it to bigger and bigger pots in a nice sunny place on my Tokyo patio. For years, there was only growth.  No flowers.  No fruit.  Just some oddly shaped grapefruit leaves.  Perhaps two years ago three blossoms appeared on the tree only to be swept away by the strong bay winds.  I was ready to give up on the tree and chop it down.  I thought that after all these years perhaps this tree was just infertile and would never bear fruit.

This all changed this spring.  When the nights began to warm and the new green shoots were sprouting forth, that is when I noticed the little white bulbs.  Not just in one section of the tree as they had been a few years ago, but they cover the tree. The white flower’s sweet scent filling the air as I water the garden.

As spring will quickly become summer I pray that some of these flowers will hold on with all their might and transform themselves into fleshy grapefruit but that is greatly out of my hands.  I only tend the garden.  There is only One who can do that.

I am truly thankful that I waited and waited.  Now I can enjoy the sprouted seed from all those years ago from that halved grapefruit.

Shabbat Thankfulness

Friday, November 1st, 2013

My Kasai Girl's Hands Thankful for ShabbaT

 

This shabbat I am thankful.

I am thankful for having what I need.

I am thankful for simpleness.

Truly loving the warm sun on November 1st day.

Spending the time with family in the garden, digging in the dirt, helping new life to sprout.

I am thankful for my family that has spread out across the globe.

The splitting open and deseeding of a pomegranate.

With all the world’s troubles,

the sun has set, time to separate the worldly and the spiritual.

Let the day of rest wash over my soul and give me the fire to continue my journey.

Give thanks

Being thankful.

 

 

Autumn Begins with the Return on the Red Spider Lilies

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Temple Red Spider Lily 01, Lycoris radiata_

 

We are in the beginning of beautiful seasonal change to autumn.  The air has dried out except for the occasional typhoon that rolls in from the pacific.

I can still get away with wearing a short sleeved shirt during the day, but last night I had to pull on a light jacket.  I love it.  Autumn and spring are my two favorite times of year.  The light becomes incredible as the days grow shorter and shorter after the equinox.

I had never noticed the Red Lily Spider flower until after the March 11th disasters, when I my soul searched out nature where ever I could find it.  My eye were beginning to sync with the seasons when I first spotted these popping out of the ground in a little temple garden in Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan.

I called them spiders, because honestly that is what they looked like only they were a stunningly hue of red.  The are called Higanbana or Manjushage in Japanese meaning “never to meet again, lost memory, abandonment”  which is quite fitting because the bulbs are highly poisonous.

Autumn is here because the moon and the higanabana have told me so.

May you all have a peaceful day of rest, and enjoy the changing seasons.

 

Temple Red Spider Lily 02, Lycoris radiata 彼岸花 曼珠沙華

The Rain Will Come, The Flower are Out

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Konodai I-Chome with Flowers and Gate

 

The air was refreshingly cool today.  A sign that the rainy season will begin within the next 10 days or so.  I really don’t mind the rainy season.  It reminds me of Miami.  The rain is pretty constant for about 3 to 4 weeks.  The only real problem for me is that I don’t get as much of a chance to ride my bicycle.

The skies were filled with clouds in all directions which muted all the hues, and let the colors pop off against the grayness of the asphalt.  The hydrangeas are just starting to bloom, another nod that the rainy season is coming.

The rains will come.  Droplets falling from the heavens will wash away our sins.  The rivers near my home will swell and turn into rushes of chocolate colored milk.

Be in tune with the natural world that surrounds us, even if that nature is filled with concrete and high powered wires.

Greeted with Flowers and a Skewed Wall

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Bushy Flowers with Skewed Wall

 

Today was one of those days that never really went anywhere other than a bit of frustration.  I did let myself down and the stress got to me.  However, I resolved that I wouldn’t let me down for long.

On Tuesdays I usually walk through an old Buddhist temple on my way to the station.  I enjoy those few moments away from the rush of people, and just the quiet serenity of the area.  I rounded on the outside of the large gate and stood at the top of a stone stairway and just breathed.  The sun was out stronger than ever today but this little spot in the shade atop a hill was ultra pleasant.  I just stood there looking at the shadows, taking in the scents, letting go of whatever stress had got of me.

After a few moments I walked down the steps.  There was a man halfway down the steps in front of me taking pictures, and and elderly gentleman on his way up as part of an exercise routine.

Once I reached the bottom and was out in the sun again, it hit me how intense the sun was.  I wandered around on my way to the station.  Just taking my time, and pausing now and then to snap a photograph.

A patch of red caught my eye, and I entered into a small urban park turned around and saw this clump of red flowers.  Never had really noticed them before.  That is the challenge.  To walk the same streets, and still be amazed daily.

There is nothing more therapeutic to my soul as framing a photograph, pressing the shutter, and now writing an accompaniment.

The Eye in the Sky Watching I

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Flower Patch Gate Secruity Camera Eye On

 

Yesterday and Today have been gorgeous days.  The weather is warm without being hot.  The strong cool breeze keeping all happy.  I took a cycle trip around my neighborhood yesterday in preparation for the coming shabbath.  The sun kept me warm just as the winds kept me cool.  I couldn’t have asked for more gorgeous day.

All at once some fragrance hit me.  It was honey-like in its aroma that caused me to stop.  Then there is was, a trellis of rosebushes in full bloom.  It was the back entrance to a danchi (large apartment building) in Nishi Kasai.  As I was eyeing the flowers and enjoying the fragrance the building was eyeing me back.  Posted on the gate was a sign stating that I was on security camera.

Nothing is perfect, is it?  It still was a great day out.

 

Cherry Blossoms Just about Gone, but not Forgotten

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Prayer Cherry Blossom, Ichikawa 2013

 

About two weeks ago back in Miami I started to get a bit nervous as my friends started posting about the wonderful cherry blossoms they were experiencing in Japan.  I had to take a deep breath thinking that this could be the fist time since moving to Japan when I would miss the cherry blossoms.

On average, from what I have gathered, the blossoms arrived about 2-3 weeks earlier than usual.  Would I miss the official arrival of spring as heralded by the tiny flowers?  Fortunately for my mind’s grace and the powers greater than my own the little wonders continued to hang on after I had arrived back in Tokyo.

I desperately wanted to go out with the crowds on Sunday to catch the last of the weekend hanami (flower watching) parties but I was kept shut in by rain, cold, and jet lagged induced narcolepsy.  The weather had cleared up substantially by Monday to the point where I was able to ride my cycle and explore the Ichikawa streets.

The crowds were already gone except for a small group of women and children here and there enjoying the last of the flowers.  Retirees were still out with their tripods and ultra lenses waiting for that decisive moment, and then there was me.  Stepping through the streets and temples with nothing but my little Ricoh GR.

I am thankful to the creator for allowing me to witness the spring with my eyes and heart.  The coming of spring is special amongst all people.  It is the beginning of the year that is commemorated with the keeping of passover in the faith of my ancestors.  Here in Japan it is also the mark of the new year.  The youth will start their new grades by the second week of april just as the last of the blossoms are drifting off the trees.

The blossoms signal new times.  There are new hopes that blossom quickly that if one chooses to pursue will transform into  fruit.

The cherry blossoms are only here for a short time.  Enjoy them before they are washed out into Tokyo Bay.
Chasing Cherry Blossom Petals, Ichikawa 2013

 

 

Cherry Blossom Lanterns Flower Park, Kasai, 2013

 

 

Skyward Cherry Blossom, Ichikawa 2013

 

 

Cherry Blossom with Pond, Ichikawa 2013

Little Yellow, Fujisan’s Smallest Cousin

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Little Yellow, Fujisan's Smallest Cousin

Let me introduce you to Fujisan’s (富士山) little cousin, the tinniest of yellow ground flowers.  I was sitting down by the bay sipping a cup of coffee and gazing off at the far distance at Mt. Fuji.  It always feels like a special treat to lay my eyes on Mt. Fuji, because it only happens when the atmospheric conditions are perfect. These perfect days most frequently occur in the autumn and winter in the Kanto Plain.

I was on a small grassy slope feeling the suns warmth on my cheeks and just looking at the far horizon.  There stood Mt. Fuji snow capped with a small topping of clouds that were beginning to push over Fujisan’s brow.  That is the moment when I noticed them.  Scattered in the weedy grass was a patch of the tinniest yellow flowers.  Each one couldn’t be bigger than one centimeter (1/4 inch) in diameter.

I have decided to name them Little Yellow, Fujisan’s Smallest Cousins.  It just fits them.  They are as gorgeous and beautiful as majestic Mt. Fuji, yet their scales couldn’t be farther from each other.  I have forever linked them together in my heart, and in my lens.

 

The Orange Honey Dew Falls

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Fallen Orange Honey Dew

You have to let your nose be your guide, or at least that is what I did.  That sweet fragrance of the the unmistakable kinmokusie ( 金木犀) drifted into my nostrils right before lunch.  My stomach was rumbling wanting to be nourished, but the scent drew me in.

As usual I had no idea where the scent was coming from. I knew it had to be pretty close by.  I wandered around for a bit, and to my astonishment, there were three of the largest orange sweet osmanthus I had ever seen.  The tiny blossoms were bursting all over the trees.  The trees were peeking as I strolled under their branches.

I noticed the the earth had begun to be dotted by them.  Little orange specks were scattered around the roots of the trees.  These little orange drops of fragrant dew had done their mission for the year, and sat patiently on a bed of green ground coverings to seep back into the soil.

The dew has begun to fall, another sign of autumn, and another signal that the crisp air will gradually dip closer and closer to freezing.  For now, I am content just being able to witness such a seasonal sensory festival of aroma.
One Two Three: Golden Honey Fall

A Whole Lot of Morning Glory Going On

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Morning Glory Mansion

The summer’s cicadas are singing their song as I was making my way to Nishi Kasai.  The sun was high and clouds fluttered across the road, making it a bit cooler than it should have been.  I found a couple of MOZE tags that must have been pretty old, but nothing out of this world.

I pedaled past a small street and a huge patch of green caught my eye.  I circled back around and stood in front of a two story apartment building that was covered from top to bottom in morning glory vines.  At first I thought that the building had been abandoned, but one of the doors was clear from vines because of use.   There also was a small line up of bicycles in front too.

The flowers had only begun to bloom, but the entire building had been engulfed by the creeping vines.

Just another summer day spent pedaling through my neighborhood.

 

Typhoon Heading Tokyo’s Way, Hydrangeas Just Know to Bloom

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Hydrangeas with Mailbox and Wall

There may be a typhoon heading towards the Tokyo Kanto area, but the hydrangeas could care less. They are content just being their blooming selfs.  They have no knowledge of the torrential rain that could come.  All that they know is that it is time for all of their tightly closed buds to open up and soak up  the rainfall.

Sometimes I wish I could be a simple celled life form.  No worries to cloud my thought process.  I would only have my instincts and DNA to tell me what to do.

These are just fanciful wishes.  I am glad that I am capable of higher thought, even if that higher thoughts are murky.  It is better to be conscious of our own actions and determine the course that is best for ourselves rather than have our lives decided for us.

Enjoy the rain at least watching it from the comfort of your home or you can go out and prance with the raindrops.  The choice is for each of us to make.

 

Flowerization in Unlikely Spaces

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Industrial Flowerization Harmony, Urayasu

The skies finally decided to dry out after a sopping wet Saturday.  I took a ride over the bridge into Urayasu to spend some time with friends.  The sun was strong and I was thankful for not wearing my windbreaker.

turned off the main street to pedal down one of the streets in the warehouse section along the water’s edge.  It being Sunday the streets were deserted.  The large aluminum sided building stood silently.  The gate closed till they reopen on Monday.

Door to door asphalt is what I thought I would find, and that was there, but there is an incredible amount of greening in process in the industrial neighborhood.  Small potted gardens lineup up outside the offices.  Gardens had been planted in the entrance ways to break the monotony of factories.

Flowers sprung up from the ground like notes on a musical score.  Reaching for the sunshine as they swayed in the breeze.

Nature given time will grind these factories into compostable dust.  All it takes is time and for the human element to leave them be.  In the meantime, I watch the struggle or the harmony of it all.  It all depend on how you choose to view the world.

 

No Need for the Meteorologist, It’s Rainy Season

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Hydrangea Rainy Season Wall, Higashi Kasai Tokyo

I don’t need a meteorologist to tell me that the rainy season has begun in Tokyo, for the hydrangeas have signaled with their luscious blossoms.  As Tokyo waited and waited for the meteorologists to officially declare the start of the rainy season, the hydrangeas know it in their genes that now is the time for them to dazzle.

The hydrangeas come in all shades from a true white to blues and aubergines.  I adore the way that the large blossoms explode with burst of color over a period of days.  After they are in full bloom, the blossoms do not depart from their parents.  They cling on and show themselves for weeks, if not months. Their hues even can vary on one plant depending on the acidity of the soil.  For me, personally, the hydrangeas are a highlight of the brief rainy season in Japan.

The skies may be full of endless grayness but the rich colors of the buds luminescence in the downpours.  The sopping petals reveal their inner velvet hues.  Hues that awaken soulful memories of a mater painter’s brush.

The rain doesn’t bother my spirit.  All the much needed rain invigorates a greener Tokyo even in the midst of the dull apartment buildings and cramped homes.  I am joyous to wander in the rain with my umbrella and just marvel at the queens of the monsoon. The only bloom once a year, and that happens to be during the June downpours.  It is just perfect to me.

When the Levee Blooms, Have no Fear

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

When the Levee Blooms

Civilizations spring up along fertile rivers in the middle east and Africa.  The water was the fuel that gave the settles the needed life-force to survive without wandering.  The rivers would overflow their banks once a year and deposit their black gold.  The black gold would be rich with nutrients to maker their cereal crops grow.

As man’s dependence grow on the life giving waters so to did he attempt to regulate them.  To be able to guide where the rivers would overflow, or protect themselves from the ravages of the rivers after man began to live so closely to the edge.

Earthen works were constructed to keep the rising waters at bay.  They thought they had the technology to keep back the rhythmic cycles of nature.  For a time the works were successful, but eventually the levee would fall into disrepair and collapse.

Civilizations still build these levees.  In fact there is a huge earthen one within walking distance from my home.  Do I feel safe with them in place?  I feel only somewhat protected because I know no matter what man builds nature can always take them down with a blink of an eye.  The levees may be overrun in flash or they could crumple under the weight of debt.

Have no fear, it is not the levee that protects I, it is the love that does.  Let the blossoms bloom over the levees let their roots wiggle between the cracks in the cement and cover their surface with purple blossoms.  Have no fear.

 

 

Wet Today, Sunshine Comes Tomorrow

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Arching With Rain Drops

The rain came down in the tiniest of droplets all day on Friday.  It felt like walking out into a misting machine with the steadiness at which the drops fell from the sky.  The droplets layered themselves on top of one another.

Nothing could escape becoming soaked by the rain.  Umbrellas may have kept my head dry put my pants were sopping wet by the time I reached my home.  I only walked from the bus stop to my front door was enough to have me dripping.

I can’t really complain or I shouldn’t really complain even though I may gripe about the weather.  We have planted a patio garden and we are thankful that the garden is being watered for us.  The plants may struggle against the rain.  They may end up face down in the dirt after the rain, but it won’t last forever.  For surely the sun will rise tomorrow and the warmth of the sun spreads out over the earth.

The plants instinctively uplift themselves to catch the sunlight.  Their arching stems instinctively straighten themselves.  The roots, having been soaked the day before, distribute the water to the plants.

I do not worry, I know that the rain is needed.  The rain provides nutrients and nourishment, and will be followed eventually by the warmth of the sun.

Bisho Bisho Wild Poppy

Copyright 2007© m2c LucidCommunication - Jacob Schere