garden

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.

Thankful as a Bunch of Snap Peas

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Snap Peas Thankful Harvest

 

There was a serious hankering for some tacos for this shabbat meal.  You know how craving just come out of know where.  This was no different.  I prepared the meal, and as sun was setting I wandered out onto my patio to be in awe of the abundance of snap peas.  As if the rains of the other day had made them all pop out with the true SNAP, in the snap peas.

I am truly thankful that my wife had sowed these seed while it was still winter.  We have been just about supplementing our meals and salads with a few snap peas.  There is really nothing quite as satisfying as bringing in something that you had grown and being able to say a shabbat grace over that food.

I wish you all a fabulous day of rest.

Be thankful for all that we sow.  For what we sow will come back to us.  Make sure we so the seeds of love and compassion and a few sweet snap peas for good health.

 

Chillin’ in the Backyard, Miami Style with Jeff Wasielewski

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Banana Bud, Jeff's Home, Miami 2014

 

It has been a minute since I have written on the Lucid Communication blog.  In Fact it has been more than a month.  After spending time in New York, Miami and the Caribbean It is time to start sifting through the 1000 plus images and selecting some stories to tell.

Today’s is about my mate Jeff Wasielewski’s home and luscious Miami garden.  I first met Jeff back in Killian High School spanish class.  We had, without question, the worst spanish teacher on the planet.  All she ever had us do was to copy chapters out of the textbook. On the first day of class the teacher was calling the roll, when she came to the name Dickie Wong.  There was no reply.  Shea paused and gazed over the classroom.  She called it again, a bit louder this time.  Still no response, then out of no where Jeff screams out DICKIE WONG! and all the class bursted out with laughter.  That is how we met.

We lost track of each other as people do, and thanks to the wonders of the world wide web we got back in touch with each other.  Jeff had been working at Farichild Tropical Botanic Garden when we reconnected and we realized that we both have a love for the outdoors and gardening.

This trip back to Miami we wanted to meet up and he invited me over to explore his garden.  It just so happened to be on a beautiful Sunday afternoon that I was able to meet and reason up with Jeff and some of the alumni of the Fat Man Calypso Band.

It was so peaceful walking around his home in Kendall, only a few blocks away from my own childhood home on South West 127 Street.  He had a few variety of mangoes, bananas, mulberry and other tropical delights.

He had constructed, with his own hands, a small pond that included some mosquito eating fish.  He truly had created a home I would have if I were to lay down my roots back in Miami.

All the landscaping used native plants.  They are all drought tolerant, and thrive in the blazing Miami sunshine.  Even his daughter Sammy got in on the gardening action and just the other day dug out some carrots she had planted by her own hand and without her poppa’s help.

It was a sweet afternoon eating some barbecued hamburgers sides with old friends and marveling at what a productive garden in suburbia can be.  I have the utmost respect for Jeff and his daughter for keeping Miami the way it shout be. green, soaking in the sunshine and full of LOVE.
Budding Bud, Jeff's Home, Miami 2014

 

 

Pond with Mosquito Fish, Jeff's Home, Miami 2014

 

 

Miami Backyard Corner, Jeff's Home, Miami 2014

 

 

Jeff Giving the Garden Tour (Hammock Point of View), Jeff's Home, Miami 2014

Autumn Festivals with Freshly Harvested Pomegranates

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Autumn Harvest Pomegranate 2013 02

 

The autumn festivals are upon us.  The red spider lilies have shed their wispy petals.  The nights are growing longer, and I have harvested the baseball sized pomegranates from my own patio garden’s tree.

I have been fascinated by the burgundy arils since I was a child.  It was the fruit that was an absolute mission to get at those tiny bursts of goodness.  They always made such a mess, but it never bothered me.

Perhaps my interest in this fruit goes back to my DNA.  My ancestors would split them open, cook with them, and take them on long journeys.

This year I was able to raise some of my own.  Previous years I had been left with one or two golf ball sized fruits.  This year it was closer to about 10 and half of them were the size of a baseball.  I left them on the tree until they split open.  Not sure if this is the way to do it, but it just seemed like the way to go.

They were pretty sour to my tastebuds with only hints of the pomegranate fragrance.  They just burst bursted in there sweet and sour goodness.

I am thankful that I could play my little part in helping to bring some colorful goodness into the world.

 

Autumn Harvest Pomegranate 2013 01

Under the Tracks and Beyond in Asakusabashi

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Two Potted Aloe Plants with Bicycle, Asakusabashi

 

I have been a bit confused over what kind of components are needed to be able to plug in my electronics on my trip to South Korea this week for the Jeccheon Film and Music Festival.  Our short film KRS ONE:  Brooklyn to the Bronx was invited and will make it’s international debut there.

Been all over the internet, and finally just decided to revisited Akihabara to make sure I have what I need to keep my cameras clicking in Korea.  After running around checking the web, and talking with some staff I discovered that both my iPhone and my Ricoh battery charger can handle the 220 voltage and all that I needed are plug adapters.

I was deciding where to head next, I often make a right and head towards Ueno, but today I went straight following the the train tracks that lead me to Asakusabashi.  An interesting part of Tokyo filled with bead shops, leather, and shoe makers.  It is a neighborhood I have never explored so in the summer blazing heat I treaded around the neighborhood.

Shops and little eateries filled the arches under the tracks.  I just kept on walking and walking.  Eventually I walked all the way back over to the Tozai line at Monzenakacho station.

A good day to sweat and click.

 
Noren (Curtain), VIne, Terracotta Pot, Asakusabashi

Small Factory Front with Koi Fishtank, Asakusabashi

The Fantastic Journey of the Little Cotton Seed that Could

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Cotton Plant's Fantastic Journey from the 305 (Miami)

 

Push rewind to come to a sunny backyard in Miami about three months ago.  I was standing in my brother and wife’s backyard when I spotted a scrawny looking tree that was covered with little fluffy puffs of white.  I was intrigued all of these puffs of white on the tree, and scattered about at its base.

I picked up one of the fluffs and pulled the strands apart to find dark black seeds.  Each puff held about 4-6 seeds.  I asked my brother what plant is this?  He answered that it was cotton.

I had never seen a cotton plant before.  It was amazing how the Creator provided the earth with a simple plant that we can then harvest and spin into thread.  I was astonished.  It really was looking at a tree covered in cotton balls.

A few days later I was out in his backyard again, and I collected some of the cotton and took about a dozen black seeds, wrapped them in a piece of paper and packed them away with all my goods to lug back to Tokyo.

When the weather started to warm a bit I placed about four of the seeds in a little black potting cup, and waited.  Nothing happened.  Two weeks pass by and still no growth in the pots.  I pretty much had given up, and decided to place a few more of the seeds in the cup.  The very next day, my wife tells me that one of the seeds from the previous batch had sprouted.  I was joyous and thanked the Creator for the little cotton seed that could.

In the late glow of the setting sun, we replanted this little 6 inch (15 cm)  seedling, into a proper sized pot.  I am thankful to have been able to bring a small piece of my brother’s family and transplant it to my family in the suburbs of Tokyo.

 

 

Zen Garden Moment in my Hood

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Zen Garden Hood in the Afternoon

 

Garden Zen Moment in the Neighborhood 

A day is as long as the muscles are sore.

The breeze blows over the rippling bay.

The sweat on one’s brow is about to break as the weather

lays wedged between spring and summer.

Rubber skids slides along the pebbly asphalt.

A home passed a thousand times beckons the eye.

Pupils dilate and  follows the rubber to a halt.

Concrete blocks, plastic planters, metallic hooks, are one with sculpted branches.

A mind rests, the eyes are dazzled.

All is a silent moment in the hood.

 

Avoiding the Crowds in Monzenakacho

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Sub Door with Potted Plants, Monzennakacho

 

It took me quite a lot to get motivated today.  I’m not sure why.  It just seemed like quite a pain to get myself to leave the comfiness of my home.  It was partially due to the weather that had turned a bit cooler in the last 12 hours that I needed to throw on a hoody to keep warm.

I finally gulped down a glass of my homemade espresso and jumped on my bicycle to the station.  I really had no destination in mind.  I just knew I didn’t want to go anywhere crowded.  I just wanted to be on the street with my camera.  I decided to keep to the Tozai line and I got off at Monzennakacho Station.  An area known for it’s large shrine and temple and back alley restaurants.

My wandering started off slowly.  I went left where everyone else went right.  It took a while to get into the rhythm of the wandering and the clicking, but it all began to sync up.  I lost track of time.  I lost track of where I was.  All I had to choose, was straight, left, or right.

The clicking became easy.  Homes angles, potted plants all lined up for my enjoyment.  The streets were for the most part empty except for the occasional housewife, and school children.

Sometimes the hardest part of a journey is just getting started; however, once started the journey is never completed.

 

Door with Ferns and Bicycle, Monzennakacho

 

 

Green Potted Plant with Sliding Door, Monzennakacho

 

 

Ledge with Potted Plants, and Potted Plants Door, Monzennakacho

Rainy, Cold, and Uncrowded in Asakusa

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Sweets, Tree, and Red Wall, Akakusa

 

I went back to finish up my souvenir shopping is Asakusa on Monday.  I expected it to be a bit uncrowded due to it being Monday and it generally was. The rain also helped keep some of the sightseers away.  There were still streams of tour groups following the triangular flags, and I heard English, Chinese, and German, as I quickly made my way from the main shopping street onto to the backstreets.  I feel at home there.  My pace slows, my eyes sharped, and I can just be.

There are those pockets, tiny little pockets, of what Asakusa must have been like.  It still has got to be the number one destination for foreigners and Japanese travelers to Tokyo, but they more or less stick to the Nakamise (main shopping street) and visit the temple.  I am much more interested in those side streets for the real craftsmen.

The little gardens that thrive in only 15 centimeters of space.  It is what I love about tokyo.  Those intense patches of greening life against the drab of frozen gray concrete.

As I am typing this I gaze out my window to see snowflakes drift on down from the skies.  It is hard to imagine that in a little more than 24 hours time, I will be gazing out my window and hearing the cawing of parrots.

 

 

Behind the Temple Garden, Asakusa

Hyper Don Tree Spot, Asakusa

Reflecting in Meiji Jingu Shrine Garden

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Sun Gazing Meiji Jingu Shrine Garden

 

In the heart of Tokyo lies a quiet space uninterrupted by the hustle of Harajuku and the fast paced life that Tokyoites step too.  A space where old man pause, take off their hats, and bow in reverence to the once great Emperor Meiji.

Large wooden Tori (Gates) separate the profane from the scared space of Meiji Jingu Shrine.  I have been several times, and I often bring guests to this space to experience some of the traditional Japanese culture.

My friend and I reasoned on a variety of topics as we wandered the garden.  Pausing here and there to reflect on the beauty of the garden.  Manicured spaces that would lead the eye around from bush to tree, to the pond in the middle of the garden.

Slices of reflections accumulations of all that came before and all that is to come.  The water shone back into myself.  The clear bubbling spring was a moment in which I could allow that water that sprung from the deep earth to enter into my consciousness.  Standing on a few perfectly placed flat stones peering over and into the spring, I was one with my surroundings.

Reflecting, reflected, reflections, moments in a progression of our lives.

 

Meiji Jingu (Shrine) Clear Spring Well, Self Portrait

White Koi Meiji Jingu Shrine Garden

First and Only Mikan (Satsuma Orange)

Friday, February 1st, 2013

First Mikan [ 温州蜜柑] (Satsuma, Mandarin 无核桔) Orange

 

My wife alerted to me something that I had completely missed in our garden.  The mikan sapling we had planted in spring had brought forth a single full sized fruit.  It was the only one of the three we planted.

I am not big on winter by any means but the simple pleasure of peeling a mikan and eating it wedge by wedge is one of the most enjoyable activities of a winter in Japan.  I love crushing the skins in my hands and inhaling that lovely citrus fragrance.

Citrus of fragrance has got to be one of the most pleasing scents to my soul.  I am sure there is a connection to mu childhood and having citrus trees in my backyard.  The scent always relaxes me.

I havent peeled this one yet.  I am just enjoying gazing at with my eye.  I will have to post more once i have peeled it and sampled the tender tangy flesh.

Have a beautiful day of rest!

 

 

Momiji Moment of Silence

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Momiji Moment of Silence

The heavy December rains were falling as I made my way in to work on a soggy Tuesday morning.  I was bundled up for the weather as it is my only defense against the cold.  I looked as if the sun would never burst through the clouds, but I was wrong.

Soon after lunch the sun did finally struggle to make a brilliant appearance.  Off to the west the sun’s rays blasted though the clouds while the east was still gray with rain.  The two opposites quietly inhabited the same space.  This is when I found myself wandering through a peaceful temple’s garden gazing at the wondrous momiji (japanese maple).  The colors were reaching their fulfillment as they ripened to hues of burgundy.

The momiji’s colors contrates with the yellow ginko leaves that carpeted the ground.  I was able to steal a moment of stillness.  A moment of just myself enveloped in their hues.  The young children and their mothers no longer entered into my consciousness.  I was at one with the hues.  The hues were as silent as I hope my my soul could be.

 

6-6 Garden Front

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

6-6 Garden Front Door

On the backstreets we wander.  Looking for a place to call home.  A place that we can call our own.  Lost in the greenery as it overtakes the asphalt.

Backstreets is where I roam.

 

Kyo Edogawa Riverside Gardens in Kasai

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

One Red One in Kasai

Been on the computer too much the past couple of days catching up on some archiving I have been meaning to do for a long time.  The time was ripe to get out in my neighborhood today.

It was suppose to be a blistering hot day, but my 3 in the afternoon it had cooled off a bit and it was time to hop on  my bicycle and see what I can find in my neighborhood.   I live on the southern edge of Tokyo right between two branches of the Edogawa River.

My years ago most of my neighbors would have made their living harvesting seaweed, catching fish, and digging for clams.  There are still little reminders of the nautical past.  Many of the old fishermen now make a living running yukatabune (party boats).  Taking parties out into the bay for an evening of eating, drinking and catching the skyline from the water.

There are plenty of little gardens in my neighborhood.  It never ceases to amaze me how little space is needed, or how tiny a garden may be.  They are all gorgeous in their own way.  Down by the riverside, down the narrow alley ways that have been home for decades.

All in all a good day out in the Kasai.

Corner Roof Top Garden

 

Steping Up Aloe

Feeling Like a Square in Ebisu

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Window Oleander Ebisu, Tokyo

I went out to the center of Tokyo for a house warming party for two of my close friends.  I don’t get out to trendy Ebisu very often even though it is home to the Tokyo Museum of Photography in Ebisu Garden Place.  Actually, the last time I had been in Ebisu was to meet up with a mate at his office located on the edge of Ebisu and Shibuya.

Among the high class restaurants and private homes, I came across a few square gems.  Homes that must have been in the neighborhood long enough to see the urbanization creep around every narrow street.  Homes with unruly gardens that spoke to me as as out of place as myself.

The ivy creeps up the window sills, flowers bloom in spaces that would have been forgotten in the west.  I love the way that no space is left unused in Japan.

So, it is just me, feeling a bit square in Ebisu.  That is all.

Ebisu Crooked Smile Wild

 

21-3 The Wilds of Ebisu, Tokyo

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