The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Of Bulbs and Flowers

"I will be the gladdest thing under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one."
Edna St. Vincent Millay
First Anemone (3)
I do not think there is a quote which sums me up more than the one above at this time of year. Because flowers make me so happy … and yet, I am loathe to pick the flowers from our garden to add brightness and cheer to our home . I feel I would somehow be denuding the  garden and making it less lovely. Perhaps it’s because flowers do not last very long here. As the days pass they are drying and fading, retreating back into the ground.
Flowers (1)
Flowers in our garden (3)
Most of the flowers in our yard grow from bulbs. I find bulbs easy to grow, even for someone with not so green thumbs and weather which can be quite harsh. And every spring it amazes me that such beauty can emerge from those brown, wrinkly, dry-looking things we call bulbs.
Flowers (2)
Flowers (5)
Flowers II (4)
Indeed, to my untrained eye, one bulb is very similar to another. And yet, when the flowers emerge, they are so different, so gorgeous, each in its own way. Because flowers are nature’s miracle enclosed in a bulb; a little secret nurtured at the heart of each bulb, born of rain and warm spring sun.
Flowers II (3)
Flowers II (7)
More Spring Flowers (4)
Spring flowers (2)
I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.  ~Ruth Stout
More Spring Flowers (2)
Spring flowers (3)

Friday, 23 April 2010

The Long Way Home

I don’t usually write posts about my daily life – it’s very mundane: work, home, sleep – you get the picture. Life on a small island in the Mediterranean is very picturesque but hardly ever very exciting. But sometimes, something happens which stirs things up a bit. Today the driver of an excavator hit a pedestrian bridge on the major road which feeds the south part of the island. No one was inured – except the bridge. The problem was that the road was closed to traffic for several hours and, this being an arterial road that needs to be used by several industrial areas and villages in the south of the island, chaos ensued.
I heard about the accident at work and, since I usually have to drive through this road after work, I decided to take the long way home. The problem was that I was not the only one to have this bright idea. Bottom line – I was stuck in the car without moving an inch for 30 minutes in a dusty country road, hemmed in by other vehicles. There was no turning back, everyone was in the same predicament. Yet, oddly enough, instead of fuming, as I would usually do, I felt an ironic sense of inner peace. And I wondered why I was so calm as I stared out of my window at fields of ripened wheat, abandoned farmhouses and patches of crimson clover. For some reason I could not quite understand it, so I drove on, behind the others, at the pace of the fabled tortoise. Around 30 minutes later I had made it to a town on the west side of the island and from there I drove out to the road that winds itself along the cliff tops and would finally get me home.
Dingli Cliffs (1)
Dingli Cliffs (13)
And as I drove there, completely alone, with a sheer drop on one side of me and the garigue which is so characteristic of this part of the island on the other, it hit me. I felt free as a bird because, for once, I did not have to follow the usual routine. A freak accident had made me take the long and scenic way home and I was enjoying it without worrying about whether I would be back in time to cook or clean. It was here that I realised that my journey home was like life’s journey. Sometimes, in life, we have to take the long and winding road, and although we may finally end up in the same place, we have the time to appreciate the beauty of the places and people around us. We can take the time to stop, to  listen, to love, to breathe. So the point I wanted  to make before I started rambling is this – live life to the fullest, even if sometimes it means you have to take a detour – because life is fragile, life is precious. So take the time to savour the beauty of a wild flower, to smell salty sea breezes, to do what you always wanted to do, to make someone smile …  Take the time  – to find your inner peace and to be the person you always wanted to be.
  Dingli Cliffs (22)
P.S. No I did not have my camera with me, but the scenery was very similar to these pictures :)  

Friday, 16 April 2010

Reflections in a Pond

Tuscany 418
I suppose that prior to starting blogging I would have passed by this scene without giving it more than a glance. But these days, every picture that I take can lead to some form of inspiration. Sometimes it’s all about the big  picture. Other times, it’s all about the details. This is one of the first photos I took on our arrival in Siena. It’s simply the reflection of some windows in a shallow pond of water – just a brief glimpse of the beauty that I would soon feast my eyes on and perfect for Weekend Reflections.
For more reflections from around the world visit James at Weekend Reflections.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Happiness Is …

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
Albert Camus
I think that the above post epitomises the nature of happiness and I find it to be so true because when I am in harmony with what I am doing – then I am happy. This rather overdue post is to say thank you to my blogging friends for some awards that I have received and to let them know that they make me happy. So now, without further ado, let me move on to the awards.
The Happy 101 Award
I was given this award by Mary Anne at Starlight Blog and Doreen at Doreen’s Whimsical Words. The rules of this award are as follows:
1. Link to the person who gave it to you.
2. List 10 things that make you happy.
3. Pass it on to 10 happy bloggers
4. Notify the Nominees about this Happy Award.
So here are 10 things which make me happy:
1. Spending time with my family and friends.
2. Sticky kisses from my 4 year old.
3. Spring.
4. Flowers – especially if I have grown them myself from seeds or bulbs).
5. Wandering the streets of Mdina with my camera in my hand.
6. Travelling to new places and to favourite destinations.
7. Blogging, writing and blog awards.
8. Christmas.
9. Children’s laughter.
10. Chocolate
I could go on but I will limit myself to just 10 things. And now I would like to pass on this award to the following  people:
Angela at Reflections
Diane at Desert Colors
Wanda at Moments of Mine
Now I am sure some of you have already received this award and I am also pretty sure that some of you no longer do awards, so please don’t feel pressured to pass it on. It’s just a small thank you from me to you.
The Sunshine Award
The next award I have been given is the Sunshine Award from Polly at Angels in my Garden. I would like to pass on this award to any of you that care to take it up and pass it on because all of you, in your own way, light up my life with some sunshine whenever I visit your blogs.
The Prolific Blogger Award
Finally I was given the Prolific Blogger Award from Mary at Writer’s Butt Does Not Apply To me. I would like to pass on this award to Mary Anne at Starlight Blog, Gattina at Writer Cramps and Lucinda at Cobalt Violet.
In the daily grind that is life, it  is good to feel appreciated and to read heart-warming words from people across the globe.  I started blogging on a whim and yet, it has turned out to be a place that I return to each day to share your ups and downs, your joys and your sorrows. So, thank you all, for contributing to this girl’s share of happiness.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Ruby Tuesday: The Candle's Glow

Just a candle in a lonely nook ...

A feeble light

In the encroaching darkness -

 Offering hope,

As it glows through the night.

For more Ruby Tuesday posts visit Mary at Work of the Poet.


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