Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring 2

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is brought to us by Ash who requested that we share a photo of what spring means to us.

You might think Hawaii does not really have a spring. Our seasons are more subtle. Yet, we do have seasons and since I started gardening a year ago, I have more appreciation of the subtlety created by the rotation of our planet and the shorter days.

Other signs of spring:

And a favorite in Hawaii because May Day is Lei Day:

Lei for any occasion, especially Lei Day.

Lei for any occasion, especially Lei Day.

I am grateful I live in an area with subtle seasons.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters 4

Cheri at The Daily Post asked:

For this week’s challenge, share a photo with letters — no matter the alphabet. You can capture a neon sign, a sentence scribbled in an old phone booth, a random letter that’s seemingly out-of-place, or anything else. As you look through your lens, think about how your image might convey something bigger: a snapshot of how we communicate with one another, even if we don’t speak the same language.

I haven’t had as much time as I would like to address this challenge, so I looked back at old photos and used my phone to capture inspiring sayings I saw at the store this week. I look forward to seeing what others shared.

Monthly Peace Challenge: Woman in the Mirror (Complicated) 1

The woman in the mirror is complicated.

The woman in the mirror? It is complicated.

I continue to forgive others and myself for human flaws as I examine the woman in the mirror.

I gave one of the three speeches at my high school graduation for the theme entitled, “I Am a Part of All I Have Met …” My part was “The School.” I opened my speech with a quote that still applies to my life today.

The true purpose of education is to cherish and unfold the seed of immortality already sown within us; to develop, to their fullest extent, the capacities of every kind with which the God who made us has endowed us. — Anna Brownell Jameson

I truly am a part of all that I have met and I continue to learn and develop that seed of immortality as I continue to learn from all of the lessons life offers me. I aspire to live a life guided by the teachings of Jesus, Siddhārtha Gautama, Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Teresa of Avila, Kuan Yin, etc. I want to be more like those I admire in more modern times like the His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II, Rabbi Albert Lewis, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others who inspire me to be a better person.

You might have noticed the woman in the mirror is surrounded by Asian decor. It is a part of me now too as it is a part of my husband and children. Yet, I am still influenced by my southern roots in the Bible belt. And, I am influenced by the Jesuit university I attended. Thus, I am a complicated woman with complicated beliefs.

I find myself drawn to many of the Buddhist teachings and I find parallels between the lives of Jesus and Siddhārtha Gautama. I likewise find parallels between Kuan Yin and some Christian saints along with Mother Mary. The thing I note that they all have in common is a desire for a more peaceful world beginning with inner peace. This too is my desire.