Easter joy after the somber Lent

My Auntie Rosie posted spectacular pictures of her garden on Facebook.  Staggering beauty – flowers in full bloom, some bushes profusely crowding her garden fence, others just primmed on pots strategically placed to draw imminent admiration.  With her permission, I show a few of her pictures on this blog mainly because they make me think of Easter joy.  Gazing at them brings back memories of past glorious Easter celebrations. A few, I share here.  I cling to those memories because they give such warm joyous feelings, unmistakably reeking with sweet nostalgia.

But this week is still Lent. Sobered by the thought that the son of God, both human and divine, sacrificed and died on the cross to redeem us back for God’s kingdom.  To commemorate Lent, we enter into self-examination, a spiritual discipline aimed at humbly coming before the Lord, preparing our hearts as we meditate on the Father’s unconditional love, sending his only son, Jesus, to come down to earth and bear the burden of our sins for our redemption.  A time to bow before God, confessing our iniquities and shortcomings while trusting in His unfathomable forgiveness and compassion.  A time to take stock of our priorities and align them with the purpose given us by the almighty Father, cognizant of where our treasures lie, treasures that truly matter and count for eternity.

We dwell in all humility of spirit and contemplate the boundless mercy of God.  Before jumping to Easter joy – we need to remember what transpired before Jesus’ resurrection, the depth of His excruciating pain and agony, and ultimately his most humiliating death on a tree — in the culture of that time, the most despicable way of making a man die – and all that, because He loves us so much.

But the dawn of a new day is near, and we look eagerly to celebrating the fact that the King is alive!

Lovely pictures trigger memories of glorious Easter celebrations (Photos by Rose Manuel Cruz)

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Dancing away the voodoos of side effects – silly but maybe true

Funny that people are curious how COVID vaccines pan out.  This interest is peaked by numerous reports circulated on media outlets and social platforms.  They tend to prompt fear.  That’s normal in the “new norm.”  I was anxious, too.  Though fully cognizant that negative reports claim just a miniscule fraction of the total results, still, I entertained a nudge of doubt myself.  Admittedly, I had a pinch of anxiety, but I’m much relieved that my second Pfizer vaccine shot was administered a few days ago.  Now, family and friends inquire into my wellbeing after the second dose.  There seems to be a veiled quasi-obligation to satisfy the third degree from concerned family and friends.

However, before sharing my all-too-familiar vaccine narrative, I would like to offer my gratitude and compliments to the myriads of health care workers, employed and volunteers, who make the tedious process of vaccinating the public a very organized and well managed “event” – so efficient and smooth running.  I’m certain that everyone vaccinated appreciated the 15 to 30 minute rest soon after the shot, to be observed, while in the facility, for any immediate possibly adverse reaction.  That’s how it was for my first and second COVID vaccines.

Applause & gratitude to all health care
workers who tirelessly help to stave off
the COVID pandemic!    ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

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My first outdoor dining since the pandemic started – absolutely delightful

Just came back from a lovely lunch outdoors, my first dine-out with friends since the start of the pandemic. I believe it was their first dining out, too, since March last year. A young lady from Mexico, a young man from Japan and I leisurely walked two blocks to Bill’s Café in Palo Alto.  The perfect spring-like weather, a bit coolish, blue skies,  sunshine, light breeze from shady trees lined at the side of the lane. We couldn’t have asked for more.  We were euphoric to be able to socialize outdoors. Never mind that we waited in line for half an hour. The important thing was, we thoroughly enjoyed the chat during the wait, and we got seated soon after 12 noon at one of the best situated round tables under an umbrella.

What I didn’t correctly hear was that we were supposed to order with our cell phone reading a programmed plastic pasted on the table, a technical innovation that I hadn’t experienced before.  So when the waiter came to take our orders, we hadn’t made our choices.  We were waiting for the regular menu.  Again, we didn’t mind the delay in getting our food.  After all, it was delightful just chatting away to get caught up on each other’s news, as we basked in half shade, half sun. A peculiar celebratory atmosphere dominated. From the cheery conversations and liveliness of people around, this was the general feeling.  And it felt good!

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Sunshine, stars, lollipops and little children too – the magical charm

Little children.  They bring out the sunshine.  They bring out the stars.  Smiles, laughter and candies, too.

Little children overwhelmingly charm with their antics, playfulness and especially, their refreshing innocence.  They warm my heart, as in a magic spell.  Only that, the endearment does not go away.  I shall share some of that charming spell.

Gerlyn, mother of my grandnephew Tian-Tian, told me that her son loves the blog I posted on this website, “No Tian-Tian, Godzilla is not in California”.  In that article, I mentioned how he got quite concerned about me after watching a Godzilla movie with California as its setting.  Just turned 5 on Feb. 20th, Tian-Tian staunchly appreciates a piece written about him.  So delighted is he that to this day, he cajoles his parents Siegfrid and Gerlyn to read the article to him every single day.  I am enamored by this one admirer of my writing, barely out of his toddler age, yet soaking in the pleasure of a tribute posted on his birthday.  If no one pays attention to that Godzilla blog but for this one little boy – I am euphoric and grateful.

More magical charms.

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