This autumn day sparks poetry — or at best, a grateful heart

Funny, I wanted to write a poem about this autumn day.  In the midst of a bad sciatic nerve attack that has restricted my movements for days – I fancied writing poetry.  Strange, don’t you think?

No, not really. This autumn day in Palo Alto, CA, as I woke up and gazed out my glass patio door, I spotted droplets of early morning rain on my balcony rail, and a gentle sprinkle from above.  Slivers of sunbeams pierced through spaces between billows of dark clouds in the sky and danced in the transparencies of the dew drops.  I saw the breeze flirting with tree branches for a light shake that caused a dash of colors to slither to the ground.  I saw yellows burst out between the bold reds and the earthly browns.  Yet, to the left of that brightly spruced tree is a deciduous with leaves that stubbornly stay freshly green, and I wondered why it hasn’t kept pace with its neighbors. And then, I heard the eerily rapturous whisper of the wind pass my balcony glass door.

The truth is, I determined to find reasons to distract me from focusing on the clutch of sciatica. I found them. For one, today shows traces of rain from the night before, and more promise of rain by the looks of the sky.  In California, good, temperate rain is manna – the nemesis of fires, the quencher to drought in the land, the much welcomed fresh spray to the air.  On a miniscule scale, the plants outside my front door have perked up.  The leaves of the jade plant have turned succulently plump, and the slender tendrils of the spider plant convalesced from their sluggish crouch for an aggressive and longer reach.  A lot to be thankful for this autumn day.

So, you see why I was inspired to dabble in poetry this autumn day.

A stunning picture of autumn in the Colorado mountain (Photo by Cai Zhang)

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The cozy charm of outdoor dining boosts appetite and enjoyment

Outdoor dining, result of pandemic restrictions, actually carries  a casual charm.  Strange, or maybe not, I take preference for outdoor seating whenever I go to a restaurant.  Last weekend, I yielded to a craving for fish and chips that I enticed my sister and her husband to lunch with me at Dinah’s Garden Hotel in Palo Alto.  I was not disappointed.  The setting was perfect.  Tables and chairs were arranged under large umbrellas by the poolside, with adequate distancing between tables.  Servers were masked.  Customers took off their masks when eating  We couldn’t have asked for better weather.

The wide pool was teasing and inviting.  The clear turquoise water that shimmered in the sunlight matched the blue of the sky.  Families swam and played to unwind in the pool, or just waded while carrying on conversations with friends and family members. Respectful of dining customers, people in the pool did not engage in rowdy activity or loud conversation.  All in all, the atmosphere was of delightful conviviality.  But the special touch to the dining experience was the friendliness of the lady owner, who not only busied herself in helping to serve, but took the time to stop at tables and chat with customers. She lighted the place with her genuine interest in her customers and the service they get.

Cod fish on garlic fries at Dinah’s restaurant (Photo by Susan P. Veloro)

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The Philippines’ 1st Nobel Prize Winner — Maria Ressa, Journalist

A jubilant and resounding congratulations to the first Nobel Prize winner of the Philippines – Maria Ressa, Filipino-American Journalist and Author – 2021 Nobel Peace Laureate — for her outstanding work of courage in her honest, factual and soul-searching journalistic work that upholds and exemplifies the integrity and forthrightness of media reporting, and its vital role in conserving the strength and essence of society’s soul.

Ressa: educated in Princeton and the University of the Philippines, 2018 Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, former CNN Reporter and Bureau Chief for Southeast Asia, Co-Founder of Rappler. — lpj