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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Upon the water

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I usually go paddling at least once a year; This year I had the opportunity to go paddling twice: one under the city skylines of Vancouver, and another in the serene slough at Mapleridge, BC.

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It was fun to paddle in the hub of the city and to experience a new perspective of the panoramic view of the city skylines, instead of the usual view by the roadside.

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The waterway was busy and bustling — water taxis picking up and dropping off passengers, dragon boats, canoes and kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and yachts — all sharing the same busy waterway.

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As much as I was mesmerized by the various architectural buildings, it was kind of nerve wrecking to be in the midst of these water transport; thus one needs to to keep balance and to avoid being tipped over by the waves created by the boating traffic.

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Upon the slough in Maple Ridge, I experienced a different kind of scenery — peaceful and picturesque, especially on this Autumn weather with its gentle sunlight and cool wind.

I lingered and immersed myself in the serene surrounding along the smooth-flowing slough; and delighted to spot the white majestic Mount Baker ahead.

Suddenly, before I could collect my thoughts, I was seated waist-deep in the water! What’d happened??

Then the sound of giggles snapped me back to reality, my friend from behind laughed uncontrollably as she witnessed me being unceremoniously dumped into the water while the kayak headed to the water’s edge.

As we later figured out, a log beneath the water had tipped the kayak. Thank goodness it was low tide, hence the slough was shallow.

After several attempts and coaching from my friend, I managed to get back into the boat and glided into the sunset, so care free but watchful.

Despite the mishap, I enjoyed being in the open air upon the water and having my soul refreshed.

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Oftentimes children say things that offer us fresh perspectives in a creative way. They see the world with a unique set of eyes and expand our thinking!

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Take for instant, I have been raving about the glorious glowing of autumn leaves that I am now running out of words to further describe them.

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However, while chattering with a preschooler the other day by a row of trees that flashes with brilliant autumn color of amber, gold, red and green, I was inspired with a fresh perspective.

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The little girl was pointing to the branches sprouting with changing leaves and said “I love the colourful leaves dancing on the trees.”

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I asked her why and she responded excited with nodding head “because it reminds me of a rainbow!”

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Wow, what a beautiful “imagination”. Indeed, now as I look at the Fall leaves that unfold before me, I see not only the blazing autumn colours but colorful rainbows of leaves.

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Ah, rainbow… stunningly beautiful and… a sign of God’s promise!

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Genesis 9:12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:
13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

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Artist Point

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Autumn vista at Artist Point by Mt. Baker brings true ecstasy.

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As I walk along the picturesque path surrounded with fabulous Fall foliage, I am beyond words.

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Nature invites me to pause and reflect …

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Who paints the evergreen trees and decorates the alpine meadow ablazed with color?

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Who creates the pristine lake and carves out the majestic snow-capped peaks?

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Who scatters the white fluffy clouds that float in the sky?

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Who illuminates the mountain tops with stunning alpenglow?

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And WHO is this Autumn Artist splashing all those splendid artworks,

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so worthy of our praise?

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Rain on me

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It started to drizzle lightly as I walked across the outdoor parking lot, headed towards the building.

On the way there, I overheard a conversation between a father and his child.

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The father was hurrying his daughter to get into the car; “But, I want to feel the rain!” replied the daughter. And with that, she stretched out her hands and twirled happily while embracing the tiny raindrops.

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It was so freeing to see that. I wanted to feel the rain too, to enjoy its sprinkling; but I was in a rush that day so couldn’t pause to enjoy the moment like the little child.

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It rains gently today. Since I have the time, I put on my rain gear and dash out happily… to feel the rain…, the pitter-patter of the drops falling softly over me.

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The sight of the autumn rain is so peaceful and poetic, and I am lost in wonderment.

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Falling into Fall

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Oh pretty Fall, why are you so remarkably attractive?

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Your burst of colors awaken my soul and brighten my day.

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I am falling, falling, falling into Fall…

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Even the Autumn Mums are blooming with delight,

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sharing your vibrant fall colors.

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I studied about the history of the magnificent Great Wall of China during my elementary school year, but never dreamed that one day I would step onto this ancient path. What a surreal experience for me to finally walk on this wonder of the world!

The most visited Wall is the popular Badaling Great Wall. It is an hour away from the city, so it easily attracts lots of locals and tourists.

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Badaling Wall is divided into two sections from the entrance: the northern side and the eastern side. The northern side is always congested with people due to access of cable cars and trolleys from the bottom of the hill to the steepest top. We opted for the eastern side which is the road less traveled.

People told us that the gorgeous time to visit is around mid-Oct where the vast surrounding ridges is decorated in vibrant red.

The time we went, most of the leaves were withered and the landscape were left with naked and bare bushes; nonetheless, it has its own charm of beauty.

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The day was filled with delightfully warm sunlight with gentle crisp wind under a clear blue sky, which is rare in this cold autumn season.

The pavement is easy to walk on with gentle winding slopes here and there, and we hiked to the very end where the trail is blocked off even though the wall continues to stretch for miles and miles.

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As I strolled along the wall, I couldn’t help but appreciate the hard labor the workers of long ago put into building this architectural masterpiece originally designed for military defense.

Along the way, we encountered more than a hundred energetic and fun-loving elementary students chasing each other and having their first experience on the wall as well.

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They appeared to be on a field trip with an assignment to ask passers-by about their experience on the Great Wall. The sights and sounds of the giggling children made this leisure walk an enjoyable one.

After we arrived back at the entrance, we decided to explore the northern side; Indeed, there were a lot of people, young and old, buzzing with excitement.

After much searching, we finally spot the monument that everyone longs to take a picture with to prove that they indeed have reached the Great Wall!

The monument is a stone engraved with this famous Chinese writing: “If you have never been to the Great Wall, you are no hero”.

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The idiom basically means that courageous people can overcome adversity… the background of this saying is that a long time ago, it was impossible to access to the Great Wall, so whoever tackled this difficult task and arrived was a true hero/heroine.

After we had accomplished our mission to climb the Great Wall and proved to be “heroes”, we are ready for a feast!

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For our late afternoon snack, we enjoyed mouth-watering food on skewers.


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A Peking duck delicacy, which one should not miss when coming to Beijing, was our evening meal.

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For a midnight snack, we went to explore this famous street that never sleeps, called Gui Jie. There we tried spicy Szechuan seafood which included crayfish (aka mini-lobsters), escargot, crab and frog dishes to our heart’s content. The food was numblingly spicy and deliciously satisfactory.



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Where She Goes, I Go…

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Hello, my name is “Uke Blue”.

I was amazed to get Janiecross into ukulele playing. She had never learned how to play a musical instrument before, but it was love at first strung!

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She would bring me to the beach– to practice her melodic pieces.

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I think I must have brought her so much excitement that she even took me on vacation half way across the globe.

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We serenaded to each other by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

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We jammed with King David on his harp in Israel.

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We worshiped God early in the morning as the radiant sunrise smoldered across the golden city of Jerusalem.

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I am not sure if she is lucky to find me or was I lucky to have found her…

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these days, where she goes, I go… on outdoor adventures from the mountains high to the valleys low, and through crystal clear waters;

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Regardless of the different adventures, we are always enjoying, seeing, and experiencing God’s big beautiful world!

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