A Changing Skyline

All day long our neighbourhood is filled with the sounds of construction: drilling, hammering, the rumble of heavy trucks. Looking out from our balcony, we can see the closest spot from which these day-long rumblings come:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Creating Construction Noise. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

The noise seems to never stop and I often long for quiet. The spot in the photograph, though, is an example of what is happening in other streets near where I live; as well as on the main roads. The constant construction and zeal for creating condos is changing the skyline that I see everyday.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Changing the skyline. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

The buildings that are going up now are higher than the existing ones. And I know that in the next few years, this view of the horizon will change even more.

Do you see a changing skyline where you live?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

Ten Years

Ten years have passed since we decided to settle in Canada – more specifically Toronto. Looking back on the past ten years, I realise that so much has happened:

  • My children have grown up. When we arrived they were toddlers dependant on me for their meals and play. Now they are teenagers with my youngest about to enter high school.
  • I have come to accept living in a big city surrounded by tall buildings and continous noise. I do still feel homesick on occasion but now my longing for ‘home’ is less frequent and less intense.
  • After years of trying, both myself and my husband have full-time and permanent employment.
  • I have visited all the places I want to see in this city – all the museums and places of interest. I am used to the TTC (public tranist system) and adapted very quickly to using it.
  • I have become more proficient at using the internet, and have discovered social media. Facebook has become a way of connecting with my family that remains in South Africa – and with those that moved to Australia. WordPress has become the medium through which I explore writing and meet interesting people from all over the world.

Small things have also happened in my life during the past decade: events, feelings and realisations that have made me the person I am today. There have been times when I have regretted the move to Toronto; particularly when I have been homesick, worrying about finances, or frustrated with the obstacles I faced when I wanted to teach. However, when I look at how well adjusted my children are and see the positive experiences they have had, my regrets dampen and I am content.

I now look foward to the next ten years and am curious to see what changes will occur in my life. It will be interesting to experience.

Five-Minute-Friday-badgeWhat significant changes have happened in the last ten years of your life?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: Ten)

Time to Leave

“I was sure we would have enough time.”

“One thing I have learned is that one always runs out of time.”

The two women hurriedly completed their task. When  they had begun their plan weeks ago, they had been confident they would succeed. Weeks had passed quickly and the time to leave had arrived.

“I am scared. What if it doesn’t work?”

Hugging her daughter close to her, Mia whispered, “It has to. If it doesn’t, we will be separated and never see one another again. I could not bear to lose you.”

Today was the perfect day to implement the plan whispered in the dark hours of the night. Nathan was off ship and the guards left behind were not his best. They would be easy to evade for they had not yet learned the desperate measures prisoners take.

They crept out of their cell. As Nathan’s favourites, they had free reign on this floor. Yet they were still prisoners: their freedoms had been taken away from them, their choices made for them. Mia had been content to let the status quo continue. Nathan had given her a child and the last eighteen years had been more than bearable as she had watched their daughter grow and blossom. But now he wanted to send her angel away! Barter her for the goodwill of the Oxford clan! That she could not bear: to send her daughter to a prison worse than the one she had been born in. At least Nathan treated his prisoners well. What she had heard about Darkin made her shudder.

They reached the bay where the smaller ships were kept. As expected, it was quiet – not much happened in the dead of the night when the commander was away. They entered a small pod. Looking at the console, she saw that little had changed in the last twenty years since she had been captured. Mapping their course, she whispered a prayer of hope.

“If we are to be caught, this is when it will happen. Hold on tight and may the gods be with us.”

At first, the soft hum of the pod went unoticed. Yells echoed across the bay as the small ship moved towards the exit but Mia’s flying skills evaded the hasty attempts of those on board to recapture her. They looked on in despair as their leader’s favourite disappeared into dark space.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This flash fiction was inspired by Laura’s Literary Lions prompt: Time)

Grateful for Free Concert

The PanAm games are happening in Toronto. I am not a sports fan so I have not bought tickets to watch the games. However my curiosity did bring me out of my home, accompanied by my husband, to visit the Nathan Phillips Square downtown in Toronto.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
At Nathan Phillips Square. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

I love the sign they have placed near the water and was pleased to read that the sign will stay there after the Games for a few months – and then will be moved around to various locations in the city.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Listening to the sounds of Serena Ryder. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

The best thing about my visit to the Square, though, was the free concert. The last concert I had attended was before my little girl was born – and that was over 15 years ago! I enjoyed standing in the cooling night air to listen to the sounds of Wyclef Jean and, later, Serena Ryder.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Fireworks in the City. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

At the end of the concert, we were treated with fireworks to the music of the theme song for the PanAm Games: Together We Are One by Serena Ryder.

This week I am grateful for the chance I had to experience the free concert – and be introduced to another talented musician. I am grateful for living in a city that offers its inhabitants the chance to experience live music and stunning fireowrks.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Last week Lavender Ladi was greateful for the posts on gratitude

Processed with Rookie© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post and feel free to use the badge my daughter created. )

I enjoy reading what others are grateful for – the posts make me think of other things I am happy to have in my life. Please remember to send me a pingback so that I know you have participated. 

The Best Things in Life

The best things in life are free. The love of a mother for a child. The warmth of the sun beating down on your face. The refreshing beat of the rain after a hot summer’s day. The companionship of close friends.

Often we forget that these intangible things are what we ought to savour. Instead we focus on the meals in swanky restuarants, tickets to the best shows, vacations in far flung places, the latest designer clothing. The satisfaction gained from owning the latest model of a car, or the excitement experienced from attending a concert of a favourite entertainer, is short-lived. The pleasure is fleeting and the chase is begun again for other things to buy and pay for that we believe will fulfil our need.

And yet what we need is free. Money cannot buy true love and unconditional acceptance. We cannot pay for the friendship that is gained from a close companion. Swipe a credit card and you will not receive the arms of a young child wrapped around your neck in trust and acceptance.

Yes, the best things in life are free. All we need to do is accept them, appreciate them, and be grateful for them.

Five-Minute-Friday-badgeWhat free things do you enjoy?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: Free)