Light And Reflections

As we near the end of January, I cannot quite believe that a month has already passed. It has also been 5 weeks since I enjoyed the feel of the warm sun on my back while savouring my experience on our family vacation in the Dominican Republic. It has been five weeks since I relaxed by the pool or on the beach reading my book. Time has gone by so quickly.

I loved seeing the view of the ocean from the beach. We also discovered the sea view from a newly opened pool – what a treat!

The light caused a beautiful reflection on the pool. As not many people had yet discovered the pool, its serene waters were not disturbed by the enjoyment of those soaking up the sun.

We never had a chance to immerse ourselves in these pristine waters, preferring instead to swim in the sea or the larger pools. However, while we were there sipping our cocktails, we did enjoy the view and the peaceful atmosphere.

What were you doing five weeks ago?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. In the spirit of the New Year, why not join in the challenge and share some square photos featuring light.)

FMF Day 1: Worship

In the 21st century, our lives are full. We rush from one place to another, cramming as much as we can into our day. Many families are unable to spend quality time together – and often the time that they do spend with one another is limited by the brimming schedule of both parents and children.

In a life shaped by modern values and filled with busyness, where does God fit in? Whom do we worship?

In modern cities and towns, pews in the churches are empty. Church buildings are renovated and used for different purposes – some are even refurbished as homes. God is no longer is part of a person’s life and daily routine. The Lord’s prayer no longer begins the school day, and saying daily prayers is a habit few follow.

Who has replaced God? Knowledge and understanding how the world works. The belief in self and the confidence that a person can control much of their own life. The words ‘spiritualism’ and ‘mindfulness’ are bandied about. A person no longer prays to God, but meditates to calm the spirit. A person no longer believes in God, but is spiritual.

As humanity moves towards worshipping the self, it loses the sense of community and faith that once held it together. Will there be a time when men and women will come to realise that focusing on the self is not gratifying? Will they once again learn to have faith in a Being greater than themselves? Will they once again worship God?

Do you believe there will be a renaissance of worship?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. For the first post on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

31 Days of FMF in October 2017

It has been a number of years since I have participated in the Five Minute Friday (FMF) October challenge in which you write for 5 minutes everyday on a given word. In 2014, I wrote a series of posts on moving from the southern to the northern hemisphere titled Migrating North. In 2015, I wrote about some of my teaching experiences in a series of posts titled Blackboard Scribbles.

This year I have decided to take up the challenge once again to help me get back into my blogging routine. Kate Motaung over at the Five Minute Friday website does not suggest you choose a theme for the 31 days of posts – but I found I enjoyed focusing my writing on a particular topic. This year I have chosen to reflect on our modern lives in a series of posts titled Reflections on Modern Life. The title came to me while walking home yesterday while I was thinking about our habits and stresses in current society.I hope you will enjoy this series of posts and look forward to your contributions to the discussions in the comments.

Will you be participating in the FMF October challenge this year?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Reflections on the Santa Parade

photo (24)Yesterday was the Santa Parade in Toronto. I love this parade and remember the first time I went to see it in 2003. It was our first Christmas here in Toronto and, having never seen a Christmas Parade before, we set off early to feast our eyes. Every year we made the effort to take our girls and wait in the cold until Santa arrived – until they decided they did not want to go. This year, after many years of not attending, we made the journey again to brave the cold to watch the floats and the marching bands go by. I watched the young children, bundled up in their snowsuits, eagerly waiting for Santa to arrive. I saw the adults spending time together chatting while making sure their children were fed, warm and safely seated in their spots. People huddled together, making the hours spent in the cold one of family. Strangers chatted with one another and many pictures were snapped. One may ask what the Santa Parade has to to with the original meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ. The floats are sponsored by those who aim at advertising; and the subjects of the floats are far removed from the religious significance of the holiday. The idea of a Father Christmas, and of a man who brings presents to children on a sleigh pulled by reindeer, is far removed from the birth of a child in a stable in Jerusalem. And yet, Santa (or Father Christmas) has become an integral part of Christianity. And the parade? When I look around, I see joy on people’s faces. Standing among the crowd I have a sense of community. I see family and friends spending time together. And surely this is the spirit of Christmas.

What do you think of the Santa Parade?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Sentimental Objects

So often we hold onto material things for their sentimental value: a piece of furniture, a book, a trinket, a photograph. Looking at these physical things remind us of a person, an event we experienced, and of a time in our lives. I remember keeping the programme of the first opera I watched, and the programme for the first ballet. I have kept ticket stubs to concerts, bus tickets for rides in the various countries I have visited, printed photographs of time I have spent with loved ones, the first pair of socks my baby wore.

There was a time, however, when I had to let go of the many physical reminders I had of my past. Relocating to another country brings on a need to purge your life of things. Many tickets, postcards sent to me from friends in the past, gifts, pieces of furniture and curtains that have been passed down to me. All of these were let go. Boxes of my life were given away for others to read, to wear, to use. What I kept were some photographs, a piece of jewellery. And my memories.

My memories are light and do not take up physical space. I can carry them wherever I go. Often when I walk outside, or am busy doing household chores, I take them out and savour them. I will think of a person, or an event from my past. My brain has stored them and I can take them out at will to enjoy. I may not touch, see, and feel an object; but the clarity of my memory brings that moment back to me.

I still like to keep the bus tickets of trips taken in different countries, bus tickets which I will slip into my scrapbook when I make it up. But I no longer keep so many things as memories of events because I have come to learn that I do not need them to remember.

Do you keep sentimental objects to remind you of events?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

(This post was inspired by Jake’s prompt: Sentimental Value)

My Favourite Beginner Posts

I began my blog in January 2012. My aim was to write; and to express whatever it was that came to mind. In was interesting for me to see the type of posts I had written. In the first month I wrote:

These were not my only posts, but they encapsulate what I began this blog with. Looking at the past posts has made me realise that there are a few topics I am not blogging about. Seems I need to share some more of my recipes, do a few more book reviews, and blog a little more on health topics.

What were a few of your first posts? You are welcome to share your favourite in the comments section below so we can visit them.