Like the Sweet Smell of Jasmine in the Night


Her smile held all the promises of summer.

She was wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat that framed her face against the blue cloudless sky.

She sat on the bench and snuggled up to me, and her smell was like a whiff of sweet jasmine in the night.

Her face was very close, and her breath smelled even sweeter.

Suddenly she stood up and grabbed my hand. “Come,” she laughed.

And with that, she turned and led me into the summer.



One of the Most Beautiful Sights in Kyoto

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”
– Benjamin Disraeli


I may not be as great a traveler as Benjamin Disraeli, but I have seen quite a bit and remember quite a few.

Among those things I’ve seen and remember is the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. I do like temples and, though not a Buddhist, I find it soothing to the soul when I’m in a Zen temple or garden. This one in particular captures harmony between heaven and earth, and also shines in its beautiful setting.

The Golden Pavilion is worth visiting for a sight to remember, if not to soothe one’s soul.

Some facts about the Golden Pavilion
1. It is a World Heritage Site.
2. The top two stories are covered with gold leaf.
3. The gold is to purify any negative thoughts towards death.
3. Its origin dates back to the 1400s.
More info on the Golden Pavilion here.


Does the Earth Belong to Us?

When I watch a sunrise


Or the occasional moonrise


I sometimes wonder if the earth is a better place without us.

I’m not trying to be a tree hugger (nothing wrong with being one).


I am simply trying to ask a bigger question —

Is the earth a planet that belongs to our species, to use and exploit, and, when exhausted, move on and colonize Mars and other planets?

Or are we part of nature, homo sapiens another species on earth, another passenger on this planet?


“With great power comes great responsibility.”

This has been quoted through the centuries, including the French Revolution, the US Supreme Court, Winston Churchill, the Holy Bible, and yes, Spider Man movies.

That our species is preeminent confers it great opportunity, to shape the earth for its purpose, and enjoy its gifts.


But also great responsibility.
and Earth Day 2017

Photos from top: Sunrise at Mt Fuji, Moonrise over Laguna province in the Philippines, Todai-ji at Nara in Japan, Ho Chi Minh International Airport, Sunrise in Laguna province in the Philippines

The Mound That Gave Massachusetts Its Name

(Moswetuset Hummock, as seen from Quincy Shore Drive in the Fall.)

There seems to be consensus that Massachusetts is named after the indigenous people living in the area.

What is not unanimous is where the name of the tribe came from. It is commonly translated as “near the great hill,” possibly referring to the Blue Hills south of Boston. Alternatively, it is represented as “Moswetuset” from the name of the Moswetuset Hummock in Quincy (shown above). Moswetuset means “hill shaped like an arrowhead.”

Whichever is the correct origin of the name, it is clearly rooted in the Earth.
hummock (noun)
: a low mound or ridge of earth; a knoll.

hill (noun) :
: a small heap, pile, or mound.

If a Plant Could Take a Selfie

It would be simple.

No string of pearls or fancy jewelry.
Just a few beads of water from this morning’s drizzle.


No yoga on a beach or a surfer’s paradise.
Just a ride on the wave of a soft gentle breeze.


No new age philosophy or a new uncovered diet.
Just a skin washed with rain and a glow from within.


If a plant could take a selfie.

Surprise on a drizzly Easter morning.

May This Day Find You at Peace and Leave You with Hope

“May this day find you at peace and leave you with hope” is a traditional Drayan blessing (from a Star Trek Voyager episode).

This could as well be a blessing for Palm Sunday.

In the Philippines, young coconut leaves are woven into fronds.

People wave them during the mass for the Palm Sunday blessing.

Waving the fronds (locally called “palaspas”) welcomes the start of the Holy Week — for many in the Philippines, a time for healing the soul, finding peace and renewal through hope.