Tag Archives: weather

Last Semester // New Project

This week, I embark on the last semester of my course.

Before I know it, 2 years – a length of time which once stretched into the (blue) distance, will come to an end. And a new beginning beckons.

In a possible attempt to slow time down, or at least retain whatever fragments of time I can, I’ve started a new personal project: To take regular pictures of the scenery outside my window.

Inspired from the book ‘The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere‘, I also wanted to see how placing focus on something seemingly unchanging could affect my inner world.

Just slightly less than a month into this project, and already I sense a difference in how I feel towards the view I’ve been blessed to have.

I now keep my blinds open for longer hours each day, eager to see what Mother Nature has in store for us with every passing moment. No two sunrises or sunsets have ever been the same. No cloud of the same shape or density have crossed the same space twice. Even the shadows which fall across the houses seem to hint at different characteristics each time. These subtle yet distinct variations of a same place, from behind the same window pane, could be used as an analogy to show how our inner selves are never the same from one moment to the next, as we glide through life, from one fragment of time to another.

Yet, a sense of familiarity is always there. Just like the prominent tree, and the stoic houses which anchor the ever-changing landscape, the entity which we know to be the Self is always constant, there within us.

The Self I am now is vastly different from the Self I was 2 years ago. Yet, I am still Me. And I feel it is only in moments of (sometimes self-imposed) stillness, when I can reach closer to that never-changing Self, the Self I long to return and anchor myself to, as I make my way through this accelerated and motion-filled world.

“The need for an empty space, a pause, is something we have all felt in our bones; its the rest in a piece of music that gives it resonance and shape.”

– Pico Iyer, ‘The Art Of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere’

From Fog To Sun

Last Tuesday morning – the fog when I stepped out of the house was so heavy and thick:

The dimmed lights are from the library building..

Visited the familiar tree again:

What a contrast from the usual morning sky.

As the train went up the slope to the mountains, I found myself wondering whether the weather forecast had made a mistake after all. It was supposed to be clear, but all I saw was fog and more fog, even as we went higher and higher.

Then, about 5 stations up, the breakthrough came. Sun!

The realization that the sun had been there all along, but because I couldn’t see it and was losing faith – made me think about life in a general sense. How easy it is to lose all hope when we’re caught in seemingly hopeless and difficult situations.

But if we just think: The sun is always there.  It’s waiting for us as long as we continue to make our way up the mountain – this faith can help us get through the difficult times.

This faith need not mean faith in a religious sense. Faith in qualities like the goodness of the human heart, in the innocence of children, in the natural laws of the world, in the belief that everything happens for a reason, in the belief that we have a choice.. All these little rays of light come together to make the navigation of life that much more bearable and sensible.

And eventually, we will get past the fog and get to bask in the sun, as I’m sure no fog lasts forever.

A Test of Gratitude

After spending 5 days in Melbourne, where it dropped to 7 degrees in the nights and mornings, I was looking forward to returning to the warmth of Sydney, where at least autumn temperatures are supposed to be warmer.

Unfortunately, nature seemed to have other plans for us, as the state of New South Wales was hit by one of the worst storm winds in decades, causing over 200 000 homes to lose power, deaths, and traffic disturbances.

Here in the valley below the Blue Mountains, the most inconvenience we have suffered is the loss of hot water and heat. That’s all. I know people could go on about how freezing cold our water is (as if the weather isn’t cold enough) and how we’re shivering under our blankets at night because our heaters aren’t working, but if we just look at the people who have had to evacuate because of the floods and storm, we are so much more fortunate. On top of that, the accommodations office actually took the trouble to assign us alternative rooms for sleeping and bathing (I took the bathing option, just not the sleeping one). I surprised myself by feeling gratitude for all that has been arranged, instead of feeling like a victim of circumstances. All that mindfulness practice must be more useful that I thought possible. More incentive to strive on.

Today the skies and winds are calmer, and we finally see the sun. But the homes without electricity are estimated to go on without for another week, until the affected infrastructures are repaired. The roads and tracks which have been damaged will take time to repair. The lives which have been lost will never be recovered. Praying and thinking deeply for all those who are going through difficult times.

On Mist, and Other Thoughts

It’s interesting to be here for a second year, to see how the seasons move in a cycle, yet do not ever repeat themselves.

The mist this year is unlike the mist last year. So is the light, clouds, sky, air, and a multitude of other things. There is familiarity within the foreign, and vice versa.

I want to live in, and love, every moment of it. From the scorching sun to the freezing winds – for this too shall pass, and I only have the present.

Easter Weekend 2015

Over the long weekend, a friend was kind enough to invite me over to stay with her and her uncle. The house was near the northern beaches, which promised lots of photo opportunities. In anticipation, I accepted the invitation, only to be met with the rainiest weekend ever.

Still, was glad for the enjoyable company and experiences.

Beach cuisine.

The cosy house.

There are 2 possums who live in the chimney of the house. Every night food is laid out for them, and they come running to get fed.


After 2 days of intermittent rain and gloomy skies, the sun came out on the morning I was leaving.

Oh well. Rainy beaches made interesting photography subjects as well 🙂

Lunch Outdoors

Maybe the period between winter and spring  should be called… Springter.

And it will be known as the perfect season.

When the sun is shining but it’s not too warm, when the wind is blowing but it’s not too cold, when the clouds appear leisurely and you can decide to pack your lunch, sit outside your house and enjoy your meal watching the sky go by.

I Cannot Understand.

A few days ago, I decided to make a trip to the village of Leura, situated in the higher altitudes of the Blue Mountains.

According to Google, morning temperatures can get quite chilly, ranging from 7 to 15 degrees. Hence, I was decked out in some winter garb:

And most people I saw in the village were wearing coats and scarves as well… Though their coats didn’t look as thick as mine, and not many people wore coats AND scarves together. I guess I’m just not as thick-skinned >.<


But what I cannot understand is…

In open-air. With the wind blowing against our faces. Cold. Less than 18 Degrees. I simply cannot.


Anyway. More pictures from Leura Village soon 🙂