Time to PONDer

I have always been fascinated
by ponds – big, medium or small. 
Some are natural,  others may come
with lovely sculptures or refreshing fountains.
But, my favourite is the pond that has healthy
well-fed Koi swimming in it.
I visited a Catholic church recently and
I was delighted to see a beautiful pond
with a statue of Jesus Christ.
And when I took a closer look
I was thrilled to see a group of energetic
Koi swimming in the pond.
Just watching the Koi makes me glad.
I feel peace within and at the same time intrigued 
by these amazing Koi, for they embody  
a  kind of quiet beauty and mystery.
And I can’t help but ponder
on the importance of
love, unity, and friendship.

pond with koi.jpg




To all who are celebrating Diwali,
the festival of lights ;
A celebration of triumph
of light over darkness and good over evil,
A festival where thousands of oil lamps 
will be illuminated throughout the night;
May the light of hope be there
when we seek it in our darkest hours;
May the light of faith be seen with our hearts 
even when our eyes see only darkness;
Let us shine and share this beautiful light
with those around us;
Wishing you delightful moments and
overflowing joy this Diwali and always!





The homeless man – NBC


The other day, I was walking behind this homeless man after getting a few things from the grocery store.

He’s most likely in his mid-thirties.  He seemed normal and healthy and in no way inadequate though his clothes looked old and worn out. He often carries a plastic bag with what looked like the few essential items he possessed.

I often see him loitering about the vicinity where I lived.  I wonder why he is homeless and if he had a family.  I’m sure he has a life story to tell like everyone else.

There were a few occasions I saw him sitting in the playground nearby writing in a notebook.  And he just kept on writing and writing.  

Otherwise, he can be seen standing outside a 24-hour convenience store where he would place a plastic container for anyone who is willing to spare him some loose change. He seemed to have a kind of dignity and confidence in him that I could not explain, unlike most homeless or beggars I have met.  I am sure he knows who his regular supporters are.  After all, this is a very small suburb.  And most long-time residents here respect and accept him for who he is.

Apart from that, he is self-sufficient and content to live his life this way.  Once, we happened to be both queueing to buy our food from a food truck.  A four-wheel drive drove pass and stopped in front of us.  A middle-aged woman winds down her the car window and handed the homeless man a bag of Chinese takeaway food.  To my surprise, he told her in fluent Cantonese “No need, I have food today.”  But the woman was persistent and said twice, “Take it, I bought it for you.”  And again he told her no.  The lady then drove away bewildered by the rejection of the homeless man.

Here is a person who I guess had not eaten a decent meal in at least a few years and I cannot help to think how often we are guilty of overindulgent when it comes to food.

There were days we too may feel just like this homeless man – unloved, lonely and disconnected. The only difference is that we have a place we can go to, which we call home.

My wish for everyone is may we never end up like this homeless man.  Life has its ups and downs and so often life seemed so unfair and our suffering unbearable.  But in those times may we be grateful to have a roof over our heads and food on the table.  And most of all to have our family or someone by our side,  to love and to be loved is enough.  




A civet cat in my attic – NBC

civet cat=1.jpg


Of late, we heard some strange noises in the attic.  Over the past two years, our attic has become a birthing center for mother cats.  Hubby had even bought a cat trap so we could catch the mother cats and take them to the animal shelter.
The strange noises were quite irritating.  My daughters thought the noises were really spooky and find it too early still to celebrate Halloween. So, hubby climbed up the attic to have a look. It was quite dark up in the attic and with the flashlight, he saw something that looks like a cat. But then, he said it could be a “Musang” (commonly used term for civet cat).
He set the cat trap as how he normally does.  And last night, we heard a loud ‘trap’ sound. And lo and behold, that’s indeed a Musang!.  It looks rather catlike in appearance and it has a thickly furred long tail, small ears, and a pointed snout. 
This is also the animal that produces the most expensive coffee in the world.  In Indonesia these animals are known as “Luwaks“. If you have been to Indonesia,  I’m sure you have heard of “Kopi Luwak“.  It is also called cat poop coffee.  This coffee is said to have been produced from the coffee beans which have been digested by the Luwak or civet cat.  The price for a single cup of Kopi Luwak runs $35 to $80 and a one-pound bag of beans costs $100 to $600.
I have not tried this famous poop coffee because I am not willing to spend $35 or more for a cup of coffee. And I don’t think I would ever try it after reading the article in the national geographic.
This morning hubby called the Wildlife Department to come rescue this Musang.  It’s a protected species and we better not think of keeping it as a pet or to use it to produce poop coffee, because should the authorities find out we could be slapped with a fine of up to $10,000.
So, farewell Musang friend.  It was a pleasure meeting you!

civet cat-2.jpg

How can we expect wild animals to survive if we give them nowhere in the wild to live?
 Anthony Douglas Williams