Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Break | Florette by Anna Walker

When Mae's family moves to a new home, Mae wishes she could bring the garden with her. She'll miss the apple trees, the daffodils and the butterflies in the long, wavy grass. But there's no room for a garden in her new home...Or is there?

What caught my eye with this book was, of course, the stunning imagery that is nothing short of a work of art. Flipping through the pages, I wished I could be part of Mae's gentle world. But as I followed along with the story, expressed in few words, it hit me that there is a lot that can be learned from the little girl's mind. Despite moving to a city so strikingly different to her home, Mae's passion and creativity helps her to adjust and feel happy once again. From a tiny 'stalk of green', Mae cultivates her own garden from which she and her community can benefit; both through the environmental benefits it brings and the hope and friendships it fosters.

It's not often that I find myself reaching for children's books, but after reading Florette by Anna Walker, I think I may have to do so more often. I really appreciate the knack they have for addressing the simple things in life that make all the difference. With Florette, I was reminded that a dream is achievable if one has the resilience, conviction and imagination to see it through.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Slow Down | Take a Hike

Rottnest Island WA 6161, Australia

I took a day trip to Rottnest, an Island one hour off the coast of Western Australia. Six hours spent walking various parts of the Wadjemip trail was enough to quell my various anxieties. It was like breathing out a long sigh, unclenching fists and loosening tense limbs. It's one of those places you can let your worries be swept away to sea.

Take a Hike
Get out to somewhere quiet, it doesn't matter how far flung or close to home. Tread well trodden paths and climb steep sandy hills. From here on, it's all about getting back to basics. Focus on your heartbeat and your breathing. Remember that the world can be simpler than what it is, as long as you make the time to believe it.
After a spate of feelings of anxiousness and stress, my Slow Down series began with this post as an effort to reflect on the small activities that make all the difference. They are the ones that focus on the present and the moments that must be cherished.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Break | Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

“Would you like to consider a relationship with me, based on a premise of love?”

This is a book about the passing of seasons and a friendship which blossoms into an unexpected yet touching romantic relationship. It is a celebration of food - tofu, miso, edame, sake and mushroom hunting in the autumn - and the frequent habits formed in a local bar that shape something bigger and more beautiful. It is about two lonely souls who find themselves in the other person.

Strange Weather in Tokyo is an effortless and understated read. Yet, it is so tender and so poignant. Reading it felt almost cinematic - with each chapter, a quiet scene unfolds, made delightfully atmospheric through glimpses into Japanese cuisine, culture, landscape and literature in the form of Haiku. 

This is a book which oscillates between sweetness and sadness. It is a dream yet it is all too real. It is a meditation on love and loneliness. It is comforting and heartbreaking, and it will linger with you.

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