Storm Express

This is written as a Six Sentence Story based on Denise’s word prompt- Express

It was close to midnight. We decided to drive to the beach to experience the ocean under the moonlight.

We swam far and deep out of the ocean, exhilarated, shrieking with excitement between waves. The waves built bigger and stronger tossing us to a dangerous new high.

Then came the indigo storm, running towards us like an express train, forcing us to swim for our life. When it hit the shore in such great force, we were spat out like wreckage, exhausted and intertwined, looking like a cluster of seaweeds.

2021 Review in Blessings

January – the blessing of friends and friendship
Our friends, the Mafrici family were selling their family home to downsize. We got to spend the last New Year’s eve at their house. Our children had a ball in singing Karaoke and dancing. My son is quite a shy person, watching him sing and dance without being self conscious was such joy.

February – the blessing of work commute
Sydney opened up from the lockdown in February. We were able to return to work in the office environment 3 days a week and work from home 2 days a week. I enjoyed the long commute train ride to and from work where I did most of my blog post writing. Watching and observing people going about their daily life gave me a lot of writing material and inspiration.

March – the blessing of art
One of my clients is a painter artist. She invited me to an art exhibition for emerging artists where a painting of hers was on display. We got to spend time together to view and appreciate other artists’ work. I had learned a lot from the exhibition about the history and political background of each piece of art. I had never been a fan of politics or history until I understood them through art.

April – the blessing of diversity
We went to a 50th birthday party in Canberra. It was a South Pacific island style party. The children of the birthday man performed a traditional Samoan dance to honour their father. They wore colourful outfit and danced to exotic music which gave such a celebratory atmosphere.

May – the blessing of family
Autumn is my favourite season. I take a drive to Mount Wilson to see the autumn leaves every year. This year my family went with me. There was a storm damage on the road so part of the road was blocked and caused heavy traffic. We decided to quit the trip and turn around. But that didn’t ruin the day for us. We stopped by an orchard to get some figs and apples as well as visited a lookout to have a lovely family photo taken.

June – the blessing of fellowship
I have been in a women’s connect group for over ten years. We do a yearly women’s retreat. This year we went to St Benedict’s Monastery. Its serene surrounding gave us such peace and harmony with our creator. We did a labyrinth walk and shared our spiritual insights with each other by the fire. Our testimony encouraged and strengthened one another to keep living in victory .

July – the blessing of prayer
In late June, Sydney started its 2nd long lockdown due to the covid-19 case number spiked. We worked from home full time again. Only essential outings were allowed. I was able to stay connected via online platforms. I joined a few regular online prayer groups. One of them was our church morning devotion group at 8am for 15 minutes. I got to share our common love for Jesus with other brothers and sisters.
Another one of the prayer groups was the Global Harvest Monday prayer. Christians all over the world joined online to pray for our different country’s key events. We prayed about the Covid-19, the war, the government rulers, the election and more.
The most intimate prayer group was the three sister prayer group. One of us is in missionary work in Cambodia, so we gathered to pray for Australia and Cambodia as well as our personal needs.
All these three prayer groups helped me through the second lockdown. And I believe our prayer have changed the course of history.

August – the blessing of rain
We had above average rainfall in August which supported above average yield prospects in most eastern Australian growing regions.

September- the blessing of fathers
Australians celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday of September. Traditionally I treat my Dad to an authentic Cantonese cuisine to celebrate. This year we were in lockdown, so we ordered home delivery Cantonese food for dinner. I must admit he was equally happy.

October – the blessing of social media detox
In October, I deleted a few social media platforms to give myself more healthy head space. It worked wonders. In the process I had to sacrifice some really great contents like poetry and art accounts. However the benefit outweighed the loss overall.
Facebook
Instagram
Messenger
Twitter

November – the blessing of patience
Our apartment was flooded in March, but the repair didn’t start till late November. We lived between Airbnbs for 24 days until the repair was completed. We worked from home in the chaos of repairs all through that time because the low cost Airbnbs we slept in didn’t have Wifi or appropriate desk space. I also ‘fought’ my way through with real estate agent, strata manager and the owner. I applied politeness, passive aggression as well as outright aggressive threats. In the end the repair was done just in time for Christmas which was a relieve and of significance. So I thanked God for His gift of patience.

December – the blessing of Christ Jesus
It has been a very testing year. I am exhausted by the end of the race physically and mentally. All things happened and still happening are very big deals in ways of testing of faith. Nonetheless,they will never be any bigger deal than the birth of our saviour Christ Jesus. God so loved us and He gave us His beloved Son. If there is only one truth that matters in my life, this is it.

Evening Ocean

The ocean is grumpy 
When the evening is approaching
She got tired of the screaming children

She keeps spitting out seaweeds
Pushing them to shore
Hoping the stink drives people home

The sun quits being an overstaying guest
She is finally less irritable
watching it setting

She can't wait to bath
her clammy skin in the dark
Letting her hair out
to flirt with the moonbeam

My Best Is Poisonous

love boils down 
to ordinary minutes and hours
it is hard to escape 
from the mundane 
of food, sleep 
and bathroom trips

it makes it harder 
to please you
when my cooking always
falls short of your mother's

the only thing I manage better
is baking cakes
which turns out to be
a slow murder
to the diabetic you

Banyan

The banyan trees watch generations like the gods in the temple. The incense and burnt offerings keep them worship worthy.

They take me back to my childhood when I followed my great grandmother into the temple and kneeled next to her. I mimicked her by bowing down. Our foreheads were touching the ground. I heard her pleading with the gods to take off twenty years of her own life and give it to my sick aunty. I cried. Silently, I asked the gods to be generous to give both my aunty and my great grandmother a long life.

I know my prayer was answered by God. My great grandmother lived to ninty-seven with very little health complaint. My aunty is in her sixties. The banyan trees were my witness.

God hears our desperate cry even in a temple filled with idols that he hates.