22 Nov 2008

projects at hand

I was reading through a friend's post and he mentioned having two projects - one keeping his kindergarten going strong (that is really adventurous of him) and another was improving his house and garden. Then I got to thinking - what projects do I have? I don't really have any projects going on have I? Oh... wait a minute - I do. In fact since I retired I have several on going projects. One is of course my garden - I'm trying to create an English- style garden in tropical Malaysia. Ambitious? Sure. Impossible? Hmmm we'll see.

My second project is myself. Yes, I'm trying to improve myself. Not physically (that is an impossibility),but spiritually. I have sadly lagged behind where reading the Quran is concerned. I'd love to really be able to read the Quran in that beautiful and musical way that I heard when I was in Mecca in 2006. I really envy the Hafeez who can read it like that. It's so gut wrenchingly beautiful it pulls you. Whenever I hear someone read it like that I feel so touched I want to cry. It's that beautiful. But then I do cry easily. When I see something, especially nature, that is so awesomely beautiful I get a little weepy and there is a little catch in my heart. Nature at its best does that to me.

I lived in the states (California) for 3 years a long time ago. There is no snow in Southern California where we used to live, and if we wanted to see the beautiful fall foliage we had to drive up north. But I loved the Autumn months and used to wish we had changing seasons here in Malaysia. Driving down to Malacca from Kuala Lumpur, I see the lush green forest as we pass by. The green of the trees are all different. There is a very dark, almost greyish hue to the trees in the deeper part of the forest and a very light, almost yellowish tinge to the tops of the trees for those which get plenty of sunlight. We may not have the gorgeous blazing colours of Autumn nor do we have the dazzling mix of delightful colours in Spring. Our forests look slightly subdued. Some people have even commented that it is kind of boring - to see sea after sea of lush greenery; but there is a mystery about it, a certain air that lends to itself a hint of dangers within. It beckons. The jungle is never bland. You may not realise it but it has a beauty too in its quiet way. But my heart does not ache with love and pride when I look at it as the mountains in Sabah does. Here where the highway winds itself uphill, to almost 5000m above sea level, where tree shrouded mountains loom above me and far below I can see parts of the highway winding here and there... this gives me an ache because it is awesome in its beauty - pristine and untouched. It's so beautiful it becomes poignant and I hope fervently that the greedy hands of man does not reach here and never will.

But I digress. I was talking about projects and my third is my koi pond. Oh yes... my koi died a few days ago. Due to my ignorance and impatience no doubt. BUt I'm learning. So I got a few more koi (my sister Mariana gave me 6 yesterday) and I bought some tilapia which are indigenous and more hardy than the foreigners. Anyway my third project is underway. The pond is clear now and the waterfall running smoothly. Nothing much to do except feed the fish now and then and clear the leaves from the pond. As to my English garden - well that too is underway. I've planted the roses. So far I've elimimated the many enemies it had - the snails, the fat little white grubs (eeuww) that suck out the juices from the stems - nasty little vampires that they are. I'm going to get some border flowers from the nursery later today, after I've had my quran reading tuition. So that's my project Ak, if you're reading this post.

I wish I'm a good photographer - so I can snap some pictures. Most of the ones I have were taken with my phone!

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