For the past week, I have been looking after a pot of flower my friend gave me as a birthday present.
Well, the word ‘looking after’ may sound a bit pompous because I only water the plant every day, and make sure it has enough moisture and sunlight
It is a simple task but gives a lot of enjoyment. You know that you are nurturing and sustaining a little life by following the laws of God, by acting in His name.
You also know that the plant is really looked after well. Not by you, but by the Divine Creator, who nurtures it with light, nutrition, moisture, and many things else.
In return, the flower thanks God by blossoming beautifully, by showing to the universe the attributes of God like Mercy, Compassion, Nurturing, Wisdom, Artistry, Creativity. The flower is itself a sign, an indication, a stamp of Godhead.
Life is beautiful in every little corner. All you need to do is look for it.
It is a blessed act to plant a tree even if it be the day the world ends. – Prophet Muhammad, narrated by Al-Bukhari and Ahmed.
Yesterday I went to the Tree Adventure with my high school friends. Tree adventure is basically a park featuring challenging courses in the tree canopy, including swinging, flying and climbing. If you are a sporty, eco-friendly person, Tree Adventure is definitely for you.
Whilst I love nature and love to be in nature, I’m not a fit person. Hence, Tree Park was not a pleasant experience for me. There are three levels (blue, red, and black) and I could only finish the blue level aka beginner. When I flew myself in the red course, I couldn’t reach the destination tree, but got stuck in the middle. It was really embarrassing when a coach must come and pulled me in. But at that time I didn’t care about that, but all I wanted was to get to the ground. It was not fun when you are like 100 meters from the ground, stuck in a robe, dehydrated, dizzy and exhausted. Until now I still suffer from all the bruise and muscle hurt of yesterday.
So, whilst my friends continued their adventure, I came back to the car and rested for a while. Then I decided to wander and explore the forest with my camera. It was a beautiful place, with the green color stretching endlessly and the sound of birds singing continuously. In some small houses nearby, I could see many flowers fervently blossoming, like young girls enjoying their youth to the fullest. Their energy amazed and inspired me greatly, as I am one more time confirmed that God is the Greatest Artist, the Only Being who can create such artworks that are not only aesthetic and delicate but also lively and charming.
Indeed, it’s easy to create a grey emotionless robot, but it’s hard to create a being with all kinds of color and carrying life within it. For me, it’s impossible to accept that the amazing artwork in front of my eye is a result of chance and blind force, because if indeed things are random, then there is no logical reason for things to have such order, harmony and beauty.
Therefore, observing nature is one of the best ways to confirm and learn about God, especially the Manifestation of His Names as the Sustainer, the Artist, and the Creator. That is also the reason why God creates the world at the first place – to display His Attributes, to amaze its spectators (us) and to compel us to utter ‘Praise Be to God’ and ‘God is the Greatest’ with sincerity.
I am not the best Muslim out there. But for me, whenever I am in the midst of nature like this, i cannot help praising God and thanking Him for giving me the opportunity to see His amazing arts. At those moments, I realise that praising and worshiping God are no longer the requirement of my religion. For me, they are things that my soul naturally wants to utter after enjoying all the bounties and gifts in life. They are not compulsory; they are necessary.
We have indeed sent down
Signs that make things manifest
And God guides whom He wills
To a way that is straight
(The Quran – 24:46)
These photos are taken by M. Nguyen in November, 2013.
I encountered this elegant, delicate flower-bud during my trip in Istanbul. It was winter back then, and on that day, it was especially freezing and rainy. Thus, it was a pleasure to see a lively flower-bud in the mist of a gloomy, tiring landscape. What I love most about this is that the bud didn’t seem to care much about the difficult weather, or even its own vulnerability. Rather, it endured the freezing weather with resilience, and yearned for spring with such sincerity that I could not help feeling amazed. I don’t know what happens with the flower-bud now – whether it blossoms or dies. I hope it has become a full-blossomed, glamorous flower. But even if it doesn’t, it is still a beautiful flower. That is because it has lived its life with full enthusiasm, and that is the true beauty.
The lesson we learn here is that there is nothing without a price. In order to blossom, it is impossible not to go through hardships. So, I hope my ego understands this, and learns to appreciate misfortunes and difficulties, rather than whining about them.
But anyway, I will post my last whining before I learn to change. Haha.
A letter to Autumn.
Just as this flower is waiting for spring in Istanbul, I am seriously waiting for you (autumn) to arrive in Melbourne. Today I could feel a bit of your presence through the rain. imagine how elated I was!
Please come quickly, before I melt or worse, fall into chronic grumpiness because of the burning summer.
From a Melburnian who cannot stand hot weather anymore.