Green garden

The bus engine stopped in the middle of the street, and we all were told to wait for about thirty minutes before the “rescuing” bus come picking us up. I live half an hour away from the main bus station.

I did not say anything. I did not complain, even though I was worried that I might miss a apart of my Geology lecture. Last time I checked, I left the class 5 minutes early, and I failed to answer a question on the quiz.

Chaos. People tried to talk, as though they could fix the problem by words. People spoke so loud that I could hardly hear myself. But in that moment, I was surprised seeing how peaceful I was. That was strange of me. I would not be calm when these things happen. I would try to blame someone for making me late for class. I would tell those people to be quiet. Now I imagine all sorts of things that I could do. But I had remained in peace.

It is o.k. for the bus to stop. It is o.k. to wait for thirty minutes. Everything is o.k. I just need to be patient. And patience brings me joy and peace.

Lifting my eyes off my laptop, I looked out of the bus’s window and witnessed how beautiful the sky was. It was a blessing for me to see how day time extends every day. I leave the house at seven, and while before I could see stars shining on that dark background, now I see that gorgeous pink sky. It is time for me to feel happier, and complaining about uncontrollable events like out-of-service buses does not help.

Many of my friends, when they pray for me, they say they imagine me being in a green garden or surrounded by trees. They even saw daikon, and this trigger my curiosity – why daikon?

Daikon always reminds me of a story I read many, many times when I was a kid. There was this family with seven members, and their lives depended on a farm. Dad was in charge for taking care of the farm and the whole family. One day, Dad came out to pick up daikon on the farm. However, he couldn’t make it move. He asked his oldest son, his other sons, and then his wife, his daughters to help. But nothing happened. At last, his rabbit, dog, and cats also helped pick up daikon. It shaked slightly, and eventually a huge, huge daikon appeared from the ground. They, the family, could have never predicted that it was this big, for its appearance above the ground depicted it as a weak plant.

When I think of this story, I think of how great power might be well hidden. There is something deeper, deeper, that not many people know about, and moreover not many people are persistent enough to try their best in revealing it.

Nature always brings up in me that feeling of admiring, of love and peace.

This is a photo my American teacher provided in class. Small plants like prairie plants seem to have no meaning, but, as it turns out, their roots are pleasant to the soil. When America experienced industrialization, these landscapes were underestimated – people got rid of it and made way for corn crops.

But they never know how this root system was the heart of the ground.

I always think the picture above is meaningful to my life, as well as the story about daikon and the small green garden that my friend thought about when they prayed for me.

I always think of myself as someone who has nothing on the inside, and even though I know I should be humble, I believe that me on the inside makes the difference. At this point of my life, I want to interpret myself as bearing richness on the inside, and that I ought to trust myself – believing that I have that ability to pursue God’s plan for me.

I also want to interpret myself as that root system, connecting others together. The message is great.

While I am small.

I don’t know what I have in me. I don’t know what I am capable doing. I don’t know anything, and the unknown stops me from giving my best.

I am now not the green garden, but rather a leafless one, because it is winter. Countless times I thought a gray garden will have nothing to offer, but I suppose it is waiting for spring time to blossom. Life cycle. Leaves fall to the ground. But soon they will be lively.

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These thoughts, to me, are fragmented. I wanted to write something new for days now, but I could never finish one draft. Today, I decided to just go with it. It is o.k. if the words are falling apart from each other.

It’s just that… At least I have something. Flowers will blossom when spring comes along.

AC – hot & cold

29°C, 30°C

or

4°C, 15°C

Which one is colder than which?

I don’t know.

The gym, Nov 07, 2018. 4°C. I close my eyes because I wanted the sun to shine on me.

We look at things from different perspectives, and sometimes it also means that what we think does not necessarily what others think. Standing inside of a glass building, I would say it looks so nice outside, but when actually walking under the cold, I understand how harsh it is. Putting oneself in others’ shoes is what needed.

In Vietnam, the normal temperature was about 28°C ~ 30°C. My family, we barely use the AC, because we don’t want to pay too much for the bill, and because AC is not that good for our health as well as the environment’s “health”. That’s been my habit for years – not staying inside for so long. I prefer nature. I prefer the wind, the warmness, the sun.

And I went to the United States for one year, experiencing the climate of the Pacific Northwest. Cold, windy, snowy, and rainy. Everywhere is so cold that I for a year I could not be free without my sweatshirt. I complained all the time, to be honest. I never know I have got used to this weather.

I came back to Vietnam over the summer. For two weeks, I couldn’t do anything without the AC. I often imagined that I was putting my house in the fridge, because compared to the outside, it was fresher and more comfortable. But I know I should not keep doing that for a long time, because to me, not using the AC has always been considered a good way of living. Therefore, everyday for two weeks, I would try to tolerate the hotness for one or two hours longer than the day before, until finally I got used to it. At first, the weather bothered me so much that I even wanted to go back to the US or posted a status on my social account (which I rarely do), yet later my effort paid off that I could freely do everything without air conditioning. Even 25°C seemed to be too cold.

I am usually amazed of how fast I am in adjusting to where I live. What could I do if I kept complaining about the weather? Where could I go when in fact everywhere was like in a big oven? Could I keep posting on my Facebook and Instagram account about how harsh it was in Vietnam? I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t let the weather be a big matter to my daily activities.

I haven’t done a good job stop complaining when I went to the US. Partly because I didn’t have enough warm clothe. Everywhere I go, the uneasiness of this temperature discourages me from doing what I want. I am trying, though.

When I say, “I am cold,” not everybody would understand. Many of my friends have been living in the Northwest or other temperate places for most of their lives, so they just never can tell if there’s any significant differences. Or many of friends who come from countries near the equator and use AC all the time, they never understand how a girl who has tried not to use AC feels about the weather. Nobody will ever know.