Moments Of Gratitude

Beauty of Autumn

The tender touch of breeze
The soft sound of brook
Some beautiful blossoms smiling
At the light and warmth of sun
 
Happiness filtering through the trees
Moonlight streaming through my windows
Hope sprouting around me, every spring
The dusky sky, the merging hues of rainbows
 
The warmth of my home
The mirth, the kindness, the consonance
The steady drizzle of love
Seeping slowly into my soul

Assimilating the ache of setbacks
Embracing the hurricanes of life
Gratitude grants the serenity
To bounce back, to tap the infinite

To stumble upon and cherish
Those moments of endless joy
Those moments of togetherness
Sparkling on the sand of time

The blessings of being alive
The constant company of friends
Revered reminders of gratitude
Celestial moments of appreciation.
© Balroop Singh 

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Why Some People Don’t Smile?

Smile with flowers
Nature smiles through flowers

Walking by my favorite creek, which is surrounded by thick green cover, sending vibes of peace, interrupted just by the soft sound of flowing water, I look at a squirrel that pauses by to smile at me and my thoughts jump faster than my furry friend, wondering…why are human smiles waning?

A smile sends vibes of positivity; it may not know any language but it lightens up the atmosphere; connects us and eliminates doubts that may surround us. It is said to “fit the lock of everybody’s heart.”

The natural smiles of a child convey that smiling has been in our DNA since time immemorial. Where do they go when we grow up?

Smiling is juvenile:

People who don’t smile connect a stern face with machoism. They keep emotions under wraps to accentuate their power and strength. Lack of smile shows their attitude, their emotional balance, style and social status. Incorporating sensitivity in the upbringing of boys is a recent development, which reveals the importance of emotions. But an expressionless face only reflects arrogance and a clamor for supremacy.

Smiling invites trouble:

If you have been raised in a conservative society, you know smiling at strangers could create problems for women. It could send a wrong signal to a guy who interprets your smile in his own way. He could follow you till your home, try to talk to you, make lewd gestures or may dream of dating you. The first advice that is given to girls in such societies: ‘Don’t smile.’ Later it becomes a habit.

Smiling can be misconstrued:

Workplaces are also hubs of hollow rumors. Your ingenuous smile at a colleague or boss could be misinterpreted by co-workers who quickly arrive at conclusions that you are seeking a favor or you are eager to please them. Wearing a smile like an attractive attire could prove to be detrimental for some while it may give a boost to the career of those who don’t care for gossip.

Smiling makes them vulnerable:

People who don’t want to communicate, who consider themselves to be superior but are actually weak and insecure, choose to wear a strong exterior in order to hide their true self. They wear a mask of toughness. They have probably faced too many snubs to appreciate the value of a smiling face. For them, smiling is superfluous and relationships immaterial.

Some people forget to smile due to storms of life that had knocked them down. The cauldron of circumstances mold them into hard nuts, fears convert them into indifferent individuals who find it hard to discern light within. Grief pushes them into an abyss of darkness, which seems natural to them. They have to make a special effort to smile and that too when they are told to.

Some people don’t smile because their profession doesn’t let them. How can you expect police officers and lawyers to smile warmly? Models are told to keep a straight face so that onlookers appreciate the ensemble they display rather than their looks.

A real smile stretches beyond the face; it touches your heart, diffusing warmth and friendship whereas a fake smile exposes itself effortlessly. I am sure nobody likes a fake smile yet some people carry them with confidence.

“A smile puts you on the right track. A smile makes the world a beautiful place. When you lose your smile, you lose your way in the chaos of life.” – Roy T. Bennett.

Do you smile to add beauty to your surroundings?
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Balroop Singh.

 

Did I Lie?

IMG_6139

Did I say I forgave all?
Then why do memories gnaw
Digging deeper at the fissures

Did I say I remain calm?
Then what is this brewing inside
Bursting the seams of my heart

Did I say I have moved on?
Then why are my feet firmly embedded
As if shackled by unknown forces

Did I say I chose to fly high?
Then why are my wings
Clipped by emotional shears

Did I say I could see light within?
Then why am I brooding
Watching waning light

Did I say I know thorny paths?
Then why am I edging away
Into the covert comfort of flowers

Did I say I sleep well?
Then why am I fighting
The demons hanging from my ceiling

Did I lie to myself?
The charade stands exposed!
I can no longer wear a mask.
© Balroop Singh

The above poem is an excerpt from my latest release ‘Timeless Echoes’ and I have shared it to thank my dearest blogger friend Lisa who has mentioned it in her review at GoodReads as her favorite poem from my book. Lisa has been one of my earliest friends and visited my blog when it was more like a ghost town. Her consistent support has put many smiles on my face. Sending you hugs of gratitude on the wings of poetry dear Lisa. Many thanks for reviewing my book.

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Celebrating 100th #Poetrychallenge with Colleen

Poetry challenge rules have always intimidated me but I would like to grab this golden opportunity of celebrating with Colleen whose weekly poetry challenge has accomplished 100th milestone and she has given a free choice of words to write a Tanka.

Tanka about self judgment

My inner critic loves
To reprimand softly but passionately
A sentinel of emotions
Who apprises me of the progress
Made on the arch of consciousness.
© Balroop Singh

Freedom is the mother of inspiration. Thank you dear Colleen, I am still learning to write Tanka, Haiku and Senryu, one step at a time.

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Balroop Singh.

When We Visited #Redwoods…

Young Redwood trees
Young Redwoods

I had heard about the giant Redwoods but always thought that they must be just another kind of trees till I saw them! I was stunned at the feelings they could evoke. The first thought that came to my mind and kept reverberating all the time: “Seeing is believing.”

The moment I entered Redwoods Park, a strange exhilaration overpowered me. To add to my excitement was another nature lover, my daughter who had flown from east coast to spend a few days with us and was elated to accompany us. We chose to stay at Emerald Cabins, which are nestled right in the center of redwoods and the distance to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is just 24.5 miles.

Cabins in the midst of sequoias
Emerald Cabins

While driving toward Trinidad on Freeway 101, we stopped at Garberville for a quick snack and discovered the first delight of the day! Though I had done enough research online to keep in mind what to see, I didn’t come across this “Grandfather tree,” said to be “world famous” as it is 1800 years old. Its height is 265 feet and diameter is 24 feet.

World famous Grandfather Tree
Grandfather Tree

I won’t be able to describe the delight of watching these trees…seeing is believing, I kept repeating as I walked through the Redwoods. They are not like any other trees, they touch your heart. Surprisingly, They do!

I was mesmerised by their beauty. They can entrance you beyond imagination! As I stood in the midst of those trees, deep in the woods, an entirely different world encompassed me and slowly I  seemed to merge into the environment. I felt time didn’t matter here!

While I stood and watched, trying to figure our my escalating emotions, my husband walked ahead and my research-minded daughter stood by each tree, spending umpteen moments, touching the soft bark, hugging the trunk, looking at the patterns as if she would like to talk to them. Then she would enter the fire damaged trunks though I cautioned there could be an animal inside. She even paid attention to every little flower growing in the vicinity.

Fire damaged tree
Fire damaged tree

Pictures or videos can never do any justice to what they look like and the vibes they emit. Their ironic beauty reveals how the vagaries of nature or fire could never wipe them out from the face of this earth. Some of them are thousands of years old. They can sprout even from stumps or fire damaged trunks.

The phones go out of service as you enter the park and we had to depend on the maps provided by the visitor’s center. Our map showed 31 trails, most of them were marked ‘easy’ or ‘moderate.’ We didn’t even look at the strenuous ones and chose ‘Big Tree Wayside’ and ‘Foothill Trail’ on the first day and felt encouraged to pick up another moderate one of 4.3 miles on the second day. The trails are well-maintained and thankfully we didn’t meet any animals.

Drive through tree
“Shrine” Drive through tree

We also drove through the Avenue of Giants at Humboldt, a picturesque drive, which is surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It led us to a ‘drive through tree,’ a unique experience. Be prepared to shell our $8 to drive through this tree though we didn’t pay any kind of entry fee anywhere to enter the state parks.

Balroop Singh.

Do you know?

    • Redwood forests are millions of years old.
    • Fossils show that the relatives of today’s coast Redwoods thrived in the Jurassic Era 160 million years ago.
    • More than 95% of the world’s old-grown redwoods are in California.
    • Only 4% of the world’s old-growth redwoods exist today. 96% of the original old-growth coast redwoods have been logged.
    • Redwoods get their common name from their bark, which is reddish brown in color.
    • They are self-resistant to fungal disease and insect infestation.
    • They can protect themselves from fire with their thick bark, which holds large quantities of water.
    • Giant sequoias can live to 3,000 years, with the oldest on record living more than 3,500 years.

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