Monday, February 27, 2012

Pond reflections under the hazy shade of winter

At Umami Hills Park in winter, I see ducks and herons at the pond edged by the grey leaves.  A small flock of ducks floating on a pond can be an idyllic sight all the seasons.

It was one of the coldest days this winter with the highest temperature  5 degrees C, or 41 degrees F.  The grey of low-hanging sky made me feel cold all the more. 

Most of the birds looked motionless.  I've heard herons hunt by waiting motionless, peering into the water to watch for prey.  Are other birds the same?

All looked like frozen in time. 

After a little while, I could see patches of the blue sky.  I felt very faint warmth of spring wafting from the heaven. 

These pond photos were taken when I stopped by on my way back from the hospital, where my father-in-law had been fighting with complications from pneumonia since last November.   He got weakened gradually.   I had mixed emotion knowing it’s a mtter of time.  It was heart-aching to watch over him fighting the disease with tubes while I longed for seeing him in this world longer.  A few days later when the rain brought warmer weather, he passed away.   Born into the small rural village, he never left the place contributing his whole life to the local community.  He bloomed where he was planted, and I expect to see cherry trees, which he donated to the area along the river, will be blooming on April 8th, the forty-ninth day after his death when he is belived to reach the another world in Buddhism.  He performed his life as long as 93 years. 

On a different note, my daughter is holding a wedding in a week.  
I'll visit you little by little when I have time.


  1. I really enjoyed your pictures, but then I read
    the death of your father.
    He lived many years but we would still have them with us.
    A big hug.

  2. It is very heartbreaking to loose one of our close relatives, and no word can express the loss and the sorrow, but when they have lived a long fulfilled life you can at least remember them and say "They were", they left their print in our lives!
    It is the cycle of life...

  3. So sorry to hear about the death of your father; my own father passed away just two years ago. The photos have a very English light and the ducks and heron are birds which you would expect to see around here.

  4. I have always admired these birds resilience and strength. In here, we often have temperatures below 15-20 Celsius, and you can still see them sitting on frozen streams and rivers. Just... living day by day and enjoying every bit of a sunshine. I'm sure that some of them don't survive the winter and this saddens me, but I think to myself that this is life and though sometimes is short, what matters the most is that they lived freely in their natural environment. For me, this is a good life.

    The way you described your father-in-law touched my heart, Yoko. There is much acceptance, gentleness and respect in your words!
    Yes, to lose someone dear to us is very hard - it seems we are never fully prepared for it. From my experience, I've learnt one thing: when the pain fades away, we can find them there, still with us, through all the moments we shared together and sometimes, smiling back to us, as a delicate cherry blossom...

  5. Hi,Stardust.



  6. Such peaceful moments you must have had viewing the serene pond and the stillness of the birds, with thoughts of your father-in-law and his illness. Being one of the coldest days of your winter and then warming a bit toward stopping the changes in the seasons of nature or life. Hope you found some comfort yourself in your lovely post, warmed my soul this morning.

  7. I can feel your sadness coming through your photographs. So sorry to hear about your father in law.

    Congratulations on your daughters up coming wedding.


  8. I am so sorry to hear your loss.

    I don't know when my son will get married.sigh, sigh. My friends are becoming Grandma one by one. Congratulations!

    Wild birds are my favorite objects to take photos. The first one is especially stunning.

  9. It is so sad to hear about your father in law. But he performed his duties quite well, working for the local community. And the last pic is simply breath taking!
    Congrats on your daughters wedding Yoko. Take Care:)

  10. I'm really sorry to hear that.
    It must be heartbreaking. I hope that beautiful nature things will comfort you.

  11. Beautiful photos Yoko,very peaceful.These birds do know how to live in the moment.
    Your father-in-law has had a long and purposeful life,I trust now that his move to the spirit world will be smooth.

    Congratulations to your daughter.
    Enjoy the wedding!

    Best wishes,

  12. Beautiful scenes again.
    What a festive time for you all. Looking forward to images of that at a later date.

  13. Beautiful sceneries and a sad and a happy news. You must be very busy for preparing your daughter's wedding and at the same time to take place for mourning. Take care of yourself.

  14. dear yoko, i am so sorry for your loss. i know it must have been so difficult to watch him fight these past few months. thankfully his soul is released, now. he sounds like a wonderful man.

    these are gorgeous scenes. i like the floats made from mats. truly lovely reflections - especially that first photo.

    good luck with the wedding! i do hope your family will celebrate with joy in your hearts.

  15. Beautiful photos! I am so sorry about your father-in-law--he did have a long (and I hope wonderful) life. Congratulations on your daughter's wedding--I hope all goes well. My daughter, too, is getting married this Saturday--exciting and happy times for both of us. Mickie :)

  16. Marvellous photos, Yoko! I can't decide which I like the most.

  17. Your last photograph looks like a picture of serenity expressed through nature. I am sorry to hear of your loss, stardust. What an incredibly useful and long life your father-in-law had. And even though he “bloomed where he was planted” his seeds of goodwill and kindness have obviously spread throughout his neighborhood and to his family. Also, congratulations on the happy news of a wedding. The circle of life continues to unfold!

  18. Hi Yoko
    Fantastic pictures! Beautiful scenery!
    Many greetings
    Yvonne & Raphael

  19. Yoko it's always terrible to lose somebody you love. if he or she is old or not. At the moment a lot of friends loose a member of their family. I wish you strength to carry on.
    Have a lovely week

  20. Beautiful! Winter is going away!

  21. Congrats!! I love your philosophy on life...and the pics are great. You have a shot of the Great Blue Heron....lovely. Hope you have a good week. All my best:) Chris

  22. I am so sorry for your loss. I felt your tenderness to your father-in-low.

    You must be busy for happy preparation. Congratulation!

    And take care of yourself.

  23. 義理お父様のご逝去お悔やみ申し上げます。居てくれるだけで心強い家族を失う事は寂しいですね。お察しいたします。

    お嬢様のお慶びの結婚式。楽しみですね((((o゚▽゚)o))♪ どうぞ無理されず温かくお過ごしくださいませ。

  24. Que lindas fotografias ,este fim de semana tambem fui com os meus pais para fora e lá tambem havia um lago perto da praia onde jogam golfo e tinham muitos patos pretos mas este é mais bonito
    Beijinho e ronrons da amigas
    Graça e Kika

  25. How sad to lose a father-in-law. But 93 years old? That is a long life, and we can be happy that he has gone to a better world. My father died in his 96th year. It is so sad when a close relative dies, but I am grateful that my father lived to see his grandson.

  26. I am so sorry to hear that your father in law passed away. I think of you and send warm thoughts!

    This is a beautiful place you visited, Yoko, thanks for sharing the photos.

    Congrats to your daughter on her upcoming wedding!

  27. So very sorry to hear that your father in law ahas passed away.
    This is a beautiful series of pictures, what a lovely place.

  28. My beloved friend Yoko,
    I'm very sorry for the death of father in law you ...
    I express my condolences. May he rest in peace.
    It is touching coincidence, the date of flowering cherries! It was a blessed man!

    Your photos of the birds and reflections are GREAT!!!!!
    Many greetings and kisses

  29. お義父様のご逝去、心からお悔やみ申しあげます。きっと充実した良い人生を送られ、皆さんに感謝して旅立たれた事と思います。


  30. Hello !
    It's the first time I come on your page and I feel, that I want to know you better.
    Sorry for your lost ... your words about your father in law are so full of love and respect.
    Congratulations for your daughter wedding.
    And thank you for those amazing pictures !!!

  31. What gorgeous pictures: the feeling I get is one of peace (not cold).

  32. My sympathy on the loss of your father-in-law. Your photos seem melancholy, which must have been your mood as you took them. They are beautiful. So nice to have something to celebrate. Life, too, has its seasons.

  33. Such a beautiful post, Yoko. Your "statue" birds amid the grasses make a lovely tableau. My sympathies to your family. Your father-in-law lived a long life and now the Cherry trees will take over for him with a beautiful life of their own. I wish you could photograph those trees in bloom - what a lovely remembrance.

  34. Oglądając zdjęcia już myślałam, że napiszę jakie są wspaniałe. A po nich straszna wiadomość o ojcu. Jest mi bardzo przykro, ale wiem, że w Twoim sercu będzie żył zawsze.Pozdrawiam Cię cieplutko. *** Looking at the pictures now, I thought that what I write is great. And after these terrible news about his father. I am very sorry, but I know in your heart will live forever. I greet you warm.

  35. I discovered your blog via Snowwhite's blog, and I've really enjoyed reading through your posts. Your photos are beautiful.

    I'm sorry about the death in your family; happy to hear about the wedding.

  36. Haunting images again, Yoko. So sorry to read about the death in the family. Lucky to be alive for as long as 93 years.

  37. Hello, stardust.

      Awe inspiring your works...
      It lets me feel warmth with the humanity.

      Thank you for your usual visit and heart.
      The prayer for all peace.

  38. Such wonderful photos and gentle words Yoko.
    It does feel like spring has arrived early here in England. We only had a little sprinkling of snow last month.

    I'm really sorry to hear about your father in law. It sounds like he lived a happy fulfilling life and a great age at 97.
    It is good that you have fond memories of him and I too have fond memories of my dear sister at certain times of year. She also loved nature.

    Have a lovely weekend,
    Many blessing,

  39. Hi Yoko!
    Beautiful pictures.
    Sorry about your father in law. The empty room they leave is the hardest I think.
    Here I have my mother in law who is in very bad condition, she is old.
    Wich you all good.

  40. Sobre la laguna la inmovilidad aparente de los pájaros y un halo de tristeza en el paisaje…quizás es el recuerdo de un padre que ya no está, pero vive en cada resquicio del estanque….esperando ver un tibio sol como preludia de la primavera y la celebración de una boda.
    Preciosas fotografías acompañan tu reflexión.

    Un saludo

  41. I love how you said this: He "performed" his life... It is wonderful to see it this way!
    He will communicate with you through the cherry blossom...

    All your pond photos are very tranquil and beautiful! Such pretty reflection on the calm water...

  42. Tori no shashin ga totemo suki desu.

  43. When birds are motionless, it isn't bad. It makes them easier to photograph. Thank you for sharing this beauty with us.

  44. So sorry to hear about your father-in-law. These gorgeous shots are a lovely tribute to him.

    And congratulations to your daughter!

  45. Thank you, Friends, for your warm words. I posted this as I felt the pond reflections reflect my emotion that time. I feel my father-in-law kindly avoided the wedding day as his passing and gave us time to catch our breath after the several hectic days of the funeral. Traditional Japanese funeral in the too traditional and too conservative provincial area doesn’t give the bereaved enough time to mourn, that’s a shame. Because of the interval of a week, we’ve regained spirit afresh for the wedding. Thank you again for your kindness. Stay warm and enjoy finding the signs of spring.

  46. So sad to hear about your father-in-law. Ninety-three years is a good, long life and it seems he was a very fine person!

    Love all your ducks. They're always fun to watch. We have herons here and I like to watch them, too, as they'll sit so still for so long and then suddenly strike - one less little fishy! :-)

  47. Yoko, te acompaño en el sentimiento por tan cercana pérdida, en la añoranza que notarás su falta y aún más en el día de la boda de tu hija, pero la vida... sigue su curso y ha vivido muchos años con todos vosotros, es bueno que le recordéis con alegría y paz.
    Bss querida amiga...


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