I came across this poem ‘Testimonial’ by Rita Dove today, and I couldn’t help but reflect about my ending year. I specifically focused on this quote from the poem.
“I was pirouette and flourish, I was filigree and flame. How could I count my blessings when I didn’t know their names?”
I think we are sometimes unable to legitimately identify how we journeyed through a particular year. We find ourselves at the end of the year with tons of blessings, but which we are unable to count because we can’t name them as Rita Dove expresses in her poem.
As this year ends, I find myself in a very similar position. With so many blessings but most of which I can’t identify. I have chosen though to try, hard as it may be to remember the very simple ones of 2015.
To me it is the very simple things like being able to run on beautiful and peaceful places any day, any time I want to. When you read stories of children dying at sea in Syria and being washed to shore, stories about ghost boats, of hundreds of Eritrean refugees dying at sea as they are smuggled to Italy by Libyan human smugglers, stories of religious extremists on the prowl for easy targets all over the world, then you begin to appreciate and count simple things such as this.
In pictures are some of my blessings. Here are some of my best places I thought were jogging/running heaven in 2015.
First on the list is the Royal botanic gardens in Sydney.
Sydney Royal Botanic gardens
Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens
Next below is the new Barangaroo reserve. It is really refreshing to jog on this course.
The Pyrmont bay below also offered me quite a picturesque view during my lunch runs.
A vintage tall ship along Pyrmont bay running route
And then there is the early morning jog on the beaches of Surfer’s Paradise. Most enchanting of routes.
Surfers’ Paradise running path
“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings” -Eric Hoffer
Today is Australia day, which means a holiday Monday for me. Thought of what to do after my 17km run in the morning and decided to cook and blog about a smoked pork belly with apple and onions.
For this I need 300g of smoked pork fully cooked, 2 tablespoon of butter, one red onion, one apple, half tablespoon coriander and half tablespoon of ginger.
I heat the butter in a pan, then put in the chopped onions, sauté until the onions begin to soften for about 5mins. Turn the heat to low heat, then I add the thinly sliced apple, sauté again until the apple begins to soften and fall apart. I then stir in the coriander and ginger, put in my smoked pork chops, cover the pan and cook just until the chops are hot.
Turn off the heat, remove the pork and stir the apple and onion mixture, add a quarter cup of heavy cream for gravy.
Smoked pork chops
My smoked pork chop with apple and onion, served with steamed rice is ready to make my holiday lunch awesome!
On Friday, as business came to an end my colleagues would walk up to me, wishing me a merry Christmas because it was their last day in office. I realised the period I dreaded this year had come. I am working all through the holiday season.
Fast forward to this morning, it has never been so hard to wake up and get ready for work. Knowing that the office will have only a handful of people today didn’t help. On jumping out of bed, I went for my yoga mat and did 80 reps of reverse crunches to fully wake up, hit the shower and was ready and hour and half later. Yeah it took me that long today.
As I walked to the train station, I noticed the streets were empty. Sluggishly I walked on, but when I got to the favourite section of my morning walks which is walking through our small park, I immediately lightened up. I noticed the number of birds had doubled and the birds were chirping so loud. Finding that many of them got me very excited, it must be the mating season. I couldn’t resist recording their continuous load chirp. I am uploading and attaching the recording to this post to lighten up some bird and nature lover out there who is also having a hard time like me working during this holiday season. Listen to it below. Hope you love it!