Xingfu means happy and blessed in Chinese. Even though 2014, the year I started this blog, was a busy and, at times, difficult year that is the word I thought of for this space. Mama not because I have many children but because I seem to fall into a caregiving role. Sometimes I feel like Mama to the world.
The name XingfuMama means Happy Mama with undertones of being blessed.
Te Paki Stream is the entrance to New Zealand’s “90 mile beach” highway, in the far north. Because of unusual weather patterns the stream has silted up to where it doesn’t work for that any more. But the tour buses still come in so the daring can ride boogie boards down the sand dunes.
I took a pass on the thrill, but enjoyed watching others.
Like many I am the one usually taking the photos. But there are a few with me in them:
One of the joys we can bring with photography is the memory of the good and happy. There is plenty of the other things to go around. I made a point of having a few taken with me and Grandma:
In a previous post I talked about how my Grandmother was one to see the sunshine, For All the Saints. For our family the struggle with joy has been poignant: my mother has some type of emotional or mental illness that is progressive ( and my youngest sister seems to be following a similar path). It creates a weird situation where we forget that there was good, fun, and joy because of what came after, or even in parallel. But we do a disservice to both ourselves and the person who was, at one point, a different person if we let that joy go. Photos can be a powerful tool in reclaiming the joy that is as much a part of our heritage as the weirdness and sorrow. For this reason Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy: Say Cheese resonates with me.
I’ve resolved to try and have more photos with me in them. But I also have an avatar. During my husbands first trip to China one of my son’s co-workers gave us a safe travel deer. We named her Amie Lu. Amie is French for friend, and the woman who gave us the deer was named Amy. Lu is Chinese for deer. We’ve been bringing Amie-Lu along on our travels ever since, and while I don’t take selfies, I do take Amie-Lu-ies.
I came across this charming local guy with his cup of Yerba Mate, watching all the tourists as they go into the La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We were there in January of 2017. Doesn’t seem like three years should go by so quickly.
In the On the Hunt for Joy challenge, the first challenge is to go outside. Today that has very little appeal, it is much more of a curl up by the fire with the pets and drink hot drinks kind of day. Gray, chilly, breezy, rainy and gray. We did get a few, fleeting, sun rays so I popped out and took a couple of pictures.
The sky, taken from just outside my front door today:
And my favorite rose just won’t give up and call it a year:
Walking is not an option for me, the dogs insist on at least two a day, and have an active lobby for three. Many, if not most, of the photos I take are on walks with the dogs. These walks, though on nasty days like today sometimes feel like they are a very time consuming chore, help me keep on an even keel emotionally and maintain a sense that the world is a beautiful place, even when things aren’t going so well.