Spring 2011 – a Season for Renewed Hope

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“Nothing comes from violence, nothing ever could”
– from the lyrics of Fragile by Sting

When terrorists slammed two commercial aircrafts into the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001, not only innocent lives were lost, but innocence itself.

Our world changed forever because our precious belief, that truly terrible things could never happen to us, was utterly shattered.

Magnolia blooms, Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Sydney

Magnolia blooms, Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Today, Mysaucepan and I are strolling in the Chinese Garden of Friendship located in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

As I gaze around the tranquility of these gardens, I spare a thought for the victims of 9/11 and their families. The terrifying moments just before the tragedy are juxtaposed by such intricate beauty.

How can we be living in the same world that presents us with such extremes?

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Hall of Clear Shade at Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

President Barack Obama, in announcing the recent demise of Osama Bin Laden to the world, acknowledged that justice has been served. But is this really the case?

A decade later and after the removal of tyrants and terrorist leaders, we still live in fear. We grumble and stumble through the inconvenience of security check points at airports. Yet, we can equally visualize commercial airliners being used as missile bombs.

Although Australia did not bear the brunt of brutal attacks like those in New York, London, Madrid and Mumbai, we suffered the lost of many lives in the Bali bombings. I suspect fellow Australians feel the pain of the 9/11 victims too, only because our world has become so much smaller.

This week-long documentary on television to commemorate the victims of 9/11 is especially telling for me. These documentaries focus on the events of that fateful day, interviews with former President George W Bush and others who were key to making decisions. However, they seem to focus on why 9/11 happened and how to prevent future attacks.

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Weeping willow and lotus pond at Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Sydney

Looking at the tranquility of this lotus pond, I feel solemn and resigned that war is raging in the Middle East. Innocent lives are being lost.

And although I am not directly affected  by these tragedies, I feel a sense of angst. Yet, tears of sadness stream from my eyes because we are confronting violence with even more violence.

Lily pond at the Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Sydney

Lotus pond at the Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Sydney

We need to acknowledge that although we may be far away, we still live in the same world. We should appreciate our “good fortune” and share the plight of those less fortunate and pray for those in harm’s way.

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Twin pavilion at Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Spring is a season where Mother nature nurtures new growth. The air is crisp and the warmth of the sun is soothing on our backs. It is a season where family and friends gather around a sizzling backyard barbeque.

At the same time, our friends in the northern hemisphere are heading into fall and winter.

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Hall of Clear Shade at Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

So, here is our dedication and prayer, not just for the victims of 9/11 and their families, but also for all others around the world who have been affected by violence.

Love and compassion is not enough. We must live with hope that the hand of friendship will extend beyond the belief of “us’ versus “them”.

If we can conceive and appreciate the beauty and fragility of a spring blossom, then surely we must be able to live with hope to welcome a fragile world that is blessed with peace, friendship and goodwill.


Magnolia blooms, Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Sydney

Magnolia blooms, Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Lake of Brightness at Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Lenient Jade Pavilion Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Sydney

Weeping willow at Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Twin Pavilion at Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Lake of Brightness at Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Teahouse Pavilion at Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Children in royal chinese costumes

Children in royal chinese costumes

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship is located at the southern end of Darling Harbour, near the Sydney Entertainment Centre and adjacent to chinatown.

Admission prices
Adults $6
Children under 12 years $3
Family (2 adults and 2 children) $15
Concession (Australian pensioners and students only) $3
Audio Tour (English and Mandarin) $4
Tel: +61 2 9240 8888

The Chinese Garden of Friendship is open daily from 9.30am to 5pm excluding Good Friday and Christmas Day.

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39 Responses to Spring 2011 – a Season for Renewed Hope

  1. What a beautiful and thoughtful post! Isn’t it crazy how close happiness and sadness lie together? It’s so terrible what happened in New York … :( And it makes me very sad and also frightens me that we live in a world where people hurt each other so much. It is just good that there are good people, too.

  2. A beautiful post and gorgeous pictures. Happy spring!

  3. Ann says:

    What a beautiful post…thank you for sharing such warm thoughts.

  4. Carolyn Jung says:

    A really beautiful and thought-provoking post. It is amazing that we live in such times where such peaceful loveliness and such horrific terror can co-exist, isn’t it? Let’s hope the former defeats the latter in the end.

  5. OohLookBel says:

    Thanks for the lovely, tranquil photos and lots of food for thought.

  6. Thank you for sharing all these beautiful photos. I never paid too much attention on weeping willow before, but I just realized how beautiful it is… It’s very photogenic and Asian for some reason. Enjoy the spring weather!

  7. It’s a gorgeous location isn’t it! I can see why so many weddings are photographed there. Lovely photos and sentiment! :)

  8. Manu says:

    Lovely post and amazing pictures! It really is a wonderful place. I agree with Nami… the weeping willow is a very photogenic tree. I agree… it can be a sad world when you repay violence with violence… sadness with sadness… Violence can never be the answer.

  9. Hannah says:

    Thank you for the beautifully written post. Every time something like this happens – 9/11, the Norway massacres – I find myself rocked and half-broken with disbelief that people can be so cruel, so cruel, so incapable of understanding the shared humanity we all have within us. And at the same time, so upset at a world, and social situations, that causes people to lose sight of this shared humanity and feel that their horrific actions are justified. It may seem silly, but I truly believe that focusing on the beauty is what pulls the rest of us through life with contentment in our hearts. Hugs.

  10. Cakelaw says:

    Thios is a lovely post – beautiful photos and very thought provoking.

  11. Fiona N says:

    Thank you for a sensitive, touching and inspiring tribute. I think about how inconsequential some of my “concerns” are and how much I must enjoy ” the moment” and capture the small pleasures of everyday life.

  12. heidi says:

    Thank you for a serene and tranquil post.
    Tragedy is part of the human condition – but so is peace.
    I join you in prayer for a world where friendship is the norm – I’m not sure it will come to be without much strife – but if enough people hunger for it then we are at least on the right road. Beautiful pictures.

    You make me want to come to Sydney- even with all the traveling time and my dislike of airplanes – it is quite lovely there!

  13. JasmyneTea says:

    I’m going to New York at the end of the year, and I haven’t made up my mind whether or not to visit the site of the 9/11 bombings – It’s so terribly depressing and macabre, yet at the same time I wish to pay my respects. Beautiful photos, I’ve always loved the Chinese Gardens of Friendship.

  14. Juliana says:

    Beautiful post and pictures as well…very touching as we approach September 11. Hearts are joined together to remember such a tragic day in our history.
    Again, thank you so much for such a soothing post. Hope you are having a nice week :-)

  15. Nicely written and beautiful pictures! Have a lovely spring!

  16. sophia says:

    Wow, what a beautiful, powerful post. War, famine, hatred is everywhere in this world. But in between these cacophonous calamities, there is always ways to find peace. I think it starts with the individual, like you in this serene garden. We can’t change world events, but we can change the attitudes inside us, which can positively affect the people around us.

  17. Lovely post and really beautiful pictures, I can feel peace and tranquility in the pictures you took.

  18. Sissi says:

    Beautiful photos and a very moving post.

  19. Keely says:

    A stunning post. I have found myself really moved by the 9/11 specials on TV as well this week. The most unnerving element of terrorism is that it can happen at anytime, anywhere and there’s only so much society can do to prevent it. I just try to live life to the fullest and inject as much positivity as I can to overcome the darkness in the world.

  20. Such a beautiful post <3

  21. Gorgeous photos and an amazing tribute to the fallen victims of 9-11 and every bombing tragedies around the world. Wishing for a brighter future in our lives.

    BTW, thank you so much for dropping into my blog :)

  22. Baby Sumo says:

    Hi, thanks for visiting my blog. Really lovely blog you have here.

  23. Lisa H. says:

    beautiful photos… love the willowy willows… gorgeous 😀

  24. Marina says:

    the world is funny place.. So much beauty in it and in the same time so much hate :(

  25. Sutapa says:

    Thanks for your visit and inspiring comment.
    First time at your space and just loved it …….. you shared such lovely thoughts and the pics are fabulous …… I love all the color and the freshness you share ! Hope to be part of your journey in all the coming days! :)

  26. Liz says:

    Such beautiful thoughts and gorgeous photos…as we all remember how life changed that fateful day. Thanks for your caring words…and for echoing my wish for peace on earth~

  27. Parsley Sage says:

    Gorgeous photos! Lovely tribute post as well. You’re right, sometimes it makes you wonder how something so terrible could happen in a world that has so much beauty.

  28. What a lovely post and so true. It’s a shame that the world after so many years is still unable to live at peace with one another. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  29. What lovely peaceful photos, we all need a bit more tranquility in our lives.

  30. What a beautiful post and the pictures you used to go along with it tell a story all themselves. 9/11 affected everyone everywhere in different ways and I love how you touched on that in your post. I hope you have a blessed day! Again, great post/tribute to 9/11

  31. Chopinand says:

    Dear readers,

    Thank you for sharing your comments and well wishes on this post.

    As I watch the proceedings on the opening of the World Trade Centre Memorial today, I feel a sense of pride and heroism among the American people. The heroes are those ordinary citizens and the 343 firefighters who showed tremendous courage, sacrificing their own lives on that fateful day in helping others.

    The WTC Memorial and museum will honour those who died and to give a sense of closure for the families of the victims. The two large waterfalls where the twin towers once stood symbolizes the continuation of life after death and faith that good will always triumph over evil.

  32. Kimby says:

    Thank you for reminding us that hope and friendship and the beauty of nature still endure. The title of your post was most apt. I feel a sense of renewal.

  33. Joanne says:

    A beautiful post. We will always remember the tragedy, the courage, the heros, the sacrifice. Unfortunately, 9/11 didn’t end it. Somewhere in the world, there are people going through such devastation, yet there are also the courageous offering hope and help.

  34. Sidney says:

    Kimby sent me via a comment on my own 9/11 post. Indeed what a thoughtful post. That is the greatest blessing of this tragedy: we are all so much closer across the world.

    I cannot wait to delve into your blog further. But now, I have other dragons to create, goad, and slay. Thanks again so much for being genuinely heartfelt and for sharing your gorgeous photography.

  35. Your post and photos are so beautiful and stunning! Thank you so much for sharing.

  36. rebecca says:

    beautiful and well written post so so true we all live in the same world and can do our part to make it a little better thanks for the kind congrats on the baby

    hugs Rebecca

  37. Hotly Spiced says:

    Your words are as beautiful as your images and while I believe 99% of people on the earth want peace in the world, there is that power-hungry 1% who wreck it for the rest of us. xx

  38. Maureen says:

    I love those gardens — and the rocks! I talked with someone there who told me how they got all those rocks in there and they are HUGE.

    I will never forget 9/11 because John and I were on the runway at Dulles that day ready to take off.. one plane behind the one that went down. Scary stuff. We’ve come a long way as a world since then.

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