Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nature Heals

View of Side Garden, looking south as seen today.

While doing a bit of gardening work this morning I was pleasantly surprised to discover a a robin's nest with two tiny chicks in it. This gave me so much pleasure, satisfaction and happiness. It has been about three years now since I started to create a garden around our home here in Kuching. When we first moved in here there was not a single plant growing except for wild grasses and weeds that grew naturally on infertile barren ground that was provided by the housing developer. There grew an opportunity to bring nature back close to our house and I set my mind to gradually make the garden as a labour of love. One of my criterias for a successful Malaysian garden is that it should be able to procreate wildlife and nothing proves it better than to see the birds coming around the garden to build their nests. It showed that nature is slowly healing itself and that I should do more to encourage its diversity. Thus from now on I'll try to plant more fruit trees besides flowering shrubs to attract other birds species to call our garden home. It has been my belief that gardening is a workout for the soul. Moments spent in the garden have much positive therapeutic influence on one's moods , emotions and pysche. When I see nature heals with a little help of my hand I feel I have not wasted my time gardening even on a tiny garden plot in Kuching.
The side garden is on the left and on the right is the island planting next to the car porch. View from South, looking west.
Close up of border planting along the south fence.

Daily pick of flowers - the scented fragipani or Plumeria rubra of pink fower variety.

Island planting next to car porch, view from car porch.

A poem I wrote years back about a bird and a garden:

Windswept Lawn
Like a bird one day
I was out in the open air
been there by an old casuarina tree
at times to watch and sing
at the garden steps
a fountain spray
and rattan chair below

It was a tiny lawn
recently mowed
the cuttings were dry
shrivelled and brown

The patio was quiet
a cool breeze blew
moved the scattered leaves
the silent chimes too

The mood was welcoming
this warm return hollow
where I while away
quick moments in happy time
then hop into the wind
when the hour is done

Said I,
Here's indeed a place to rest
and seek a peaceful mind
a mind that recalls
the windswept lawn
the patio and trees
I wish to be my own.



  1. Hi Mahmood,
    How is your PhD study going? Two years ago, I was trying to do the same by enrolling for an Advanced diploma course in electronic engineering. But on enrolment day, I was a bit embarrassed to find that all the other students were youngsters who were even younger than my son. Feeling very "pai-seh" and out of place, I had little choice but to back out.
    BTW, have you found out when and why they changed the name of Bintulu River to Batang Kemena in the early twentieth century ? The L&S Office might be able to offer some clues.

  2. Hi pck,
    Thanks for droppin' by. My doctoral program is carrying on fine and in the wink of an eye two years of it has passed. How time flies. As at this month I've finished attending the mandatory tutorials, submission of assignments and sitting for exams (like the good old days).The next two years is reserved for my thesis writing of which I've to undertake research on my chosen area ( green marketing,attitudes towards green purchase in Malaysian context). In my doctoral program all students are in the forties, fifties and I'm the oldest dude in the group. Well, I can see your problem and I think I'd be feeling the same if I were in your shoes :))
    As regards the Kemena thing, I've yet to find the answer . Your suggestion is worth noting.Though as I regularly ask people in Bintulu, they have come out with some queer answers of which I'll try to get to the root later.This is like cracking a scientific formula for me, being a non-scientist.
    See you n have a pleasant weekend.

  3. Hi Mahmood,
    The next time you happen to be in Bintulu, try to ask Temenggong Abok or Datuk Yek Min Ek. Both being very senior citizens of Bintulu, they may be able to shed some light on the change of name to Batang Kemena.
    I have a copy of a very old Sarawak map, which shows that when the Sarawak’s boundary was extended to Lawas in 1905, both the town and the river still shared the same name, Bintulu.
    Wish you every success in your study & Selamat Gawai Dayak……Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai!