Purple azalea day
Clear blue sky. Cloudless.
Dry but not humid.
24 degrees Celsius. Pleasant.
Little if any wind.
Sun rises early (before 6 am) and sets late (after 9 pm).
It's the kind of day you want to spend entirely outdoors and let your body bask in the sun's tender caress.
Only, you have to stay inside because it's a weekday and you have to work.
Lucky for me, I get to hang two loads of laundry to dry in the sun. I get to have my breakfast, lunch, and dinner outside. Furthermore, I am able to compose on the patio table, without the piano. But then, I can always run inside to play the notes I'm not sure of. I can talk on the phone, work on my laptop, all outdoors.
When the sun started to fall behind a neighbour's house, I decided it was time for a jog. I passed by kids playing in front of their houses, teenagers loitering in the park, and retired people walking next to the river. All around me were trees, heather, bushes, and flowers.
Purple azaleas have blossomed in clusters. Such flowers remind me of my mom's cake decorating. The flowers my mom made with her cake icing don't grow in the subtropics where I grew up. She learned to make those flowers from photographs. How lucky I am to be able to see them in real life!
After awhile, my jogging gets into auto pilot mode. I forget I'm jogging, and I get into a trance. My mind starts to wander. Purple azaleas. Azalea. what a beautiful name. I wonder if anyone has a name like Azalea. For the longest time, I chose Alex and its derivatives as my favourite names. Alexis for Alexis Colby. Why not Azalea?
It's a very female thing to get hooked on names, a subconscious activity associated with preparing for motherhood. As girls mature into women, they tell each other what they plan to call their babies one day. "I'll name my first born after you," for example.
Suddenly a dog barked. It snapped me out of my trance. What was I daydreaming about? I am not going to have children. Azalea will have to be a name I give to one of my compositions or one of the fictional characters in a novel I will write someday.
Purple Azalea. That could be the name of a band. Hmmm. Wonder what it is in Dutch.
Still dreaming of azaleas in the setting sun, I sprinted back home.
19 May 2004 Wednesday
One baby naming site says that Azalea has Arabic origins. It means democracy.
Another says Azalea has Hebrew and Latin origins. It means blossom and dry earth.
Yet another one says Azalea has Latin origins and means flower.
Who is right?
Azalea is a rhododendron.
Azalea is "du juan hua" in Chinese. As a child, I remember my mother singing that famous song "Dan dan di san yueh tian, du juan hua kai ...."
Coincidentally all my orange tulips have died. It marks the end of orange tulip fever and the beginning of purple azalea fervour. "Love starts with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a tear."