Tiny Oceanista

Waxing the board is SO much fun! Can't stop smiling just thinking about catching the waves...
Poised, in the moment, loving it all the way in... with intense yogic concentration. 
At home under the Sea with her friend, Jenny the Ray, in Moorea.

One with the Sea
Just turned five and living up to her namesake; she'd be so touched and happy.

Umma and Appa on a weekend morning...

Mom and Dad in the upstairs sunroom, happy and relaxed... Umma just had her last baby!
Appa still in his pajamas, table strewn with drinks, box of chocolates, fruits...

Their marriage was an arranged one in keeping with the times.

He was living in Harbin, China in the early forties to dodge the Japanese military draft and to work as multilingual office worker, fluent in Korean, Japanese, English, and proficient in Chinese and Russian, some German thrown in.

To further avoid the draft, a marriage was arranged for my parents. Neither wanted to be married... they had bigger aspirations. He was summoned home from Harbin. She had just moved back home from Seoul where she was a medical student. Their home was in the northern Korean peninsula just across the river from China.

They barely laid eyes on each other before the wedding day but they grew to be inseparable partners and exceptional parents.

Together they lived through the Japanese occupation, War War II, the Korean war, numerous ensuing political turmoils, and finally the move to the United States in their sixties to be near us.

They were the happiest here in America.
Their love was deep and real, tested by cruel history. I see my dad in my dreams...
in it he is holding two babies, one in each arm, and I know who they are!

More stories about my maternal grandfather someday. He was an enigmatic leader of North Korean people till the end, a tragic end for all Koreans.
His family name is my grand daughter's middle name now.

Seoul, Korea

Look how they've grown!

Remember the young spring leaves unfurling shyly

The very same plant in full summer display... many flowers later!
These leaves remind me of wide open heart, ever atop these pages.
Someone very special tenderly nurtures the lotus everyday.

The lotus lives happily in her garden 

Sunday outings in Seoul...

 Me and my sister with Dad up on a hill above our house
Me, my sister, and brother with our nanny and Dad 
 on a hike near our home
Mom, Dad and us at an old Palace ground in Seoul.
Mom is expecting our little sister in this photo.
Three of us floating on the Han river on a boat

The most fun memories of my childhood are the outings around the city,
visits to old palace grounds, and walks and hikes just with the family.
We went to many different places but my favorite was the zoo in an old palace.
There are beautiful old palaces open to public in downtown Seoul which was
the capitol of the Yi Dynasty, the last monarchy.

Ah! the delicious picnics my mother packed!...
Gim Bap (literally seaweed rice, similar to sushi roll but distinctly Korean),
boiled eggs, ban chan (side dishes) deok (cakes), and fruits.
Everything was neatly packed/stacked up and beautiful!
I loved picnics and still do! 

At times, it was just with dad as mom had to stay home
with the newest baby. Two more girls to come.
Our dad, loaded with his camera equipment and food
with three little ones in his charge...

Umma and Appa (Mom an Dad in Korean), you are the very best! 
We all miss our father but my mother is waiting for my visit this week...



... and polished to perfection.

Found by a friend on the beach in Panama while fishing

Growing up with second cousins...

Me and my sister with our little second cousins,
our oldest uncle's grand children.

Top: our 3rd oldest cousin's first son
Bottom: our oldest cousin's only daughter, not too happy here 
but she is very happy now, living in Seoul, Korea. 
We are used to posing for the camera, she was not.

The pattern of this curtain is etched in my memory...

Busan and Seoul, Korea, late fifties

Shell Hunter

Here, the sound of the sea was like beautiful music.

Le Clezio, The Prospector
Thank you Ali!

Early morning Light...

... in the high desert, after monsoon.

Inspector Ipo keeps an eye on rabbits and lizards.
Santa Fe


after a board meeting

My friend Dana returning from his daily stand up paddle

All squats and smiles...

Me, my cousin, my sister and brother with chickens... 
My mother's Project Fresh Eggs!
We also had ducks but no photos exist. Once my mother had 20 duck eggs hatched
but the fuzzy yellow duckings we so cherished were killed by weasels one night. 
My first experience with death...we were devastated.

All of us in Malasana (garland pose in Yoga) with ease,
aka squatting with heels all the way down.

Post Korean War, Seoul Korea
circa 1956