Hope Blooms

In 1991, much of the world was not aware of the existence of Mt. Pinatubo. I’m guessing that, and much of my guess is based on the fact that even I didn’t know of its existence before then… and I’m probably closer to it than much of the world.

After June 1991, the world couldn’t help but get acquainted with this heretofore-unknown volcano, who made its existence known in quite a nasty in-your-face kind of way. The effects of its eruption were felt worldwide, with ashfall that not only darkened our skies and covered the windshields of our cars like thick muddy snow but also reached as far as the neighboring countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

Because Typhoon Yunya decided to wreak havoc at the same time, lahar flows were copious. Lahar, an Indonesian word that  describes volcanic mudflows or debris flows, has the consistency, viscosity and approximately the same density of concrete: fluid when moving, then solid when stopped. (Thank you, Wikipedia). Successive rains that are so common in these islands did nothing to alleviate the massive lahar problems (think mudflow-floods, houses buried to the rooftops, destruction of agriculture and once-green lands suddenly grey and dismal as far as the eye could see).

But the Filipino takes pride in being hopeful, in standing straight, undaunted by whatever trials and misfortunes are thrown our way (and that, often accomplished with jokes and smiles, however incongruous they may seem to be). Little wonder then that my people eventually found a way to create stuff made of lahar – bathing “stones,” decorative figurines, export-quality photo frames, even a PC-casing according to a google search.

Now isn’t that just a beautiful demonstration of how hope can bring good out of disaster?

While driving through lahar-ravaged lands, I happened to spot a tiny patch of grass sprouting from what used to be just sprawling acres of grey sandy land. Ah, yes, hope springs eternal… literally.

Which brings us to my contribution to the WordPress Photo of the Week Challenge, with the theme HOPE :

And because children are always symbols of the beauty of hope, here’s a little child-inspired music to fill your day with happy hope!

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