Another dot in the blogosphere?

A blooming reflection

Posted on: April 8, 2014

At this time every year, a dry spell and sudden showers might cause some wayside trees in Singapore to flower. This year we experienced the driest February in 145 years. The quick downpours in March seemed to have made the flowering even more pronounced.

I spotted these blooms on a solitary tree right outside a mall I frequent. I had to return to a previous life as a biologist to try to remember what it was. I am still not sure, but I think the tree was a Rose of India, Lagerstroemia speciosa.

I returned to a field guide (published in 1989) that I still have on a bookshelf. I also had the luxury of Google Images to help.

My reflection is not about how technology makes it unnecessary to remember things or how only meaningful learning helps you remember things. Instead I had a few tangential thoughts as I took the photo.

The first was about taking advantage of adversity. CeL took advantage of the worry that the haze always brings about campus closures to push the e-learning agenda. I do not like the “e” representing emergency, but environmental setbacks are often very good for pushing the online or “e” agenda.

My second thought was that I probably looked a bit foolish taking the photos, but I am quite pleased with the end result and that is what matters. People were walking and driving by this busy stretch of road and I must have looked quite odd trying to get the shot I wanted. I ignored the external sources of stress and focused on what was important.

My third mental meandering was about adapting. If I am right about this flowering tree, then it is not endemic to Singapore. However, it does well in our climate and actually flourishes when stressed. This led me to think that you can uproot yourself, go elsewhere, and still do well.

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