the yearly film

Another year has flown by.

It’s as if the fast-forward button on life was pushed, and got stuck, year after year. Sometimes, it feels as if I frantically try to pull the button out, but still, there it is zipping through the seasons one after the other. Life flashes before my eyes, scene after scene. It seems that I can’t fully listen to the lines, so grasping and understanding the script is far-fetched. So, I store each scene in my mental archive, thinking I will press replay and let the scenes marinate when life slows down a bit. But the scenes continue to pile up, and before I know it, Christmas trees are illuminating left to right.

Then, life throws especially difficult moments at us—those that force you to take a seat and reflect. We replay the scenes, and listen to the dialogue, trying our best to grasp the message of each part of this yearly film. Although sometimes, no matter how hard we study each minute of this movie, reaching an understanding seems unfathomable. Sometimes, the parts that seem the most difficult to understand will give us clarity later in life. Perhaps another year or five. Every now and then, take a break from throwing what’s in front of you in your “for later” file. Look around you and see how poetically this year is written: the beauty of finding your strength in your summertime heartbreak, the numbness of the winter blues, and the commencement of your rebirth in the springtime. Leave the door open on all of the above, not just the good parts. 

Take in the beauty of how the leaves, stubbornly and so beautifully, change color every single year, and how they wilt and dance to the ground to make someone smile at the sound of how they crunch on the cold winter concrete. The stunning intricacy of a single snowflake, it still falls from the sky, knowing its demise in melting into the earth. The rebirth of new life on the same trees, the flowers know their beauty and color will fade, yet they still blossom boldly. Before the branches can rest and catch a breath, a fresh set of leaves form their dense canopy to shade the summertime reader. 

Savor the scenes as they unfold in this yearly film, as the same lines are rarely written again. 

Time is all we have, and also all we don’t. 


a christmas diary

as i timidly open my eyes, the sound of the rain pattering quickly transforms into chaos hitting the earth, as if hurriedly quenching the thirst of the soil. the sun hides behind the clouds knowingly so, as it is christmas week and the city wishes to get in the holiday mood. the sun gives the clouds center stage, and it puts on quite the performance.

a hot cup of caramel coffee welcomes me to the day. i light the christmas candles, the décor goes up in november so they’re half melted by this time. the smell of cinnamon spice engulfs the house. i open my laptop, my thoughts orchestrated by the rainfall on this cloudy december morning. the white tree summoning me to bask in the memories of christmas past, to what seemed like yesterday. i try to retrieve my brain to focus on the page in front of me, but i give in.

i walk down memory lane to my high school and college days. my mind takes me back to our home up the hill in snowy oregon. dad always wanted a white christmas tree, so one day after a trip to his favorite place on earth, costco, he brings home an 8 footer “this will be our family tree”. the white christmas tree standing tall in the corner of our living room, as if tucked away in the hills of the town, illuminating the dimly lit room. it was magical. then came time for the decorating: mom and I picked out our favorite ornaments, my dad used his long tree trunk arms to place them at the very top of the tree, and the three of us decorated the center and bottom. tuffy took a seat at the foot of the tree, watching us while wagging his tail, and squeezing a few snoozes in by the crackling december fire. the faint sound of the gas boiling the chai tea, it shoots up to the top of the pot as if its feet were burning on hot coils, mom slows the gas, then once again it shoots up nearly spilling over. the chai is then lovingly poured into tea cups, filled to the top. we gather around the fire and share stories to the sound of the winter showers. I mentally exit our oregon living room to the sound of my family sharing jokes and taking sips of their tea. til next time, i will be back when feel like reliving those memories again, but my mind will depart when the nostalgia transforms into sadness and it often does given that’s the only place i see dad now.  

so here I am, admiring the white christmas tree; a little token from the past, a little piece of my dad. 

we’re all adventuring through life, collecting moments to etch into our minds that we, one day, will relive. yet, we don’t choose the scenes in our films, the scripts are written by god.




scenes of autumn

the crisp november air, as if it had been resting all year for this moment, to be as fresh as it can possibly be. the air has arrived to clear my lungs, shedding the summer layer to mark the commencement of fall just as the green leaves turn orange and dance to the ground creating autumn beds.

the autumn beds, a fond memory of my childhood in toronto. the piles of leaves my father would rake up on the lawn only for my brother and i to cannonball into scattering his hard work all over, he looked at us in admiration, we all laughed.

the morning fog that becomes denser by the day summoning the winter. i open the front door, and see the eyes of my car engulfed by the gray mist. i cannot see down the street, but the mystery is captivating. as if, i am in a little cozy bubble behind my wool coat, boots and pashmina scarf from india, my gingerbread flavored coffee warming my hands. what is behind there? the mystery is haunting but thrilling it’s telling me to go back inside, bundle up under the fleece blankets and dive into a book but also summoning me to come closer to reveal what lies behind the gray curtain. Could it be a neighbor walking their dog? could it be a runner? could it be a car coming full speed?! oh! I should probably get out of the street.

i head back inside, as i walk down the driveway i stomp on the leaves, creating a satisfying crunch crunch crunch. i put on a pot of tea, the faint sound of the water boiling transforms into a loud whistle. the tea bag puffs up like a puffer fish then deflates and takes a seat at the bottom of the cup. the steam escaping into the november air.

the scenes of autumn


tent cities

he unclenched his fist/a few peanuts and raisins/that were his/three course meal/his chocolate brown eyes/peeked through the window/droplets of the November rain/dampening his raven hair/he zipped up the window/and buried his face in the pillow/his tummy grew hollow/as he rested/on the frigid concrete/beneath his bones/that he called/home — skid row, ‘a cognitive canvas’ pg. 163

last week, i was driving through west hollywood. miles and miles of palm trees swaying north to south, the mansions perched on the cliffs of the hollywood hills, the sun beaming, the sky blue. as if someone had turned up the saturation in a photograph, utterly perfect. it was a typical, out of the movies like january afternoon in the city of angels. then i took a left…

along both sides of the road, rows and rows of make shift homes made of tents, shopping carts, mattresses, sheets, and other items. 

as every angeleno, i had known about skid row and other homeless communities in los angeles. but this was new, along with the four others i drove past on my way to run errands. 

since the pandemic 567,715 people have become homeless in the nation (source: with california holding the highest number out of all states. there are some amazing organizations like “Project RoomKey” who’ve provided hotel and motel rooms to the homeless during the pandemic, and as stated on their site are working to ensure that after the pandemic these individuals and families won’t be back on the streets. 

in addition, after having lost their jobs many families are short on food. having a space to socially distance during these unprecedented times is a privilege, having food and a job is a privilege. 

never forget to be grateful 


here are some sites where you can get more information/help those in need: