Weekly Image Of Life: Rekindle The Joy

Rekindle Our Reasons For Being Joyful

Everyone deserves a piece of heaven. Of discovering and experiencing “real” treasures in life that rekindle that inner joy in all of us. Joy that makes our heart feel like it’s about to burst into a song or create fireworks bright enough to light up the sky. Joy that make us feel like our feet is off the ground and floating on air. Joy that give us wings to fly to places once we only dreamed about. Joy that make us celebrate each day like it’s a holiday.

Today through words and photographs, we reflect on the many reasons, things, people and events that rekindled the joy in all of us.

So many ways to rekindle the joy. Some are simple yet magical like a kiss, a hug, a handmade gift to someone we care about that say, “You matter.” Some are subtle but when done sincerely at the perfect moment means everything like saying, “Thank you,” “I appreciate everything you had done for me,” “I love you” or “You complete me.” Others may come as delightful indulgence like shopping for a bag, a sip of a freshly brewed coffee, a bite of a delicious chocolate bar, a quiet walk at the park blessed with nature’s visual bounty or a rejuvenating visit at the beach. Some arise from a meaningful soul-searching and renewal of one’s faith. Others come about by reuniting with family and friends during holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and many other events where time is irrelevant and what matters is we create as much special, heart-warming, happy moments for us to remember and rekindle in this lifetime . Moments that will ignite that inner fire in all of us when surrounded by cold and darkness coupled with a few trickle of tears. Moments that will make us smile even if everything else seems grey.

Rekindle The Joy By Visiting Families

It’s been several years since I saw my sister in person and her family. The first time we visited her was early Summer of 2007. My son just turned one and was learning how to walk. Today, she has a very adorable toddler who reminded me so much of my son when he was about that age. Growing up, I was very close to my sister but somehow along our pursuit towards getting our dreams, fate kept us apart. She settled in Connecticut where she enjoyed the amazing four seasons while I ventured into the vast land of adventures called “Texas.” I miss her company and did miss a lot of “could have been memories” being away from her all these years. It was time to rekindle the joy of being around family. Family who shares their heart generously. Family who loves you for who you are. Family who makes you truly happy no material wealth nor Earthly glory can ever replace.

We flew to Connecticut last Friday to celebrate Thanksgiving. When I saw my sister and her family, it felt like the last five years happened only just a few days ago. We talked for hours reminiscing the fun times of the past, sharing the joys and pain of the present and yes, our future hopes and dreams for ourselves and our families. We even included in our plans the possibility of living in one city so our children will enjoy the rare gift of growing up around a bigger family. It was an exciting, fun and vibrant event that I wish didn’t have to end. To keep the warm memories and to thank my sister, her wonderful husband and their three beautiful children, I made this post to forever celebrate the shared joyful moments with them.

I always wanted to see Autumn’s foliage and experience all the magic it creates. I asked my sister, “Do you think I could see any signs of Autumn when I get there?” She replied, “I’m not sure. Most of the leaves turned brown and had fallen off after hurricane Sandy.” I sadly muttered, “Oh.”

Saturday morning, my brother-in-law printed out something from the computer. He then told us, “Guys, we are going to Boston.” I asked him, “How far is it?” He answered with a smile, “About three hours of driving.” I replied with a bit of disbelief, “Three hours? That’s six hours of driving back and forth.” Still looking excited, he said, “Yes, six hours.” He then added jokingly, “We may have to sleep on our day clothes if we have stay overnight.”

Driving towards Boston, I was greeted with a seemingly endless rows of bare trees, a few uprooted by the recent devastating hurricane.

Our first stop was Boston Common. From afar, we all could see the park’s garden breathtaking colors of red, purple, orange, gold, yellows and light greens. Everyone got so excited. I sure felt like jumping out of my seat. I told myself, “Wow! Dream come true.” We circled the park twice looking for a parking spot.

It was truly magical watching the Autumn leaves fall down from the trees then being blown by the wind. No words to fully describe the moment. It sure did rekindle the inner joy in all of us. My son threw some leaves at the lake and watched them drift like sailboats. For a second I saw myself as a little kid engrossed in his own world of make-believe.

Rekindle The Passion. Rekindle The Love.

In a busy world full of deafening noise, stress, responsibilities, chaos, disagreements, worries, trials, hardships and many more distractions, it’s so easy to lose that burning passion that we all felt when everything was all romance and red roses. We need to find ways to bring back the spark and that inner fire that makes our heart go “beep-beep” for that person we declared our love not so long ago. That day at the park, my wife and I looked at each other and smiled. Really smiled. We found our reasons for our passion which was each other, our son and the family who loved us when we barely had anything .

After the park, we headed to Quincy Market. The Holiday spirit, merryment and colors were everywhere. The crowd were having a blast dancing to the local band’s upbeat music.

Christmas lights adorned the trees giving a festive, jubilant vibe.

At the center of the town square was a gigantic Pine tree adorned with brightly colored Christmas decors. That night, the tree was lit up to officially welcome the holiday season. It was beautiful. We all felt the happy and festive spirit of the holidays. 

We stopped by the balloon maker. He made a dinosaur balloon for my son and his 2 year-old cousin. They laughed and giggled as the balloon maker shared some funny jokes.

We had 30 minutes to spare before the Christmas tree lighting. We spent it munching the yummy lobster salad sandwich and grilled Sea Bass with vegetables.

The crowd counted loudly, “3-2-1″ and the Christmas tree lit up in all its splendor. The lights blinked following the rhythm of the holiday music. For several minutes, we all felt the joys of Christmas being rekindled in our hearts. Again, it was pure magic.

Before heading back to Connecticut, we stopped by Starbucks for a quick restroom break and a cup of hot coffee. As I wait for my order, I noticed on the board three words that described what I was experiencing the entire day. Written in bold red letters were, “Rekindle The Joy.”

As we walked towards our car, I looked back the last time. Silently, I thank God for giving me, my wife and my son the opportunity to share an unforgettable moment with my sister and her family. It may not happen that often but it sure did make up for the many lost years I missed.

Thank you for sharing your day with me. I hope you enjoyed this week’s theme as well as my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge called “Thankful.” I hope this post helped you remember the many events, holidays and seasons in your life that rekindled the joy in your heart.

What do you wish to rekindle this coming holidays and before we finally say goodbye to year 2012?

Today, discover the inspiring world of these blogger friends. Their zest for life, their families, their environment and most of all their faith are priceless treasures that will bring a smile to your day.

alwaysbobswife of  http://alwaysbobswife.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/a-tug-in-my-heart-that-hopefully-tugs-yours/

The Guat of  http://thewishfactor.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/weekly-image-of-life-what-im-thankful-for/

Sunshine of  http://seraphim6.me/2012/11/19/i-am-thankful-for/

Jenn of  http://the-serenity-space.com/2012/11/21/weekly-image-of-life-i-am-thankful-for/

Patricia of  http://lifeofaministermom.com/2012/11/20/weekly-image-of-life-i-am-thankful-for/

Thirdeyemom of  http://thirdeyemom.com/2012/11/22/i-am-thankful-for/

Deepa of  http://perceptionsofareluctanthomemaker.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/weekly-photo-challenge-thankful/

For those who wish to join in this week’s challenge, here’s a link and the widget. Have a great time making wonderful memories.


Images taken using an iPhone 4 camera with Camera + App and  Nikon 1 J1. My friends, have fun discovering and creating the most beautiful images everyday. They are a part of the unforgettable memories you make in this lifetime.

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
This entry was posted in Events, family, Inspiration, Life, Love, photography, Travels, Weekly Image Of Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

107 Responses to Weekly Image Of Life: Rekindle The Joy

  1. Sony Fugaban says:

    Your freshly baked blog post is such a catch.

    I was cringing after reading the post because the message the blog post tried to put across is like really for me. See, I haven’t texted my father since I got to the Middle East. I know…that is for reasons. Christmas is fast approaching and there’s no better way for me to rekindly the joy–first to one of the persons who gave life to me and to my relatives and siblings who are always there for me. That is something I forgot. I only made sure that I’m intact with my family; I forgot the other side–the equally important people who also loves unconditionally.

    Thanks, bro! I needed to read this. Good thing I did.

    Regards to the family.

    (The photos are so “USA”. The ones I used to see are usually laidback or country–nonetheless beautiful of course. In this series, I just feel like I am in the US. The maple leaves, the bonnets, the sweaters, the pine trees…oh…)

    • Sony Fugaban says:

      I mean, to rekindle.

    • Bro, same here. I believe that our parents know in their hearts that we do think and pray for them. It’s just that sometimes we have so much in our hands. I do feel guilty too because I don’t as often call my parents but God knows I think about them everyday and of of the main reasons I wish to go back one day. Money is not everything and our dreams do change as we get older. Best wishes to you and your family.

  2. eof737 says:

    You were in my neck of the woods. I hope you had a wonderful time! Great photos and write up as always. Be blessed! :-)

    • I was actually thinking about you when I went to New York. I thought, “How cool would it be if I accidentally bump into you.” Wishful thinking but who know right? Thanks and have a blessed day as well.

  3. bulldogsturf says:

    Your posts are always so inspirational… and so nice to read, your photos so good and full of meaning…I really enjoy this blog….

    • Thanks my friend. These memories are what keeps me motivated to embrace life with as much positivity as possible. It’s never perfect and has its down moments but the happy times inspire me to hope and look forward for what the future brings.

  4. I enjoyed sharing this…. your photos are so… wonderful. Granny Gee/Gloria :)))

  5. cocomino says:

    How beautiful! The red leaves are so nice. It inspired me a lot. Thanks for sharing. :)

  6. adinparadise says:

    What a wonderful and heartfelt post, yet again. Reading it was as though I was there sharing in the amazing family time you all shared together. Family reunions are the best, aren’t they, with all the fond memories that are rekindled. Thanks so much for sharing your joy. :)

    • Thank you. Family reunions indeed rekindle the love and joy only family brings. It bridges the closeness among family members who have not seen each other for so long. My son who didn’t grow up around his cousins now talks about them like they know each other for so long. The priceless gift of having a bigger family.

  7. Sunshine says:

    I did not think it possible but once again you magically summarized a whole precious event into a heart moving, beautiful story. I have never visited Boston but your excellent words and images made it possible to experience it at least from one perspective. Thank you for this moment. ;)

  8. Simply lovely. Your words fill the page with a true appreciation of how you feel. You have a gift. Many, apparently. Thanks for always inspiring and rekindling. :-)

    • Thank you. I have my share of unfortunate, heart breaking events but I wish to rejoice what is good and yes, to always thank my lucky stars for the blessings in my life.

  9. bebs1 says:

    It is really a joy to be with a sibling we’ve been missing. I am glad and happy for you and your family to have such a memory you can remember for a lifetime. I hope you’ll get what you wish for, of living in one place with your sister.

  10. What a memory! It’s lovely to experience different weather, different trees, different city scape. It’s always invigorating. Happy Holidays, today and forward.

    • They were invigorating. It feels great to get out there and have a break in the monotonous lifestyle but in the end, there’s no place like home. Happy Holidays my friend and best wishes to you and your family.

  11. You’ve done it again–given us another part of your journey that swells the heartstrings. The combination of your images and commentary really are strong with emotion and substance. And you were only north of my home in Delaware, just down the coastline. Happy holiday.

    • I wish I could have stayed longer to explore the surrounding areas like Delaware. I will be 9 years old in the U.S. yet I have so much places to see. Perhaps one day. Thanks for sharing generously. The times we shared with family and friends and the joy they give us keeps us inspired to face the days ahead with hope and optimism. Seeing my sister and her family created a priceless bond. My son told me excitedly the other day, “Mom , dad, I have a big family tree.” I replied smiling, “Yes, you do.” For a while he thought that it’s just the three of us.

  12. sued51 says:

    I live so close to Boston but hardly ever go there. Your beautiful photos made me want to go there with fresh eyes. Your photos and descriptions really made me feel the joy! Thanks for taking us along on your fabulous day!

    • Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts. I wish I explored Boston more but we were out of time and yes, was kind of cold for someone who is used to Texan weather. I hope you get to see it, more that it’s glittered with holiday colors.

  13. Gracie says:

    Lovely post! Both the photos and your words were a joy to see :)

  14. lulu says:

    Your special moments Will live on as memories not to be forgotten.

  15. Thank you for the reminders of joy. Beautiful post and photos. What an amazing trip to Boston! You captured it beautifully.

    • Thanks Brooke. Guess what? That was just the first day although I would say it was the best trip of my 6 day visit to Connecticut.I miss my sis and her family and the fun times we shared. That’s the negative side after having a great family reunion.

  16. Mazigrace says:

    Thank you for sharing your photos. Makes me homesick for the East Coast. I recall fondly those days I spent in New England, enjoying the crisp fall air and the beautiful color, not to mention Boston and all its charm. Simply beautiful!!!

    • I heard wonderful stories of how beautiful New England is. I will add it to my wish list. Tropical images and beaches makes me homesick but at the same time helps me remember the good times with the family I left behind.

  17. Northern Narratives says:

    I am so happy that you were able to see your sister and family and some autumn color too. We got snow on Thanksgiving night and now our landscape is white :)

    • Snow on Thanksgiving…wow! Yes, I was so happy to see her and her family. My son had a blast being around his cousins. Family is a priceless treasure indeed. Thanks . Happy Holidays.

  18. Donna says:

    What a wonderful Thanksgiving for you and your family! Great memory making and joy giving blessings!

  19. restlessjo says:

    A truly magical weekend of rekindling you had! I was right there with you, floating those leaves on the pond and “ooh-ing” when the tree lit up. Thank you so much for sharing your joy.

    • Thanks Jo. The power of our imagination can take us to places indeed without physically leaving the place where we are standing up. I’m glad you enjoyed the magic of family and Autumn’s gift.

  20. I absolutely love this post! Warm, insightful and beautiful – and gorgeous photos too.
    Thank you!

  21. Lucid Gypsy says:

    What a fabulous post, I’m so glad you got some autumn, I remember you liking my autumn photos!

    • I did and will always do. I wish I was also able to capture Autumn when I was in California . It just to show how much I value moments, people and nature nowadays. Thanks.

  22. I have nominated you for Beautiful Blogger Award. If you would like to accept it, you can go to my blog to get it. :))) http://grannyscolorful.wordpress.com

  23. The Hook says:

    Stunning pics, my friend. You never disappoint.

  24. ideflex says:

    You have a gift for storytelling – another heart-warming adventure and many dreams come true for you in this last post (so glad you got to see the fall colours + the wondrous lobster roll!) – glad you gave us all a smile once again.

    • Th fall colors, the lobster rolls, the laughter and fun times shared with families, these are just a few of the memories that will make me smile for a long , long time. Thanks for sharing .

  25. Amy says:

    Memories are so rich, they will last forever. Thank you for sharing your “Rekindle The Joy” with us! Beautifully done! Boston is one of my favorite cities, but haven’t been back for years.

    • Thanks Amy. It’s been a dream of mine to see my sis and her family. Somehow I got approved by my boss and got a good deal on a plane ticket for 3. the rest was a fun history to remember.

  26. dearrosie says:

    Great post great pictures IT :-)
    You have a unique talent of being able to share an outing with us that makes us feel as if we’d been there with you. Although my feet have never taken me to Boston Commons, I went there with you today. Thank you.

    • Thanks my friend. This is the amazing gift of blogging . We get to see places we have not been too through our blogger friends. One of the main reasons I look forward to read others posts everyday.

  27. barb19 says:

    Your posts are always so meaningful and this one is no exception. I loved seeing you with your sister, and visiting all the places you went together as a family; your son must have really enjoyed it too, and seeing the autumn leaves would have been magical to him.
    Your photos say it all.

  28. auntyuta says:

    I felt great joy in looking at all your pictures. These are stunning pictures. How marvellous that you were able to have this family meeting. I am sure you had a lot to talk about. I very much love what you write about joy. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks my friend. In my world, family is everything . I wish I have more time and resources to reunite with all of them or live in one city where every weekend , we get to see each other. Yes, we had a lot of awesome bonding time.

  29. Pingback: Thank God for Friends! « Just another wake-up call

  30. plaridel says:

    great post and great pictures. man, you have the gift.

  31. amiramelody says:

    great post! I love Boston and the Public Gardens!

  32. jennifermaki says:

    What a superb and heartwarming weaving of the tale of your weekend and the very things that ignite your heart. Well done! Thank you for the connect @lifeschoolinc. So appreciate your not only connecting me to those engaged with what you do, but providing the links to so many other stellar, like-minded n’ spirited, bloggers! So thrilled you reached out. I’m now following you and look forward to the many adventures ahead! jennifer

  33. all very nice images…I have never been to Fanueil Hall (Qunicy Market) to see the tree being lit.
    I guess that’s something I thought was for tourists. Looking at your pictures, gives me the sense that maybe I should go next year!
    It’s always nice to see you home town from a new set of eyes.
    Thank YOU!

  34. jennifermaki says:

    And now I have explored fully, embraced your Weekly Image of Life Challenge and, hope I’m doing this right, here is the link to my JOY Submission. This is a tribute to you, your journey, your finding me and the splendid connections you are creating for us all. Kudos to you Island Traveler. Thank you for this intro to a new and fun JOY Ride. InJoy, jennifer (as this is kinda regular sign-off, you can imagine I loved your theme-pick:)

    • It’s an honor and a joy to have you on board. Beautiful blessings in life are meant to be shared. It is meant to inspire others and make make them feel a part of a bigger family that supports each other. Life is about giving and trying to make a difference the best way we know how. Thank you and wishing you and your family the joys of the holidays.

  35. cuhullen says:

    Terrific! I wish I had your eye.

    • Thanks Bro. I wish I have your gift for amazing, passionate poetry. I guess each one of us have something unique to offer. That’s the great thing about the blogging world, we get to learn new stuff that enrich us in some ways.

  36. Pingback: Weekly Image Of Life: Rekindle The Joy « masadiso79's Blog

  37. masadiso79 says:

    Your post is beautiful and full of emotions! Great photographs! Here are mine: http://thismansjourney.net/2012/11/26/weekly-image-of-life-rekindle-the-joy/

  38. It’s so lovely to spend some time with people you rarely have the opportunity to really talk to or even see because of the busy life… and I love how this month of holidays just fit the ‘rekindling’ thing, since for Christmas for example we light candles, to rekindle this warmth within us…

    • Christmas is my favorite of all holidays. To me the entire month of December is Christmas time. It reminds me of the warmth, love , joy of the family I grew up with. Happy holidays my friend.Thanks.

  39. cookie5683 says:

    my heart seems to be caught in my throat, thank you

  40. munchow says:

    As always your post is so full of passion and heart-warming words. I am happy you got to meet your sister after to many years. Lovely photographs.

    • Thanks Bro. I am blessed to have such a rare moment of being reunited with a sister who I shared so many memories. She left the Philippines about 2 years ahead of me. I hope one day, all of us siblings we live close by.Family is everything.

  41. What an amazing holiday! So much to celebrate. I am glad you got to see the autumn colors, and the photos of your feast are colorful, and make me hungry just to look. Most of all I am happy for your whole family to be reunited. You are a very wealthy man–you have your healthy, your wonderful family, and a home filled with love. I know you had a happy Thanksgiving, and that you do every single day of the year.

  42. Pingback: Weekly Image of Life: Rekindle the Joy | The Serenity Space

  43. Jenn says:

    always such a pleasure to read your total joy in life and your family :)
    heres mine http://the-serenity-space.com/2012/11/29/weekly-image-of-life-rekindle-the-joy :)

    • Love it all. Every “Return To Joy” you enlisted I wish for myself, my family and the people around me. With the coming holidays, these are the priceless gift we could share and pray for the people who touched our lives. Beautiful and inspiring thoughts and images. This I needed to hear today, “Return to your true nature of abiding joy, which is free from all outer things. This is a place of unconditional love, the core of your real being

      Return to joy, a place where you feel no limitations and your spirit soars to infinite possibilities…” Thank you and have a great day.

  44. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Humbled Pie

  45. Pingback: Weekly Image of Life: Rekindle The Joy « Life of a Minister Mom

  46. lifeofaministermom says:

    Your post truly encouraged me and uplifted my spirits today!! I’m glad you had a wonderful time. I, too was blessed to be reunited with family and friends who truly make every day special!!http://lifeofaministermom.com/2012/11/30/weekly-image-of-life-rekindle-the-joy/

    • Thanks Patricia. You have such a warm, loving , happy and generous family. Their smiles radiates in this image. Your beautiful daughter is so lucky to have such amazing cousins. Looks like your husband had a great time meeting everyone and sharing those delicious food and fun company. Just like you I felt like this when I came back from Connecticut after seeing my sister and her family, “I’m extremely happy to be home, but selfishly I wish all the people I care about could be held captive in my personal bubble. ” With the holidays around, indeed we are blessed with so much. God bless you and your family.

  47. eva626 says:

    you really bought the holiday spirit through these photos!!! i love the one with the leaves on the ground! Autumn <3 and the lights are fantastic

  48. Pingback: Weekly Image of Life: Rekindle the Joy « The Wish Factor

  49. The Guat says:

    I’m loving the balloon maker and the lobster pics. But I especially love the way you found the message for your post … Rekindle The Joy. And you found it at Starbucks. It’s funny how you get the most profound messages, or deep advice, from the most unlikely places and of course at a time when you need a reminder. Great pictures and good story. :) Have a great week, my friend.

    • The Guat says:

      Ooooooooooooops I forgot to post my link to your challenge … here it is :) Hope you enjoy


    • Thanks for an awesome post! See…Holiday shopping madness ain’t that bad. Ha, ha, ha. Just like you I am stressed out with shopping and the crazy madness of it all. I didn’t spend a single cent on shopping during the Black Friday and cyber Monday. Hooray! But reality bites, I have to start getting stuff whether I like it or not. But just like you and your beautiful, happy return to childhood memory lane because of the Snoopy Sno-cone machine, I too have the most happiest memories of Christmas and it’s what warms my heart during those cold, lonely Winter nights when I miss the family I no longer can’t see physically during this events. Happy Holidays my friend and best wishes to your family.

  50. Imelda says:

    Lovely post. :-) Your tips on rekindling the joy are spot on. It was good that you got to visit your family and New England too. You could have passed by our place for a driving break. ;-)

  51. Pingback: Really needs to be rekindled in our hearts. | Transient Reflections

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