Hope After a Destruction

“Standing Strong”. Location: Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Image by Erlyn Olivia.

In celebration of the Thursday Tree Love, I picked this picture that I took 2 years ago during my trip to the city of Banda Aceh, located on the northern tip of the Sumatra Island in Indonesia. I don’t expect anyone to recognize the name Banda Aceh or the province of Aceh, but perhaps some people remember. This city became the attention of the whole world in December 2004 when the biggest tsunami that happened during this modern world hit Aceh. I underlined modern world because history has recorded bigger tsunamis previously but none had shocked the world the way tsunami 2004 did, thanks to the modern technology.

If you look at the vast openness beyond the tree, you can kind of see the open sea. It’s the Indian Ocean. It looked calm in this picture, even though it was a high tide due to the brewing storm. The tsunami came from that direction and the location where I took the picture was the first place hit.

No need to feel sorry for the tree because I know for sure this tree grew post tsunami. I know because half of Banda Aceh was gone, became flat. Thus, this tree probably got its chance to grow because of tsunami. Looking at it, it is a symbol of hope, a hope for a better future, a sign that life continues. Though I enjoyed taking pictures of the tree, the open ocean, the storm clouds, I also experienced mixed feelings of awe, sad, and a bit nervous. I imagined being there on that day and could feel the uneasiness even more. What came to the mind of people standing on this beach when seeing those big waves coming towards them?

Enough with the images of the past, I offer a haiku to remember December 2004 and the lives gone. May they continue to rest in peace.

a wrath in its path

water’s power came crushing

broke the day’s order

Never forget that live always goes on. Signs of life are around us, even when we are experiencing destruction or devastation in the form of tsunami, forest fires, earthquakes, or even pandemic, and let’s celebrate them too. To the tree of live, of hope, may you always grow stronger.


Thursday Tree Love April 23, 2011 with Parul Thakur. Please visit her blog to see more images of trees from all over the world.

#NaPoWriMo2021 – Day 23

Resilience (Tree Talk: Ep 4)

“Fortress”. Location: Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia. Image is owned by author of this blog, Erlyn Olivia

In my heart

I know it is time

for next steps

a moment of silence to

catch breath, gather thoughts, stillness –

show must continue

doubt, regret

they come, no ending

let rain pours

why not befriend them – sometimes

we come to unpaved roads, but

treading through we must


#NaPoWriMo2021 – second entry for Day 7 (a shadorma)

Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #220 – a shadorma

#ThursdayTreeLove – 107

#TreeTalkSeries – Episode 4

Solitary (Tree Talk: Ep 3)

“Solitary” Location: Bonn, Germany. Image belongs to Erlyn Olivia, owner of this blog

in solitary

solemnly greeting shadows

under the sun’s eyes

in between those tall brown trees

a confined heart tries to hide


Celebrate Thursday Tree Love with us, a community of people who love and appreciate trees.

Also, accompanying the picture is a poem in tanka form and responding to FOWC – Solitary