Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Book Worth Waiting For...

My hands were trembling when I received the book from Ria last week. And that's not because the book was thick and heavy.

FINALLY, I got my hands on Dr Chua's new book, "Singapore's Splendour - Life on the Edge".

For the past one year, I had been waiting and waiting and waiting and... ok, you got the drift...

So you can imagine I could hardly contain the excitement bursting inside me as I got the book from Ria. If you are reading this, thanks Dr Chua for the book, and thanks Ria for providing the delivery service :P

Simply couldn't wait till I got home, I eagerly flipped through the pages.

Immediately, a splash of colours greeted me.

Anemones, sponges, nudibranchs, crabs, shells, hard corals, soft corals, fishes, seagrasses... you name it!

Didn't want to keep Ria waiting as we had other business to discuss, I reluctantly put it down. But after the discussion on my way back home, I was there flipping and reading on the MRT again!

Memories flashed through my mind as I flipped from page to page... That's the lobster we found at St John's, the Phyllidia ocellata at Jong, the Luidia Maculata at Sekudu, the Melo melo at BB... and hey! That's me wearing that ridiculous purple cap during one of our first few Semakau walks...

No offense, Luan Keng, I love the buttons, the t-shirts... and everything else... but the purple cap??!!???!!! I can only say I'm glad we are not wearing it now :P

WAHAHHAHAHahahaaaaa

Yah, there's even a tiny picture of me in the book. Could hardly recognise myself if not for the purple cap (here I go again...)

But shamelessly, I will say that I'm happy to appear in such a wonderful book.

And I am also really glad that I was able contribute a tiny bit as a hunter seeker during the wildfilms trips.

While the wild things featured in this book are Singapore's splendour, the book itself is a gem among nature books!

But frankly it's not just about the beautiful photos and lovely stories... It's the love for nature, and the spirit of volunteerism.

Read the book, and you couldn't help but feel the writer's love for nature, and the spirit of volunteering for nature in the writer and those featured in the stories.

Love for nature is like the heart, while the spirit of volunteering for nature is the soul. Without the heart and soul, the volunteers will be like talking zombies. Have you encountered nature guides who rattled off scientific textbook facts, oblivious to visitors who totally "catch no ball"? Or nature photographers doing things that might endanger the lives of the wildlife they were photographing?

Not that I'm some really seasoned volunteer since I only got myself involved like one-and-a-half years ago...

But despite the fact that this is such a thick book and the language sounds a bit chim sometimes, it really goes back to the basics of appreciating and caring for the little wild things left in Singapore compared to the glorious days of our forefathers.

If only every Singaporean can find time to read this book, to experience the overflowing passion for nature, and perhaps to rethink about how we had been mistreating nature, taking it for granted...

If only every nature volunteer can find time to read this book, to recharge your "batteries", and relive the wonderful memories of time spent with nature...

Thanks, Dr Chua, for coming up with such a wonderful book.

But... What's next? Ria, I'm still waiting for your book... :P

Note: More information about Dr Chua's book can be found at his website.

2 comments:

Ray said...

Ron,
Thanks for the lovely comments and I am glad that the book touched your heart. The book hopes to connect to readers and make them proud guardians of the precious little we still have left. I am glad that you have offered your precious time to be part of the crew. I remain eternally grateful to you and to the many dedicated to the cause. Keep it up.
Dr Chua

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

Thaks Dr Chua :)