Here in a city on the Great Lakes, spring is slow to arrive. Even so, buds are beginning to open revealing colorful blossoms that proclaim Spring is HERE! After a long, cold, seemingly endless winter, signs of life, rebirth and growth are everywhere. The days are getting longer and we have all but forgotten the snow of a few weeks ago. The birds, too, are returning from their winter migrations, always a welcome sight . . . and sound. This is the first American Goldfinch I’ve seen this year, and then only as I scrambled through brush and briar in search of new sites and treasures. Its bright yellow plumage, a spring-time and early summer phenomenon during the mating season, is but another indication of new life and color emerging from the drabness we see and feel by the end of winter. Yes, I am grateful for spring!
Sizing up the distance to the dangling bird food above.
He begins his ascent.
He meets with the impenetrable obstacle!
Not to fear! He knows where the accessible food is!
Hmmm…. Never encountered a bird at the bird feeder before.
He must check this out.
Looks like there is plenty of room for both, so he goes for it.
*&^%$ Mourning Doves! He’ll give the dangling bird food another shot.
As you may have realized, I chose to step away from a regular blogging routine while I finish up my last year (grueling year) of school. Despite my absence from this page however, I find reasons to express gratitude every day. A couple of days ago I saw this squirrel scampering about looking for food. He provided my husband and me with a good fifteen minutes of humor, so much so that we laughed till the tears flowed. A little humor does so much to lift our spirits, especially during these cold winter days. I am grateful for humor, especially the natural, unexpected humor that shows up when we least expect it! Enjoy!
I know I’ve said this before, and I’ve posted this photo a time or two–whether here or on another blog I cannot remember–but in light of the tragedy of a few short days ago, I am reminded yet again of the sanctity of family. I love my children and grandchildren. I love each of the partners my children chose to live their lives with. I love the memories, joyful and painful, of all the events that soldered us together as a family. I love that today, at this moment, my family is intact. Too many families have had their lives ripped apart by the senseless tragedy in Connecticut. Children, parents, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, beloved teachers, heroes and villain were tragically taken from us in an instant. My heart is weighted with sadness as I think of those many who are left with empty arms who must find a way to go on. Prayers and sympathy do not seem to be enough. The desire to ease the pain of those who lost so much renders feelings of helplessness that I cannot do more. But, as inadequate as it seems to me in this moment, I do pray. I pray for their comfort, their eventual return to sanity albeit a sanity forever changed. May God sustain them and comfort them now. They loved and adored their families as I do mine. The tragedy reminds me that none of us knows when one or more of our loved ones can be snatched from us, even in the safest of places. I am grateful for my children and their children and for children yet to be born.
Richard and I love to stroll along wooded paths enjoying nature at its most pristine . . . or at least as pristine as we can get in this urbanized world with designated parklands laced with maintained pathways throughout. Nonetheless, those pathways allow us to step out of our hectic-paced technological jungles into a world of fresh air, arching trees and a buzz of natural activity that provides a feast for our eyes and music for our hearing. Even when I wander alone along the paths, my flagging, fatigued spirit is refreshed. Not all pathways are that refreshing, but all seem to offer newness, possibilities, growth, and expectation. Having walked many paths in nature and in life, I have come to welcome the newness of what lies ahead, whether it be a cup of hot chocolate by a roaring fire at the end of the trail, or a new community or adventure in life. Yes, I am grateful for paths.
Tuesdays are Senior Days at the Holden Arboretum in Kirkland, OH, USA. That means that Richard and I are admitted free of charge. The Holden Arboretum is a 3,600 acre nature sanctuary with 20 miles of trails through garden, bogs and forests, making it one of the largest arboreta in the US. Holden is a haven for bird watchers, gardeners, hikers, photographers and nature enthusiasts. They have an extensive education program and library that supports research, conservation efforts, and educational programs for all kinds of groups. This is a place that inspires me and brings enjoyment as I walk along its trails, learn about bogs, gather gardening hints and other information that will help me as I plan our home gardens. But most of all I love to stroll through the large butterfly garden, or sit on a bench nestled under a tree beside Blueberry Pond as I meditate about the wonders of creation. It is a wonderful place to visit, and we do so regularly. I am grateful for The Holden Arboretum.
I’ve probably expressed gratitude for birds before, but the fact of the matter is I can’t get enough of them. I have become a bona fide bird watcher! Their plumage, their song, their playfulness . . . and at times oneriness, makes bird watching a great way to while away the hours. I am grateful for the enjoyment that birds bring to my days.
Recently we had the opportunity to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. This was a wonderful experience as we wandered from display to display, tapping our feet to the music, at times singing along (lots of times, actually), and remembering where we were, who we were with, etc. when we first heard “that” song on the radio. The history of rock and roll music coincides with the history of my life. This particular museum is contemporary and fun! All museums however, reveal information about how people lived, the overriding philosophies of the times, and contribute to our knowledge of generations leading up to ours, including our generation. Our grandson Jacob and his friend RJ were with us. At times I caught them standing a bit afar, sly grins on their faces as they watched “Bubbe and Zayde” get caught up in the memories of the 50′s, 60′s, 70′s, etc. Someday when they are middle aged, they too will be able to visit museums that help them recall times of their lives. And they will continue to visit museums that help them better understand their parents, grandparents, and more. Museums are wonderful places to visit, and to learn. I am grateful for museums!
Genevieve . . . she has captured my heart!