Words for Wednesday: heavenly scent

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I bring this offering to you today to brighten your world.

Several of these bloom right off my front porch.

They are of the most beautiful bluish purple persuasion.

They are one of the reasons I welcome the season called spring.

Those delicate petals exude the most luxurious scent.

And I wish you could delight in their delicious aroma.

They are hyacinths. One of my favorite spring time flowers.

“Man needs bread and hyacinths: one to feed the body, and one to feed the soul.” ~ Sharon Creech

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

Words for Wednesday: desert adventure

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My brother-in-law leading us on an adventure

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That view!

 

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Arizona sunshine and beauty

“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies, and adopting new viewpoints.”  ~ Wilferd Peterson

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

Words for Wednesday: timeless

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“To provide meaningful architecture is not to parody history but to articulate it.” ~ Daniel Libeskind

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“Architecture is not about space but about time.” ~  Vito Acconel

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“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.”  ~  Frank Gehry

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: Spring by Tiffany

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Tiffany glass art @ Carnegie Museum of Art

I’m longing for spring. I’m longing for color in my world. 

Green. In the expanse of grass on our lawn. In the leaves budding forth on the trees.

Purple. In the first crocuses of the season that pop up through the soil.

Yellow. In the daffodils that peek their sunny faces through the shrubs around our house.

Pink. In the aromatic hyacinths that make the air smell so sweet.

Red. In the perky tulips that make me smile.

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Tiffany glass art @ Carnegie Museum of Art

And if spring won’t cooperate and arrive soon, I’ll have to find those colors in these photos of beautiful Tiffany glass artwork on display at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

For me, they are a complete picture of spring.

“Some days seem to fit together like a stained glass window. A hundred little pieces of different color and mood that, when combined, create a complete picture.” ~ Maggie Stiefvater

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

Words for Wednesday: Inspiration

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Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems @ Carnegie Museum of Natural History

On our recent jaunt to the city to escape the throes of winter doldrums and cabin fever, Papa and I visited the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Art. You can read about that in yesterday’s post.

I’ve learned over the years that I am a very visual person. Pictures, photographs, images often provide inspiration for me. So when my visual world is colorless and drab (like it is now), creativity sparks just don’t fire in my brain.

That changed once I stepped into this mirrored room in the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems at the Carnegie museum.  Perched on glass shelves inside of octagonal-shaped, glass curios lined up and reflected by lights and wall-to-wall mirrors, the gems and minerals displayed there lit up my brain like a Christmas tree.

blogIMG_0535blogIMG_0536blogIMG_0538I wanted to stay in that room for a long time just gazing at the astonishing beauty of it all and capturing photos with my camera.  The optical illusion of it all felt like you were wandering through a maze, making you, perhaps, feel a bit like Alice trapped in the looking glass.

Glimmer, shimmer, and magical, it was almost like a siren song, calling out to me and uplifting my weary, dreary spirit.

Happiness is where you find it. Sometimes you just have to look for it. And for me, I found it here.

“There are little gems around us that can hold glimmers of inspiration.” ~ Richelle Mead

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: the mountain

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Camp on the trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro

When a mountain towers over us, some of us find ourselves immovable. Others are motivated to climb that mountain to the very top and shout, “I did it!”

Some of us are challenged by what seems a daunting task. Others dig down deep, find inspiration and motivation to keep moving onward and upward.

“Mountains know secrets we need to learn. That it might take time, it might be hard, but if you just hold on long enough, you will find the strength to rise up.”  ~ Tyler Knott

If you didn’t get a chance to read my oldest daughter’s story about developing perseverance while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro five years ago, please click here.

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Getting a little closer

Today I’m sharing some of her photos from that amazing journey she took – the one which not only challenged her physically but mentally as well. I’m proud to say she tackled that mountain both ways and found inner strength while doing so.

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Nearing the summit at daybreak

I hope you also can face whatever challenge before you, tackle your own mountains, and reach the rewarding summit.

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The summit

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.”~ Barry Finlay

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: The Reason

blogIMG_1523This beautiful stained glass window portrays the story of the birth of Jesus Christ from one visit to another.

The first visit was from an angel telling the virgin Mary she would experience a miraculous birth, the birth of a Savior. The last visit was a couple of years later when Wise Men followed a new and bright star in the sky to visit the Christ Child bringing him gifts.

If you don’t know this amazing story, I hope you can find a Bible to read the narrative. Or you can just search the internet for one of the Biblical accounts. Look up “Luke 1:26 through Luke 2:30.”

My hope is that if you’ve never heard about Jesus, who He is, how He was born, and for what purpose, you will understand the meaning of this photo after you’ve read or heard that passage of Scripture.  It’s why we, who are Christians, celebrate this holiday named Christmas.  

For those of you who know the Nativity Story, may you pause in all your busyness to remember what this season is truly intended for – to commemorate the birth of a Savior, whose name is Jesus Christ, Son of God (His divinity) yet Son of Man (His humanity).

“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: dear Santa

blogIMG_0023.jpgA trip to a nearby farm to choose a real Christmas tree for daughter and granddaughter also provided a fun visit to see Santa Claus. And an opportunity to write him a Christmas letter. blogIMG_0053

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blogIMG_0061Our little one truly has been very good this year so I imagine those special wishes she whispered to Santa just might be fulfilled.

“Dear Santa, I hope you and your elves been very busy, because I’ve been very good.” ~ unknown

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: Mackinac Island horses

blogIMG_9554They are everywhere you look on Mackinac Island – the powerful, strong horses. They pull buggies loaded with sightseers; wagons loaded with supplies; shuttle carriages with hotel guests settled behind glass; they even haul the street cleaner.

Take a look at the various shots I captured of these beautiful creatures hard at work during our autumn journey to this quaint and picturesque island in Lake Huron, Michigan.

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“Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,

Friendship without envy,

Or beauty without vanity?

Here, where grace is served with muscle

And strength by gentleness confined…” 

~ Ronald Duncan, “The Horse,” 1954

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: forcynthia

blogIMG_7647You read that title correctly. No, I did not make a typographical error there. I didn’t misspell the word forsythia, I truly meant to post forcynthia.

What in the world? you may ask.  As she nears that ripe age of 65 is she starting to lose her faculties? Or is it simply that the appearance of sunshine and spring-like weather addled her brain? Is she giddy with spring-time bliss?

To answer those questions: No, I don’t think I’m losing my almost-65-year-old mind. No, my brain isn’t addled…at least not yet. And maybe, yes, I could be giddy with spring-time bliss.

But the most accurate answer is there is a story behind the title of today’s post and I am going to share it with you.

In our yard there is one forsythia bush. It has been planted in the same spot for several years now – almost 10 this summer – and this is the year it has bloomed its best. The bush exists for one specific reason; it was a gift to me because of a childhood story I once shared with a friend.

I’ve always loved seeing forsythia bushes blooming their golden yellow, delicate, skinny petaled flowers clustered on tall spires in spring. Forsythia are so cheerful to view, even if some folks consider them invasive as they can grow quite large and can take over an area of landscaping.

But to me, they are special and I’m going to tell you why.

Unless you know me personally, you do not know that my given name is actually Cynthia. It’s right there, written on my birth certificate although the only person to call me by that name was my mother – when she was angry with me.

I’m more known for the nickname associated with Cynthia – Cindy.  But my birth name is Cynthia, a name derived from Greek, another name for Artemis, the mythological goddess of the moon. But even from my earliest memory, I knew my ‘real’ name was Cynthia and that I certainly was not a goddess.

As a youngster, every time I heard my parents discussing those bushes that appeared in spring with their bright sunshine-color blooms as forsythia, I honestly thought they were saying “for Cynthia.” So at some point in my childhood, I claimed those plants as my own. And when they bloomed, they were for me – for Cynthia.

I related this silly, little story once to a friend and it made her chuckle. But she remembered my tale. Not quite 10 years ago, my father passed away. The loss was difficult for me as he was the last remaining parent either my husband or I had. Losing Dad came right on the cusp of empty nest hood too, so my emotions were kind of a mess.

Imagine the joy it brought me when the friend gave me a gift to express her condolences at my father’s passing. The gift was a small forsythia bush which she spent a good deal of time searching for.

blogIMG_7640A gift to bless my heart. This Cynthia. This Cynthia who loves forsythia. This Cynthia who still thinks of this particular spring bloom as exclusively mine – my forcynthia.

And my forcynthia still blesses me each time I look at it, but especially in spring time. And that joy of remembering my parents, remembering that little girl who loved her parents so dearly and also her forcynthia stays with me.

Sometimes joy comes in yellow.

“Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Pure, undiluted, untouched joy.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com