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

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Words for Wednesday: dancing with daffodils

blogIMG_7336Some spring-like weather boosts my spirit and makes my heart and mind do a little happy dance.

It appears Spring has finally descended on my neck of the woods, the one where Ol’ Man Winter hung on by his icy claws until the bitter end.

Sunshine. Warmer temperatures. Blue skies. And with them, green grass begins to emerge adding a touch of color to the far-too-long-barren landscape around my home.  

Then….pop, pop, pop. The daffodils and heavenly-scented hyacinths awaken from their slumber providing spots of yellow, purple, and pink. 

It’s Spring! And I feel like dancing with the daffodils as they sway in the breeze. As I dance, I spy it – the first dandelion of the season. Its sunny yellow face doesn’t disappoint me even though some consider dandy a weed. No, instead it adds to the pleasure I feel now as I bid adieu to winter and welcome spring.

Those perky daffodils remind me of the well-known poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,  written by William Wordsworth (English poet, 1770-1850):

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” ~ Luther Burbank

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: do a 180

gray concrete road surrounded by green grass

Photo by Bruno Glu00e4tsch on Pexels.com

When life turns negative, it helps to do a 180. Turn it around by focusing on the positive. An old song sung by Bing Crosby may come to mind at those words:  “You’ve got to accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative; latch on to the affirmative; don’t mess with Mister In-Between.”

Those words ring true, don’t they? When things go awry, plans don’t come to fruition, difficult circumstances threaten to rain on our parades, it doesn’t help to go down the gloomy path of negativity.

It’s one of the things my ladies Bible study is working on this week in our quest for contentment. We’re making lists of all the positive aspects of our lives (and there are so many), but we’re also making lists of the negative ones as well. Then we’re determining which one of those negative circumstances is the most troubling and praying over it.

But we’re not just praying for God to take it away. Nope. We’re praying for the Lord to show us how He has been working on that issue and thanking Him for all the ways He helps and sustains us while we maneuver our ways through it.

It’s a different perspective from our usual way of looking at things. Our way of perceiving from our earthly view instead of an eternal one.

While working on my positive list, the lyrics to a song from The Sound of Music kept popping into my mind.

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.” ~ lyrics by Richard Rodgers

What if we only focused on our favorite things? Wouldn’t the world look brighter? Happier? Easier to handle? That glass of water would always look half full instead of half empty.

Reality tells us life isn’t always going to be rosy. But we can have faith to hang in there. We can have faith to pray to the Blessed Controller of all things. We can be thankful, even in the middle of dire situations, because we can hang onto the hand of the Creator and He will help us to weather the storm.

“Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.” ― Roy T. Bennett,

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: success

blogIMG_6991Success! After several unsuccessful attempts to capture the red-headed woodpecker enjoying his snack at our front yard suet cake holder, I finally caught him.

It’s not the best photo as I snapped it in a hurry before he few away in a flurry, but it’s proof that he exists and frequents our place often.

I’m not an expert on identifying birds but I believe he is a Red-bellied Woodpecker. Please correct me if I’m wrong, all you birdwatchers out there.

Feeling a little success is encouraging to me today because I’m still in the throes of rummaging and sorting through the humongous piles of stuff in our unfinished basement. Will my vision of a clean and orderly lower level ever come to fruition?

If you need me, I’ll be in the basement finishing the job I started.

 “Even the woodpecker owes his success to the fact that he uses his head and keeps pecking away until he finishes the job he starts.” ~ Coleman Cox

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: tracks

blogIMG_6776We had a visitor at some point during a snowy night recently because this is what I found on our front porch and sidewalk the next morning.

Tracks. We all leave them. And if you think your life is meaningless, it’s not. What you do or don’t do always affects someone else. Each life matters.

But it’s up to us to make a choice. As we pass through this time called life, will we leave tracks that impact another for good or negative ones? Will our tracks lead someone astray or give them guidance?

Choose your tracks wisely, so someone who comes upon them is encouraged or in some way helped by the path you led.

Make your tracks count.

“No one can pass through life, any more than he can pass through a bit of country, without leaving tracks behind, and those tracks may often be helpful to those coming after him in finding their way.” ~ Robert Baden-Powell

blogIMG_6780©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

 

Words for Wednesday: family birthdays

blogDSCN7386

blogIMG_6834.jpgFebruary is a special month because, here at Mama’s Empty Nest, we celebrate two of our family members’ birthdays. 

So Happy Birthday Month to my son, my last born,  and to my first born grandchild. You both are my February valentines.  And I’m so thankful for you both!

“Have you ever considered that your birthday is truly a day of celebration? A day to recognize the special gift we all received on the day you were born; the gift of you. You are appreciated, you are loved. As another year begins for you may you be filled with the thoughts of how special you are to all of us! Thank you for sharing your life with us.” Robert Rivers 

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: winter won’t last

blogimg_6781The long month of January is finally coming to a close. And as the snow still flies outside my window and temperatures plummet to single digits and below, winter still clutches us in its grasp.

We still have the winter month of February to come and often we get record amounts of snow during those 28 or 29 (if it’s Leap Year) days. And we’ve even been graced with the white stuff throughout March in the past, so…who knows when winter will depart? Not even the groundhog knows for sure.

No doubt spring probably won’t arrive for quite some time yet.

But in the words of our Little One (our oldest grandchild who will soon turn four), “When is it going to be Spring? I miss the grass!”

She likes snow and enjoys playing in it, even begging Papa to let her help shovel the sidewalk, but like the rest of us, she still yearns for sunshine and warmth and color.

“No winter lasts forever. No spring skips its turn.” ~ unknown

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com