The blog challenge this week has asked us to share our favorite single photo of the year.
This is mine.
Eight reasons as to why I chose this photo (this also counts as my 2017 in Review post):
- I like the vibrant colors
- Like the texture
- This photo was taken on the little patio table that holds my journal and bevs. A special place for me (when the weather permits) to get sun, write, think, etc. Our black Lab also loves this time out there. He loves when we toss a ball or a stone and he chases the shadow of the item. Just the other day he was wagging his tail (all excited) when he saw me grab my journal and reach for the door (like a cat hearing the can opener) – however, I turned back inside because it was just a little too frigid with arctic air this week. But he did get a few minutes out there.
- Another reason I like this pic has to do with the sheriff art. I bought the sheriff wood painting because I liked the mood of the man and the wood. I was also reading Louis L’Amour at the time – after hearing about L’Amour since 1994 – 2017 was the year to finally dig the spurs into some of his paperbacks. I am not really a country gal (Kenny Chesney’s music doesn’t always count) but I am a fan of good writing and some of L’Amour’s beautiful paragraphs are still with me. The sheriff art piece does not feel like a piece I will keep long-term, I might, but if the right person comes along and wants it – I would gift it to them.
- The above photo also reminds me that birds have been special to me this year. Brought me comfort from grief. Many readers know that my nephew passed away in February 2017.
Sometimes when I see birds soar, I feel his essence. It has waned now, but the birds and grief relief started the day after his funeral. We were visiting Niagara Falls and there were a few birds flying near the rapids. One bird soared, in a captivating way- kept doing his own thing – sometimes going off alone and swerving back – gliding – soaring free. Maybe all that grief energy allows the mind to get lost in things more, but I needed to feel that bird glide that day.
And Haystak’s Sail On song (here) played in my mind:
“Nothin’s guaranteed, take advantage
of today, ’cause you never know when
your life will be taken away.
And when I go, just let me slide
across the sky.
Because you gotta know, baby, even
Just imagine me on streets of gold,
Think of it like this: daddy called me
I ain’t gone, I’m right here you just
can’t see me.
But we can still talk, why you think I
made them CD’s?
I’m as free as a bird, now.
And this bird you cannot change.
- Now back to the photo. When I took the photo of those little craft birdies, it reminded me of so many bloggers. It would take too long to link the various bird posts I have enjoyed this year, but some bloggers have bird photographs and insightful posts that are masterful works of art. They allow us to see our avian friends in ways we would never be able to see otherwise. I am very grateful that through their lens I can see such beauty and wonder. The blogging community has helped me appreciate birds more and more each year. In fact, that leads to the next reason I like this photo…
- I wrote a book this year that had more than 40 bird-themed poems: Avian Friends (here). It was an unplanned project and years ago if you would have asked me if I’d ever write a book with bird poems I would have laughed! And now here it is. I have not had the chance to promo it yet (in time, in time…) and so for now I just enjoy the delightful experience or putting it together. Here is one of my favorite poems from Avian Friends:
beneath my feet
ice cracklin’ below
red, freezing nose
hoodie pulled close
waiting for the dog to get relief
what did I see?
bright red cardinal
looking at me –
such a treat
majestic red crest
on the fence for a rest
I was enjoying
this color abrupt
until my pup
figured out what was up
with a “Woof,” and wag of the tail
he chased away
the cardinal male
Crunching our way back home
skills of the Master Artist were shown
colorful avian beauty
8. Another reason I chose the bird photo as my favorite of 2017 had to do with the community we see with birds. Perhaps the little yellow one is teaching, leading, or giving some kind of talk. The other three – are not all even in their row and so we can feel some casual discussion or relaxed listening. Or is it a skit?
That same community sharing is felt with online sharing and Pommepal said it just right: “I consider blogging to be a very positive, global activity. Long may it continue.”
Side note: If you are relaxing the day away and want to peruse a few more blog posts , here are a few posts to peek at:
Bushboy’s “Something happened in 2017”: Here
#Modes of Flight (themofman’s blog) DocumentaryPhotography: Here
Reena Saxena’s post about New Year’s Resolutions: Here
let me wrap up with another poem from Avian Friends (there are more than 40 poems in that little book- and I will share more about at another point) but this next poem might encourage someone – because it is about a time when I opened the back door
– in winter –
and hope flew in.
I stopped what I was doing to just enjoy the unexpected sounds of birds that cold late-winter day. Pausing to be — and able to feel moved by the return of birds – priceless.
Wellness is the sum of many parts and “hope can fly your way” from the smallest of things – so be sure to stay open to it.
Stood and listened
to birds tweet and whistle
had breakfast to make
day to begin
stuff to shuffle
in winter chill
at the back door
harmony stopped me
hope flew in
melodious infusing during a winter chill
trees still bare
yet birds were there
momentary loss of care
soon to part ways
winter hard exiting
more birds returning
spring soon erupting
green grass, pleasant breeze, flowers, butterflies, bees
I shut the door
musical deliverance once more
Now if that didn’t offer encouragement, maybe this next verse will ((and PLEASE skip this part if Bible verses are not your thing)) – but I heard a Lauren Daigle song and the words lingered – – and maybe someone needs to keep this in mind as 2018 rolls in: “…wait upon the Lord to renew strength; he will help you mount up with wings as eagles; you shall run, not be weary; you shall walk, and not faint.”
Happy New Year and thanks for reading.