A2Z 2021 – Birds – Lark

Featured Photo by Dimitris Vetsikas

  • Physical Description: The horned lark is a small brown bird with a buff chest, a black mask, and a black patch surrounded by pale yellow on its throat. This bird has two small feather crests on either side of the top of its head, giving rise to its name. Larks are small to medium-sized birds, about 8 inches in length, with a wingspan of approximately 12.5 inches. They weigh about 1.5 ounces
  • Geographic Distribution: The horned lark is the only true lark native to North America. It is found from northern Canada and down to the southern United States and Mexico
  • Environment: This bird favors grassy, open plains.
Horned Lark Image Credit: Pinterest

Myths, Folklore, and Cultural Associations

Folklore tells us that the lark sings and flies as close to heaven as possible to demonstrate its joy at being alive, something we evoke when we say that someone is “as happy as a lark.” The collective noun for a group of larks is an “exultation,” a beautiful reminder of the joy associated with this bird.

Larks were once considered game birds, and were eaten as part of luxurious feasts. The cheery French-Canadian folksong “Alouette” is about plucking a lark, a fact that astonishes many people when the words are translated for them.

A “lark is a term for a playful romp or fun activity, often perceived as irresponsible in some way. The word lark is also used to describe a person who functions best when he rises early in the morning and goes to bed early.

The Colorado state bird is the prairie lark bunting, which is actually a member of the sparrow family. The meadowlark, the state bird of Kansas, is not a true lark either; it belongs to the Sturnella genus, which also includes some blackbirds.

Omens and Divinatory Meaning

If you see a lark, it could be telling you to cast off the shackles of responsibility for a bit and go on a figurative lark. Play hooky; visit the zoo, the aquarium, or the museum. Get some ice cream, or treat yourself to a new book and a full-fat latte. Do something out of the ordinary, something you’ve always wanted to do but felt wasn’t dignified enough, or something you couldn’t possibly do because you were too grown up.

The lark can also be telling you to experience more joy in your life. Are you working so hard that you’ve forgotten how to have fun? Think of the image of the skylark, flying as high as it can while singing in sheer exultation. You can figuratively sing out to celebrate the things you love in your life. The lark may be reminding you that you do, in fact, have things to sing about.

Associated Energies: Joy, celebration, playfulness
Associated Season: Summer
Element Associations: Air
Color Association: Brown, beige

REFERENCE: Birds, a Spiritual Field Guide, Explore the Symbology & Significance of These Divine Winged Messengers by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

Reflections

I know the author of this book said that her book wasn’t meant an exhaustive reference, but I realized the focus of her geographic distributions is limited to the North America region often. I know that there are larks all throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

There are so many different types of larks out there. I thought this Magpie looked like a skunk! 🙂

Magpie Lark Image by picman2 from Pixabay

Yes! I’ve been working very hard as of late. My face is breaking out as if I was a teenager again. However I’m planning a trip to the Natural Bridge Caverns with some friends for my birthday in a few weeks. It’s been a long while since I went spelunking in a cave. I’m also looking forward to a live Q&A session with the author of the book, The Midnight Library.

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

Christopher McCandless

I think of how fascinated I am by so many pictures and angles of sunsets and sunrises even though it’s just one sun. In “The Midnight Library”, there’s was a quote about fish that makes me think about how important it is for us to have fresh experiences.

“Fish get depressed when they have a lack of stimulation. A lack of everything. When they are just there, floating in a tank that resembles nothing at all.”

Haig, Matt. The Midnight Library (p. 83). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Maybe the sound of wood larks would help me mediate and relax a bit, before I take on my next assignment. 🙂

A-to-Z Challenge: Undauntable

My alma mater has a well-loved saying: BE AUDACIOUS!

My journey towards becoming undauntable has started with something small. Though it’s a minor change in my lifestyle, it’s something that will definitely test my will power and determination…

COLD SHOWERS!

Imagining what it’d be like to find a sense of respite sitting underneath the waterfall

So you may ask me why in the world would I do that to myself? I want to try an experiment for a few months and see what happens. I was curious after reading a few articles and watching some first hand accounts. I’ve learned about a few benefits to cold showers:

  • Stimulates weight loss
  • Improves immunity
  • Relieves depression
  • Improve skin and shine to lacklustre hair
  • Increase alertness and energy levels
  • Lower stress
  • Better sleep
  • Strengthened exhausted nerves
  • Increase in testosterone
  • Boost recovery after exercise

Has anyone or anyone you’ve known tried this already? What were the results?

Previous Posts in 2019 A to Z Challenge 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

In response to:

#Haibun-Frozen- Tell The Story

One kind word can warm three winter months.

Japanese proverb

Hello everyone! “Tell The Story Challenge” is a tag created by Eclectic Contrarian where the tagger gives his/her nominees a picture to write a tale, story, or poem about it. I’ve been tagged by Rory @ A Guy Called Bloke and K-9 Doodlepip! His funny story is called Box Dancing – The Misunderstanding. I wrote a poem in response to Rory’s image below:

Frozen

Harsh winds of winter-
Her precious vitality
hangs on by a thread

Her vibrant red hues once captivated onlookers but now, she fades into lighter shades of coral as melancholy overwhelms her. She mourns the loss of her friends who grew up with her in the fields. Her tears turn to ice. She is frozen in the moment. Her spirit resigns as the frost takes over her petals. Her head droops as she falls into a deep slumber. The ground attempts to nourish her during this time.

The sun wonders what it would take to solve this conundrum. The sun tries to cheer her up. The sun’s rays tickled the flower. The hairs on her head and stem raise only slightly. Darn, a futile attempt! Onerous though the flower’s life may be, spring is around the corner. Soon, she will see her perennial friends again!

Rejuvenation
takes delicate loving care-
A new dawn awaits

Also in response to:

  • Colleen Tanka Tuesday #119: #Synonyms Only – attract and mystery
  • FOWC with Fandango: Onerous
  • A friend’s message in regards to mental illness awareness below:

I suffer from anxiety and depression I am not ashamed of it anymore and it’s not nice. People don’t believe me when I tell them because I am always happy and laughing round them and try to make others laugh. At times I do struggle. I can be hard to live with or to be around when I get this way and I know it.

I try my best to control it and most of the time I succeed. I manage to get on top of it and control thing’s but at times I break. So if you see me and I am quiet or don’t speak, I’m not upset with you nor have you upset me, I also do not mean to be rude, I may just need a minute to myself or a hug.

So please if you are my friend just bare with me. It’s ok to not be ok, tell someone you’re not ok. It’s ok. Everyone says: “If you need anything, don’t hesitate, I’ll be there for you”… So I’m going to make a bet, without being pessimistic, I wish my friends that you will put this on your wall.
You just have to copy (not share)!!! I want to know who I can count on… And I’m sure it will be less than 25. Write “done” in comments when you do!

It’s Mental Illness Awareness month –
This is for all the people I know suffering too,
Keep strong!

L.L.

I will nominate: Helene @ Willow Poetry, Christine @ Poetry for Healing, Paul @ Parallax for the image below!

Photo Credit: An Angel’s Dream – Saphica8

A Promise to Raise Awareness

TRIGGER WARNING- This blog post and pages it links to contains information about suicide which may be upsetting to some people.

A few weeks ago, I came across Winnie’s post who re-blogged an excellent post, “Before You End Your Life” written by Accidental Blogger. Please read it if the following points apply to you:

Are you at the lowest of your life right now? 
Does everything seems to be falling in front of you?
Have you lost faith in yourself?
Do you feel like taking your own life & end everything? 

After reading Jenna’s riveting post, “Speaking My Truth: Suicide Awareness and Prevention“, I learned that  Nov.17th was National Survivors of Suicide Day aka International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. 

I chatted with her about awareness, and I decided to create a new category on my blog. There are several causes that are close to my heart, but haven’t shared them due to cultural upbringing. Slowly testing new waters here! 

I came across this blog post by Jason Muckley from Poems for Warriors  posted a quote by Maya Angelou that seemed to be a game changer for me.

Between my studies this week, I want to share a few stories like I always do and take the time to reflect on important memories in my life. I’ve worked on this post little by little feeling a lot of things in small doses. Names have been changed. I don’t know if these people know how much they mean to me or how much they have touched my life.  I want to tell you how much I love you. ❤ There’s a ripple effect when someone  commits suicide. Everyone who has known a person who struggled with it will know that feeling. I’ve explored that in my own relationships.

Childhood Crush
“There’s an emergency! Liam passed out in the bathroom!!”

I looked up from my assignment and saw my classmate yelling at our fourth grade teacher pleading for help for his best friend. “No, it couldn’t be.” I was numb and distraught because I harbored a silent crush on Liam ever since I met him. 

Liam didn’t hold back just because I was a girl when we played basketball. He gave it his all and played aggressively on the court which in turn made me a better player. He defended me when some girls decided to pick on me. He was always the cool, confident boy that both girls and guys liked.

I found out that Liam tried to kill himself while taking a restroom break.  Here was a guy who I thought nothing could faze him. His best friend told me that his father recently killed himself, and Liam blamed himself for everything. I felt so fragile knowing that Liam was going through this pain, and I had no idea how to help him. It was the first time I heard of the term suicide.

I was so rattled that I was the last person to finish the writing portion of a standardized test a few weeks later. I was sweating, crying, and could hardly focus on the assigned prompt. The teachers proctoring the exam spoke among themselves. Writing usually came naturally to me, yet it was unbearably difficult that day.

Cousin
I found out my cousin’s girlfriend broke up with him causing a severe depression. He told his mom that he wanted to kill himself. His mom was surprised that her normally happy son felt this way. My aunt took him to a suicidal ideation treatment center & hospital where he stayed for several weeks.

News reached out to the rest of us like a ripple effect. We were all really worried. I grew up with him. I had a blast playing video games with him growing up. When he was finally discharged, he was never quite the same. When I smiled at him during one family reunion, I was grateful that he smiled back.  I hugged him. I was glad he was back.


Colleague
One day I was walking to school, and I noticed several police officers stationed at the apartment adjacent to us. Brilliant math student died by suicide that afternoon. His classmates felt like he had everything going for him, and didn’t understand what happened or why he felt that way. Yet, so much was going on the university campus that year. The student body was in a perpetual state of frenzy. Students were protesting about tuition hikes and slept outside to make a statement. Political climate was toxic at the time.


Friend
“Trick or treat!” My friend opened the door and showed off her skeleton makeup. She had invited me over for a small Halloween get together one year. 

When I first met her, she had this awesome rocker chick vibe. Her witty remarks easily made me laugh. Her humor was tinged with a sharp intelligence. I was fascinated by her essence and the impressive insights she shared in class. Her poetry was exquisite and the structure of them was captivating! I admired her boldness and outspokenness.

One day at 3 am, she sent me a chilling message informing me that she was in the hospital because she attempted suicide and thanked me for being a good friend. She now works for Americorp helping kids, published a book, won a few awards, and lives a life with purpose and gratitude. I’m so proud of her.

Suicide can affect anyone from any background at any time in his or her life.
You are not weak when you are asking for help.


If you need help, please call or text this number
 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Line.