A2Z 2021 – Birds – Dove

Featured photo by Sylvia Maulding

  • Physical Description: Doves are medium-sized birds with short stout bodies, short necks, and short beaks. Size varies according to the species as does coloring. The mourning dove, the most common species in North America, measures about 11 inches long, with a wingspan of 18 inches and a weight of approximately 5 ounces.
  • Geographic Distribution: Doves are found worldwide except in the high Arctic, Antarctica, the Sahara Desert, and other harsh places. most live in tropical or subtropical climates.
  • Environment: Doves prefer woodlands, forested areas, and fields.

Myths Folklore, and Cultural Associations

Stereotypically, the dove is portrayed as white and gentle, sweet, and loving. The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christian iconography. Some iconographers show Mary being blessed by a dove at the moment of Annunciation, and Jesus was blessed by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove at his baptism. The dove is said to be so pure that it is the one form into which Satan cannot transform himself. Doves and pigeons were the only birds suitable for sacrifice by the Hebrews, as stated in Leviticus 1:14. the dove appears as a symbol of purity on the Holy Grail in Malory’s Morte d’Arthur. In Muslim lore, a dove murmured the words of God into the ear of Muhammad.

Today the dove is a symbol of peace, often portrayed with an olive branch in its mouth. This iconography is taken from the story of Noah releasing the bird to bring back proof that there was land again somewhere and that the floodwaters were receding. The dove is also seen as representing love; it was a symbol of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, and of Venus her Roman counterpart. Lovers are said to “bill and coo” like doves. The dove is a monogamous bird, which may be the source of its connection with romantic and eternal love.

In Slavic folklore, doves were believed to conduct the souls of the dead to heaven. For the Celts, the mournful call of a dove meant the peaceful passing of someone.

Omens and Divinatory Meaning

Doves call you to regain your serenity. Do you feel off balance, or out of step with the world? Are you harried or frazzled? The dove reminds you to take a deep breath and release all your tension and stress.

The dove also urges you to look at your relationships with your partner(s), romantic, work related, or otherwise. Are you in harmony with them? Is there friction? Reach out and smooth over any rough spots. Seeing a dove may be an omen of a new relationship, or a shift in an existing one.

Doves are associated with purity and innocence. Do you feel as if life has jaded you? Try to recapture a sense of innocence, of wonder and love for the world around you. Operating constantly with a cynical worldview is exhausting. In a situation that is frustrating or upsetting to you, a dove may be encouraging you to wipe the slate clean and start again.

As a symbol of the holy Spirit, the dove is associated with the mystical fifth element of spirit. Let you sighting of a dove remind you to reconnect with the spiritual aspect of your life; accept it as a blessing.

Associated energies: Peace love, serenity, blessing, patience, grace, hope, marital happiness, purity
Associated seasons: Year round
Element associations: Air, water, earth
Color Associations: White, ivory, buff, brown, grey

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

Reflections

Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay

“A dove struggling in a storm grows stronger than an eagle soaring in sunshine.”

― Matshona Dhliwayo

This quote makes me reflect on how adversity can either make you or break you. It also makes me think of the beguiling saying, “The weak shall lead the strong.” The eagle is such a powerful bird and yet bald eagles for instance have been under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Doves are also in danger from hunters who hunt them for sport. It’ll be a scary day when they rise up and attack back.

“When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence…”

– J.B. Phillips, a British Bible translator, translates James 1:2-5

What does endurance look like?

That past snow storm in February made me wonder how the wildlife was going to survive. I think those from Canada or Norway have looked our situation and said, “That did NOT look like a lot of snow. Negative degree weather during the winter is rather normal for us.” 🙂 Many people have died due to the extremity of conditions they were not used to in my area. Others have demonstrated their resiliency and were resourceful, adapted, and survived the ordeal. As I’m typing this though, I hear the birds chirping outside my window and the previously dead trees sprouted new leaves. The Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research was able to rescue the turtles. Sometimes, we need a little help from each other.

The other day I received a comment a collared doves, and I was so curious to listen to them. They have such a calming coo. With all the things going on in the world and my busy schedule, this is just a nice step away from any sort of stress build up!

Blogging Insights – My Blog for 2021

Hey everyone and hello 2021! I’m pleased that my first post for 2021 is inspired by Dr. Tanya’s “Blogging Insights” tag on her blog Salted Caramel.

Dr. Tanya’s prompt – Your blog in 2021

TODAY’S QUESTIONS

How do you see your blog in 2021? What are your hopes and aspirations for your blog this year?

MY ANSWERS

Last year, I started off with a series of haiku’s thinking that’s all I could do in my time constraints, but then I longed for more variety. I was unorganized and spontaneous responding to prompts of interest, and I didn’t have a system on how I went about my posts. I felt okay doing that since my blog is for fun, but I also felt guilty since my readers don’t know when I’m posting or coming back from hiatus.

I have another separate blog for school & project management- related things at https://fissionpm.art.blog/. My tagline was “The Art of Managing Chaos” and well… 2020 was such a chaotic year that I didn’t spend much time there. Part of me wonders if I want to integrate it with this one. I may just want to share my challenges in my master’s program and fascinating articles in the business and technology innovation industry on that one.

Time Management

I recently purchased a planner which I hope will give more structure to my time. It’s such a beautiful planner! I’ll blog about it sometime since I’ve used various planners throughout my life. Some were effective and others were not. It is my hope to write my topic ideas on various days and allot dedicated time where I focus on blogging efforts instead of trying to multi-task.

Promotion

I hope to “promote” my blog more this year on Twitter where my presence is almost non-existent, Instagram where you get a glimpse of my personal life, or Facebook…(maybe?). I put promote in quotations because I think I just want to open a discussion with others rather than advertise.

It honestly worries me because I feel like I would be integrating all of my identities when it might be premature. Maybe, I’m cautious of people seeing all these facets to me, and I’m aware of inherent risks that come with being more public.

Have you guys ever seen this meme where one person features a different portrait image of themselves according to which platform they’re on? People show what they want to reveal about themselves.

Dolly Parton inspired the “LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder” meme, “Get You a Woman Who Can Do It All”

When I first started, I was pretty much anonymous and I liked it like that. I was just another fish in the ocean. WordPress is my oasis. Most people from my personal life, while they are aware that I blog, I don’t think they read my blog. If I want to promote my blog, maybe I’ll just start by setting up separate social media accounts for my blog itself.

Content

I would like to plan for the A-Z challenge this year with a focus area on the symbolism behind different kinds of birds. While I was purging my room from papers, I came across old school work that I would love to delve into further and reflect upon them.

While I still plan on responding to various prompts that bloggers share (SoCs, FOWC, VJWC, Saturday Symphonies, Tanka Tuesdays, Paint-Chip Poetry, 6 sentence stories…), I had this idea of loosely categorizing my posts for each day of the week.

  • Monday Merchandise – Chat & learn about a product I’m currently using or have used in the past
  • Tasty Tuesdays – Share food pictures or recipes that inspire me to explore
  • 1Liner Wednesdays – Share an inspiring or funny one liner
  • Thursday Trivia & Taboo – Share a quote from one of the books I’m reading in my book club or one on my shelves and explore some themes and questions
  • Friday Flowers – Sharing my beautiful floral snapshots
  • Saturday Shocks – Reflect on some YouTube videos & articles of other people’s culture shocks
  • Sunday Spa – Self-care, affirmations, healthy habits, my coloring pages

Though, there certainly will be outliers. I may not hit all of these within a week, but I’ll try to go for quality over quantity. I’ll just go with the flow and not worry about it too much!

As always, I look forward to reading to what you have to share! Happy blogging!

Santa’s Chat with Buddha

Stockings at the Krispy Kreme: What should Santa stuff the stockings with this year?

SANTA: Ho, ho, ho! Why, hello Gautama Buddha! What a pleasant surprise! I see you have a stocking here!

BUDDHA: Yes, well… there’s a first time for everything. 🙂 Health is the greatest gift, contentment is the greatest wealth, faithfulness is the best relationship. However… I have a special request this year!

SANTA: Normally you request nothing for the holidays but kindness! You’re a tough cookie for the elves to figure out what to create for you. You’ve been a good man, Gautama! What is your wish?

BUDDHA: As you well know, there have been many forest fires plaguing the world this year.

SANTA: Yes, yes – it’s rather unfortunate. Mother Earth is truly hurting right now.

BUDDHA: Well, I would love to plant extra Bodhi trees this year with the hope that it may provide an enlightening experience for those that are within its presence as it has done for me. Some Bodhi seeds or saplings would be wonderful. My monastic order will be helping me taking care of them. When the trees are ready, we will partner with local businesses and people in the community and start a mission to plant them.

SANTA: What a fantastic wish! Mother Earth will be shedding tears of joy to nourish them once their planted. We’ll see what I can do.

BUDDHA: Thank you kindly, Santa!

SANTA: No problem! Magical seeds are easy peasy and totally within my scope. 😉

Image Credit: Lotus Wei

In response to:

  • The Daily Spur: Wish

Once Upon a Time…

Once upon a time, there was a royal newlywed who lived in a castle nestled in the forest nearby a glistening lake. The beloved couple ruled over the kingdom to the best of their ability honoring the previous leaders who recently passed away. The king and queen were deeply in love, but for reasons unexplained, they had difficulty bearing children.

Image Credit: Pixabay

They decided to visit a village of fairies who lived within a grove of jacaranda trees near a majestic waterfall. There was one famed fairy, in particular, who could help them with their barrenness, and her name was Florence.

The royal couple packed for food and supplies for a day’s trek, saddled their horses, and ventured out into the forest. The cool breeze whipped around them as their steeds galloped onto the soft ground. They smiled at each other the moment they listened to the resounding sound of the waterfall swishing on the boulders.

The jacaranda trees were a sight to behold! Lavender blossoms gently fell about them as the fairies warmly greeted the king and queen. One of the fairies welcomed the couple into her home, and put on the tea kettle. “How can we help you?”

Blessed by her hospitality, the queen smiled. “We’re looking for a fairy named Florence. My husband and I are in need of her assistance.” The fairy gazed at the queen thoughtfully for the briefest of moments before she left to fetch Florence.

The king clasped the queen’s clammy hands as they waited, “We will be fine, I’m sure.” The queen gazed at his hazelnut eyes warmed by the twinkle in his eyes and his reassurance.

“NOW…. who is need of my assistance?”

The queen was startled by a loud, sing-song voice. The couple turned around taking in the sight of Florence. Her hair was a brilliant shade of ultraviolet which framed a lovely heart-shaped face. Her crooked nose was accompanied by a gleaming broad smile.

Breaking out of a trance, the king introduced themselves. “My wife and I are having difficulty bearing children, but we would love to raise a family someday.” Florence nodded in understanding, “You came to the right fairy. I can help you with that!”

In her satchel, she took out some magical blackberries she harvested while searching for various herbs. She mashed them in a bowl and poured special nectar on them to mix. She gave the concoction to the king and queen, “Here you go! Drink this, and it will grant your dreams.”

The couple was willing to be open to various possibilities, and obediently they drank the delicious drink excited by what will unfold in the coming months.

10 of My Favorite Feelings

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart”

Helen Keller

I love that when I come back to WordPress after my journey in the world, I feel enveloped by the comfort of the community. Chocoviv invited me to this fun tag, and I can’t help but join her! You’re welcome to join!

#OctPoWriMo10 – Feeling a Feathery Rainbow

If I ever had the chance to feel the feathers of a…

….Dove, will I get to touch purity?

PURE
Pristine
Purified
Everlasting peace
Virtuous perfection
Immaculate cleanliness
“calming influence on the mind”

…Cardinal, will I get to touch courage?

BRAVE
Backbone
Enterprise
Determination
Valor, Grit, Heart, Boldness
Mental fortitude takes guts
“tenacity, resoluteness”

...Parrot, will I get to touch excitement?

BUZZ
Briskness
Energy
Enthusiasm
Buoyant exuberance
Lively effervescence
“animated vivacity”

…Chick, will I get to touch adorableness?

CUTE
Charming
Delightful
Approachable fluff
Lovable, cherubical
“stopping everyone in its tracks”

…Peacock, will I get to touch benevolence?

KIND
Blessing
Selflessness
Friendliness, good will
Relief, advocacy
Granting magnanimous
“generosity, compassion”

…Bluejay, will I get to touch devotion?

CARE
Faithful
Reverent
Warm, affectionate
Steadfast, consecration
Sentimental romantic
“conscientiousness assurance”

…Hummingbird, will I get to touch joy?

BLISS
Cheerful
Paradise
Glee, Encouragement
Solace in hopefulness
Triumphant beatitude
“felicity, euphoria”

Transience of beauty flies together

Day 10 – Touch-Clarity Pyramid
Images credit: Pixabay

Freedom of Expression – Father!

Richa’s prompt – Father!

This is one story of an incredible man who I have admired ever since I was a young girl!

Image Credit: Pixabay

“I’m finished!” Dad exclaimed as he completed the final touches of the sand castle. The seagulls in the brilliant blue skies flew above us as mom threw bread pieces in the air.

I looked up after admiring some seashells in the sand by my feet. I gasped at dad’s sculpted masterpiece. He didn’t use any sand buckets or shovels. He created several large sculptures shaped by his hands utilizing a drip technique mixing sand and water. Always an engineer even when he’s on vacation! He is always passionate about building things. I remembered browsing through his box of college textbooks, and seeing his thoughts written in the margins of the pages.

Dad came from a rural area of Vietnam and had humble beginnings. Adventurous and full of mischief, he loved telling jokes as a kid and still does today. Although, he came from an impoverished neighborhood, he didn’t let it stop him from dreaming amazing big dreams and plans to make everyone in his life as happy as they can be. He pursued a different path than his brothers and sisters who were monks, fishermen, and painters, yet he gleaned from the lessons learned from his siblings. Intense, hardworking, and a determined go-getter, he took quite a few risks to reach some meaningful goals in life.

Image Credit Pixabay

Walking away from battles that don’t matter is not weak; that takes a strong person. That’s a mark of honor. Fall seven times, stand up eight.

– Japanese Proverb 

He was a strong soldier, but he didn’t want hurt anyone if there was no reason for it. Deep down, Dad is a gentle soul who doesn’t like confrontation, and yet I’ll never forget the day when he went to a peaceful protest to show his support for Vietnam’s fight for independence from the communist grip. Dad’s quiet presence was in solidarity with the activists. He showed me to fight for what is important.

When I encounter the world around me and see much suffering, I realize that he has given me so much and how blessed I am. Growing up, I felt liked I lived a life of royalty. Dad treated me and my sister like princesses, my brothers as princes, his wife, a queen. I will always say I had idyllic childhood and he played an instrumental part in that!

I remembered when dad would faithfully drop us off at the library every Saturday to explore the wisdom of others for the day. It was my safe haven and my second home.

His worst nightmare is when he sees me in pain. He comforted me when I had my own nightmares. He taught me there’s harm in hanging on to things that have hurt you.

Dad, you are so generous and forgiving. You bring joy to your friends’ lives by helping them laugh and see a different point of view. You’ve instilled a love of music for us by giving us a karaoke set so we can sing the night away and giving us a piano as a way to express our emotions and feelings.

I hope you know how much I love you. You’ve given me your very best, and I never want to let you down. I know you would never share any of this as you are such a humble man, but I want you to know how extraordinary you are.

Happy Belated Father’s Day Dad!
You are a light in the darkness
From Daddy’s Little Girl
Image Credit: Pixabay

A-to-Z Challenge: Volunteer

“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.”

Frank Serafini

Fueling the Desire to Rise Up to the Challenge

This past school year I have been volunteering with a local youth literacy group helping improve the reading levels of two second graders. It all started when I was listening to a young girl I encountered while helping sell books and other types of media at a local flea market with my friends. She told me she hated reading and as a teacher’s pet, she only reads during school.

I have to admit that her statement stung a bit. The love of reading has been instilled in me ever since I was a young girl. The library is my second home and it was where I felt the mental freedom to explore. Even if it wasn’t hers, there are so many stories out there that I think she would enjoy!

At my school, there was a research symposium at my school where I read the poster about literacy research. According to its community profile, San Antonio has the 2nd highest illiteracy rate in Texas. According to the US Census 2005, even though it ranks 7th among US cities in population, it is 60th in literacy. (Source: City of San Antonio Planning and Development Services Department. Statistics and Map Book. Rev. February, 2010. )

After catching up with a former colleague who is now the youngest state representative in our state legislature and listening to his teaching experiences, I felt inspired and decided to sign up to be a volunteer to understand the common problems that these kids were facing.

Reading Buddy Experience

“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.” 

Vera Nazarian

I was pretty excited to learn more about the two students I was assigned to. I enjoyed learning about the boys’ families and friends, what they love, and what they want to be when they grow up. It was difficult at first because they didn’t like the books that the program had selected. So I invited the boys to browse the shelves for a book they would like. They introduced me to the world of Mo Willems. Apparently, they already treasured the adventures in any book written by Mo Willems.

“If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.”

Francois Mauriac
The adventures of Piggie, Gerald and friends

I showed them an atlas, and they seemed really excited to learn that there was a world outside their bubble. They enjoyed following along the words of my origami book. I read them stories from RL Stine and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I really enjoyed this experience, and come to deeply care about these kids.

“Fairy tales in childhood are stepping stones throughout life, leading the way through trouble and trial. The value of fairy tales lies not in a brief literary escape from reality, but in the gift of hope that goodness truly is more powerful than evil and that even the darkest reality can lead to a Happily Ever After. Do not take that gift of hope lightly. It has the power to conquer despair in the midst of sorrow, to light the darkness in the valleys of life, to whisper “One more time” in the face of failure. Hope is what gives life to dreams, making the fairy tale the reality.” 

L.R. Knost

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