A2Z 2021 – Birds – Kingfisher

Image by Timo Schlüter from Pixabay

  • Physical Description: A small bird with a long pointed beak, the belted kingfisher has a slate-blue head with a crest, a slate-blue back, a white front, and a white collar around its neck. The female has additional rust-colored markings along her chest and sides and is more brightly colored than the male.
  • Geographic Distribution: Most kingfisher species are found in the Old World, but the belted kingfisher is found throughout North and Central America.
  • Environment: The belted kingfisher lives near bodies of water such as rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes.

Myths, Folklore, and Cultural Associations

In general, the kingfisher is seen as a symbol of protection and a good luck charm. Legend has it that the Old World kingfisher had more muted colors than the belted kingfisher of the Americas. Supposedly the belted kingfisher received its beautifully colored plumage when it was the first bird released from the Ark after the flood waters were confirmed to have receded, and therefore was the only bird to catch the final rays of the setting sun on its breast and the blue of the twilight sky on its back.

One family of the kingfisher suborder is named Halcyonidae, derived from the same root as our word “halcyon,” meaning idyllic, peaceful, or nostalgic. Greek mythology gives us the story of Alcyone, the daughter of Aeolus (king of the winds), who drowned herself in grief when she discovered that her husband had drowned.

Herbert James Draper – Alcyone searches for Ceyx

The gods rewarded her devotion by turning her into a kingfisher, and Aeolus forbade the winds to blow during the halcyon days (the seven days before and after the winter solstice) so that the kingfisher could lay its eggs. The fabled “halcyon bird” was said to build its nest on the water itself, something that could only be done during the halcyon days when the seas were calm.

In old Europe, carrying a kingfisher feather was thought to provide protection from misfortune. Hanging a dead kingfisher by a string was thought to serve as a wind indicator, as the bird’s beak was said to point in the direction from which the wind would come

Omens and Divinatory Meaning

Sighting a kingfisher is, in general, a lucky thing. Noting which way the kingfisher was facing may be valuable, as this may be the direction from which good news or an opportunity will come to you.

The kingfisher may bear the message for you to be the one who calms troubled waters, as the legendary halcyon bird was said to do. The halcyon is also said to have possessed the ability to calm winds – you may be the one with the power to clear up muddled communication that’s dogging a particular situation in your life.

The halcyon connection may also be a message to evoke some wonderful memories of your past in order to enrich the present.

Associated Energies: Precision, timing, good fortune, peace, calm
Associated Season: Summer
Element Associations: Air, Water
Color Association: Grey, blue, white, rust, green, red

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

Reflections

Wow, I love this kingfisher’s hair do! It’s like a mohawk! 🙂 The featured photo also reminds me of a picture that a fellow blogger features, Christine Bolton at Poetry for Healing.

“…evoke some wonderful memories of your past in order to enrich the present.”

Last night, I was hooked on reading a book to the very end. It’s called the Midnight Library. It’s made me think of all my own experiences in my life that has led me where I’m at today.

“you may be the one with the power to clear up muddled communication that’s dogging a particular situation in your life…”

There’s some things I want to take initiative on soon amongst my friends and family!

Our Next-Door Neighbor

Heartwarming stories from “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books are considered timeless literature for me. I can pick any story from any of these series at any time in my life and feel wonderful and uplifted. There’s a quote that reminds me of an event that happened during Christmas time many years ago.

We once had a neighbor who moved from New York into the house next to ours. She was a friendly and attractive lady who my siblings and I always waved to her and wished her a good morning. At the time, my siblings and I were all young children.

She had some mannerisms that were unfamiliar to us in the suburbs. She also had a habit of gardening in the front yard in her bathing suit catching the attention of any males who happened to walk their dogs into our cul-de-sac. My visiting cousins made fun of her, but I came to her defense saying that she never caused us any harm and looked out for us. I suspected that even if she heard my cousins speaking behind her back, she wouldn’t have cared what they thought because she was confident in who she was.

One Christmas day, we heard our doorbell ring. My siblings and I ran to the front door and looked outside the window. There was a wrapped package outside our door. I saw the back of a blond woman’s head and she herself was dressed in a lush red Christmas coat like Mrs. Clause. It was our neighbor, but she didn’t stay to chat probably due to any language barriers.

During a time when we didn’t have to be weary of potential bomb packages outside residential homes, we naturally brought the box inside and opened it since it was from our non-malicious neighbor. Inside our neighbor packed all sorts of goodies for us. We were amazed all all the snacks, toys, and refrigerator holiday magnets she packed for us.

I think back on this memory and feel that it’s a special moment when a neighbor wants to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in spite of the increasing cynicism and all things that go on in the world. I’m grateful that we had such a great neighbor while growing up!

In response to :

A Golden Age

Gazing upon her most cherished possession resting upon her porch, her radio sparked an occasion to revisit yesteryear. She flicked the switch for her electric candles and stared the lit bulbs which lighted a path for her to access her memory.

World War II was over and new, exciting things were on the horizon. The crackling fireplace kept her family warm during Christmas time as they listened to Nat King Cole sing.

YouTube: Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song

As a little girl, she relished in a comedy-mystery radio program, the Abbott Mysteries, which led her to explore her now life-long career as detective. One of her favorite memories though was when her father found a marvelous tree topper that seem to symbolize better things for the new year.

Image Credit: Etsy

In response to:

#SoCs- Ornamental Tales

Linda G Hill: SoCs – List

Hello!

It’s been such a busy season for me. I have an ever growing list of all sorts of to-do lists. School, career, relationships, books, movies, recipes, some crafty creations. When I face some stress during the school season, Aristotle’s quotes remind me of a reason why I put myself through it all:

Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.

Aristotle

A friend shared with me that last one a long while ago. It stood with me ever since!

One day, you think I would have more sense, and cut back. Give myself more breathing room. Maybe I can burn some of those lists and send those ashes flying away on a windy day. 🙂 Experts say that people can optimally focus on 4 or 5 things at a time.

The present is such a gift. Right now, heart-warming stories of ornaments are on my mind.

When we were kids, my parents decorated our Christmas tree with greeting cards friends gave us, bookmarks, ornaments we made as kids. Glittery paper rings, popsicle stick frames, ornaments made out of yarn or dried noodles. I was always touched by my parents’ sentimentality and wondered why they never bought any ornaments or threw any of our creations away.

For them, the ornaments are more than just a pretty fashion accessory for the tree. There’s a story behind each of the ornaments. How happy we were to make these ornaments for our parents. How happy my parents were to receive a card from our neighbors and friends. How it brought us all together. A tree brimming with true joy and happiness.

When I was a student officer for the Guild of Geeks, I loved painting ornaments on the windows of the school with my fellow club members for a holiday contest for Christmas. We also painted Beamo, Dr. Who’s time machine, among other well known pop culture references. We won 2nd place which scored our club to have lunch with the university president on her balcony! We actually had some folks trained in light saber fights. What an amazing, albeit nerdy memory!

I remembered when one of my friends who was running for office extended an olive branch to his opposition by creating a Christmas ornaments with his opposition’s son. Despite things getting ugly during election time, I wonder what memories his son will choose to take with him. Hopefully, remember the spirit of the season in spite of politics.

I want to create a new memory. My mom and dad collected some pine cones on their nature walks. I took some back with me during Thanksgiving. I’ve been wanting to create a pine cone wreath. Give some out as Christmas gifts. I found so many inspirational ideas!

I was also curious about some other random stuff like The History of Ornaments and What kind of Christmas ornament are you? Quiz.

A Sunshine Odyssey

Good evening everyone! There’s a lot for me to celebrate in life today! I just love to do the best I can with what is given to me. It’s a thrilling feeling to partake in such a creative adventure! When I receive a gift of an award, it’s a confirmation of appreciation from the giver. Someone out there has appreciated something I wrote and shared. If I left the world a more inspired, compassionate, and hopeful place, an award to me serves as a catalyst for me to continue reaching for better horizons.

I’ve been nominated at least 15 times this past year for Sunshine, Mystery, Solidarity, Kindness, Liebster blogger awards. I’m grateful for your friendship and support via your comments. It gives me great joy to consistently be recognized for these qualities here on WordPress. Moreover, I’m glad I don’t actually receive any real trophies because I don’t have space for that. 😉

Many thanks and kudos to these hardworking bloggers! Rory @ A Guy Called Bloke, Sadje @ Keep it Alive, Mr. A @ Barbarian in Gentleman’s Clothing, Irene @ My Slice of Mexico, Mel @ Crushed Caramel, Kiwi @ Kiwi Katastrophes, Laura Bailey @ All the Shoes I Wear, Jenna @ The Sunshine Artist, Myexpressionofthoughts @ Beauty lies within yourself

I have taken a different approach with my award nominations today and wrote a story from their questions about myself in third point of view. Pictures are from Pixabay. It will be a blend of fantasy and truth! 🙂

I was inspired by Word of the Day – Odyssey

“HOW DARE YOU DEFY ME?” Ciar, god of darkness, gradually began to suck the remaining light in the galaxy into his mouth which resembled a terrifying black hole.

Sa, space warrior princess from the kingdom of Texas, was temporarily distracted by his impeccable rock hard abdominals, but she was more preoccupied with his black hole. One non-negotiable, unalterable term in this life, is that Sa will survive.

“Sorry? What’s that? I can’t hear you!!!” Sa just used her most commonly spoken phrase against the god of darkness. Will you look at that? 🙂

“Golly, whatever did I do to him?” She unhappily fought against the immense forces that threatened to kill her. What does Sa do to cheer herself up when she is unhappy? She hums a tune of an electrifying song. In this case, the theme song of Ghostbusters galvanized her and became her saving grace.

Ghostbusters 2016 Theme Remastered (Walk the Moon Version)

She pulled a glittering lever, and was not prepared for the recoil. Space X’s Falcon Heavy rocket thrusters propelled her out of Ciar’s influence. Elon Musk gave her a parting gift, his most powerful rocket, and wished her good luck on her odyssey. Commandeering a rocket ship is one talent Sa would love to improve upon! Sa thought back to when she read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy scanning her memory for any clues. “YEE-HAW!” Ciar’s bad breath is the least of her worries.

Ciar’s army has besieged her beloved hometown. Ciar’s rhetoric was powerful, and he has swayed the minds of various citizens to commit heinous acts and convinced them they are doing right by the kingdom by terminating who they felt to be the enemy. Who was the enemy? A neighboring community whose was seeking asylum from the ravages of their own war-stricken home? It’s an event that has changed Sa’s perspective on how we live in society.

In the next twelve months, Sa looked forward to the day when the migrants would be settled into their new homes with the help of RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. One of her friends told her how hard she has been working around the clock to help furnish their new homes. Sa shared a value with her friend: caring for those who have difficulty defending for themselves. If she won a lottery, she would love to get each of the boys she met while visiting her friend a pair of printed Oxford leather shoes and help them feel fabulous.

One great thing about being in outer space is that Sa isn’t like the dwarf, Sneezy. Her seasonal allergies don’t act up! Drenched in sweat, Sa glanced outside the window and marveled at the moonglade against Earth’s ocean surface. “Now this is something to write home about on my blog!” Filled with nostalgia, she missed swimming in the sea with the dolphins and her friend, a marine biologist.

Sharing an oceanography and geology course together, Sa admired her friend’s determination. The marine biologist was studying and documenting how the threat of global warming was affecting the dolphin population. The dolphins were having a difficult time adapting to the changes to their habitat, changes to their migration schedules, and it’s even affected their ability to reproduce.

Sa opened up her laptop and began typing a post so that her family can read her latest adventure! Sa was grateful for her parents for teaching her how to be brave in the midst of adversity. She once studied her family tree in the genealogy department held in the third floor of the public library. Even though her roots were derived from diverse backgrounds in monasticism, education, art, aquaculture, one quality was clear: bravery was the connecting link to Sa’s ancestry line.

One of her fondest memories was with her father when he taught her how to play basketball despite her not being too athletic. He pushed her to the edge of what she may have thought her limitation was, but he showed her that she isn’t as fragile as some people made her feel. He nurtured her bravery every step of the way.

She pondered on what they were doing now. She missed washing dishes side-by-side with them. A single tear floated in zero gravity. It’s the little things that seem to get to her. Before Sa left Earth to fight a galactic battle, she filled out a Texas Tree Survey from the Arbor Day Foundation. She felt so proud of herself for taking the time out to complete this survey. She received a gift for 10 free flowering trees (5 American Redbuds and 5 Dogwoods).

Despite being a space cadet, she remained hopeful for a better future for Earth and all its creatures. She knew that there were other people out there who would be wiling to plant trees, rebuild habitats, and help nurture the planet back to health. Her only regret is she might not see the delicate trees grow into the royal beings that they are. Its blooms are startlingly attractive to her when cloistered together.

Her penpal, Cassandra, would get a kick out of this blog post! Although Cassandra chose the monastic life in the convent as a nun, she loved reading about her childhood friend’s adventures in the world. The last time Sa connected with her was by passing her in while shopping in a mall outlet. It felt so good to see an old friend!

If Sa died in outer space today, she would want the world to know that she loved Earth so much. She is a caring, adventurous gal with a sense of humor who would do anything including fighting the god of darkness to protect her loved ones! ❤ 🙂

3 Things Challenge: PL152 – Basketball Lesson

Good morning everyone! I had such a fun day at the amusement park with my friends two days ago. A great way for me to end the summer with a bang! So, it will be my first time participating in Paula Light’s 3TC where she will give three random words for you to write about. When I saw this weeks prompt, it reminded me of a memory!

Paula Light’s 3TC – sweatpants, court, begonia

My sweatpants were soaked with perspiration from my two mile jog outside on the school track. The yard is surrounded by many houses outside the chain link fence. Some days I envy the homeowners who are watering their beautiful begonias in their front yards as I’m huffing and puffing on my runs. After our warm up, we head inside and show our instructors our game play.

Coaches peered out in the sea of girls performing sets of drills on the court studying who they want on the basketball team. I practiced my drills at home: dribbling back and forth, spinning the ball, shooting into the net, playing with neighborhood friends.

My shoes squeaked on the glistening wooden floors. I dribble the ball, and run towards the hoop. For a moment, the room is muted, and it’s just me and the net. I leap into the air, hook my left arm, and shoot the layup.

The ball skirts the edge and falls outside. Disappointed, I run towards the bleachers where the rest of my classmates were standing …

*THUD* My vision was obscured by white stars as I temporarily blacked out. I just crashed into the bleachers.

“Sa! Are you alright!” My basketball coach exclaimed with a motherly expression on her face.

Before the shot, I took my glasses off because they were falling off my face. Probably not the wisest idea. My vision and depth of perception of objects was horrible without them. 😉

A-to-Z Challenge: Synergy

Synergy between thoughts and feelings reads the universe like an opened book.

― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut
Image Credit: Pixabay

Flashbacks

One day, I was going shopping with my mom and we headed out to the Mexican store to get groceries for the week. When we arrived, I was surprised to see that the store merged together with the local Korean market that was once down the street. It was fascinating seeing the two formally separate business working together side by side to share resources and learn from each other.

Last year, I attended this professional workshop at school related to the Stephen Covey’s book “7 habits of Highly Effective People”. I had a small goal of envisioning more smoother team project dynamics. Yeah…still a work in progress! 😉 As I was studying along with the instructor, I came across this cool term for the first time: synergy.

Etymology Origins

Image Credit: Pixabay

Curious about the sound of the word, I looked its roots in the dictionary and this is what popped up!

1650s, “cooperation,” from Modern Latin synergia, from Greek synergia “joint work, a working together, cooperation; assistance, help,” from synergos “working together,” related to synergein “work together, help another in work,” from syn- “together” (see syn-) + ergon “work” (from PIE root *werg- “to do”). Meaning “combined activities of a group” is from 1847; sense of “advanced effectiveness as a result of cooperation” is from 1957.

Online Etymology Dictionary

What is it?

Bruce Mayhew describes the definition in his post “7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Habit 6: Synergize“:

Synergy is what happens when two or more forces choose to work together with open, trusting intention to embrace each others differences and to overcome the challenges that will inevitably arise.  The benefit of synergy is that the end result will be something that is far superior to anything that could exist without the cooperation and sharing of the forces.

Bruce Mayhew

He goes on to discuss the general requirements for the highest level of communication to help form new ideas. Synergy is a concept that would definitely affect business negotiations and partnerships developments!

  • Have one common vision – one common goal
  • Be different
  • Have a sense of self
  • Stay open to differences and new ideas – stay authentic
  • Embrace trust
  • Accept the better way will likely not be their way…100%
  • Offer respect to everyone – everything
  • Be able to apologize and forgive
  • Practice mindful listening (listen with empathy)
  • Maintain an open desire to understand
  • Control negative judgment
  • Stay with Win / Win (not Negative synergy Win/Lose or Lose)

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:

Freedom of Expression – Melody


“Wake up, live your life and sing the melody of your soul.” 
― Amit Ray, Enlightenment Step by Step

Richa over at iScriblr has picked “Melody” as this week’s prompt word for her challenge “Freedom of Expression“. This is a feel-good prompt for me as melodies bring back all sorts of memories.

“From the glow of enthusiasm I let the melody escape. I pursue it. Breathless I catch up with it. It flies again; it disappears; it plunges into a chaos of diverse emotions. I catch it again; I seize it; I embrace it with delight.”

Ludwig van Beethoven
Video Game Melody’s Escape: “Run, jump and slide to the rhythm of your own music library! In Melody’s Escape, advanced audio detection algorithms transcribe the energy that you feel when listening to music into a synchronized gameplay experience, with a captivating and dynamic obstacle course.” – Steam

One summer day when I was a young girl, I sang a short random tune in front of my friends as we hung outside the porch. “Another, another!” my friends exclaimed. They knew me to be rather shy and quiet, so they wanted me to sing another tune shortly thereafter! There was a rush of excitement as I was creating and sharing a melody from my heart. My feelings were just free to wander in the stream of notes, and my friends could float along the current with me. It was a time where I felt like communicated what was going on with ease turning my thoughts to music.

Melody is a form of remembrance. It must have a quality of inevitability in our ears.”

Gian Carlo Menotti

Once a song hits my ears, I begin to remember all the things that the song makes me feel and think. When I create a melody of my own, it’s almost like I want to keep my own story alive. I think many musicians feel that way as well, and when their song resonates with their fans, it becomes a legend.

“If, while at the piano, you attempt to form little melodies, that is very well; but if they come into your mind of themselves, when you are not practising, you may be still more pleased; for the internal organ of music is then roused in you. The fingers must do what the head desires; not the contrary.” 

Robert Schumann
Jacob’s Piano – an original piece “A Simple Melody”

I first learned about melody from my piano teacher. I remember practicing various assigned songs after school. Occasionally I’ll have a little fun with a piece and add my own original personal flair to it. My dad would walk in the house after work and smile at my little experiments. I would play my version for my teacher, and she would tell me, “Sa, that’s wonderful, but I need to know that you can read the music as it is!” Learning how to read other’s music is part of the experience, but I should have said, “Learning how to make my own music helps test me on my knowledge of music theory and develop my overall comprehension.” 🙂

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.

9/11 Extended #Haiku

P1040204
A Not-so Distant Memory

Chaotic bustle.
Confused as I watch TV.
Classmates are upset.

News stations haywire.
Teachers comforting children.
Students want to leave.

Hard to concentrate.
How do teachers explain this
complex sad event?

Seventeen years passed,
Building incredible dreams
Risen from ashes.

Conspiracies formed.
Forgiveness is difficult.
Searching for answers.

There’s no consensus.
Remember those we have lost.
Honor their short lives.

Sun Tzu wisely said
Understand our enemy
No prolonged warfare.

Build your opponent
a golden bridge to retreat.
Is that possible?

Misunderstanding.
Don’t bully the innocent.
Can we achieve peace?

sea flight bird flying
Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com