A2Z 2021 – Birds – Goldfinch

Featured Image by Michael Murphy

  • Physical Description: The goldfinch is a small, stubby bird measuring about 4.5 inches long, with a wingspan of approximately 8 inches and a weight of roughly .5 ounce. The bird’s plumage is mostly bright yellow, and it has a black blaze above the beak, black wing edges touched with white, and a white rump. The female is a duller color in the summer, but in the winter the male dulls whereas the female brightens slightly.
  • Geographic Distribution: The American goldfinch is found across southern Canada in the summer, in the northern United States year round, and in the southern United States and eastern Mexico in the winter. The European goldfinch is found across Europe, North Africa and western and central Asia. It has been introduced to other areas, including Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay.
  • Environment: The goldfinch’s preferred environments include meadows, fields, open woodland, and floodplains. This bird is very comfortable in cultivated and urban residential areas.
Photo from Pennington

Myths, Folklore, and Cultural Associations

The word carduelis in the European goldfinch’s name (Carduelis carduelis) means “thistle-eating,” and goldfinches love weeds such as thistles, particularly milkweed and other plants that produce flossy or fluffy seed heads. The goldfinch eats the seeds of these plants and uses the silky fluff of the plant to line and weave into its nest. The European goldfinch was sometimes called “thistle-finch:, and this bird is the distelfink seen in Pennsylvania Dutch folk art and lore. The distelfink represents happiness and good fortune to this community.

The gold color of this bird connects it with wealth. If the first bird a girl saw on Valentine’s Day was a goldfinch, she would marry a wealthy man. The goldfinch was also believed to be a symbol of protection against the plague in medieval times.

The American goldfinch, or eastern goldfinch, is the state bird of Iowa, New Jersey, and Washington. Goldfinches are sometimes casually referred to as ” wild canaries”.

The collective noun for a group of goldfinches is a “charm,” which is a lovely word suggesting the bird’s association with luck, health, joy and love.

Photo from Pennington

Omens and Divinatory Meaning

Yellow is a color of joy, cheer, and health. Seeing a goldfinch can be a boost to your general well-being. It may also be a sign to consciously introduce more joy into your life by engaging in what you love to do more than you are currently doing.

The male goldfinch’s bright colors fade after the summer and become a more subdued olive brown, whereas the female’s plumage brightens in the fall. This can be a reminder that you can choose your season to shine. Not everyone can be in the spotlight all the time; it can be draining and unhealthy. But by choosing your time carefully, you can make a significant impact. Just remember that in order to balance that season of shining, you need to retreat again and allow others their time in the light as well.

Associated energies: Joy, happiness, health, abundance, prosperity
Associated seasons: Summer
Element association: Air
Color associations: Yellow, black, brown

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

Reflections

Every time I hear Goldfinch, I think of Crushed Caramel’s love for a wonderful man. Crushed Caramel is a bright and beautiful blogger here in the blogosphere sharing inspirational posts on love and life.

Photo from Pennington

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.

Eleonora Duse

It’s National Walking Day! The other day I took a afternoon walk at this national historical site I frequently visit, and I was overwhelmed with such a joyous feeling deep in my heart. The blue skies were vibrant. The sun was shining. The grass was growing. I was so appreciative of this gorgeous day. It could be the fact that my state is no longer a frozen, bleak landscape. I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. I felt free. The fact that I was cooped up for the majority of last year while death and discord surrounded me was suffocating. I didn’t realize how it impacted my ability to do A2Z last year. I’m just so grateful for the littlest of things. I’m grateful to see and visit my loved ones more often.

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Photo from The Spruce

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 :

Um, Honey? Can I be Jubilee for a While?

Bzzz! My sister has recently taken up the new hobby of bee-keeping during this crisis. All my siblings have been rather proactive and have been an inspiration to me. So, honey and bees are the theme of my post today!

As a hardworking busy bee, you can say I’m constantly searching for all sorts of “flowers”: various blogs on WordPress to read. These awards allow me to celebrate the community garden!

For bees, the flower is the fountain of life. For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.

Kahlil Gibran

I would like to thank Maria Cristina Gino Baroso who has kindly nominated me for the Liebster award. She’s such a warm, friendly woman from the Philippines. I love her hospitable spirit. She features remarkable stories of beautiful people of all shapes and sizes, some overcoming all sorts of adversity. I also enjoy reading her slice of life stories from delicious food to an interesting coin collection. Her questions are featured below:

Image Credit: Image by PollyDot from Pixabay

What do you do first when you wake up every morning?

The morning light trickles in through the blinds. I snap off the nightlight by my window and throw my arms up to do a nice yoga stretch. My back loves it after I had slept like a curled shrimp.

What do you do last before you sleep at night?

Last night, I dozed off to an episode, “The Power of Miracles“, of Morgan Freeman’s TV Series, “The Story of God“. My feelings before going to bed are one of awe and inspiration. The night before I finished the first season of the Arthurian fantasy drama, “Cursed“. Exciting adventures with the fae have been full of suspense and intrigue!

Image Credit: Wallpapercave

Who’s the first person you greet, “Good Morning” when you wake up? What do you like best, coffee or tea, and why?

I greet my roommates once they wake up and start making some tea. Lately, it’s been earl grey or mint. Sometimes, I like a raspberry zinger or citrus tea with honey. Whatever the mood calls for! I love the various herbs, fruit, or leaves in tea that I don’t necessarily get with coffee. I also associate tea with relaxation whereas coffee gets me pumped up for the day. Though there benefits to both, I’m not much a coffee drinker. Though, I love the smell of it!

What do you usually offer your guests when they come visit you?

What I offer guests who stop by is dependent on who it is. Some of my guests are very picky. A few examples are pho, blueberry waffles, banana bread, Dr.Pepper, water/tea, mixed nuts, ginger/sesame candy, Danish cookies, strawberry shortcake.

How would you treat someone who has just disrespect you publicly?

I confront those who publicly disrespect me. I will not let them get away with belittling me and others. I take a moment to collect myself because otherwise my emotions get the better of me. Afterward, I calmly speak my mind and say what I need to say in front of their face. Typically, I cry once I get home to release the tension.

Did you receive a love letter or a friend’s letter? What’s your favorite line from it?

I love getting letters, cards, creative notes whenever, wherever. I’ve kept cards that my classmates have given me when I was 10 years old. Sometimes, I revisit them when I need a reminder. They represent a time and a place, but they always pick me up!

😉 Infatuation letter – My god, though… do you know you are the only girl I’ve ever met who has used the phrase, “but I digress”?

Love letter – But I feel like… I don’t know. I just feel very happy and lighthearted. I have no idea what is coming… yet I’m excited for it anyway. Thank you, Sa. And yes, believe me when I say, I love you.

😀 Letter from a Friend – I got to tell you, Sa, that Birthday Card you sent to me, is a keeper (it goes right into my vault). Thank you. You can’t imagine how it lifted my spirits.

Do you believe that first love never dies?

I believe first love never dies or rather, it’s the memories that don’t die. I will never forget my first love. Random things trigger my memories as they fade in and out. They make me laugh and cry. When I reminisce sometimes, my chest tightens, and it feels like my heart hurts. Other times, my heart is fluttering and beats fast. I’ve grown so much from that experience. We both did, and I cannot go back even though it lingers in my life.

What is your personal mantra and why?

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Having a heart of gratitude for all blessings and the abundance that is unfolding in my life helps me keep things in perspective.

If you’ll be the president for a month, what would you do to end this COVID-19 pandemic?

Coronavirus: 5 things New Zealand got right
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the country no longer has any coronavirus cases. It has also seen very few COVID-related deaths. What has been the key to New Zealand’s success?

DW Made for Minds article

If I were president, I would take a leaf from New Zealand Prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

1) Swift and tough lock down – Decisive actions
2) Consistent, effective communication of rules
3) Ramp up testing capacity and mask production
4) Willingness to learn from science

I’m not sure the American people will respond like the New Zealanders though. Press conferences directly to the public helped achieve public buy-in in other countries

If you’ll be a superhero, who would you be and why?

Image Credit: Pinterest fanart

I got to learn more about Jubilee from X-men this past year. She. Is. Awesome. Wow! Not only is she bubbly and not to mention powerful, this spunky, optimistic character has overcame quite a bit of trauma. Even when she lost her powers, she tenaciously strives to remain a superhero by other means. Fans have shared more of her powers in greater detail. 10 skills that many people may not know about her:

  1. Pyrotechnic Energy Blasts – Sometimes, it’ll be nice to see fireworks!
  2. Absorb Energy – Always a must have when you working various projects!
  3. Explosively Charge Objects – Detonate…maybe I’ll keep this one under wraps. 😉
  4. Wondra – Super strength and the ability to fly 100 mph to avoid traffic
  5. Force Fields – Resistant to physical injury and protection from earthquakes is nice.
  6. Ghost Mode – Pass through substances without getting hurt. HM!
  7. Gymnastics – Olympic-level gymnast. Just plain cool!
  8. Evade Telepathic Detection – Hide from mental probes.
  9. Vampire powers – Need I say more? Accelerated healing power is a nice plus
  10. Turn Into Vapor (Mist Mimicry) – I always thought about flying with a cloud

Nominees

It’s hard to find people who haven’t received an award already! You’re not obligated to respond, but I was grateful to have encountered your posts this week.

Questions

  1. Favorite comfort food?
  2. First book that made you cry?
  3. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
  4. Best money you ever spent as a writer?
  5. Favorite under-appreciated novel?
  6. Bloggers you enjoy reading?
  7. Your spirit animal?
  8. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Thanks for following along. If you want to check out my other Liebster entries to learn more about me, check it out here! Until next time! 🙂 ❤

Image Credit: Just Bee and Me

#OctPoWriMo12 – Locked in Time

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul. “

Martha Graham
Image Credit: Pixabay

Locked in time, ballet dancer’s grace is locked
May mystify viewers early in May
Work of beauty requires ample work
Power released through body of power

Depth of breaths connects to musical depth
Balanced and poised, mystery is balanced
Daring to dream is in itself daring
Black sophistication hidden in black

Power of freedom lays choice of power
Force of faith will liberate a dark force
Moments now transition changing moments
Strong emotions evoked will make her strong

Will one witness her movements and steel will?
Being aware of all feeds her being…

#OctPoWriMo1- Dark Night of the Soul

“The journey of the dark night of the soul is where we learn who we are, without people telling us.”

― Adèle Green

Flying in the brilliant blue skies that morning,
the birds attempted to soothe me with their songs.
Decided to head out to the coffee shop
where I felt no judgement…
where I could think freely…
where I decide who I am…

Barista sees my distress and hands me my order,
“Don’t worry about it – this one’s on me.”
After thanking him for his generosity,
I take a seat with my back facing the window.

My mind is swirling around in chaos
as I’m staring into the pitch black beverage.
Despite the tears running down my face,
My soul was on fire!

I was pursuing an unseen path
The kindling of love and compassion
Was directly shot in my direction
Delivering confidence, a man’s story gave me strength

With the velocity of an arrow,
it pierced me with surprising acceptance
Awakening a greater sense of trust
of the new things that lie before me

Discovering a calm point to rest upon,
I looked up to see a jovial face in front of me
He takes a seat – Universe propels forward
A fresh perspective changing my life

Hi all! It’s October Poetry Writing Month! (OctPoWriMo) It took some bloggers to remind me. 😉 Lot’s of wonderful works out there. You may click on the “Day 1” link to participate! Gotta go though! The moon is out and it’s time for me to really go to bed! See you soon! ❤

#Flash Fiction – Free At Last!

Nox’s Daily Prompt
Photo Credit: Marcin Jozwiak – Unsplash.com

Escape

Moments within sitting down
The ground absorbed her tension
brought about from her mental prison
Refocusing her energy
from the disenchantment of cynicism
to the spontaneity of curiosity
Gazing out in the endless sea ahead
Reaching for a new ideal
One that sparks a more joyous life
Basking in the healing rays of the sunset
Dreaming of the next adventure
Relishing the breeze
Enriched by tranquil surroundings
Delighting in the grains of sand
between her fingers that soothes her soul
Serenity in abundance
Unseen until now
Instinctively understanding
the momentum of
each precious moment
in the spectrum of time

A-to-Z Challenge: Optimism

Kristen has invited us to think about attitude for Rory’s 3.2.1. Quote Me Challenge this week. I discovered a poem and some quotes about optimism and its link to attitude which makes me reflect on my own life. Enjoy!

Heal Yourself
By: Laya Sarath

The self within you is perturbed
Rusty, Dusty, unclear and broken
Ruptured spirit you carry within
It needs to be healed…
Healed from within your spirit
The soul needs to be nourished
With good deeds and thoughts
The soul within must be rejuvenated
Neatly cleaned and polished so to
Flow positive energy through body…
Cleanse the spirit, awaken yourself
Embrace solitude
Solitude I say is very powerful
To know the being within you

Some days you are more powerful
Than anyone around you..
Your company to self has stronger
And greater impact in life…
You would feel more relaxed
And determined on your own…
And that’s the time you realize
How strong and better you are
On your own…
For some reasons, you are stronger
Than anyone today, And this must go on

Heal Yourself; Live Yourself

Quotes on Optimism

When we adopt a dog or any pet, we know it is going to end with us having to say goodbye, but we still do it. And we do it for a very good reason: They bring so much joy and optimism and happiness. They attack every moment of every day with that attitude.

W. Bruce Cameron

One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore faith in yourself.

Lucille Ball

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Colin Powell

Optimism, by the way, is not a superficial attitude. It’s a very muscular attitude. It’s a bold attitude that says no matter what, I can find a way. I can find the resources to deal with this.

Dr. Ned Hallowell

Optimism is the tool to help you get up after a fall, and to keep going toward the life you really want.

Unknown

Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.

Seth Godin

Don’t worry about whether it’s half full or half empty. The point is, it’s refillable. That’s really all that matters.

Unknown

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back into difficulties, it means it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.

Unknown

Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s more like a cha-cha.

Unknown

A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it.

idlehearts.com

A positive attitude can turn a storm into a sprinkle.

Robert Hensel

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

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 22

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” 

Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

At different points in my life, I’ve listened to a variety of music whenever I felt stuck: on a person, in the past, in a place, in a particular mindset. There is music out there that speaks to your experiences and your life and helps you overcome many challenges. Anyway, here’s some of songs throughout my life when I needed an extra push! As usual, it’s an eclectic playlist! 🙂

Idina Menzel has a unique voice and is so passionate as she is singing “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked. These lyrics have a way of describing my inner state at times and makes me want to propel forward in life. Stephen Schwartz won a Grammy award as a composer and lyricist for Wicked which came out in 2003.

Photo Credit: Advocate.com – Stephen Schwartz is banning theatres in North Carolina from producing Wicked after the state passed an anti-LGBT bill. 
Photo Credit: Simon Paris
CLOC Musical Theatre troupe looks incredibly festive after performance of Wicked.
Defying Gravity – Idina Menzel

I also like to listen to a lot of powerful instrumental music. Bond is an all female musical string quartet. This song is absolutely explosive as the title suggests! It pushes me outside of what I think my limitations might be. It reinvigorates my spirits by providing this metaphorical strong gust of wind beneath my wings.

Explosive – Bond

There’s something about this beautiful humble song by Hillsong United that makes me feel whole again and at peace with my soul so that I can move forward with my life.

Oceans – Hillsong United

In response to: