Morning Tree


morning tree

Early shadows dancing

Near siding the color of buff

God’s gift of nature balancing

On branches….hiding

Listen closely, a chirp, a tweet

Cup your hand

Sweet songs to hear

A tiny rooftop home 

Swings side to side

Rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye

Do not stop for fear 

Feathered wings shall soar

Toward skies of azure blue

Suddenly all is clear

No longer can I resist

Hopping up to peek inside the ‘O’

Ahhh…..baited breath beholds

A tiny toasted colored nest

In the bosom of infinite rest

Speckled sparrow eggs

1-2-3-4 for me to see

Warming in my Morning Tree

DSC_0938

The Next Best Thing….


http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/

Yesterday my children and grand-babies were all out-of-town. Yes, every one of them. Knowing this, my husband tried to think of the next best thing to gift me on Mother’s Day. What would make me happy? What do I love to do? If I can’t have my family with me, what puts a smile on my face like no other?

First thing in the morning the alarm woke us up at 6:00! “Time to get up,” my husband announced with a smile. “I’ve got a full day planned for you.” Sleepy-eyed and confused, I couldn’t imagine what he was up to, particularly at such an early hour. Still, I did what he asked, slipping into some comfortable jeans after washing my face and brushing my hair.

By 7 am we were out the door, headed to a new restaurant for a delicious breakfast of poached eggs, turkey links and fresh fruit. A sweet, young waitress quickly poured steaming cups of coffee followed by fresh squeezed glasses of orange juice. In our laps sat white cloth napkins ready and waiting to catch what didn’t get into our mouths.

Within minutes, families of all sizes began spilling into the door. Young and old sat to our right and to our left. Parents with children, grandparents, babies and toddlers too. Some carried presents for Mothers and Grandma while others slobbered wet kisses on rosy cheeks. When looking about the room, scenes from various Norman Rockwell paintings seemed to be in every nook and corner. If only I had an easel and a few brushes hidden by my side. A bit of talent, of course, would have been nice too!

Such a lovely day upon leaving the restaurant. The temperature was in the 7o’s with pale blue skies above. Not a hint of rain in sight. My husband started driving North, toward downtown, although I still did not know where we were going until he finally got off on a familiar exit. To the right, on the corner was a shop forever advertising, “1904 World’s Fair Donuts.” Then I knew. My husband pulled into the next parking lot. We were at one of my favorite places in all of the world, the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I breathed in, then out before my adrenaline started kicking in. So excited I was! Grabbing my I-Phone to jump out of the car, I hugged my husband around his neck, before clasping his hand to skip to the main entrance like a child full of glee. Only it was ME!

For the next several hours I snapped pictures galore of flora and fauna to my hearts content. So excited, I never sat down! Not once, until we left the gates near mid-afternoon. On the way home, my husband discovered an old-fashioned dairy where home-made ice-cream was hand-dipped from giant cardboard tubs of paper brown. There, we stopped to sit and eat dribbling waffle cones while I looked over my masterpieces from beginning to end.

My husband knows me so well. Not celebrating with family on Mother’s Day would have saddened me, but taking pictures of natural beauty is filled with inspiration and happiness. It was the next best thing in all of the world.

*all photography copyright Kim Gosselin 2016

 

Miracles in the Merry Month of May


A short time ago a new resident moved into a little house hanging from a tree outside my office window. It is so pleasant to know that my new neighbor is near. Whenever I glance outside my turret window glass, there is a tiny gray house trimmed in blue with a “Welcome” sign for me to see.

Before pulling into my garage over the weekend, I noticed tail feathers of royal blue and black sticking outside the entrance of a bungalow. In the past, the round of the door was clear and open, allowing no feathers to be seen. Often, the beak of Mama Bird could be seen slightly sticking through an invisible screen. There I presume, she sat on a nest keeping her gorgeous blue eggs warm until it was time….

Parking my car quickly, I ran over to the tree where the little house hung for me to see. So excited at the thought of what was to be! Grasping a rough gray branch to steady myself, I climbed atop the flat surface of a limestone boulder. Swinging slightly under a canopy of freshly blooming leaves smiled the familiar Welcome sign.

Swoosh! Tail feathers abruptly flew away. My heart pounded while I held my breath…1-2-3, before I squinted to see. The whole of the house was dark and quiet to the outside world, surrounded by wall to wall warmth. All hand-made by God’s miracle of nature. One tiny beak had created an artist’s masterpiece to prepare for birth. How many days had it taken her? How many hours or minutes or seconds? How long had she labored before and afterward? https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Bluebird/lifehistory

Too dim to capture a photograph, I can only describe what my eyes did see. Three itty-bitty newborns, barely hours old, scrunched together in order to remain warm. They were wrinkly, bald and beautiful. Tufts of fluff seemed to be patched here and there. On top of their heads, near wings and underneath. Their oversized eyes remained shut while they slept like any newborns would. I was in awe!

After going back inside to work, I opened a window. Just then, Mama bird landed on a branch with a wiggly worm between her beak dangling in chestnut color. Her newborn’s first meal perhaps? Seconds later, she flew to join Father Bird who waited patiently above, before they chirped cheerfully.

Since then, I’ve seen the parents every day, working together to feed their brood. Their songs greet me morning, noon, and night in a lyrical melody that captures my heart.

Miracles in the Merry Month of May.

*three photos to the left courtesy of Google Chrome

Culzean Castle, Maybole, Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland


http://nigelborrington.com/2016/04/07/culzean-castle-maybole-carrick-ayrshire-scotland/Beautiful photography from Scotland, my great-grandfather’s birthplace.

Nigel Borrington

Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland Nigel Borrington Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland
Nigel Borrington

Culzean Castle

It was back in 2014 that I last visited Culzean Castle on the west coast of Scotland, so I am planning another visit as soon as I can, Culzean Castle is in Ayrshire and just has to be one of the most treasured and interesting castles in Scotland.

Robert Adam was the architect and he designed the castles structure on a basic L shaped design. The structure is a fine country house and when completed it was the seat of the 10th of Cassilis ( David Kennedy ) , earldom.

The castle was built in stages between 1777 and 1792. It incorporates a large drum shaped tower, circular inside (which overlooks the sea), a grand oval staircase and a suite of well-appointed apartments.

In 1945, the Kennedy family gave the castle and its grounds to the National Trust for Scotland (thus avoiding…

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Here and Now


Today is a new day with a fresh beginning to life. Yesterday, after feeling so blue, I grabbed ‘Doodle’ dog to walk him in a nearby park. Even he had sensed my depression, not leaving my side. Once there, a new appreciation for the here and now shook me from the inside to the out.

There was a slight chill in the air as if to rid my unsettled emotions, tossing them away with the wind. As I looked high up into the measureless magic of the sky, mirrored colors of spring surrounded me. A duck waddled near a pond, trees were in full bloom, daffodils sprouted canary yellow, and God’s beauty was endless.

No, I can’t control or change my father’s circumstances. I cannot heal his bride of cancer or wave a wand to grant wishes of miracles. And, yes, there will be tears and sadness, normal emotions under such unexpected human tragedy. Still, I must hold on to my faith in God together with the power of strength. My father needs my support now nearly as much or more so than ever before. I’m praying he and his wife have a bit of precious time together, free of emotional and physical pain. The simple pleasure of a walk in a park while gazing at a sky of blue.

Seconds to sink their feet in God’s pond of here and now…..

 

Follow your Heart


Words full of meaning in this butterfly poem from Sue Dreamwalker, together with a beautiful oil painting rich in color and life.

Dreamwalker's Sanctuary

Butterfly in oilsButterfly in oils a small Painting I did over the weekend as I experimented with oils.. ( not my favourite medium ) but I am happy with how it turned out. Even though my camera skills need much to be desired 🙂 

Butterfly, Butterfly, Dancing on the breeze

You flit through the heavens, and among the trees

You fly through the air, like a leaf upon the wind,

Tumbling and turning, beating your soft wings

~~

The meadow is your haven, with flowers of nectar sweet,

I watch you fly to heaven, while I sit upon my seat.

Your message of transformation, as I let go of old

And I watch your new freedom as I ask to be bold

~~

My sorrows held within me, as again I give a sigh

You hypnotise me with your beauty, as you fly on by

You whisper in my ear, to trust…

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No Vacancy!


Only a couple of weeks ago, there were abandoned homes in my neighborhood. Small, empty shells of former families. Mothers and fathers and babies too, who lived there until nature ran its course.

I’m happy to say this has changed. Spring seems to be the reason. It’s the season. Signs of activity are everywhere. Sticks for rehabbing lay near a bungalow of blue. A few onlookers too. Suddenly there aren’t enough homes to go around.

Yesterday, two women were arguing over a wooden house freshly painted in green. It was a sight I wouldn’t have believed, yet there they were, only a few feet away from me. One seemed to be the bully. She was bigger than the other, and it was obvious the house did not fit her needs. She barely could get through the front door! With head and body poked all the way inside, her tail feathers swished on the outside. Back and forth in colors of royal blue, black and white. They seemed to be ruffled and shook like a fan from side to side. She squeezed with all her might. “I think I can…I think I can.”

I watched as the smaller gal put up a fight. It was, after all, her right! She was pretty and plump. Beautiful too, in shades of sky blue with a bright red breast. The house seemed to be a perfect fit for her. She moved in with ease, staking a claim on what was to be her own. Within seconds, the bully gave up, flying off to find another house before all of the local real estate was swallowed up.

Last night I woke to a sound of banging against the tree outside my bedroom window. The new neighbor was busy building her nest, making sure all would be right for the eggs she would soon lay during the day or night.

I smiled a sleepy smile to think of the wonders of nature. New couples have moved into abandoned homes throughout my neighborhood. Hints of spring are everywhere. Before long, babies will be born.

No, I don’t believe there is a vacancy anywhere!

*pictures of birds courtesy of Google Chrome

Winter Wonderland


The beauty was not lost on me when I woke to Winter Wonderland yesterday. Trees were thick with frosted white, streets were blanketed with new comforters, while snowflakes fell ever so gently to tuck them in.

Before diving into scattered papers upon my desk, blinds were raised, allowing additional light to shine within my office space. What a sight there was for me to see! Boughs of a tall evergreen in Blue Spruce nearly touched tiny wires of my turret window screen. Colors of emerald blue contrasted beautifully against virgin white. The tree reminded me of a perfectly painted miniature, part of a proud display entered in a gingerbread competition I had seen around Thanksgiving. http://wp.me/p41md8-2Au

The morning was a surprise of sorts. Winds howled the night before, temperatures dropped and rain began to fall. Still, no one expected another six inches of snow! After all, didn’t the groundhog see his shadow? I opened a French door to let Doodle dog out. Tentatively, he held out a single shaggy paw to the cold elements. “Wait,” he seemed to say. “I can hold it a bit longer.” He backed his bottom end into the kitchen, holding his duties off for another hour or two. Later, after providing him with a little shove, I snuggled him in a fuzzy blanket, cuddling him with warmth near the fire. He’s nearly twelve, after all.

I worked nearly the whole day through and much of the night. Still, during every break I sat on the hearth or took walks past windows while opening doors to breathe fresh crisp air, and gaze at sights of new fallen grace.

I’m aware it won’t last. Today the trees are once again naked. Driveways and streets are clear with the blankets of snow slowly shrinking to weathered sheets. Still, I have memories together with my photographs. Blessings of brief beauty. The unexpected gift of Winter Wonderland soon nearing the hope of spring.