Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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Eggs have been decorated for centuries.
Decorated eggs have become integral to the celebration of Easter today. The tradition of painting and decorating eggs pre-dates Christianity. Not only the Egyptians, but also the Greeks, Persians, and Romans decorated their eggs. Ostrich eggs were used as perfume containers, food containers, containers for water or milk, drinking cups, and bowls. The ancient Libyans offered ostrich eggs to the Egyptian pharaoh as items of tribute. Babylonian and Assyrian texts record its medicinal as well as its magical values. Ostrich eggs were used for religious purposes and were a symbol of fertility and prosperity. Eggs were offered in ancient Greek sanctuaries and empty ostrich eggshells were placed in graves as early as the 5th millennium B.C. Ostrich eggs also feature as symbols of resurrection on tombs found in Coptic churches in Egypt. Goblets fashioned from griffin eggs (actually ostrich eggs) were highly prized in medieval European courts. Magical eggs are guarded by dragons, and from eggs…
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Giants ruled the island for centuries before the clans discovered the place, bringing their version of civilization. They thought they could colonize the giants and rob them of their resources while enslaving them. The ships landed, and soldiers spread out to find and conquer the inhabitants. They found evidence of cooking, fires still warm, but no people could be found. Days of searching systematically revealed nothing more of the locals. It looked like they had vanished suddenly, but there was no clue about where they had gone, or how they had escaped without being seen.
Harsh storms blew in from the west rocking the ship at anchor. The invaders were cold, hungry, and became afraid they might be stranded as they watched their ship take on water. A funnel cloud swept across the horizon, churning up the surf. The clansmen feared for their lives and wished they had never come to this place. There was no shelter, and the elements were harsh. Survival would be difficult at best. They questioned the wisdom of trying to conquer a land separate from their own, and hoped they would live to return to their homeland. They were not equipped for warfare with giant wizards.
In a flash they were lifted into the sky on the funnel cloud, swirling wildly. Time was suspended while they floated in a dream like state. Chaos in slow motion took over their minds. They saw each other disintegrate, then reappear whole. They screamed bloody murder as the rock beneath them opened. A torrent of lost and angry souls were swept downward at high velocity. They could feel the heat as their fates were sealed. They joined all the others who had come to conquer the giants in an underground of immeasurable suffering. There is no escape.
The giants keep the island for themselves to this day, as is their inherited right. Visitors beware of the local rules and customs.
When they lived along the river the whole family used to hike up to the rock hideout a few times every year for a party, a picnic, and some music. Families wandered more in those times. They met folks from other towns, learned new songs from them, and exchanged some goods. The den in the rocks was used for festive purposes before the flood. They never had to worry about thieves or tricksters in those days. Life was simple. There was plenty for everyone. They had not known tragedy or loss. Then one day a wall of water rushed down the valley, washing away everything on both sides of the river for miles.
When the water finally subsided and they surveyed the damage it was decided that moving to higher ground was practical. If they were to rebuild and start anew, they wanted to be sure they could not be wiped out so suddenly by the whims of the river. They looked for signs. They decided to make their new headquarters in the old hideout. It had some sentimental value to them, and they were emotionally fragile. The loss of their home and possessions took a heavy toll.
They used the cave as a shelter, a watchtower, and a place to store their belongings while they built new lives. The significance of the place to the family became legend. When we come up here now we like to tell stories about the time when our ancestors camped in this place in order to survive.
This piece is a response to the photo prompt on Sue Vincent’s Echo this week. Every week she posts a new photo to inspire poetry or prose, long or short. Join us for a wide variety of responses every Thursday. The fun is in seeing all the ways people write about the same image.
Between the waning Moon and Pisces Season winding to a close, there may be a tinge of melancholy in the air this week. The New Moon in Pisces on Saturday is more about looking back rather than ahead and won’t do much to lighten the mood. One big change is Mars leaving fiery Sagittarius for […]
A cobbler lived in a large town called Applestrow and as he was the only cobbler in town, he was responsible for repairing the boots of everybody else. He worked day and night, never gave time to himself nor had time for his family. He was very much appreciated by all his customers. However, he […]
If we were having coffee I would offer you a drink and a cozy place to sit while I tell you about the short trip from which we just returned. This weekend was the perfect time to visit Santa Cruz County, AZ. The birds are returning to Madera Canyon, a National Forrest area very popular with many species of migratory birds and their fans. We spent an afternoon in Tubac enjoying art and an excellent meal. My partner had a specific purchase in mind, but we always like to see the galleries and the shows at the Tubac Center for the Arts. The town is walkable with plenty of parking, even on the busiest days. This weekend they held an art walk to attract customers. It worked for us. Bob found the belt he wanted. We enjoyed seeing paintings, sculpture, and lots of lovely jewelry. We took in the current exhibits at the Center for the Arts, a small and very high quality museum in the middle of town.
His belt needed to be sized, so we went to Elvira’s, a restaurant we like, for lunch. I tried the chile relleno Frida Kahlo , which is an elaborate version of the stuffed classic fried whole chile. Bob order tongue with two kinds of mole. The place was jammed, so service was understandably slow. The waiter gave us an apology up front, and brought us some free guacamole to pass the time. We were in no rush. The mango margaritas with tajín and salt on the rim are excellent, as is the very exotic cheese crisp, not your standard tortilla. The place is decorated with thousands of glass drops, and many mirrors, which gives it a super festive look. It was the perfect place to spend our lunch break.
Today we walked around in Madera Canyon, enjoying a cool misty day. We saw a few species of birds and a porcupine, but our big nature thrill was wild turkeys. We ran into several groups while we walked. We stopped to see the feeders at the Santa Cruz Lodge, a famous place for bird watching. The gift shop carries excellent merchandise. I came home with a small piece of pottery that I adore and can exhibit in my china cabinet. Our trip had a little bit of everything. It felt as if we had been away on a longer vacation. We got a full recharge and rejuvenate on about 24 hours away from home. It feels a little bit magical. I am refreshed for work tomorrow.
Let me pour you another cup, or glass, of whatever you are drinking while you tell me about your week. I have been a lazy writer, but I hope this fate has not befallen any of you. How is the writing going? And life? If you are still thirsty for more digital coffee, please join us each weekend at Eclectic Ali’s. You are welcome to read, comment, or submit your own coffee share post here. Cheers! I hope your week will be rewarding and fun.
We walked slowly and quietly around the long corridors of the old cloister. The long deserted places of worship and daily devotion were kept in order by the town council. Tourists and visitors climbed the winding drive from the village to see the remains of the famous monastery. Religious ceremonies had gone underground in the last decade of the cultural revival. New discoveries by researchers indicate that the last group of secret priests had gathered in this place to say the last rites for their church. It was said they had burned all the literature in a great bonfire to keep it out of the hands of the invaders. They held a great ceremonial funeral march under a full moon, then disbanded for their own safety. Scattering to the four winds, the former religious leaders infiltrated society and took on new occupations in new parts of the region.
They took with them only personal amulets which they kept on their bodies, hidden from public view. Any evidence that they had been part of any religion might have placed them in great danger, so they were cautious. They never spoke to anyone about the past or their former associates. They slowly drifted apart and forgot the importance of the rituals they had performed in the past. They found new interests and new ways of seeing the universe. They started to feel connected to new families and communities, forgetting the ideas they had held closely in the past.
As politics thaw and people once again look to find hope and unity, some say that visiting these old places of worship can bring peace and enlightenment. We feel cool and calm as we drift down the hall, imagining what this must have been like when it was full of monks. There is something about the light that feels serene. The arches that open to the orchard frame trees in blossom, surrounded by wildflowers carpeting the ground. Enchanted beings are said to have taken over the spot after the invaders withdrew. Some say you will observe trolls and wizards if you linger on the grounds after dark. We are enchanted enough for one day, and take our questions with us back down the hill. We wonder what religion really was, and how it has changed history.
This short story is inspired by this week’s photo prompt on Sue Vincent’s Echo. Each week she publishes a new photo on Thursday. Join the group to read, comment, or contribute your own poem, story, or essay. The variety to be found in the responses is amazing.
Rolling hills in memory’s vault of treasure
Go on forever, leading to paths of pleasure
That end on the shores of the deepest sea
Surrounded by deserts without a single tree
The wasteland is dark with shadows of dread
No fauna, no flora, are found as we are lead
Closer to the truth , to the peace of the dead
This dark little poem was written in response to this week’s photo prompt in Sue Vincent’s Echo. Join us every Thursday for a new photo to inspire prose, poetry, or reading pleasure. It is fun to see all the different responses.
If we were having coffee I would invite you to sit poolside under a shade structure to sip some hot coffee or tea. Today is the last day of my spa vacation at one of my favorite destinations, Desert Hot Springs, California. Join me as I completely relax here before driving back to Tucson tomorrow. This week has exceeded my expectations. The weather cleared to make my drive smooth and easy. I zipped across the desert with almost the entire highway to myself. My room has a view facing the mountains, which I love. It has snowed in the higher elevations, which makes the peaks stunningly dramatic, especially at sunrise and sunset.
My spa routine involves a very early morning dip in the pools to exercise and stretch before the rest of the hotel guests start to get up and move about. It is dreamy to have all the pools to myself while the water is still in the shade. I come back to the water for a couple of hours at the end of the day while the sun sets. I had a couple of spa services, and went to Palm Springs (about 15 miles from here) to go to my favorite restaurant, do a little shopping, and attend an event. This is an ideal restorative break in my mind. I have no agenda, and follow my own personal whims. I have traveled all over the world with groups, family, and friends. Each group experience has a different fun aspect. Solo travel, however, is really my cup of tea. This hot spring, and this tiny funky town, is my ideal place to recreate. I will drive back to Tucson today, stopping on the way to see an old friend who is in Quartzite, AZ for the gem show. This will round out my time off with a touch of social activity. I feel completely refreshed to return to work and household chores tomorrow. This retreat has restored my well being and good mood. My spa retreat is a total success.
I have been slipping into a very lazy spell with this blog, writing very little. I hope I have rebooted my brain with some new ideas to bring forward during my stay here. I want to get back to a daily writing practice, which I love. I want to write more poetry and some short fiction, which requires time and practice. Taking this time to get perspective has brought to my attention that writing is one of my major thrills in life, so I need to put regular practice into developing it. I have not been to this coffee party for a while, so I look forward to hearing how you are doing with your writing. I hope you have not been in a slump like me. So, join me in the bubbly champagne pool, and let’s order another round of coffee. This is the perfect place to catch up on what is new with you. I have a few hours before I drive home.
The wind blows down from the mountains at daybreak
The treetops sway while birds take off to hunt for prey
The sky is full of wings, soaring and circling above
The small creatures hide in hopes of living another day
We take the water, brew the tea, sip it on the balcony
Nature’s law seems so remote while we live this way