My Top Five Heroines of all Time

top five heroines all time

Thinking of my top five heroines of all time I only had to look into my heart.

My Number One Heroine is my Mother

A woman of outstanding achievements and utmost kindness. You have to see know many people, from all walks of life, are happy to meet her although she is retired now (she worked as head nurse in the surgery department), and how warmly and highly they speak of her, of how she has helped them or, simply, of how much kindness she showed them. My Mom is my heroine, through all of her sacrifices – those I know of and those I don’t know, yet I wish I would so that they will not be forgotten.

My Number Two Heroine is my Amazing Teen Daughter

My daughter, for her outstanding courage, optimism and perseverance. To be a teenager in today’s über-technologized world, with so much pressure on all levels is far more challenging than it was, um, years ago, when it has been my turn to emerge from my chrysalis.

Yet my daughter’s courage gets her standing tall each day and, through her optimism, she discovers something to be grateful for each evening.

My Number Three Heroine is Agatha Christie

For her unique and never-ending literary flair and for her courage and determination. I first read her Autobiography in my teen years and again, at different stages of my life. She didn’t have it easy; it took years to publish her first novel and she had to balance her writing career with a tumultuous personal life. Yet her plots are complex, well-structured and her psychological insight so profound – I do admire her for her well organized mind. “When I grow up I want to be like Agatha Christie” 🙂

Top Five Heroines Time
Dame Agatha Christie as one of My Top Five Heroines of all Time

My Number Four Heroine is a fictional character

But which one?

Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell?

Remarkable, one of the strongest and most memorable female charters of classic literature. Of course, one can admire her or find her fault, or both at the same time. I will always admire her spirit and will to stay alive, to keep her own safe, and to succeed. I was a teenager when I first read this book and Scarlett’s image has followed me well into my (early) adulthood. Perhaps, unknowingly, this is one of the reasons why historical fiction had always been an interest of mine. Mitchell painted in vivid colors the end of an era and the unrest of an emerging one.

We have all mourned the loss of a specific time in our lives, be it a childhood holiday, a ritual, or a state of spirit we can never return to. And especially now, living the Covid-19 Pandemic, we do say our goodbyes to an idyllic era during which rituals were in place, life followed its course, and traditions and values were well established. Much like in Gone With the Wind, we leave the gentle South behind.
What will tomorrow bring us?

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen?

Charming, intelligent and strong willed, Lizzie has caught my attention (and many late night reading hours) due to the question she rises for all of us. Can two such opposite personalities really find common ground and achieve happiness? And mostly, the question not answered by Austen (but the one I know I have at the back of my mind each time I read this book and looking for clues as to its answer): will they live together happily ever after?

It is a game of give and get, between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. Much like any relationship, isn’t it?

Claire Fraser from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon?

Yes, she is smart and stubborn, but she is also brave, determined and has high personal values and for these qualities I do admire her. I admit having read the entire Outlander series published thus far and, at one stage, I honestly felt like setting camp outside Diana’s home, waiting for “Go Tell the Bees that I’m Gone” to be finished. I tried to imagine leading a life during the 18th century yet I could not see myself having the successful – although tumultuous – existence that Claire Fraser did. Nor could I leave my children behind.
Quite a few modern life necessities and, um, amenities, like chocolate, coffee and toilet paper, would certainly hold me from taking that leap, to say the least.

Temperance Brennan from Bones by Kathy Reichs?

More than once I admitted being hooked on Kathy Reichs’ books. If you are familiar with her novels and the TV series you will admit that the two heroines are different, although both equally strong and appealing and I admire them equally.

Tempe Brennan from the TV series is young, fierce and fearless, successful too, standing on her own two feet despite her young age. I admire her for that. I think that my younger self would have identified with her.

Tempe Brennan the book character is older, independent and equally successful, intelligent and with a sharp sense of humor, although she can get herself in (life-threatening) trouble. I can identify with her now, as a more seasoned reader and as a mother too. In some of the books Tempe’s daughter tags along and Tempe does an admiring job at handling her – and if you have teens in your life you know what I mean.

My Top Five Heroines of all Time
Kathy Reichs (left), author of Temperance Brennan series and Emily Deschanel (right) star of Bones, a TV show loosely adapted from Reichs’ series. My Top Five Heroines of all Time. Image source.

My Number Five Heroine…

Are the strong women. All strong women.

The women who had their heart shredded, and who learned from their past and moved on. Women who were able to leave all pain behind, and follow their road further, stronger and sure of themselves, yet not afraid to show their feelings and that they are vulnerable because they are humans . Women who know how much they are worth and who know when they make a mistake. Women who seize the moment and make the most of each day. Women who do not seek the spotlight, but demand respect. Honest women. Women who still share their heart and follow it.

Because the heart is at the center of life.

I do hope you enjoyed reading My Top Five Heroines of all Time.

Who do you admire?

Orthodox Easter Eggs, folktales, symbolism, traditions #culture #history

It was an erstwhile custom that a mother, no matter how elderly or ailing she felt, would take it upon herself to bring food to her lad bided elsewhere as soon as the snow thawed and the first white spring shoots pierced the ground.

A folktale tells that Mary, the mother of Jesus, took it upon herself to visit Jesus in Jerusalem and thus she packed a basket with fresh eggs. It wasn’t much else she could take him, Herod having just increased his taxes, again.

The road was winding through the verdant green hills of Judea and Mary’s heart felt light for each step brought her hither to her son, which she hasn’t seen in a long time. As the morning progressed her own shadow became but a puddle by her feet. Soon enough the basket began feeling heavier and heavier in her work-worn hand and her steps became slower and slower and she felt like her journey to Jerusalem had become a quest for shade. Not many trees were in bloom so as soon as Mary spotted a stream sheltered by a little arbor she quickened her step and stopped to cool and quench her thirst. It was a thirst like she had never felt before.  So she looked about and decided to stop for a few moments.

The road was winding through the verdant green hills of Judea and Mary’s heart felt light for each step brought her hither to her son

The stream singed and Mary saw a new nest above her head and smiled. Life was precious. The water moved softly over her fingers and, when she removed her hand, a few droplets lingered on her fingers. She brought the hand to her eyes and smiled, a whole life scene embedded in those tiny see-through pearls.

It was a peaceful moment and life’s moments were just like this string of beads following each other on her outstretched hand. Each one connected to the next, stronger together. Filled with love.

But it was time to move along. Before getting up something tugged at her heart and Mary lifted the white cotton fabric that covered the basket to see if the eggs were still in good shape.

A dreadful sight unfolded before her eyes. It was as if the sun had stopped shining, no gurgling from the stream could glide through the air and all proof of life on earth had been stamped out.

The eggs had turned blood red and the Blessed Mother of Jesus understood that the time had come for her son to pay for our sins. But she was first a mother and he was her baby boy and so she wept, Mary did, and as her tears rolled down her cheeks and dripped onto the blood covered eggs they drew patterns, a cross, a star, lines and spirals.

Easter eggs symbolism traditions

When Mary reached the place where Jesus hang on the cross, she laid the basket at his feet and knelled to pray. Then Jesus spoke and asked her not to cry for Him, but to share those blessed eggs with the people who believe in His resurrection.

***

This is why on the Orthodox Easter we color boiled eggs in red, we draw patterns on them and we share them with our loved ones, family, friends, colleagues, knocking egg against egg and saying: “Christ has risen,” and answer “It is true He has risen.”

Easter eggs symbolism traditions
Red easter eggs on the grass with flowers and blowballs, naturally colored easter eggs with onion husks. Happy Easter, Christian religious holiday.

The symbolism of the Easter egg

The hard shell of the egg symbolizes the sealed Tomb of Christ.

The cracking of the egg (through knocking) symbolizes His Resurrection.

The Ritual of coloring Easter Eggs

It is said that coloring Easter eggs is a sacred ritual. The day when one colors the eggs is special and no other activity will take place.

On counting the eggs that are to be colored, one doesn’t begin with one, but with “one thousand”, thus bringing wealth in the house for the remainder of the year.

The paint was already prepared, using different plants for different colors. GREEN – was made from walnut leaves, sweet apple skin. RED came from the leaf of a sweet apple, corn leaves or thyme. A special flower was used for YELLOW. Oregano was used to give the colored eggs a heavenly perfume.

The room where the eggs were painted was also special. No worried or upset person was allowed to step inside and no bad rumors or news of people who just passed away were allowed to reach the ears of the egg-painter.

Easter egg color symbolism

Easter eggs are nowadays colored in a rainbow of shades.

WHITE – means purity

RED – symbolizes the blood of Christ and life

BLUE – symbolizes the sky above, uniting us all

BLACK – means fertility

GREEN – means nature

YELLOW – symbolizes sun and energy

Easter eggs symbolism traditions
Easter eggs symbolism traditions

Orthodox Easter Eggs Design Symbolism, Traditions

A straight vertical line means life.

A straight horizontal line means death.

A double straight line symbolizes eternity.

A rectangle pattern – symbolizes thought and knowledge.

A sinuous line symbolizes water and purity.

A spiral means time and eternity.

A double spiral symbolizes the connection between life and death.

Cross – symbol for Christianity

A cross with additional small crosses at the end of each arm is a Russian cross.

Orthodox cross on a red Easter egg

A star – is called the “shepherd’s star”

A monastery – symbol of Christianity

Other motives used for decorating Easter eggs: bees, frogs, snakes, lambs, garden tools, fir tree, tulip, wheat.

Other traditions call for all the family members to wash their faces with fresh water on Easter morning, water from a container that holds a red egg and a silver coin. It is believed that the red egg brings good luck, good health, warn off evil spirits and all spells.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Easter eggs’ symbolism and traditions.

You might also enjoy reading:
A Journey through the Medieval City of Sighisoara, Romania
Convents: the Religious Life of Medieval Women

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