C’est le printemps. Este primăvară. Dit is lente. It is spring.

printemps, primavara, spring, herfs, apricot blossoms

The fruit trees start blossoming and the sparrows begin chirping at the break of dawn. The sunlight grows warmer and glows with care. Its fingers graze the small, pink flowers that are abuzz with bees.

C’est le printemps. Este primăvară. Dit is lente. It is spring.

The rebirth of nature, after the long icy months, is enough to open your mind to the beauty that nature seems to paint so effortlessly.

The warmer air is filled with the sweet scents of flowers and the promise of renewal.

Our hearts open hopefully to new sentiments and romance.

The seasons are not usually linked to the months of the year, but rather by the appearance of flowers on trees, or astronomy. ‘Equinox’ comes from the Latin words aequi (meaning equal) and noct (meaning night). Natural time is unstable and the lengths of day and night are usually not equal, yet on the spring equinox and autumn equinox-the angle of the Earth’s axis is positioned in such a way that daytime and night-time are equal. Spring is mostly thought of as the time between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. During the spring equinox; the sun is directly over the Earth’s equator at midday. The equal lengths of day and night (well, nearly equal) are due to the fact that the sun’s rays refract (bend) when they hit the Earth’s atmosphere.

printemps primăvară herfs spring, sun-earth relationship

This refracting causes the sun to appear that it is still above the horizon, when it has actually already set. Hence, the daytime is lengthened by roughly seven and a half minutes at the equator (countries like Brazil, Gabon, Kenya, Somalia, Maldives and Indonesia), eight minutes at 30 degrees latitude (places such as South Africa, southern Australia, Argentina and southern Brazil) and sixteen minutes at 60 degrees latitude (like in Sweden and Russia).

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year-this year (2020), it is on the 20th of December in the Southern hemisphere and on the 20th of June in the Northern hemisphere. So, if you don’t live on electronic time (like I do)-those are the perfect days to spend outside in the sun. Well, 20th of June was the perfect day. If you know how to build a time machine, then you know where to go!

I have always been fascinated by Egyptian history and have read up on as much as I could find on the subject since I was first introduced to it ten years ago. In those ancient times, seasons (and most things that are now explained with Science) were often explained with mythical tales. Spring often symbolised rebirth and resurrection-something which the Egyptians held at the core of their belief system. Osiris (the Egyptian god of fertility, agriculture, the afterlife, the dead, resurrection, life, and vegetation) was brutally murdered by his brother, Seth (the god of war, chaos and storms). Osiris was the first-born son to Geb (god of the earth) and Nut (goddess of the sky). As first born, he was considered the ruler of Egypt. He taught the Egyptians the proper ways to worship the gods, provided them with laws and taught them agriculture. He later took Isis (his sister) as his wife and she gifted the Egyptians equality and compassion. The paradise ensured equality among all and abundance of food. Set was jealous of his brother’s power and success. When his wife (Nephthys) became pregnant by Osiris-after disguising herself as Isis-Set’s resentment turned bitter.

printemps primăvară herfs spring, Egyptian mythology

He decided to eliminate his brother and had a beautiful casket made, tailored to Osiris’ exact measurements. A huge party was thrown and Set invited his brother-but with sinister motives. Set revealed the magnificent casket to the guests and told them that whoever’s body fit most perfectly inside could take the treasure home. As you can guess-Osiris’ fit perfectly. Set immediately slammed the lid shut and threw the casket-and his brother-into the Nile. Of course, this is only one version of how Set murdered his brother. Now you’re probably wondering where Spring comes in. Well, Osiris’ wife-Isis-found his body and buried him-which re-birthed Osiris as the judge of the underworld. Hence-rebirth, resurrection and the arrival of spring (with Osiris’ role as the fertility god-giving life to plants) was created in Egypt. Of course, this story also explains the annual flooding of the river Nile, as when Osiris’ casket was thrown into the river-it flooded, as it does every year since then in the spring.

Spring symbolises new beginnings: baby birds begin chirping in nests and the trees start making  new leaves and beautiful blossoms.

printemps primăvară lente spring, apricot blossoms

The world is renewed and the air filled with hope. Maybe change is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. The flooding of the Nile in Egypt still provides farmers with water for their crops-and therefore food. The changing seasons all over the world provide us with new perspectives and opportunities.

It is up to you to jump in the flood and let yourself be renewed to a more powerful version of yourself.

© Lysandra Furstenberg, 2020

You have seen photographs taken by my daughter, the writer of this post, in Dualism, a Square in Travel Photography and Black and White, Square Moon Trees. Lysandra’s poetry was featured by lovely Florence of Miscellany Pages in Poetry, Comedy & The Modern World and you can discover her poetry book, Right to Life, on Amazon.

Sources:

Rebirth and Resurrection: Spring Myths of the Ancient World
Symbols of Spring
Spring: Season of New Beginnings
Earth’s Orbit
The Seasons, the Equinox, and the Solstices

Poetry, Comedy & The Modern World — Miscellany Pages

Yes, we need fun poetry and comedy in today’s modern world and talented Florence of Miscellany Pages understood the necessity and created an anthology titled ‘Poetry, Comedy & The Modern World’.

Twelve poems and a bonus, Lysandra Furstenberg’s Right to Life.

Do head over and read for joy:

To experiment with the idea of making poetry more fun, I created an anthology entitled ‘Poetry, Comedy & The Modern World’ for a recent project on my English Literature degree. I thought I would share the twelve poems that made their way into the final anthology here on my blog! I hope you enjoy exploring and, hopefully, having a bit of a laugh along the way…

via Poetry, Comedy & The Modern World — Miscellany Pages

Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for, 1 Year Anniversary

5 books everyone should read in their lifetime

Celebrate with me Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for and its 1 year anniversary from its publishing debut on Amazon.
Looking at war from the perspective of all those sucked into it, civilians, soldiers, military working dogs, MWD, and eve belligerents, Silent Heroes is a narrative about the value of life and the necessity of combat; the terror of dying; the ordeal of seeing your loved ones and your platoon-mates killed in front of your eyes; the trauma of taking a human life.

“What I tried to convey through Silent Heroes is that all those impacted by war are, at the end of a fighting day, human being with dreams and families. A war’s consequences, like the shadow of a nightmare, reach far beyond the battlefield.
Perhaps being a woman that writes about war I couldn’t ignore my inner voice speaking for the daughter, the wife, and the mother in me.”

Patricia Furstenberg
Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for, 1 Year Anniversary, 5 books everyone should read in their lifetime
5 books everyone should read in their lifetime, Jodi Picoult, Ken Follett, Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg, Victor Hugo, Shantaram – as chosen by fantastic reader and book blogger Mani.

On the book itself and on how it came to be, read below.

Numerous other silent heroes, from countless wars, came before the book itself, especially the Military Working Dogs of Gulf War, Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. That was just the beginning.

Secrets Revealed in of Silent Heroes

5 Secrets Revealed in Silent Heroes. A Mysterious Underground Fortress
5 Secrets Revealed in Silent Heroes. The Military Chain of Command
5 Secrets Revealed in Silent Heroes. Taliban’s Secret Lair
5 Secrets Revealed in Silent Heroes. Women’s Rights under Taliban
5 Secrets Revealed in Silent Heroes. The Humanity of U.S. Marines

Music often inspired me. I invite you to listen to some of the tunes behind Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for on the book’s 1 Year Anniversary:

The Music of Silent Heroes

Songs that Remind me of the Marines, my Silent Heroes
Songs that Remind me of Silent Heroes: the Afghan people

The Setting behind Silent Heroes

5 Remarkable Places You Will Want to Visit After Reading Silent Heroes
Afghanistan, a Dangerous Landscape

The youngest human character in Silent Heroes is a little Afghan boy of eight years old, Rafik:

Rafik’s Travels in Silent Heroes

Rafik’s Journey in Silent Heroes. An Afghan Village
Rafik’s Journey in Silent Heroes. At Camp Bastion
Rafik’s Journey in Silent Heroes. The Afghan Desert
Rafik’s Journey in Silent Heroes. An Oshkosh Vehicle
Rafik’s Journey in Silent Heroes. The Hindu Kush Mountains

Silent Heroes book Afghanistan military orking dogs Patricia Furstenberg

Of course, there would be no Silent Heroes, 1 Year Anniversary, without some:

Silent Heroes Poetry and First Chapters

The Soldier and his Dog, Silent Heroes
A Boy and his Dog
Read the opening pages of Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg

If you love secrets and symbology you might enjoy reading:

Secrets of a Book Cover

Secrets of a Book Cover – a Guest Post: the soldier and his dog, an Afghan sunset, and Afghan eyes
Secrets Hidden in a Book Cover – the colors: red, brown and gold

Women Writing about War

How is my Writing Different in my Genre
A Resultant Force, Women Writing about War
Women Writing about War

Silent Heroes

And, how else:

Celebrating the Readers of “Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for” and Their 5 Stars Reviews for This Book

Look Closer, What am I? Green

For this week’s Look Closer, What am I, from details to the big picture, I chose green, or it rather chose me. It is winter here, in South Africa and it feels wrong (to the Northern hemisphere born self) to still see so many green trees around, and roses blooming in our rosebushes, the Bougainvillea with its regal magenta flowers smiling at a clear aquamarine sky – forever depleted of snow.

Yet green it’s good… When I look at this patch of green I can see the veins from my wrist and the lines of my palm, my life and my future are in it.

Look Closer What am I Green

A whisper of wind can make it shiver, yet the leaf does not break; it bends under its strength, pretend to bow at its will. Yes, I hear you, it seems to acknowledge the wind – but does it really?

Leaves are building blocks, nature’s shards of stained glass windows.

Leaves are past and present and future, a memory and a warning.

Leaves are nature’s collection of rare moments.

Leaves are the reminder that the vain will pass and perish and the youth will, eventually, decay.

Leaves are the reminder that all that’s different to the eye is, elementary, similar.

Look Closer What am I Green

Look Closer, What am I, Green…
for nothing is what is seems.
See with your mind,
not with your eyes.

Look Closer What am I Green
Photography Art by Singkham, Pexels

Looks familiar?

I’ll leave you with a short poem:

Three salmon shade hens
Dance.
Feathered feet, ten toes each.
A bright green worm stretched.


(Patricia Furstenberg)

Books by Patricia Furstenberg on Amazon

Subscribe to my e-Newsletter for fun and informative content on dogs, books, history, folklore and a castle or two:

The Night You Went Away, a poem

amazing dogs from history, dogs who changed it

When all’s asleep and night is calm,

And cats on windows, birds in trees and even owls rest,

A dog wakes up. He’s heard

The call of that one bird.

The birds that sings

But once.

The Night You Went Away, a poem

And in the middle of the night, when mice and hens, the rooster too,

All share that one slow rhythm, of dreams and peace,

A dog gets up and moves along; he wants just one more pat

Before his master leaves.

For the lone bird had sung.

Just once.

The Night You Went Away, a poem
My beloved dog Tara. Patricia Furstenberg

His master sleeps, his breath so soft, as quiet as the night.

He knows, more than he feels, his dog is by his side.

And in his slumber state he strokes his dog, once more, the last.

Then breathes all out, hand slides away and… just like that, he’s gone.

And birds and hens, the mice, the trees

Still sleep the night’s deep sleep.

The dog barks once; he jumps from bed

And whines and licks the hand,

Last time so kind, so warm, yet never to pet again.

The Night You Went Away, a poem

And with the first rays of new day, when world’s aroused with hope,

The house where his master lived is all awake, in mourn.

The hens cluck, busy; eggs are done! The rooster calls the time.

And birds sing sweetly, the cat meows, she stretches, looks around.

Yet no one’s there to pick the eggs, to feed the cat, to smile.

“He’s gone,” barks dog. “He went last night.”

“He’s gone,” his soft whine cries.

“The bird had sung. I heard.”

amazing dogs from history, dogs who changed it

They came at lunch time, with a van.

Mom’s lost, everyone sobs.

They took him with and yet… the dog still sits and waits.

He’s waiting by the gate

In hope

That if the one bird comes to sing once more,

His master will return.

~~~~~

© Patricia Furstenberg, 2018

Thank you for reading. You can read a few haiku about dogs too: about an Airedale Terrier, a German Pointer, a St. Bernard, a Rottweiler Dog, or a Dachshund Dog

You can discover more of my poetry through Amazon.

Subscribe to my e-Newsletter for fun and informative content on dogs, books, history, folklore and a castle or two:

Why Do People Write?

why do people write

The vast majority write out of a desire to share their experience with other people. Sharing something imparts a feeling of usefulness. Some people say they write for pleasure, others that say they write out of a desire to inform their peers. Others say they write for the sake of competition.

Nothing in this world is done without a reason because in addition to existential needs, people need much more.

But can literature change people, providing that people want to change?

We are rational beings, we socialize and we need to express our feelings and to see them echoed in others. We need to leave a mark behind us, footprints in the sand. So we write. Some of us.

Perhaps all the reasons why people write are based on the simple pleasure of writing.

Why Do People Write?

So, why do people write?

Writing is therapeutic. The white paper listens to you and does not judge you. It accepts everything you want to give, the countless revisions too, without getting upset. It doesn’t matter if you write well or bad, the simple fact of putting your thoughts on paper frees you and gives you clarity and peace of mind. At least during the present moment. When it counts.

Writing clarifies the mind. If you can’t explain something to others, then you don’t understand it very well either. As you write, you reveal the knots in your thinking and force yourself to untangle them. I know I do.

Writing helps you learn. When I research for a book I need information in addition to what I already know. I have to document myself on so many levels, setting, politics, weather, customs, folklore, lifestyle, language, so I write everything down. Doesn’t all research go like this?

Writing helps one become more creative. As I try to express myself better I think of metaphors, comparisons or examples that sometimes link different ideas, feelings or situations. An exercise such as this, done for years, helps creativity, because it becomes easier to make unexpected connections.

Writing improves the memory and sprouts new ideas and thoughts. If I go back to stories I wrote five, ten years ago, I recognize the seed of an idea I developed only recently. But also anxieties I put out of my mind, because I wrote about them. Or events that I remember differently now, in a somehow detached way.

Writing urges you to read. As Stephen King said,’ If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.’ And reading comes with its long list of benefits.     

Writing teaches you to receive criticism. From mischievous comments to justified feedback, I got used to digesting everything and taking the essentials. While keeping some thoughts (and a smile) to myself.

Writing helps one become more empathetic. When I write something, anything, I have to put myself in the character’s skin, be it human or a doggo. It’s experiencing a second life while, at the same time, teaching me to take a step back and see things into perspective, while in my own skin.

Silent Heroes of war, empathy

Why do I write?

Writing bought me a cup of coffee, although I traded the security of a medical career for it. But it gives me the satisfaction of creating something with my own two hands (and with my mind and soul). Like baking or carpentry. Like architecture (my first love). Writing has never disappointed me and I have never felt drained, used up in an emotional way after writing. Exhausted, but energized at the same time. Okay, there are moments of despair here and now.

I write about people so as not to forget them, so as not to forget the good vibes they made me feel.

I write about people just to keep those parts of them that have managed to change certain parts of me or that have made me feel more than I thought I could feel.

Books by Patricia Furstenberg on Amazon

5 Incredible Animals Friendships Now as Story Books

animals friendsip books

If we needed more proof that animals feel empathy, these five incredible friendships between animals are the living proof and sure to melt your heart, do enjoy their story books with your child.

Human beings may be the most intelligent of all the species, but nothing beats a child’s emotional connection with a pet. So, where do animals stand when it comes to emotional intelligence?

Do animals experience emotions, do they show this by spontaneous changes in their behavior? And, as a result of the emotions they experience, do they have feelings?

The Incredible Friendship Between a BEAR, a LION and a TIGER

It was the beginning of the 21st century when three cubs were rescued from the home of a drug dealer where they were kept illegally as pets. Severely malnourished and scared, the salvation for an American Black bear cub, an African lion cub and a Bengal tiger cub came through Noah’s Ark Animal sanctuary.

This is when the cubs’ true friendship revealed itself. As the bear required an emergency operation, the lion and tiger cubs became agitated while their friend was gone. They refused food, paced their enclosure, vocalized and only stopped when the bear was safely returned to them. After this, the three cubs spent their entire time close together, clinging to one another for comfort and safety. They were named Baloo, Leo, and Shere Khan.

The bear, the lion and the tiger soon matured, yet they continued sharing the same habitat, playing, eating together and grooming one another. And they did so for 17 years. Sadly, Leo and Shere Khan passed away in 2016 and 2018 respectively, and Baloo was there for them in their final hours.

In the wild, Asian black bears and tigers do share the same territory in the Far East, but when they do meet, one of them is sure to be badly injured.

The Heartwarming Friendship Between a CHIMPANZEE and a DOG

There are quite a few cute chimps that struck lovely friendship with dogs, an undeniable proof that social connections between animals do mimic those between humans and their pets.

Often, when a chimp and a dog became friends it was the puppy who came to the baby chimp’s emotional rescue. Too many chimps are slaves of the illegal pet trade, and when they are finally rescued are found to be orphans.

What would happen, I asked myself, if a dog and a chimp met in the wild? Would they still play? Would they play fetch, perhaps? Pull faces at each other? Share naps?

The Unbelievable Friendship Between a CHEETAH and a DOG

Yes, cats and dogs can be friends. What about a wild cat and a canine? One such incredible pair were Kasi the cheetah and Mtani the Labrador. Mtani means “close friend” in Swahili.

What if the cheetah and the dog would meet in the wild, on the African planes? Would the mama-cheetah allow? Would the dog have human friends who would interfere with their unusual friendship?

The Amazing Friendship Between a LION and a DOG

A cute, brown Dachshund dog called Milo struck a remarkable friendship with a massive lion named Bonedigger when the latter became disabled due to illness. Somehow, the canine made its way to the sad lion’s heart and took the beast under his wing and the two remained the best of friends, even five years later. None of them cared that one weighs 11 pounds, while the other 500 pounds.

5 Incredible Animals Friendships Now as Story Books, the lion and the dog

Enjoy their beautiful friendship evolving throughout the seasons:

The Loving Friendship Between an ELEPHANT and a SHEEP

Albert the sheep and Themba the elephant live in Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in South Africa. Sadly, the elephant calf became an orphan after his mother died falling down a cliff. After a rocky start… the pair’s relationship blossomed, and they became the best of friends and Themba the elephant calf blossomed.

You can follow and enjoy their adventures in this book:

hope readers books Furstenberg
Find all my books on Amazon.