Praia da Marinha

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This cairn stood quietly along the path of the Seven Hanging Valleys Walk in Praia da Marinha, a silent invitation to stop and soak in the magnificence of this part of the world–

the imposing beauty of the Atlantic bathed in the sun’s splendor,
the gentle wind caressing the ocean’s surface,
the delicate scent of pine with a whiff of brine,
earth warm in color and feel under my shoes.

A part of me wanted to sit beside the stones and stare out to sea with the same stillness, but the path was calling.

Pussy Willows

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I love pussy willows and enjoyed this bunch given by the in-laws. Curious what pussy willows symbolize, I searched the internet and found out that they are associated with motherhood and are one of the earliest signs of spring. Further search led me to this beautiful story from MyCatSite —

“The Pussy Willow plant actually got is name from an old Polish cat myth. The myth goes as follows:

One day, a mother cat was sitting on a river bank, sobbing because her kittens had fallen into the rushing water and were sure to drown because she couldn’t get to them. Hearing her piteous cries, the long reeds on the shore felt sorry for her.

Taking pity on the mother cat, the reeds bent over so that the kittens could grab onto their long leaves and stalks, saving themselves and giving the mother cat back her precious babes.

Ever since, the helpful reeds have grown beautiful velvety blooms atop their stalks, both as a reward and as a reminder of the tiny kittens that clung to them in order to save their lives. The name Pussy Willow refers to those velvety little blooms.”

 

Not Yet

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Even the brown leaves clinging to the tree I find beautiful. I love their somber rust tones, their tenacity not to part with the tree that gave them life. I love that even in their approaching death, they still radiate a stunning beauty too powerful to be ignored.