Hope Prevails

I think this is a Cactus Wren nest and eggs
I think this is a Cactus Wren nest and eggs

If you’ve read my blog any time during 2015, you’ve probably gathered this hasn’t been the best year for me.  I spent the entire first half of the year submerged in darkness and struggling against an undercurrent that pulled me under whenever I caught a glimpse of hope. Keeping with the water theme, I noticed the tide changed in July.  I was able to hold on to my first glimpse of hope that tomorrow could overcome the gloom of today.  There have been setbacks since then, but for the most part, I’ve kept hope in my sights.

Over the weekend, while visiting my parents, my mom found a nest in one of their cactus plants.  They have several different variety of cacti, each with varying degrees of pain associated with them.  (I am not a fan of cacti at all.  See, just the weekend before, I helped my dad clear out one that had blown down during a monsoon storm.  I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I may have enjoyed using the ax a little too much 🙂 )  Even with thick leather gloves, I managed to get cactus needles in my fingertips.  And I know I’m getting old(er) because, although I could feel them, I couldn’t see them at all.  That’s another blog post entirely…

Monsoon storm broke some Mexican Organ Pipe and Prickly Pear cacti... we finished them off
Monsoon storm broke some Mexican Organ Pipe and Prickly Pear cacti… we finished them off

So, back to the bird’s nest.

When I saw the nest tucked into the seemingly inhospitable “branches” of a cactus, I couldn’t help but relate this to my life.  See, my life this year has been like that cactus.  The spiny cactus isn’t the most welcoming home for most species, yet the wren is able to live there- the conditions even providing protection from many predators.  (Would you go near that???)  My life hasn’t been conducive to fostering hope, but I’m finding that in the absence of ideal conditions, hope still exists.

As I ponder life, both of cactus wren and my own, I can’t help but marvel at the resiliency of it. With the light of hope, I see the beauty of life again.  Even through all the stuff that could turn my heart cold, I feel the warmth of “good” moments.  That is hope.

I hope you feel it, too.

Have a beautiful Monday!

P.S.  I’m still so far behind on reading blogs.  Thanks to everyone for your patience as I try to get caught up… I have posts from May that I still haven’t read!  And I thought life was crazy before school started, haha… let the games begin (again.)

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33 thoughts on “Hope Prevails

  1. Nurse Kelly August 10, 2015 / 5:15 AM

    Incredibly beautiful and heartfelt post, Janna. Love the photo of the nest as well. Thank you for sharing your feelings so candidly – you yourself are a great source of inspiration and hope to many by doing so. Hugs to you. xoxo

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2015 / 10:43 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Nurse Kelly. It really was neat seeing that nest in what appears to be such an unexpected place 🙂

      • Nurse Kelly August 16, 2015 / 5:36 AM

        You’re welcome! I hope you are well. xo

        • jannatwrites August 20, 2015 / 9:01 PM

          Thanks Nurse Kelly… I take each day as it comes 🙂

  2. originaltitle August 10, 2015 / 5:27 AM

    A great experience to spark introspective thought! Sometimes we need to house ourselves in “cacti” to protect ourselves when we’re in a vulnerable state. The outer walls of our protective shell are ready to poke anyone who comes near with sharp points, but inside, we’re guarding the little hope, the little inspiration, the little will we need to keep moving along. When we’re ready, we let that little vulnerable piece of us fly out of the shell. I hope your time of darkness is truly passing and that you can let people in to help you. Good luck with school this year. Thanks for sharing this great post.

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2015 / 10:44 PM

      I think we do learn to protect ourselves so that life doesn’t end up destroying us. I do have some encouragement, and urgings to take each day as it comes, so that is exactly what I do. Thanks for taking time to read and share your comment, Originaltitle – I appreciate it!

  3. nrhatch August 10, 2015 / 5:38 AM

    Hope’ Is The Thing With Feathers – Poem by Emily Dickinson

    ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers—
    That perches in the soul—
    And sings the tune without the words—
    And never stops—at all—

    Emily Dickinson

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2015 / 10:45 PM

      That’s a pretty verse, Nancy- thanks for sharing it!

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2015 / 10:45 PM

      Thanks, Susan… here’s hoping I’m crawling out of whatever I’ve been in 🙂

  4. Sean August 10, 2015 / 7:51 AM

    Secluded with just her two eggs to become a family. Nestled within thorns of protection. Very few animals would dare to try to get at the nest but some try. As they grow, they learn to become self sufficient but still need guidance. A helping hand could be needed in the future. Hope is a good feeling amongst all the issues of life.

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2015 / 10:46 PM

      Thanks for taking time to stop by and read, Sean. I think even birds who nest in cacti might need help at some point 🙂

  5. Debbie August 10, 2015 / 11:33 AM

    Aw, mama birds are relentless when it comes to nesting and protecting their offspring, huh, Janna? I’m glad to hear HOPE is reacquainting itself to you! I’ve found that my religion is an ever-present source of hope in the triumph of good over evil. Your kids are back in school already?? Yikes, where did the summer go?? Hang in there, my friend, and don’t stress over playing catch up!

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2015 / 10:50 PM

      The kids have finished a couple weeks of school now so it’s almost routine. My older son has his first cross country meet coming up so that adds a little more to the mix 🙂 Prayer has helped through this, but sometimes in the darkest of darknesses, it’s hard to see that things could be any different – any better- than they are at the moment. Circumstances could change, or that is my hope. Thanks so much for reading and for your support, Debbie.

  6. Anita Kushwaha August 10, 2015 / 2:25 PM

    I came across a quote last week that said when we experience hardship, not to despair, but to be patient, because our rainbow is already waiting for us. 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2015 / 10:51 PM

      It’s funny you relate a quote that mentions patience- a lack of patience is something I have struggled with my entire life, but in dealing with circumstances beyond my control, I am forced to learn to handle delays. I appreciate you stopping by, Anita!

      • Anita Kushwaha August 17, 2015 / 6:06 AM

        I can totally relate to struggling with a lack of patience, too. Are you an Aries by chance, ha ha. Lately I’ve been trying to practice acceptance and that seems to help give me a bit of perspective and live in the moment. Some days are easier than others! Thanks again for you post! 🙂

        • jannatwrites August 20, 2015 / 9:03 PM

          That’s funny, Anita… nope, I’m a Cancer…. we’re supposed to be stubborn, but I refuse to see that 🙂

        • Anita Kushwaha August 21, 2015 / 11:31 AM

          Ha ha, that’s hilarious! Aries are supposed to be stubborn too. 😉

  7. pattisj August 10, 2015 / 9:17 PM

    Sweet little nest tucked away. Remember you are tucked away in God’s hand–who’s gonna mess with you? 😉

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2015 / 10:52 PM

      That’s a nice way to look at it, Patti 🙂

  8. agjorgenson August 13, 2015 / 6:51 PM

    Such a lovely theme, and so well written! Thanks a ton!!

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2015 / 10:52 PM

      Thanks, Allen. I appreciate you stopping by to read it!

  9. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) August 16, 2015 / 12:39 PM

    The image of the nest in a cactus is such a perfect for the state you have described.. I hope you can grow just like those little birds that some day will leave their nest, maybe thanking for the protection the spines could give.

    • jannatwrites August 20, 2015 / 9:02 PM

      Thanks for stopping by and reading, Bjorn – I appreciate it 🙂 Yes, it is nice when we experience growth and can succeed in keeping our confidence and hope

  10. Kathy Combs (@KathyCombs16) August 17, 2015 / 7:00 AM

    Love the picture and all that it represents. Thank God for hope, even the most remote glimmer of it. ♥

    • jannatwrites August 20, 2015 / 9:05 PM

      You’ve got that right, Kathy. Without faith and hope, days are empty. I appreciate you stopping by 🙂 (I think my comments are still going to spam on your site because they don’t display anymore)

  11. diannegray August 17, 2015 / 6:22 PM

    What an amazing analogy, Janna. I’ve felt like I’ve lived in that cactus as well at times and I absolutely love this post. Hugs to you, my dear friend xxxx

    • jannatwrites August 20, 2015 / 9:08 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Dianne! I’m glad you’re back to blogging… I’m making progress on catching up slowly (um, very slowly) but surely

  12. Emilio Pasquale August 18, 2015 / 1:07 PM

    Janna, a talent like yours should never be silenced. Especially if it is a self-imposed silence. If I had experienced a bird’s nest in a cactus, I would have said “Oh, look! A bird’s nest in a cactus!” Never would I have seen the analogy you made and yet it is so obvious. Keep writing and keep hope alive. That sounds trite, doesn’t it? Well, I never said I was the writer. I said you are! So write!

    • jannatwrites August 20, 2015 / 9:09 PM

      That was a really nice comment, Emilio – thanks for writing nice things AND making me smile! I’m sure you could have found the connection… sometimes these things just come to me and I feel compelled to share them.

      • Emilio Pasquale August 21, 2015 / 10:47 AM

        Just keep doing what you’re doing. You’ll come through this soon!

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