One swan a swimming and other cherished sights

I’ve had the Twelve Days of Christmas going through my head this past week. Well, truth be told, it’s Jimmy Buffett’s new version (where “a purple parrot in a palm tree” replaces the partridge).

I love Christmas music—both holy and secular. It fills me with joy, delight, peace, faith, or even a longing for home and family and slowing down to enjoy cherished moments. This year’s Christmas for my husband and me will be here in California, and that means no trip to North Carolina. But we recently snuck in one last trip of the year to the western part of North Carolina, and today’s photos come from a most cherished place.

This swan is one of two that has taken up residence in a lake I love to visit. I’m not sure where its mate is, but seeing it reminded me of the seven swans a swimming.


A watchful swan at dusk

The evening I went out with the camera was cold and blustery. Down low, where the lake is, trees and hills sheltered me a bit more from the wind I encountered the higher up I went. The wind and chill brought tears to my eyes and reminded me that California is thinning my blood (or at least making me less able to cope with cold temperatures).


A favorite tree and a favorite bridge

The leaves may be gone, but the bare trees and colorful hills are still beautiful to me.

swanandcherishedplaces2016_3ft swanandcherishedplaces2016_4ft

Those of you who recognize this silhouette below will know why this place feels like both home and family in equal measure. This is the only Grandfather I’ve ever known.


Grandfather bathed in gold

December always seems to rush by, and I’d love to hear how you make it slow down a bit? Do you have songs you love to sing? Decorations or traditions that make the holy days feel more complete?

As I prepare blog posts for the remainder of the season, I’d love to know whether you put up a nativity, and if so, why the particular nativity you’ve chosen. Do you have a favorite figure in your nativity set? If so, please take a moment to select your favorite below.

Blessings to you and yours in this Advent season.

3 thoughts on “One swan a swimming and other cherished sights

  1. Pingback: Christmas gifts | The Flourishing Tree

  2. Pingback: Christmas is coming | The Flourishing Tree

  3. Pingback: Defying gravity | The Flourishing Tree

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