Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The stark beauty of winter

 Just a few shots taken on the way to Mass on Sunday.  After having experienced nine years of life in Tucson, Arizona, I came to the conclusion that I really am in love with the cycle of the year and the changes that take place with each season.  Although I love some seasons more than others, and each season has its pros and cons, I find beauty in every one.

Black and white photography seems to highlight what I love best about winter: the stark contrasts, the play of light and dark, the silhouetted filigree of branches against a white or steely sky...

 I don't care much for being cold.  And I don't like the mud we have in lieu of snow here in the South.  But I love the stark, somber landscape.  I will have had my fill of it, however, by the end of next month, and my heart will sing at every evidence of the coming of spring.

 We are hanging in there with our first week back at school.  I feel much better today after a good night's sleep, and the kids did well with the things they worked on today.

I have been looking into alternative therapies (read: diet, supplements, vitamins, etc.) for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, which Gemma seems to have.  Her doctor suspected it, but he said there wouldn't be any need to do anything much unless she was in a lot of pain.  As it stands, she wakes up with pain in her left knee or right ankle now and then, sometimes limps for a little while first thing in the morning, and has a tendency towards rashes and inflamed eyelids (just like a sty now and then).

It is, of course, an auto-immune problem.  It seems to have started with the enormous amounts of antibiotics they had to give her back in April when she seemed to have some kind of resistant bug.  Within a month of the last antibiotic, the rashes began, and then then the leg pain.  I am praying that with a good, healthy lifestyle it will not become degenerative, and that her flare-ups will become very rare.  I believe in the power of prayer, and that she could end up free of it one day, if God permits, and so there is always hope.

Strange, but in my mind, the stark beauty of a winter landscape somehow ties in well with discussing Gemma and her health problem.  Beauty in a barren landscape; sweetness in suffering--both can be overlooked, but discovered by those who know that the Cross is our salvation, and that it was the shedding of the blood of our God that made our redemption possible.

Anyway...enough musing on profound truths.  Back to folding laundry and thinking about dinner...


  1. Lovely pictures. Continued heartfelt prayers for sweet Gemma. Peace

  2. Your lovely landscape photos look a lot like Texas this time of year as well. I was briefly in Tennessee (have a grandfather from Lebanon, TN) last summer and love it!
    I'm so sorry to hear about your little girl's health problems. I'm sending a prayer your way.

  3. I hope your little Gemma gets better soon.

  4. Beautiful pictures and a beautiful post, Nadja. You sound at peace and full of hope regarding sweet Gemma, which are two of the greatest (and dearest) fruits of our Faith. And this is indeed our life - the profound mixed with the laundry and supper. Prayers continue for your girl!

  5. Just beautiful photos and I pray for Gemma.
    Warm wishes,

  6. I don't know if this will be of any help to you, but since my son was diagnosed with celiac's now almost four years ago, I've met and spoke with and read about numbers of people with supposedly separate conditions that are either aggravated or caused by undiagnosed celiac's disease. This may be old news to you and you may have already tried the gluten free route, but if not, it may be worth trying. I remembered RA as coming up in the past in celiac discussions, here is a link to one forum: http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/79733-rheumatoid-arthritis-and-gluten-sensitivityceliac/ It saddens me that it isn't a doctor's first order of business to run bloodwork on every person who reports with a chronic illness. Often times many of these can be traced to dietary/chemical balances in the body. Unfortunately today's medicine looks at symptoms instead of causes. Hope this helps and have a blessed day. I've been reading your blog for sometime now and enjoy it very much.


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