557. All that we behold is full of blessings. ~William Wordsworth

Wherever I have knocked,
a door has opened.
Wherever I have wandered,
a path has appeared.
~Alice Walker

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Whatever be the depth of woe
Along the path that I must go,
I’ll sing my song—
My song of joy for all the love
That’s lavished on us from above,
And count no loss of treasure-trove
When things go wrong.
I’ll sing the sunlight, and the bright
Soft smiling stars that gem the night;
For gifts of good
That God hath spread along my way,
The lilt of birds in tuneful play,
The harvests full and flowers gay,
The whole day long
I’ll sing my song
Of gratitude!
~John Kendrick Bangs

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~Philippians 4:10   ✝

**Mixed media image via Pinterest

556. The wild November come at last beneath a veil of rain… ~Richard Henry Stoddard

A fine rain was falling,
and the landscape was
that of autumn.
The sky was hung
with various shades of gray…
~Henri Frédéric Amiel

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No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon -
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! -
November!
~Thomas Hood

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Last night in late November’s darkness a “veil of rain” dropped down, and clouds have wept chilling tears this livelong day. In the mists and showers a host of leaves, newly tinged in autumnal hues, have drifted down in silence bereft of all the above-named poet penned. And yet there’s no sadness in fall’s tears, just the rhythm of sacred purpose. Drop by drop by drop November’s rain closes the door to the year’s last ordained arena, but the promise of resurrection is held in every drop that falls. So we thank thee, Lord, for the sweet November rain and the blessing to come brought down in each of its parenting drops.

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But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. ~2 Corinthians 3:16   ✝

555. …teach me how to trust my heart, my mind, my inner knowing, the senses of my body, the blessings of my spirit. ~Edited excerpt of a Lakota Prayer

I give you this, one thought to keep.
I am with you still, I do not sleep.

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I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain
born of November’s misty morns.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush…
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
I am with you still,
in each new dawn.
~Edited Native American Prayer

Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you shining stars. ~Psalm 148:3   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

554. When a man moves away from nature, his heart becomes hard. ~Native American Proverb, Lakota Sioux

If you listen close at night,
you will hear creatures of the dark,
all of them sacred -
the owls, the crickets, the frogs,
the night birds -
and you will hear beautiful songs,
songs you have never heard before.
Listen with your heart.
Never stop listening.
~Henry Quick Bear, Lakota

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May the sun
bring you new energy by day.
May the moon
softly restore you by night.
May the rain
 wash
away your worries.
May the breeze
blow new strength into your being.
May you walk
gently through the world and know
its beauty all the days of your life.
~Apache Prayer

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, You call forth songs of joy. ~Psalm 65:8   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

553. As autumn passes one remembers one’s reverence. ~Yoko Ono Lennon

Jack Frost
~By C.E. Pike



Look out! Look out!
Jack Frost is about!
He’s after our fingers and toes;
And all through the night,
The gay little sprite
Is working where nobody knows.

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He’ll climb each tree,
So nimble is he,
His silvery powder he’ll shake.
To windows he’ll creep
And while we’re asleep
Such wonderful pictures he’ll make.

Across the grass
He’ll merrily pass,
And change all its greenness to white.
Then home he will go
And laugh ho, ho ho!
What fun I have had in the night.

Frost performed “its secret ministry” as sleep held us close in the night, and when I awoke it lay twinkling like stardust atop things in the garden and on the lawn. Then as dawn’s early light kissed our few colorful autumn leaves, it turned them into glowing golden nuggets or the color of crystalized, reddish ripe persimmons or the usual, splendid oranges of advancing autumn. And as some of the leaves tumbled to the ground, winds blew them into little swirling eddies that played like happy children upon the lawn and in the street. O Autumn, your magic does indeed bring a sense of spectacular glory even as Spring and Summer’s progeny perish.

There is a playful side of nature, and there is a playful side in us which tells me that the Lord too knows something of playfulness since we are made in His image. Anyone who has seen or heard how breezes play in rustling leaves, how raindrops splatter and play on rooftops, how squirrels chase each other round and round a tree trunk has witnessed God’s sense of playfulness.

“Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew? From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?” ~Job 38:28-30   ✝

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552. So now, whenever I despair, I no longer expect my end, but some bit of luck, some commonplace little miracle which, like a glittering link, will mend again the necklace of my days. ~Colette, French novelist and performer

Wild Geese 
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

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Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
~Mary Oliver

Several of my readers have recently voiced, either by word or in the sounds of their silence between the lines, a measure of sorrow and despair. Know that you are loved and held in the arms of Divine Grace as well as in my heart and prayers. May you soon encounter the “angel of hope” bearing the “commonplace little miracle” which will “mend again the necklace of your days.”

You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit. ~Job 10:12  ✝

** Image via Pinterest

551. The sun’ll come out tomorrow; bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun. ~Excerpt from ANNIE written by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin

Just thinkin’ about
Tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
‘Til there’s none!

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When I’m stuck in a day
That’s gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,
Oh!
The sun’ll come out
Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on
‘Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow!
You’re always A day A way!
~All lyrics above are from ANNIE
written by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin

As you can see in my photo, Jack Frost came for a brief visit during the night and added a touch of icy sparkle to the edges of a yellowed, fading leafy nugget. And after a series of gray, gloomy, below-freezing days, the sun has come out filling our hearts with hope and glorifying autumn’s remnants with lovely, luscious light.

As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more. ~Psalm 71:14   ✝