561. If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul. ~Rabbi Harold Kushner

Above me and below me
Hovers the beautiful.
I am surrounded by it.
I am immersed in it.
~Native American Saying

Screen shot 2014-11-27 at 4.23.13 PM

I thank God for the ways of Creation–
For eyes to see Creation’s beauty,
For ears to hear Creation’s sounds,
For a tongue to taste Creation’s savory delights,
For a nose to smell Creation’s sweet aromas,
For arms to embrace others with a loving touch,
For a heart to understand the ways of the Lord,
For words to praise the triune God, Maker of heaven and earth.
~Edited and adapted from a Native American prayer

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving. ~Psalm 69:30   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

560. Every moment of light and dark is a miracle. ~Walt Whitman

When you rise in the morning
give thanks for the light,
for your life,
for your strength.
Give thanks for your food
and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks,
the fault lies in yourself.
~Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee

Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 9.42.50 PM

Under the sun’s flares on a fairly warm, late November day, fierce winds yielded at last to gentle breezes. And then at day’s end, the setting sun generated dazzling drama in the west while moonrise began eastward with a waxing crescent moon. Up and up and up it ascended through the branches of the willow until its light shined over the tree’s top as night dropped its dark shade. Changing slowly from the sinuous sliver of a crescent moon like this one to the rounded fullness of a sphere, the great white orb of the heavens has been an endless source of wonder, charming and bewitching mortals throughout the ages as well as affecting tides, fishing activities, and the planting of crops. Its varying phases and mystical beauty have also inspired legends, myths, and romance by those who’ve lived below and gazed up at its recurrent and divine evanescence. But then any kind of light–sunlight, moonlight, candlelight, firelight, spiritual light–has always fascinated and drawn humanity into its mystery. Perhaps it’s because humans as well as and earth’s creatures sense sanctity within it. I know I do, and I’ve always wondered if wolves howl at the moon as an act of thanksgiving for their Creator or at least as a way of loving Him which makes me think that howling at the moon is not such a bad idea.

Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. ~John 1:5   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

559. Here on gray paths of November like a trembling hand a beam of light caressing my pain and my soul breathes the sweet scent of God. ~Frédéric G. Martin

At no other time (than autumn) does
the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell,
the ripe earth; in a smell that is in
no way inferior to the smell of the sea,
bitter where it borders on taste,
and honeysweet where you feel it
touching the first sounds.
~Ranier Maria Rilke

DSC_0009

There’s a nip in the morning air. The willow leaves have turned yellow, and the once green lawn has now donned its beige coat. As autumn continues to morph into winter, the sun streaks across the yard from its more southerly stance. In the aftermath of recent rain and wind, the redbud tree scarcely has any leaves, and the Rose of Sharon stands naked in the chilled garden. Beneath her the rose hips are dressed in scarlet and above the oaks leaves are reddening. The whir of butterfly wings is gone, the hum of the bees is gone, the fragrance of the blossoms is gone, and yet something mysterious, something magical, something hallowed remains. But what is it? What is alway present in Eden’s haunts? Surely you must know for all around us the air sweetly speaks of the unmistakable, unending, undying, abiding aroma of El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty.

They have ears, but cannot hear, noses but cannot smell. ~Psalm 115:6   ✝

558. I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in the darkness, the astonishing light of your own being. ~Hāfez

Are there not hours of an immortal birth,—
Bright visitations from a purer sphere,
That cannot live in language? Is there not
A mood of glory, when the mind attuned
To heaven, can out of dreams create her worlds?—
~Robert Montgomery

Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 3.42.01 PM

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
~Derek Walcott

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. ~1 Corinthians 13:12  ✝

** Image via Pinterest

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

Screen shot 2014-11-23 at 9.43.43 AM

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

DSC_0053

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

DSC_0045

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.

DSC_0026

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.

Screen shot 2014-11-19 at 8.17.09 AM

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