Above me and below me
Hovers the beautiful.
I am surrounded by it.
I am immersed in it.
~Native American Saying
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 ✝
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
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 ✝
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
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 ✝
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?—
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.
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 ✝
Wherever I have knocked,
a door has opened.
Wherever I have wandered,
a path has appeared.
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
~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 ✝
A fine rain was falling,
and the landscape was
that of autumn.
The sky was hung
with various shades of gray…
~Henri Frédéric Amiel
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! -
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.
But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. ~2 Corinthians 3:16 ✝
I give you this, one thought to keep.
I am with you still, I do not sleep.
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 ✝