292. The force of Spring – mysterious, fecund, powerful beyond measure. ~Michael Garofalo

Come, fill the cup, and in the fire of Spring
The Winter garment of repentance fling;
The bird of time has but a little way
To fly — and Lo! the bird is on the wing.
~Omar Khayyám

Image

In the rising of the morning sun God speaks to us of grace and new beginnings, and the fertility of the earth is a sign of how life wells up from within, from the dark unknown place of God.  ~J. Philip Newell

Come and see what God has done: He is awesome in his deeds among mortals.  ~Psalm 65:5   ✝

291. The more I see you, the more I find you, the more I find you, the more I love you. ~Kari Jobe

Come, gentle Spring!
Ethereal mildness!
Come.
~James Thomson

Image

Spring is coming!  Its earliest harbingers have arrived to tell me so.  And with it, as always, comes a heightened sense of awe and wonder, a sense of such that I acquired at a very early age.  Thus I look not outside Creation nor separate from it, to find God.  The words of Romans 1:20 in Scripture intimates that “the world is a place of revelation and the whole of life is sacramental.”  So it is that Creation is enough to reveal God to humanity, but it is not enough for its salvation.  For that we need Jesus, the Messiah; He is the only one who has the ability to offer us salvation.  Thankfully, with a profession of faith that He is Lord and a penitent heart, it is ours for the asking.

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I(Jesus) will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  ~Matthew  11:28-30   ✝

290. Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar. ~William Wordsworth

We watched a very disturbing movie on television last night, and it left me grappling again with how one person can possibly make a difference in a world fraught with so much depravity and strife.  Then the Lord helped me remember this lovely story, and His peace settled in my spirit.  I believe the girl in this parable was dancing with joy to the day as she blessed helpless others and accomplished one little miracle at a time.   One day at a time, one step at a time, one blessing at time is enough to make a huge difference if we “stoop” to serve up love in the lives of those God places on the paths of our individual journeys.  “We can do no great things – only small things with great love.”  ~Mother Teresa

Image

A Parable

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.  He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.  As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young woman, and that what she was doing was not dancing at all.

The young woman was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.  He came closer still and called out, “Good morning.  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”  The young woman paused, looked up, and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”  “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

To this, the young woman replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”  Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young lady, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile?  You can’t possibly make a difference!”

At this, the young woman bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean.  As it met the water, she said, “I made a difference to that one!”

~Part of a 16 page essay by Loren Eiseley

Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding.  ~Proverbs 3:13   ✝

289. Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences. ~Norman Cousins

Image

Two Wolves – Cherokee Parable

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”
The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

~Author Unknown

…for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; …  Proverbs 2:10   ✝

288. May brooks and trees and singing hills join in the chorus too, and every gentle wind that blows send happiness to you. ~Irish Blessing

Image

Bless to me, O God,
Each thing mine eye sees;
Bless to me, O God,
Each sound mine ear hears;
Bless to me, O God,
Each odour that goes to my nostrils;
Bless to me, O God,
Each taste that goes to my lips;
Each note that goes to my song,
Each ray that guides my way,
Each thing that I pursue,
Each lure that tempts my will,
The zeal that seeks my living soul,
The Three that seek my heart.
~Old Celtic Prayer

Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall; happy are the people whose God is the Lord.  ~Psalm 144:15   ✝

287. Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us… ~Vincent McNabb

Sit by the edge of the dawn / and the sun will rise for you.
Sit by the edge of the night / and the stars will shine for you.
Sit by the edge of the stream / and the nightingale will sing for you.
Sit by the edge of silence / and God will speak to you.
~from an ancient Hindu text

Image

“The semi-colon tells you that there is still some question about the preceding full sentence; something needs to be added…It is almost a greater pleasure to come across a semicolon than a period.  The period tells you that that is that; if you didn’t get all the meaning you wanted or expected, you got all the writer intended to parcel our and now you have to move along.  But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy there is more to come; read on; it will get clearer.”  ~Lewis Thomas, American doctor and essayist

I think of nature’s seasons as junctures followed by divinely positioned, albeit invisible, semi-colons because they impart “a pleasant little feeling of expectancy.”  There are always more of them to be had, and it is that expectancy of “more” that keeps me hopeful not only in nature’s seasons but also in the seasons of my life when what I see tries to delude me into thinking things won’t ever change or this is the end.  In the passage above from the old Hindu text the use of “slashes” and “ands” could instead have been replaced with semi-colons because there is something more that comes after each of the suggested occasions to sit and wait.  In the same way, the fact that gardens keep an unfaltering “punctuation of continuance” right in front of me is one of the reasons I’m so drawn to spend time in them.  I need endless expectancy that breeds hopefulness.

And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety.  ~Job 11:18   ✝

**Even the two mauve hellebores in the photo look a bit like a semi-colon if one uses his/her imagination.

286. Where flowers bloom so does hope. ~Lady Bird Johnson

Live each season as it passes
breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself
to the influences of each.
~Henry David Thoreau

Image

Smitten (v.) – affected suddenly and strongly with a specified feeling; affected mentally or morally with a sudden pang; impressed favorably; charmed; enamored.  I love the word smitten, I love being smitten, I look forward to being smitten, and on days like today I’m in desperate need of being smitten.  And what might the source of my “smittenness” be today?  It’s tulips and daffodils and hyacinths and crocus.  After years of planting bulbs in the ground to little or no avail, I’d resigned myself to being able to admire them until now only in books, magazines, and yards where others somehow have success with them.

Image

Nothing speaks of springtime louder or more clearly than flowering bulbs.  They are the epitome of spring’s opening opus, and now that my greenhouse is abloom with many of them, it feels like spring is close enough to reach out and touch.  Ah, spring, the season of increased sunlight, warmer temperatures, and the rebirth of fauna and flora, the season when the tilt of the earth relative to the sun is zero, the season which begins one month from today.

Image

For me drinking the drink, tasting the fruit, and resigning myself to the influence of each season as it passes is a way of life that inevitably brings me face to face with Yahweh and Son, the Holy One with whom I am beyond smitten.  Like Tennyson, I’m convinced that if one can understand what a flower is “root and all, and all in all, one should know what God and man is.”

O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in Him.  ~Psalm 34:8   ✝