1340. What part of you is dying, in order to just survive? It is this very part you must ignite to really come alive. ~Julie Parker

Go to the limits of your longing.
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

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These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.

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Embody me.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

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Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

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Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand…

~Ranier Maria Rilke

All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. ~Psalm 38:9 ✝

**Images found on Pinterest

1302. If any thing is sacred, the human body is sacred. ~Walt Whitman

In order to experience everyday spirituality,
we need to remember that we are spiritual beings
spending some time in a human body.
~Barbara De Angelis

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The human body is am amazing masterpiece. With the senses we see, taste, and touch the world, drawing its mystery inside us. With the mind we probe the eternal structures of things. With the face we present ourselves to the world and recognize one another. But it is the heart that makes us human. The heart is where the beauty of the human spirit comes alive. Without the heart, the human would be sinister. To be able to feel is a great gift. When you feel for someone, you become united with that person in an intimate way; your concern and compassion come alive, drawing some of the other’s persons world and spirit into yours. Feeling is the secret bridge that penetrates solitude and isolation. Without the ability to feel, friendship and love could never be born. All feeling is born in the heart. This makes the human heart the true jewel of the world. ~John O’Donohue

Have joy and peace in the
temple of your senses.
~John O’Donohue

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ~Proverbs 4:23  ✝

**Drawing by Catrin Welz-Stein

1282. When I dance I forget everything else and just feel completely happy. ~Katherine Jenkins

When you dance, your purpose
is not to get to a certain
place on the floor. It’s to enjoy
each step along the way.
~Wayne Dyer

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If I Were
There are lots of ways to dance
and to spin, sometimes it just
starts my feet first then my entire body,
I am spinning no one can see it
but it is happening. I am so glad to be alive,
I am so glad to be loving and loved.
Even if I were close to the finish, even if
I were at my final breath,
I would be here to take a stand,
bereft of such astonishments,
but for them.
~Excerpt from a poem
by Mary Oliver

Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful. ~Excerpt from Jeremiah 31:4  ✝

**Image via Pinterest; special effects done on iPiccy and Movavi

1251. We strain to renew our capacity to wonder, to shock ourselves into astonishment once again. ~Shana Alexander

What
if you were
a beetle,
and a soft wind

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and a certain allowance of time
had summoned you
out of your wrappings,
and there you were,

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so many legs
hardening,
maybe even
more than one pair of eyes

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and the whole world
in front of you?
And what if you had wings
and flew

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into the garden,
then fell
into the up-tipped
face

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of a white flower,
and what if you had
a sort of mouth,
a lip

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to place close
to the skim
of honey
that kept offering itself –

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what would you think then
of the world
as, night and day,
you were kept there –

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oh happy prisoner –
sighing, humming,
roaming
that deep cup?
~How Everything Adores Being Alive,
by Mary Oliver

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. ~Isaiah 40:29  ✝

**Photos 1, 4, 6, 7, 8 by Mandy Disher; images 2, 3, 5 via Pinterest

1203. She savors each bite: the meringue is perfect crispy brown on top, melts in the mouth; the lemon tart, custardy; the crust breaks away. ~A.M. Homes

A Lemon
Out of lemon flowers
loosed on the moonlight,
love’s lashed and insatiable
essences, sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree’s yellow emerges,
the lemons move down
from the tree’s planetarium

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Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
bazaars for the light
and the barbarous gold.
We open the halves
of a miracle, and
a clotting of acids
brims into the starry
divisions: Creation’s
original juices, irreducible,
changeless, alive:
so the freshness lives
on in a lemon, in the sweet-smelling
house of the rind, the proportions,
arcane and acerb.

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Cutting the lemon the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets, altars,
aromatic facades.

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So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
wells to your touch:
a cup yellow with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.
~Pablo Neruda

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What is it about lemons that go so well with summer? The taste, yet tart, if mixed with sugar or honey is incredibly refreshing on a hot summer’s day, is it not?! It’s almost as if it has a way of taking the bite out of the heat as we eat or drink its “golden, barbarous” juices in pies or cakes or cookies or lemonade or whatever concoction one chooses. My encounter with a lemony delight came at lunch today as the restaurant’s dessert for the day was lemon meringue pie. It hadn’t been out of the oven long and was still warm when the waitress brought it to the table. And oh my gosh, was it to die for, as they say! Even now 3 hours later, the luscious taste and aroma of the yellow “miracle” that is a lemon has faded not.

…come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. ~Excerpt from Song of Songs 4:16  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collages by Natalie

1185. We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

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Today is not just another day, it is the one day that is given to you today. It is a gift, the only gift of a day that you have right now. And so the only appropriate response is gratefulness. If you do nothing else but to cultivate that response, to the great gift that this unique day is, and if you learn to respond as if it were the first day of your life and the very last day, then you will have spent this day very well.

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Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes you can open, the incredible array of colors that is constantly offered to us for pure enjoyment. Look at the sky; we so rarely look at the sky, so rarely note how different it is from moment to moment with clouds coming and going. We just think of the weather, but we don’t think of all the different nuances of weather. We just think of good weather and bad weather. This day, right now, this unique weather, maybe a kind that may never come in that form again. The formation of clouds in the sky may never be the same than it is right now, open your eyes and look at that.

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Look at the faces of people that you meet. Each one has an incredible story behind their face, a story that you could never fully fathom not only their own story but the story of their ancestors. We all go back so far. And in this present moment, this day, all the people you meet, all that life from generations and so many all over the world, flows together and meets you here like life giving water if you only open your heart and drink. Open your heart to the incredible gifts that civilization gives to you. You flip a switch and there is electric light. You turn a faucet and there is warm water and cold water and drinkable water. It is a gift that millions and millions of people will never experience. ~Br. David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine Monk

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Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34  ✝

**Images via Pinterest except for middle one that I took at the bottom; collages by Natalie

1117. To rise above tree line is to go above thought, and after, the descent back into birdsong, bog orchids, willows, and firs is to sink into the preliterate parts of ourselves. ~Gretel Ehrlich

I was left alone there in the company of the orchids,
roses and violets, which, like people waiting beside you
who do not know you, preserved a silence which
their individuality as living things made all the more striking…
~Marcel Proust

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A Wild Orchid
We are all flowers in the garden of the world.
Some of us are daisies dainty and bright.
Some of us are poppies,with sweet contagious laughter.
If there was a flower for you,
You’d be a wild orchid,
So full of life, colors alive,
Sprinkled with scarlet and purple,
Explosions of colors racing through your petals.
~Lanie Costea

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Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely… ~Excerpt from Song of Songs 4:3  ✝

**Images found on Pinterest