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

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 8.34.44 PM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 8.44.30 PM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 8.42.45 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 9.11.16 PM.png

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

1133. Where does reverence arise in your life? ~Gratefulness.org

So often and especially this time of year, both reverence and gratefulness come forth from my ability to see. So I put together some words and collages of places, images, and/or ways that never fail to arouse reverence. As I sat looking out my window, I found great joy in finding the holy in the small and the sacred in the ordinary. Enjoy and count the ways reverence arises in your days.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.49.52 PM.png

the sacrosanct lay on spring’s flowery altars

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 5.41.30 PM.png

the hallowed bloomed atop roses, old and new

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 6.09.01 PM.png

the sanctified twined and climbed on sundry vines

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 3.01.21 PM.png

the holy wafted forth from fragant berries and herbs

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 4.50.00 PM.png

the sacred was carried on the wings of pollinators

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 5.59.46 PM.png

the consecrated could be seen in a wide array of colors and hues

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 5.43.49 PM.png

But I, by your(God’s) great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple. ~Psalm 5:7  ✝

**All images were taken in my yard

1120. It is only when we are aware of the earth and of the earth as poetry that we truly live. ~Henry Beston

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense
of wonder without any such gift from the fairies,
he needs the companionship of at least
one adult who can share it,
rediscovering with him the joy, excitement,
and mystery of the world we live in.
~Rachel Carson

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 9.29.59 PM.png

The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth.  Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth.  The birds that flew into the air came to rest upon the earth and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing. ~Chief Luther Standing Bear

It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches, bear fruit and become a splendid vine. ~Ezekiel 17:8  ✝

**All images are photographs of spring’s offerings from my yard

305. Awake, thou wintry earth – Fling off thy sadness! ~Thomas Blackburn

It was one of those March days
when the sun shines hot
and the wind blows cold:
when it is summer in the light,
and winter in the shade.
~Charles Dickens


The vernal equinox, official start of spring, is still 7 days away, but there are signs of its coming.  And with each new green shoot Creation’s heart beats stronger, God’s ancient utterances grow louder, and the potential for lifting humankind’s spirits increases.  As the sanctuary of earth and sky throws open its doors, doors once “frozen” in wintry bondage, the introit to the full ceremonial form of springtime’s metaphorical “high mass” is beginning.  Presiding over the opening ceremonies are their highnesses, the avian cardinals.  With the arrival of the equinox on the 20th, other “clergy” donning different vestments will appear, and they too will perform their holy sacraments upon earth’s hallowed altars.  Currently only chants can be heard echoing close to the ground or reverberating near branch and cane.  However the rest of spring’s holy voices will soon join in, and their loud arias will climb garden walls and charge over hedgerows.  As ever increasing waves of spring’s sweet sounds cross the land, they will be discernible to some extent even in the mighty cement jungles of commerce.  Despite clouds of spiritual pollution, the light that was in the beginning will break forth anew, and sounds of the eternal will be able to be heard above the cacophonous noises of humanity’s hectic busyness.  Earth’s quiet, eternal rhythms still proffer wholeness, harmony, and healing in the maelstrom of madness within today’s “cultural currents.”

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding.  ~Job 37:5   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

189. Every single story nature tells is gorgeous. ~Natalie Angier

How little note is taken of the deeds of Nature!
What paper publishes her reports?
Who publishes the sheet music of the winds,
or the written music of water written in river lines?
Who reports the works and ways or the clouds,
those wondrous creations coming into being
every day like freshly upheaved mountains?
And what record is kept of nature’s colors – the clothes she wears
– of her birds, her beasts – of her livestock?
~John Muir


When life is lived close to nature, one sups at banquets the earth lays upon sacred plains and holy, high altars.  These moving, kaleidoscopic feasts are found in or on waters, woods, hills, mountains, meadows, fields, deserts, even rocky, jagged cliffs.  Therein or on the planet’s vistas and colors bedazzle the eyes; her shapes and textures fascinate the hands; her scents and fragrances thrill the nose; her rhythms and symphonies seduce the ears while through it all and all the while the human heart is comforted by God’s faithfulness and His divinely appointed seasons.  Simply put, under the sun, moon, and stars and in haunts where breezes blow, grasses grow, and waters flow the human spirit and the soul are nurtured while his life is sustained by the Creator’s grace and lavish spreads.

He (God) performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.  ~Job 5:9  ✝

166. Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning…. ~Wallace Stegner

The foliage had been losing its freshness through the month of August,
and here and there a yellow leaf showed itself like a first gray hair…
September dressed herself in showy dahlias and
splendid marigolds and starry zinnias.
October, the extravagant sister, ordered an immense amount of
the most gorgeous forest tapestry to make glorious her grand spectacle.
~Edited and adapted excerpt from Oliver Wendell Holmes


The first leafy sign of autumn appeared on the Dogwood today, and it triggered a flood of “color” musings in my mind.  Chestnut and chocolate!  What’s not to love about a season that clears off summer’s calamities, piles delectable hues back on nature’s palette, and calls for a pot of hot chocolate?  Lemon and lime!  Grasses, flowers, fruits, berries, and even a beastie or two weave fabulous garlands in the sacred temple bound by earth and sky.  Maroon and mahogany!  Chilling winds induce chemical changes in leaves that conjure up magic shows on woody altars in earth’s forests.  Mauve and mulberry!  The leaves on maples, oaks, dogwoods, pears, persimmons, and other trees give birth to colorful, parchment-like jewels that will one day snap off, swirl in little eddies, and play like children upon the ground.  Orange and ochre!  Pumpkins made to squat on porches or bales of hay tickle the fancy of mortal tongues anxiously awaiting fall feasts and winter banquets.  Red and russet!  Roses, asters, and Maximilian sunflowers invoke a breath of spring not stifled by summer’s heat to keep the year’s last child in colorful array.  Sable and sapphire!  Skies often shrouded by gauzy, gray clouds are swept clear by northerly winds as cold fronts advance.  On such days a spectacular brilliance can be seen on the brows of morn followed by daylight hours drenched in deep, dreamy shades of blue.  Sterling and pewter!  Plumed grasses shift and sigh in authorship of haunting, autumnal hymns.  Ah, how lovely are the many colors of autumn and the Holy One who made them!

As long as earth endures, seedtime and harvest (spring and autumn), cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.  ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

2. Thy bounty shines in autumn unconfined and spreads a common feast for all that live. ~James Thomson

Delicious autumn!
My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird,
I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
~George Eliot, English novelist


What’s not to love about a season that takes the focus off summer’s calamities by piling delectable hues back on nature’s palette?  It begins after the autumnal equinox when grasses, flowers, fruits, and berries begin weaving fabulous garlands in sacred temples bound by earth and sky.  Then as the days grow shorter, the torrid temperatures of summer lower and chilling winds descend from the north.  The nip in the air they create induces chemical changes in leaves, leaves that become more and more colorful as autumn’s days unfold.  The grand array of their colors conjures up magic shows on woody altars not only in autumnal forests but also in small towns and sprawling cities.  Later in the season blustery winds snap the parchment-like foliage off, and as the leaves fall, they swirl about in little eddies playing like jovial children.  When autumn’s skies are not shrouded by gauzy, gray clouds, they are swept clear revealing brilliance on the “brows of morn” and daytime hours drenched in deep, dreamy shades of blue.  Under such canopies pumpkins appear in fields, soon to be used in fall’s activities and feasts as well as for festive winter banquets.  Plumed grasses shift and sigh in renewed authorship of the ancient hymns of sacred earth making autumn a time to be silent as well as watchful.  As one Celtic teacher put it, Creation is “the grand volume of God’s utterance,” and what a lovely utterance it is!  Whenever and wherever one listens to the Word of God, be it in Creation or Scripture, be it in autumn or the other seasons, it gives the listener carte blanche to fall into a rhythm which calms the mind, soothes the spirit, and sheds light into the fabric of God’s heart.