1159. Words are such small things, like confetti in the brain, and yet they are color and clarify everything; they stain the mind or warp the feelings. ~Diane Ackerman

Ecstasy is what everyone craves —
not love or sex, but hot-blooded, soaring intensity,
in which being alive is a joy and a thrill.
That enravishment doesn’t give meaning to life,
and yet without it life seems meaningless.
~Diane Ackerman

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In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,
In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,
I will honor all life —
wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.
~Excerpted verses from a poem
by Diane Ackerman

Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor. ~Proverbs 21:21  ✝

**All images (my enravishments) were taken by me in my yard.

1057. When all is said and done, we exist only in relation to the world… ~Diane Ackerman

The more we exile ourselves from nature,
the more we crave its miracle waters.
~Diane Ackerman

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In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
—wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.
~Diane Ackerman

In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. ~Hebrews 1:10  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

402. Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. ~Jeffrey Glassberg

Given wings, where might you fly?
In what sweet heaven might you find your love?
Unwilling to be bound, where might you move,
Lost between the wonder and the why?
~Nicholas Gordon

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A caterpillar eats voraciously until it’s time to make a button of silk in order to fasten its body to a leaf or a twig. Later, when it emerges from its chrysalis, its wings are wet and wrinkled. To expand and dry them it uses its body as a pump and forces fluid through a series of tube-like veins. As the veins fill with fluid, the wrinkled surface of its wings is stretched out. And what beautifully striking wings are those of swallowtail butterflies!

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A butterfly’s life is all about flight and flying, and that takes a lot of energy so it drinks nectar from flowers to get the energy it needs. To find nectar it uses taste organs at the end of each of its six legs. When any or all of its legs touch a good food source, a reflex causes the proboscis to uncoil, and voilà, a delicious meal is had and the dance is on. As these two magnificent creatures danced this week, they wrote charming little couplets in my garden. As you can see by the blurry edges on the black one (I deliberately chose one of the blurrier shots because I love the image it made), it seldom stopped fluttering its wings; so its poetic ditties were penned with a bit of a stutter. The yellow one on the other hand stopped moving now and again maybe because it wanted to insert a pregnant pause between the lines of its clever rhymes.

I call on You, my God, for you will answer me: turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings… ~Psalm 17:6 and 8 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

366. If an apple blossom or a ripe apple could tell its own story, it would be, still more than its own, the story of the sunshine that smiled upon it, of the winds that whispered to it, of the birds that sang around it, of the storms that visited it, and of the motherly tree that held it and fed it until its petals were unfolded and its form developed. ~Lucy Larcom

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Potentially violent thunderstorms began to move in over us from the western and southwestern counties this afternoon. As they did, the normally busy birds disappeared first, and then the dogs began to bark up and down the alleyway. Before the rain started to fall, the sky darkened considerably, and we could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. At that point the innocents in the garden seemed stiffly poised as if to brace themselves against the nasty, threatening storms that carried with them the threat of hail and/or tornadoes. Neither they nor I had long to wait however because soon the heavens opened up, and rain began to pour down harder than it has in years. With the rain legions of lightning bolts filled the skies; at one point TV reports said our area had had 2000 lightning strikes during a 15 minute period. Talk about the potential for violent storms!  Now other than hearing water continue to drip from the gutters and thunder growl occasionally in the distance, the storms seem to have passed unless of course they build again as the evening progresses, and that they well could do. For such is life on the Texas prairies in May, but in the midst of a decade long drought me and the peach trees can’t help but sing praises to the Lord for today’s blessing of abundant rain. At the same time I’ve lived here long enough to be prudently praying that we continue to be sheltered from the nastiness that a tempest like this could yet spawn.

I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm. ~Psalm 55:8  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

** Image via Pinterest.

336. While the fates permit, live happily; life speeds on with hurried step, and with winged days the wheel of the headlong year is turned. ~Seneca

In depth a light will grow,
A silver shine no shadows know,
Like wings unfolding in the sky,
That circle ‘round a gleaming eye,
Turning darkness all away,
Even depths will know their day,
For every shadow has its end,
In light! Life will return again!
~Robert Fanney

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For myself, I am grateful to nature not so much when I see her on the side that is open to the world, as when I am permitted to enter her shrine. Then one may seek to know of what stuff the universe is made, who is its author or guardian, what is the nature of God… Life would have been a useless gift were I not admitted to the study of such themes. ~Seneca, 4 BC – AD 65

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Grace is what picks me up
and lifts my wings high above and I fly!
Grace always conquers!
Be graceful in everything;
in anger, in sadness, in joy in kindness, in unkindness,
retain grace with you!
~C. JoyBell C.

Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings… Psalm 17:8 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

**Both images via Pinterest