1373. Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise! ~Wallace Stevens

The early mist had vanished
and the fields lay like a
silver shield under the sun.
~Edith Wharton

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 4.11.12 PM.png

As night’s shades were lifted up, off, and away
the new day dawned with a late April gusting
northward wind that ruffled the leaves on trees,
on burgeoning plants, and flowery petals alike.
So too were there clouds that moved overhead
like fleeing chariots trying to make a hasty run
from threatening legions of vile adversarial foes.
Thus the days’s opus began in a kind of exigent
solemnity, and adding to the drama fell a fine mist
but so briefly t’wasn’t enough to assuage dry soil.
By noon the sun’s gilded rays began to break in
through the cloud cover, and then at long last the
bearer of warmth and light laid claim to the entirety
of the spacious skies above, in exclusivity for itself.

-Natalie Scarberry

…the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. ~Psalm 103:16  ✝

**Clematis image taken by Natalie in her yard

1080. Come, gentle Spring!  Ethereal Mildness!  Come. ~James Thomson 

O the green things growing, the green things growing,
The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve,
Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing.
~Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 7.33.04 PM.png

But, but, but, it’s just way to early for spring’s “ethereal madness” and the green things growing. The day after my knee surgery at the end of February last year, it snowed and then three days later when I came home from the hospital it snowed again. Our last average freeze date isn’t until March 15th, and there have been times when a hard, late freeze or an ice/snow event have occurred even as late as April 1st. So what’s up with this crazy weather? I love springtime and I’m always thrilled when it arrives, but this is just too soon for it to come. Thank goodness I got started earlier than usual on cleaning up and weeding the beds because we virtually had no winter to speak of. Also I’d already gotten the roses pruned and ready to go. But then since roses are supposed to be fed when they are leafed out and most of mine are almost leafed out already, what do I do now? If I go ahead and feed them, they’ll really get going, and a late freeze could kill all the new growth and set them way back. I’m also concerned about the ducks that winter at our neighborhood pond since I noticed last week that they’ve left already. It’s too early for that too. They could end up getting their little derriere’s frozen off by returning too soon to their northern homes because Old Man Winter and Jack Frost may have high-tailed it out of Texas, but that doesn’t mean they’ve closed up shop elsewhere.

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 7.51.06 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 8.05.55 PM.png

Spring’s cup is indeed being filled regardless of the date and time, and it’s fire has begun to fling off winter’s garments. As well the bird is on the wing. I know this because I’ve been watching them for at least a week or two refurbishing birdhouses or feathering nests. So it looks like I’m going to need to pray for their sake and for sake of all the green things growing that winter doesn’t come back for a last hurrah!

See! The winter is past… ~Excerpt from Song of Songs 2:11  ✝

726. All of earth is crammed with heaven and every bush aflame with God, but only those who see take off their shoes. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird,
could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself.
When you look at it or hold it & let it be
without imposing a word of mental label on it,
a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you.
Its essence silently communicates itself to you
and reflects your own essence back to you.
~Eckhart Tolle

Screen shot 2015-05-07 at 8.12.32 PM

Some time in March here in this part of the world the garden begins its ascent out of winter’s “vale of grief.” By the time March has gone, the flowering quince has already quit, the daffodils have departed, the tulips have been toppled, the crocus have concluded their blooming, and the hellebores have halted their show. April brings more delights, but after it has gone, the foxgloves have fallen by the wayside, the peonies have been pummeled by the rain, and the hyacinth have handed over their pink and blue scepters. And somewhere amid all that other splendor, the jasmine climbed, the penstemons’ purple bells appeared, and wisteria fell from on high while white bridal wreath spirea cascaded daintily down long, arching branches where bees and bright butterflies searched for flowery nectar. All the while, the crescendos of spring’s symphony were increasing, and the blankets of cold, laden with death were slowly but surely being consumed by spring’s warming nights and days. Then as the music of spring reached it frenzied rhythms, the melodious strains mounted garden walls and pushed past garden gates to fill busy streets where mankind pursues its harried madness. And there her music captured the inclined ears of some to draw them into her web where for eons she has recanted the magical mystery of life, ever hopeful and opulently abundant. So loudly does springtime declare the glory of God, in fact, that it’s hard to believe that anyone who is not deaf or blind could disclaim God’s existence for it’s His unmistakable voice that calls out from every stone, every leaf, every flower, every insect, every bird to the inheritors of Eden.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. ~Psalm 19:1   ✝

**All images via Pinterest are of species named Eden; collage created by Natalie

712. Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. ~C. S. Lewis

Life finds me down, but not out. Hope finds me exhausted, but not emotionally bankrupt. Faith finds me weary, but not willing to stop pressing on. Health, you can try hard to drag me along, but I can’t be drug along when I’m in God’s hands. He holds me. ~Heather Mertens, fellow blogger at: http://40yearwanderer.com/blog/

Screen shot 2015-04-23 at 10.26.16 AM

Sometimes, I am startled out of myself, like this morning when the wild geese came squawking, flapping their rusty hinges, and something about their trek across the sky made me think about my life, the places of brokenness, the places of sorrow, the places where grief has strung me out to dry. And then the geese come calling, the leader falling back when tired, another taking her place. Hope is borne on wings. Look at the trees. They turn to gold for a brief while, then lose it all each November. Through the cold months, they stand, take the worst weather has to offer. And still, they put out shy green leaves come April, come May. The geese glide over the cornfields, land on the pond with its sedges and reeds. You do not have to be wise. Even a goose knows how to find shelter, where the corn still lies in the stubble and dried stalks. All we do is pass through here, the best way we can. They stitch up the sky, and it is whole again. ~Barbara Crooker

I read this article above at: http://www.gratefulness.org and thought it was too great not to share.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.  ~Isaiah 43:2   ✝

703. Well-apparel’d April on the heel of limping Winter treads. ~William Shakespeare

…Thus in each flower and simple bell,
That in our path untrodden lie,
Are sweet remembrancers who tell
How fast the winged moments fly.
Time will steal on with ceaseless pace,
Yet lose we not the fleeting hours,
Who still their fairy footsteps trace,
As light they dance among the flowers.
~Charlotte Turner Smith

DSC_0057

First there came yellow,
soft and dotted, next to buds
on a pretty rose

DSC_0031

Then appeared a pink
hibiscus with emboldened
stamen and pollen

DSC_0066

Next a huge orange
rose with a touch of pink in
her heart’s center

DSC_0079

At last there was a
wee rose who bore all shades
amid glossy green
~All haikus by written by
Natalie after a trip, camera in hand,
to a local nursery

I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. ~Isaiah 45:3   ✝

701. Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today; and give us not to think so far away… ~Robert Frost

I love the spring.
For every day
There’s something new
That’s comes our way.
Another bud
Another bird
Another blade…
~Author Unknown

DSC_0040

Came spring on warm wings
but the hotter pinks arise
as sweet April advances
~Natalie Scarberry

You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand. ~Psalm 51:16    ✝

689. The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it. ~Christopher Columbus

There is no glory or blossom
till looked upon by loving eye;
There is no fragrance in April breezes
till breathed with joy as they wander by.
~William C. Bryant

Screen shot 2015-04-01 at 2.51.09 PM

Hark, I hear a robin calling!
List, the wind is from the south!
And the orchard-bloom is falling
Sweet as kisses on the mouth.



In the dreamy vale of beeches
Fair and faint is woven mist,
And the river’s orient reaches
Are the palest amethyst.

Every limpid brook is singing
Of the lure of April days;
Every piney glen is ringing
With the maddest roundelays.

Come and let us seek together
Springtime lore of daffodils,
Giving to the golden weather
Greeting on the sun-warm hills.
~Lucy Maud Montgomery

Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. ~Zechariah 10:1   ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

642. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The hours that I spend with you I look upon
as a sort of perfumed garden, a dim twilight,
and a fountain singing it to you.
You and you alone make 
me feel that I am alive.
Other men it is said have seen angels,
But I have seen thee and
 thou art enough.
~George Moore
Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 4.53.15 PM
You ask how much I need you
Must I explain?
I need you, oh, my darling
Like roses need rain.
Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 4.42.10 PM
You ask how long, I’ll love you
.
I’ll tell you true
Until the twelfth of never
I’ll still be loving you.
Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 4.38.06 PM
Hold me close
;
Never let me go.
Hold me close;
Melt my heart like April snow.
Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 4.28.36 PM
I’ll love you ’til the blue bells forget to bloom
,
I’ll love you ’til the clover has lost its perfume,
I’ll love you ’til the poets run out of rhyme,
Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 4.59.21 PM
Until the twelfth of never
And that’s a long, long time,
Until the twelfth of never
And that’s a long, long time
.
~Excerpts from the song, The Twelfth of Never, recorded
by Johnny Mathis and written
by Jerry Livingston and Paul Francis Webster
 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~1 Corinthians 13:6-7    ✝
**Images via Pinterest

484. Flowers are those little colorful beacons of the sun from which we get sunshine when dark, somber skies blanket our thoughts. ~Dodinsky

The earth has received the embrace of the sun
and we shall see the result of that love.
~Hunkesni (Sitting Bull)

Screen shot 2014-09-11 at 5.17.09 PM

The flowers in these photos are the result of another year’s embrace of the sun. It will be the remembrance of them and the haunting songs of their colors, separately and collectively, that will lift my spirits when in the months to come we traverse winter’s “vale of grief.” If my memory of them should grow dim, I’ll have but to look heavenward and watch for them in the rising and the setting of the sun on days when a window in the gloom has been opened. In those moments when they streak the eastern or western horizon in a blaze of glory I’ll remember that as the earth tilts back toward the sun, the sun’s embrace will bring the flowers, their lovely colors, and their songs back to life. When they return and the air is filled with the music of many rhymes, my prayer is. . .

That the morning sun stir us with gladness from ours bed,
That the winds of March move us happily along the new year’s road,
That the rains of April renew our strength,
That the flowers and colors of May captivate our sight,
That the summer inflame our zeal,
That autumn’s colors stimulate our dreams,
That the silver moon make us wiser yet,
That the Lord keep us young at heart so that
we are full of life, laughter, song, and gratitude
for the holiness and goodness in all that the sun and His love embraces.
~Edited and adapted from a blessing by Fr. Andrew Greeley

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. ~Psalm 19:1-5    ✝

** I made the collage of flowers from images found on PInterest.

441. Bees do have smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers. ~Ray Bradbury

The first week of August
hangs at the top of summer,
the top of the live-long year,
like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel
when it pauses turning.
The weeks that come before
are only a climb from balmy spring,
and those that follow 
a drop to the chill of autumn,
but August is motionless and hot.
~Natalie Babbit

DSC_0011

Months have passed since the jasmine climbed, the wisteria dangled, the snapdragons snapped, the poppies popped, and the birds obeyed spring’s pressing summons to build nests and procreate. Then after the summer solstice came and summer’s fires were stoked, the feverfew grew feverish, the pink loose-strife broke loose, the inland sea oats set sail on an ocean of green along the fence, and Columbine’s dove-like clusters turned brown, split open and spilled their bits of black seed bounty upon the ground. And whilst all this blooming was going on, the divine music of life that reached glorious crescendos in April grew more mellow in May, perkily sassy in June, and feverishly sultry in July. Two days hence from now, it would normally fall into a low, oppressed hum as August opens the doors to the boiler room, but strangely enough we are and will be for the next week experiencing some cooler than usual days. Though curious about the reason for such a blessing, I’ve learned never “to look a gift horse in the mouth.” The bees busily gathering nectar may grumble somewhat at this interloping gardener who sometimes stays too long in their domain or who moves to close in proximity to their pollen-rich environments such as the Texas Star Hibiscus in the photo, but grumble I shall not because normally this time of year we’re looking at the possibility of a record setting number of triple-digit-high days, days way, way too hot to enjoy even briefly being outside.

I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of burning heat. ~Hosea 13:5   ✝

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.