1289. There is a purifying power in laughter. It is truth in palatable form. ~Eugene P. Bertin

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung
into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.
~Jean Houston

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Heavy
That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying
I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had his hand in this,
as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,
was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry
but how you carry it –
books, bricks, grief –
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it
when you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?
Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?
How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe
also troubled –
roses in the rain,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?
~Adapted poem by Mary Oliver

He(God) will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. ~Job 8:21  ✝

**Photo by Natalie

1083. When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives. ~Louise L. Hay

I am probably exaggerating a little,
but I owe my equilibrium to ink and paper,
flowers and gardening.
~Edited line by Julien Green

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And so I come here tonight to find my equilibrium, my balance, that has been thrown off after days fraught with fears and tears and the unknown. This tiny little corner of the world is my safe harbor, and in it I so often turn to the Lord. In so doing, I find a balm to create at least some measure of peace and harmony and balance in my mind and life. Now that blood has been drawn and MRI’s taken, we shall soon find out what the future holds.

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For Equilibrium, a Blessing
Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of God.
~John O’Donohue

He will be our peace. ~Micah 5:5  ✝

972. Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again. ~Joseph Campbell

If you’re really listening,
if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world,
your heart breaks regularly.
In fact, your heart is made to break;
its purpose is to burst open again and again
so that it can hold evermore wonders.
~Andrew Harvey

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Teach me how to trust
my heart,
my mind,
my intuition,
my inner knowing,
the senses
of my body,
the blessings of my spirit,
teach me to trust these
things
so that I may enter my
sacred space and love
beyond my fear
And thus
walk in balance
with the passing of each
glorious sun…
~A Prayer of the Lakota

Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. ~Psalm 40:5   ✝

340. I sit in my garden, gazing upon beauty that cannot gaze upon itself, and I find sufficient purpose for my day. ~Robert Brault

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The garden reconciles human art and wild nature,
hard work and deep pleasure,
spiritual practice and the material world.
It’s a magical place because it’s not divided.
The many divisions and polarizations
that terrorize a disenchanted world
find peaceful accord
among mossy rock walls,
rough stony paths,
and trimmed bushes.
Maybe a garden sometimes seems fragile
because it achieves an extraordinary
delicate balance of nature and human life, naturalness and artificiality.
It has its own liminality,
its points of balance between great extremes.
~Thomas Moore

My beloved has gone down to the garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather the lilies. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he browses among the lilies. ~Song of Songs 6:2-3 ✝

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!

15. The feeling remains that God is on the journey too. ~Teresa of Avila

God is always with you.
Simply turn your face to Him.
~Kirpal Singh

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When I feel out of sorts, I’ve learned to get up and go outside even if I have to bundle up under layers of clothes or suffer the misery of triple digit heat.  After wandering about my yard, its “shy presences” and silences begin to soothe me until eventually my inner compass restores the balance of my sanity.  The simple truth is that the rhythm of earth’s heartbeat has a way of drowning out the rabid mongrels in a world too often torn by senseless tragedies and horrific madness. When that happens I find that being close to the land is as comforting and reassuring as was slipping my hand into the safety of my parents strong hands when I was a child.  Now that they are gone and I am grown, I find the same kind of comfort when I draw near the Lord and His ever-present occupancy her on earth.

J. Philip Newell asks, “Where do we look, therefore, to learn of God?   It’s not away from ourselves and away from Creation, but deep within all that has life.”  What better place then to do that than a garden?  Newell goes on to say that “in looking for the life of God by listening within we will hear falseness and confusion, selfishness and violence of heart, but deeper still is the Love that utters all things into being.”  I heard such a silent utterance when I felt my child first move in my womb; the sensation felt like that of a butterfly’s wings barely grazing my flesh, but more than than it felt like the gentle touch of the Holy One Himself inviting me to walk in with Him in Eden.

“See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him.  See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.  He tends His flocks like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”  ~Isaiah 40:10-11   ✝