1419. Your heart, and its Creator, have loved you since the beginning. ~ Nayyirah Waheed

If you didn’t grow up like I did
then you don’t know, and if you
don’t know it’s probably better
you don’t judge.
~Junot Diaz

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…let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— ~Proverbs 1:15

**Title quote and poem edited and adapted by Natalie
***Image found on Pinterest

1022. While it robs them of life, it tears away the veil and reveals the golden gem of beauty and sweetness. ~Northern Advocate

The death-glow always beautifies anything
that wears the trace of beauty ere it goes back to nothingness.
We do not understand the secret of this principle,
yet we know that it is some law of the infinite mind.
~Northern Advocate

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Threads, filaments, silken strands holding to the past and yet releasing the future in the air. The amazing looking objects in the photos above and below are seed pods from a milkweed (Asclepias) plant. Asclepias species produce some of the most complex flowers in the plant kingdom, and they are an important nectar source for native bees, wasps, and other nectar-seeking insects. Asclepias species produce their seeds in follicles, and the seeds, which are arranged in overlapping rows, bear a cluster white, silky, filament-like hairs known as the coma (often referred to by other names such as pappus, “floss”, “plume”, or “silk”). The follicles ripen and split open, and the seeds, each carried by its coma, are blown by the wind. Milkweed is an essential larval host plant for the Monarch Butterfly which is why I have grown some in my garden for the last two years. Endangered Monarchs must pass through the “Texas funnel” coming and going on their epic migration to and from Canada to their roosting grounds in Michoacán, Mexico, in the spring and fall, and so Texas has been deemed critically important to the health of these beautiful and unique butterflies, threatened by the loss of habitats. But why should I bring this up now at the end of the year since we won’t see butterflies for months to come? Because it shows that though winter is an ending, it’s important to remember that it is the first season of the new year and so it is a beginning as well. Not only that but when all seems drab and lackluster, one who looks carefully can find great beauty even in the dying of the past.

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We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. ~Romans 6:4  ✝

**Images via Pinterest.

1013. I saw old autumn in the misty morn stand shadowless like silence, listening 
to silence. ~Thomas Hood

After the leaves have fallen, we return
To a plain sense of things.  It is as if
We had come to an end of the imagination,
Inanimate in an inert savoir(way of knowing).
~Wallace Stevens

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O splendid, lusty autumn, you who come with a subtle change in the light, with skies a deeper blue, with cooler days and lengthening chilly nights, it is, I’m sad to say, time for you to go. This year’s first frosts have come and gone, migratory birds have vanished over distant horizons, and crops have been harvested from garden and field alike. And all the while your while beauty and bounty “shined unconfined” as your days spread a “common feast for all that live.” Grateful are we to God and thee, o “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” that rains fell in good measure and gusty winds laid abundant, leafy blankets over the ground in protective readiness against winter’s icy blasts.

silence
seeks the center
of every tree and rock,
that thing we hold closest
-
the end of mere songs
~Michael McClintock

O Lord, I have truly enjoyed listening to nature’s solemn, autumnal hymns once again. And I’ve watched in wonder as leaf upon leaf floated down disrobing the earth. Now I find delight in the millions of shining stars I can see through the bare tree branches, and I know, according to Your promises, that when autumn’s allotted sands of time run out of this year’s hourglass that it’s not an ending. So I’ll go to bed tonight assured that with the arrival of the winter solstice near midnight this evening that the slamming shut of fall’s back door is in reality just a new beginning, a fresh start that will usher in another season, a season of restful silences. Thus at the morrow’s first light, I will rise and begin in earnest to prepare my heart to welcome Your son, Emmanuel, and to rest–to rest, to observe, to listen, and to continue worshiping You.

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

**Image via Pinterest

835. There’s a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there’s a seamlessness in you, and where there is confidence and tranquility in you. ~John O’Donohue

In out-of-the-way places in your heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
A beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening…

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May your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.
May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
And waste your heart on fear no more.
~Both passages are excerpts
from John O’Donohue

For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with victory. ~Psalm 149:4  ✝

**Edited image via Pinterest

760. When writing the story of you life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen. ~Unknown

Life is one open book full of pages.
We laugh, we cry, we smile,
we stumble, we stand, we fall,
and we succeed.
Every chapter defines who
and what we really are.
~J. Johnson

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Some stories don’t have a
clear beginning, middle, and end.
Life is about not knowing,
having to change,
taking the moment and
making the best of it
without knowing what’s
going to happen next,
delicious ambiguity..
.
~Gilda Radner

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. ~Psalm 27:1   ✝

743. Zero (0) is not nothing.  It’s a circle, without beginning or end. Holy. Healed. ~Wallace Black Elk, Lakota

A wheel was shown to me,
wonderful to behold.
Divinity . . . is like a wheel,
a circle, a whole,
that can neither be understood,
nor divided, nor begun nor ended . . .
no one has the power
 to divide
this circle, 
to surpass it, or to limit it.
~St. Hildegard of Bingen

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beginnings, middles, endings,
so 
go the circles of life
 here
and over and over again
the sacred circles repeat themselves
with more beginnings,
more middles,
more endings,
and yet little seems the same from
day to day, month to month, year to year,
in these patterns of inconstancy
within the undeniable constancy
that create our “wow” now moments
as well as the not so “wow” ones
so what’s to be made of all the same
and not so same circular sameness
or the ups and downs and all around times
in the beginnings, middles, and endings
only the Ancient of Days knows why
these everlasting 
holy rhythms
of the universe
 move in such a way
~Natalie Scarberry

It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. ~Deuteronomy 11:12   ✝

**Image via Pinterest