613. But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? ~William Shakespeare

Here comes the sun
and I say, it’s all right…
Little darlin’, it seems like years
since it’s been clear….
~Excerpted lyrics by John Lennon
George Harrison, and Paul McCartney

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Degree by degree by degree a glow appears on the eastern horizon. Brighter and lighter it grows as inch by inch by inch the sun lifts night’s shades higher and higher revealing a cloudless sky was washed clean of the cold, greys of past days. Up and up and up rises the blaze of the sun, ancient bearer of light and warmth and cheer. In the rising incandescence the busy birds are chirpier, the scampering squirrels are friskier, and the prowling feral cats are bushy-tailed. The sun, the sun, the marvelous sun–now it’s kissing the tips and tops of things before oozing and spreading like melting butter on a warm piece of toast over everything it touches. The morning air, charged with electricity in anticipation of its fullness, is kindling a warmer rhythm for this wintry day, and when the first splinters of the sun’s golden rays finally run across the garden and lawn, the dance of life will pulse strong again in hearts and feet alike. And then, when there is light, glorious, glorious light, we shall rise and greet thee, O Lord, with glad and grateful hearts.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. ~Genesis 1:3-4   ✝

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478. If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God. ~Gilbert K. Chesterton

Tonight the sun died like an Emperor…
great scarlet arcs of silk…
saffron…green…crimson…
and the blaze of Venus to remind one
of the absolute and the infinite…
~John Coldstream

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The busy buzzing of the bees had ceased, and the butterflies had completed the day’s last waltz as gentle breezes began ruffling leaves late yesterday. As the zephyrs moved through the yard, the nodding sea oats looked like jittery lawn dancers in the descending, shadows of darkness. The sunlight, with night, the vanquishing “emperor,” nipping at its heels, had almost oozed out of the day as I went out to watch it yield more and more of its hold on the garden. While I kept an eye on the stunning blaze along the western horizon, I saw the yard birds diving and darting into safe havens for the night and the screeching grackles, much higher in the sky, looking for lodging elsewhere. The hastening darkness added frantic drama to their random forays for nightly asylum but not enough to make me feel even the slightest remorse for making sure they didn’t return to my yard. Then in the distance I heard a train whistle, and from the sound the locomotive seemed to be moving at a fast and frenzied pace for home, and I hoped it, too, would make it before long. As the last shaft of sunlight moved up and off the towering oak, a velvety hush lowered, and the lone sparrow who’d been sitting on the edge of the roof at last vanished. Then, boom, the sun fell off the edge of the world, and the blackness of night was to be denied no longer.

Each part of a day has a feel and reality of its own. Take time to savor the uniqueness in each passing moment and say a prayer of simple praise for comforting patterns and rhythms.

May you go into the night
blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.
~John O’Donohue

By day the Lord directs His love, at night His Son is with me-a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8   ✝

282. Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living. ~Soren Kierkegaard

Crowfoot, chief of the Blackfoot Nation, once asked, “What is life?”  He then answered his own question with haunting and graphic wisdom.  He said, “it is the flash of the firefly in the night.  It is the breath of the buffalo in wintertime.  It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

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Life, that spark, that whispering breath of God over the void, grows faint in winter.  Cloistered behind the grays and browns of gloomy veils, its glow, its hum, its buzz, pales and lowers, but as we near the vernal equinox, Eden’s heartbeat becomes a little more perceptible each day.  It has been said that “God pours life into death and death into life without a drop being spilled,” and today I’ve discovered right here in my back yard that through dark, seemingly dead branches life into the lifeless has been poured again without any wasted spillage.  It is on the trailing tendrils of a “Clematis armandii” vine that life has flowed silently and secretly until it could no longer be contained.  As it burst forth into the newness you see in my photos, it is proof that the Holy One tends His Eden still.  His divine, hidden forces of life have become tangibly visible, and a new spark has ignited a tiny flame.  Soon a steady succession of similar sparks will fuel a blaze, a blaze that will spread like a wildfire lighting the world anew with evidence of God’s never-ending glory.

Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?  In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.  ~Job 12:9-10  ✝