735. Be empty of worrying…. Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. ~Rumi, as interpreted by Coleman Barks

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid, more accessible,
to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, promise.
I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which came
to me as seed goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as a blossom, goes on as fruit.
~by Dawna Markova

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Grass

~by Mary Oliver

Those who disappointed, betrayed, scarified! Those who would still put their hands upon me! Those who belong to the past!

How many of us have weighted the years with groaning and weeping? How many years have I done it how many nights spent panting hating grieving, oh, merciless, pitiless remembrances?

I walk over the green hillsides, I lie down on the harsh, sun-flavored blades and bundles of grass; the grass cares nothing about me, it doesn’t want anything from me, it rises to its own purpose, and sweetly, following, the single holy dictum: tto be itself, to let the sky be the sky, to let a young girl be a young girl freely–to let a middle-aged woman, be comfortably, a middle-aged woman.

Those bloody sharps and flats–those endless calamities of the personal past. Bah! I disown them from the rest of my life, in which I mean to rest.

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Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ~Psalm 23:4    ✝

**Lord, thank you for this faithful promise above and for the blessed encounter today with someone who, whenever I see her, never fails to put the wind, the holy ruach, back under the frail wings, the torch, and the promise of this aging woman.

**Both images via Pinterest

723. Bee to blossom, moth to flame; each to his passion; what’s in a name? ~Helen Hunt Jackson

I wanted to know the name
of every stone and flower
and insect and bird and beast.
I wanted to know 
where it got its color,
where it got its life…
~George Washington Carver

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The real name of this beauty is Tradescantia, but it’s commonly called Spiderwort, a name not my favorite for two reasons. First, I’m not a big fan of spiders and secondly as a kid I had lots of warts. And so to put those two irksome things together for such a colorful and interesting bloom seems to me to do it a terrible injustice. But then it’s real name is a tad hard to spell and to remember for that matter too. So what’s one to do? Though it got its color and its life from the Lord, it was mortal men who gave it such a dreadful name; perhaps now it is time for a change, and one day I shall just have to come up with a name of my own for this lovely, small, but fetching flower.

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Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed bearing plants and trees on the land that bear much fruit with seed in it, according to the various kinds.” And it was so…And God said, “Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” ~Genesis1:11 and Genesis 1:20  ✝

**The top photo is one I took in my yard yesterday; the others I found on Pinterest.

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

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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

686. Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust

We only part to meet again.
Change, as ye list, ye winds;
my heart shall be the faithful compass
that still points to thee.
~John Gay

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Once one steps into cyberspace via the internet, he/she opens the door to being able to speak to “strangers” all over the world. And even if there is no photo attached to their blog post, over time a recognizable “identity” develops from the kinds of things posted, be they words or simply images of some sort. Then as time passes and interactions continue with these “strangers,” one is not only able to learn more and more about who he or she is but also more about himself/herself from ongoing conversations or the sharing of images. Another fascinating aspect about this process is that through nothing more than this kind of “distant” and “blind” communication, lasting relationships develop, genuine fondnesses grow, and abiding love and respect occur. For, distance, it seems, never separates the hearts of those who come to care for one another and shared experiences as well as the building of memories make it possible for love to span miles and miles of vast distances.  This is not surprising since It is from and in God’s love which knows no boundaries that we are made and sustained, and it’s in the redeeming love of Jesus that we find salvation.

Once the realization is accepted that
even between the closest of human beings
infinite distances continue,
a wonderful living side by side can grow,
if they succeed in loving the distance between them
which makes it possible for each to see
the other whole against the sky.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. ~1 John 4:11   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

591. The great majority of men are bundles of beginnings. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t be discouraged.
It’s often the last key in bunch
that opens the lock.
~Author Unknown

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Refuse to fall down
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down,
lift your heart toward heaven,
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you from lifting your heart
toward heaven
only you.
It is in the middle of misery
that so much becomes clear.
The one who says nothing good
came of this,
is not yet listening.
~Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  ~James 1:4   ✝

** Images via Pinterest

518. It is necessary to find the infinitely large in the infinitely small, to feel the presence of God. ~Pythagoras

Winter is an etching,
spring a watercolor,
summer an oil painting,
and autumn a mosaic of them all.
-Stanley Horowitz

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Before one season passes into another, some of what has been comes along with the new blessings and before long the coming one begins easing its gifts into place. For example ripening rose hips are a part of winter’s etching, roses are a continuing bestowal of springtime’s watercolor epic, the now sighing-in-the-wind ornamental grasses appeared on summer’s brush-stroked canvas, and little purple asters aswarm with bees are securing their place in autumn’s developing mosaic, a mosaic not too different from the section of a pieced quilt like the one in the photo.

…the discipline of blessings is to taste
each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet
and the salty, and be glad for what does not
hurt. The art is in compressing attention
to each little and big blossom of the tree
of life, to let the tongue sing each fruit,
its savor, its aroma and its use.
~Marge Piercy

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. ~Ephesians 1:3   ✝

** Image is a piece of a Barbara Olson quilt pinned on Pinterest

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

He couldn’t stop smelling the air
in great, deep, loud sniffs.
It was so delicious.
It smelled of water, and mud,
and maple trees, and autumn.
~Elizabeth Enright

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Sweet fruit
high above me,
out of reach
up in the canopy
formed by wire and bush
Another smell of autumn
sweet sweet smell
of Concord grapes
warming ripening
ready to burst with flavor
strong urgent smell
lured me closer
spreading outward
from the makeshift arbor
a plume twenty feet wide
enticing, coaxing
me to linger
luxuriate in its aroma
smile at the memory
of other pickings
long ago
~Edited poem by Raymond A. Foss

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. ~2 Corinthians 2:14   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

469. The ripest peach is highest on the tree. ~James Whitcomb Riley

This is the blessing for a ripe peach:
This is luck made round. Frost can nip
the blossom, kill the bee. It can drop,
a hard green useless nut. Brown fungus,
the burrowing worm that coils in rot can
blemish it and wind crush it on the ground.
Yet this peach fills my mouth with juicy sun.
~A verse from a poem by Marge Piercy

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Abracadrabra! Hinkety, pinkety! Jiggity, jog! Poof! Oh wouldn’t it be lovely if with such a simple incantation we could go back in time to a place where one of our life’s greatest treasures lie! For me it would be a place filled with the sights and sounds of the sea, the fragrances of beautiful flowers, the tastes of luscious fruits, and the magic of innocence. That place would always be my childhood home in southern California where sanctity fell from on high and oozed up from the ground, and the air was charged and ripe with God’s goodness.

It was when I read this verse today that the poet’s words actually took me back for the briefest of moments to that time and place. For you see in our backyard we had a large peach tree, and I remember so well reaching up, grabbing one, though it might not have been the highest, and eating it with joyful abandon, letting the “juicy sun” drip right down from my mouth. And then there were my mama’s peach pies!!! My oh my oh my but they were the best I have ever eaten!

The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. ~Genesis 1:12   ✝

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. With all Creation I sing: Praise to the King of Kings. You are my everything, and I will adore you!” (From Revelation Song by Phillips, Craig, and Dean)

451. Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
~Robert Frost

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But wait, there’s yet another that “achieves at ties a very star-like start,” and it began blooming here this week. Though called Sweet Autumn Clematis, this handsome climbing vine displays its billowy masses of fragrant white flowers here in August. And when it does, the twining vine is one alluring diva that makes a very impressive statement. For when it blooms in the garden, it is blessed with an incredible number of small, star-shaped blossoms which form a white fleece-like blanket that drapes beautifully over large rocks, chain-link fences, arbors, pergolas, or even a dangling birdhouse. So as the “lovely stars” blossom in the “infinite meadows of heaven” in August over Texas, they bloom also day and night on her tamed prairies.

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Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light. ~Psalm 148:3   ✝

Sweet Jesus, fill us with the mercy you bled on the cross and draw us back unto Yourself! Thank You for the gladness You put in our hearts. Help us to be aware of You in all that we see and hear in Creation’s realm.

425. When you celebrate, you are taking time to recognize, to open your eyes and behold in your life the quiet miracles and gifts that seek no attention; yet each day they nourish, shelter, and animate your life. ~John O’Donohue

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs;
ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is
people who have come alive.
~Attributed to Howard Thurman,
American author, philosopher, theologian,
educator, and civil rights leader

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The Lord demonstrates great passion in all that He does and in all that He creates, and so made in His image as we are, we are designed to be passionate. Our passions make us come alive, and it is in that awakening that we come into full bloom like the passion flower above. Passion unlocks our potential and helps us discover our divine purpose in this life; it creates “moments that blossom,” and that’s what makes the human heart want to celebrate. We are implored in Scripture to celebrate; celebration has been described as a delightful and intense form of human presence. It draws us together, and I believe our relationships with each other ultimately lead to a desire to be in relationship with the Lord.

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~Psalm 118:24    ✝

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.