1292. Let me keep company always with those who say “look!” and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads. ~Mary Oliver

For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind’s delight,
for the mystic harmony,
linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.
~Folliat S. Pierpoint

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Life is huge!
Rejoice about the sun, moon, flowers, and sky.
Rejoice about the food you have to eat.
Rejoice about the body that houses your spirit.
Rejoice about the fact that you can
be a positive force in the world around you.
Rejoice about the love that is around you.
If you want to be happy, commit
to making your life one of rejoicing.
~Author Unknown

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. ~Psalm 96:11  ✝

**Photo taken by Natalie

1282. When I dance I forget everything else and just feel completely happy. ~Katherine Jenkins

When you dance, your purpose
is not to get to a certain
place on the floor. It’s to enjoy
each step along the way.
~Wayne Dyer

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If I Were
There are lots of ways to dance
and to spin, sometimes it just
starts my feet first then my entire body,
I am spinning no one can see it
but it is happening. I am so glad to be alive,
I am so glad to be loving and loved.
Even if I were close to the finish, even if
I were at my final breath,
I would be here to take a stand,
bereft of such astonishments,
but for them.
~Excerpt from a poem
by Mary Oliver

Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful. ~Excerpt from Jeremiah 31:4  ✝

**Image via Pinterest; special effects done on iPiccy and Movavi

1224. Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

Take a music bath once or twice
a week for a few seasons.
You will find it is to the soul
what a water bath is to the body.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Do re me fa so la ti–this, the solfège is a music education method used to teach pitch. Syllables assigned to the notes of the scale enable musicians to mentally hear the pitches of music that they are seeing for the first time. But that wasn’t the really the fun thing about it today. Because of it a familiar song came to mind, and singing it washed away the dust of our 105 degree day. As I thought of the SOUND OF MUSIC and the song based on the solfège, it made me smile and say aha about a possible blog post! And with the lack of rain we’re enduring, what better way to take a water bath than with music. So here goes…

Doe-a deer, a female deer

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Ray-a drop of golden sun

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Me-a name I call myself

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Far-a long, long way to go

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Sew-a needle pulling thread

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La-a note to follow sew

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Tea-a drink with jam and bread that will bring us back to do…

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Which brings us back to do…

My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. ~Psalm 57:7  ✝

**All images found on Pinterest

1222. We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves. ~Leonora Carrington

From within and from behind, a
light shines through us upon things,
and makes us aware that we
are nothing, the but light is all.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I was up early this morning and so went wandering around the yard looking for something picture worthy. As I took these photos, I decided that they were more spectacular because of the play of early morning light on them. I saw only a portion of the flower as I rounded the corner, and even so the light shining through the leaves and the small portion of this flower’s filaments was both magical and mystical. And I’m always struck by how much holiness I sense in the light, even small pieces of it. It’s like God’s radiance falls on things in the garden as well as the sunlight. When it was all said and done, I couldn’t decided which was more stunning, the fragment of the flower or in the whole thing.

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Later in the day during a Bible Study I found myself surrounded by people who like these leaves and flowers were filled with notable and holy spiritual light. In the course of our discussion we talked about the fact that we are all made in the image of God. And so it occurred to me that whenever we look in a mirror we are actually seeing the face of God, coming face to face, as it were, with the very one who breathed life into us. And when you think of it that way, you realize that we are never separated from the Lord, no matter where life takes us or what we do or don’t do. He is always there behind the face, behind the light. Notice in the lines below how the First Nation’s people also connected life with light and breath.

What is life? It is the flash
of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo
in the wintertime. It is
the little shadow which runs
across the grass and loses
itself in the sunset.
~Crowfoot

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. ~Matthew 6:22  ✝

1054. This is the first, the wildest, and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness. ~Mary Oliver

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“Like a wild animal, the soul is tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy, and self-sufficient: it knows how to survive in hard places. I learned about these qualities during my bouts with depression. In that deadly darkness, the faculties I had always depended on collapsed. My intellect was useless; my emotions were dead; my will was impotent; my ego was shattered. But from time to time, deep in the thickets of my inner wilderness, I could sense the presence of something that knew how to stay alive even when the rest of me wanted to die. That something was my tough and tenacious soul.” ~Parker Palmer

From studying the way the word soul is used in Holy Writ, we can come to some conclusions. Simply stated, the human soul is the part of a person that is not physical. It is the part of every human being that lasts eternally after the body experiences death.

For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. ~Proverbs 2:10  ✝

**Ethereal image via Pinterest

1040. It’s not the strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

The human spirit needs
places where nature
has not been rearranged
by the hand of man.
~Author Unknown

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The spirit
likes to dress up like this:
ten fingers,
ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
at night
in the black branches,
in the morning

in the blue branches
of the world.
It could float, of course,
but would rather

plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing,
it needs
the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
the oceanic fluids;
it needs the body’s world,
instinct

and imagination
and the dark hug of time,
sweetness
and tangibility,

to be understood,
to be more than pure light
that burns
where no one is —

so it enters us —
in the morning
shines from brute comfort
like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
lights up the deep and wondrous
drownings of the body
like a star.
~Poem by Mary Oliver

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering the waters. ~Genesis 1:2  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

 

1025. The sweetest two words are “next time.” The sourest word is “if.” ~Chi Chi Rodriguez

When a thing’s done, it’s done,
and if it’s not done right,
do it differently next time.
~Arthur Ransome

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Next time what I’d do is look at
the earth before saying anything. I’d stop
just before going into a house
and be an emperor for a minute
and listen better to the wind
or to the air being still.

When anyone talked to me, whether
blame or praise or just passing time,
I’d watch the face, how the mouth
has to work, and see any strain,
any sign of what lifted the voice.

And for all, I’d know more — the earth
bracing itself and soaring, the air
finding every leaf and feather over
forest and water, and for every person
the body glowing inside the clothes
like a light.
~A poem by Mary Oliver

Okay, kiddies, it’s January 1st and thus the “next time” around this old earth for all of us. And as I’ve aged I’ve come to realize that before starting a new chapter in life, it’s always a good idea to give some thought first to what I’d do differently “next time.” What-if’s are never a good choice because they take the focus off the gifts and lessons of today’s reality. What-iffies are like trying to see what’s coming around the corner before one ever gets to the corner. Since there is absolutely no way we can know what’s around that corner, they waste valuable time preparing for what may never happen. And they are “squishy” in nature in that they require of us no firm direction or intent and allow for a lack of faith. Finding bumps in the road around any corner is a given, but after falling and failing as many times as I have, I’ve learned to get up, dust my behind off, and look for the seeds inherent in all mistakes because they gifts from above that teach one how to improve. So off I go once more seeking that which the Lord lays upon my plate and knowing that in every season there is the possibility of all things under heaven which means sorrow will come but it can’t stop me from laughing, loving, singing, and dancing.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here! ~2 Corinthians 5:17  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie