711. And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. ~William Shakespeare

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron

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Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. ~John Muir

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Oh, how I love the sea and at no time more than when I’m there at dusk or dawn.  I took these photos on a visit to Galveston several years ago, and they still speak to me as much of God as does my garden. While the bird and I walked along the “lonely shore” together, you’ll notice that it stopped twice as if waiting and watching and listening.  I believe it’s because in the dim quietude we both clearly heard the sacred songs of the spheres and the music of the deep sea’s roar.  So let us drink a cup of the “good in everything” today as we celebrate the earth, its bounty, and its beauty.  And let us not forget to praise the Lord now and always for all His gifts and goodness!

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  ~Romans 1:20   ✝

685. Man is a knot into which relationships are tied. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Someone to tell it to
is one of the fundamental
needs of human beings.
~Miles Franklin

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Have you ever pondered why we, any of us, blog? Or write books? Or pen poetry? Or compose music? Or draw? Or paint? I have and I think the quote above by Miles Franklin hits the proverbial nail squarely on the head. We, who pour out our lives or thoughts or passions or joys or hurts or whatever in some way, do in fact appear to have some compelling and fundamental need to do so. Emily Dickinson added another aspect to this idea when she described it, “as a shelter to speak” to some trusted other in her life. Like her, many of us, I believe, find not only great comfort but also a kind of self-soothing safety when we, individually or collectively, find ways to express ourselves to those we come to trust and admire. This is best described by the Swedish proverb that says a “shared joy is a double joy; a shared sorrow is half a sorrow.” In addition, I find something very cathartic and cleansing about “spilling my guts” to an “art or soul” mate given me by the Lord; they are the ones who give me the wings and courage to be all that He created me to be.

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort
of feeling safe with a person,
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pouring them all out, just as they are,
chaff and grain together
certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping, and
with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.
~George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. ~Proverbs 17:17   ✝

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576. Time-honored, beautiful, solemn and wise – noble, sacred and ancient – trees reach the highest heavens and penetrate the deepest secrets of the earth. ~Author Unknown

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt,
finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks,
sermons in stones, and good in everything.
~William Shakespeare

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Owl in the Black Oaks

If a lynx, that plush fellow,
climbed down a
tree and left behind
his face, his thick neck,

and, most of all, the lamps of his eyes,
there you would have it—
the owl,
the very owl

who haunts these trees,
choosing from the swash of branches
the slight perches and ledges
of his acrobatics.

Almost every day
I spy him out
among the knots and the burls,
looking down

at his huge feet,
at the path curving through the trees,
at whatever is coming up the hill
toward him,

and, though I’m never ready—
though something unspeakably cold
always drops through my heart—
it is a moment

as lavish as is fearful—
there is such pomp
in the gown of feathers
and the lit silk of the eyes—

surely he is one of the mighty kings
of this world.
Sometimes, as I keep coming,
he simply flies away—

and sometimes the whole body
tilts forward, and the beak opens,
clean and wonderful,
like a cup of gold.

~by Mary Oliver

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. ~Psalm 19:7   ✝

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485. All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A morning glory at my window
satisfies me more than
the metaphysics of books.
~Walt Whitman

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Exquisite! Beautiful! Lovely! Elegant! Magnificent! What’s not to love about something as deserving of these adjectives as this morning glory? From its twisted bud to its fully opened flower, this  morning glory is an absolute marvel! As much to be adored as the flower itself are the heart-shaped leaves and the way the vines wrap around and cling to anything they touch. Simply put, this particular vine and each stage of its flowering process make manifest some of the most wondrous spectacles in my garden. That’s why I squeal with delight when the first one opens each year and mourn the loss of the last ones when the first freeze snuffs out their glorious reign. Each bell-shaped flower lasts for a single day, but the glory of that flower is so splendid that many times it is more than enough to be the drop that fills my cup to overflowing. Also, over the years it and other things of short-lived splendor have helped me realize that length of life is far less important than the magnitude and impact of goodness in whatever time a living thing is granted. Blue morning glories like the one above look like flowering bits of heaven spilling out of a small chalice, and because that diminutive goblet seems to hold a smidgen of holy light, I’ve often wondered if it is not a sample or preview of what Glory is like.

The fact that the Divine Trinity is three persons in One reveals that God is a relational Being. Not only does He want to establish an intimate relationship with His children but He also wants us to know Him intimately as well. How better to achieve that goal than to share with us what He treasures so that we’ll be inspired to seek the Holy One who is magnanimously loving and generous. By covering the earth with precious bits and pieces of Himself, God paints a “selfie” that leaves an unmistakable trail which, if followed, inevitably leads to His throne.

You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. ~Nehemiah 9:6    ✝

372. How doth the little busy bee improve each shining hour and gather honey all day from every opening flower. ~Isaac Watts

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Hum

What is this dark hum among the roses?
The bees have gone simple, sipping,
that’s all. What did you expect? Sophistication?
They’re small creatures and they are
filling their bodies with sweetness, how could they not
moan in happiness? The little
worker bee lives, I have read, about three weeks.
Is that long? Long enough, I suppose, to understand
that life is a blessing. I have found them-haven’t you?—
stopped in the very cups of the flowers, their wings
a little tattered-so much flying about, to the hive,
then out into the world, then back, and perhaps dancing,
should the task be to be a scout-sweet, dancing bee.
I think there isn’t anything in this world I don’t
admire. If there is, I don’t know what it is. I
haven’t met it yet. Nor expect to. The bee is small,
and since I wear glasses, so I can see the traffic and
read books, I have to
take them off and bend close to study and
understand what is happening. It’s not hard, it’s in fact
as instructive as anything I have ever studied. Plus, too,
it’s love almost too fierce to endure, the bee
nuzzling like that into the blouse
of the rose. And the fragrance, and the honey, and of course
the sun, the purely pure sun, shining, all the while, over
all of us.

~Mary Oliver

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! ~Psalm 119:103  ✝

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!

341. So pure, so still the starry heaven, so hushed the brooding air, I could hear the sweep of an angel’s wings… ~Edna Dean Proctor

Our Lord has written
the promise of resurrection,
not in books alone,
but in every leaf in springtime.
~Martin Luther

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Creation is a perpetual outpouring of God’s creative and loving selfhood. The sacred isn’t merely above us but forever within the entire body of Creation. The holy sound of God resonates in everything. The earth gives us reason to feel His gracious hand upon us while the forces of heaven sustain us. These realities are meant to stir in humanity a sense of belonging and in turn spark a desire to seek the Lord, but should they not, finding God in Christ is something even the blind can do. Our Creator sent us His son over 2,000 years ago, and He came to be our memory and to remind us of who we are and to whom we belong. Jesus is a revelation of our loving Father and His Kingdom’s intention. Christ offers salvation to the children of the Light who are subjected to temptation by malevolent forces, and He is a leader who directs God’s children into righteous rhythms of life, into a willingness to serve others, and into the dance of life–a dance in which the whole universe partners.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.  ~Ephesians 1:17  ✝

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!

326. And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.
~William Shakespeare 

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CHERRY BLOSSOMS ADRIFT

Pink petals passing
Scents above so high
Painted porcelain perfection
Blossoms caress the sky

Swaying silent shroud
Suitors strolling by
Pink petals passing
Lover’s gentle sigh



Pastel hues falling
Slow fluttering grace
Pink petals passing
Lining streams in lace

Pink petals passing
Smoothest transit by
Soft essence floating
In most subtle lullaby



Inducing springtime slumber
Upon a satin shore
Sailing with the current
Pink petals pass before
~Mary Fumento

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The sun shines down.
Pink flowers glow softly.
A gentle breeze rustles the leaves.
Birds flutter about the branches.
A young girl sits below it.
Relaxing in the shade.
The sweet smell of cherry blossoms fills the air.
And I know
I am home.
~Kylee Bartz

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Let all creation rejoice before the Lord… ~Psalm 96:11-13 ✝

Jesus, I am captured by Your grace and caught in Your imfinite embrace!