1248. I am forced to conclude that God made Texas on his day off, for pure entertainment, just to prove that all that diversity could be crammed into one section of earth… ~Author Mary Lasswell

The stars at night – are big and bright
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The prairie sky – is wide and high
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The sage in bloom – is like perfume
Deep in the heart of Texas…
~Excerpted lyrics from a song
by June Hershey

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 5.39.11 PM.png

Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession.
Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word.
Like most passionate nations, Texas has 
its own
history based on, but not limited by, facts.
~John Steinbeck

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 5.47.44 PM.png

I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study and the passionate possession of all Texans. ~John Steinbeck, 1962

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 3.07.45 PM.png

And, “Texans for the most part have never learned to be dull,” accurately quipped Randolph Campbell.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 3.05.43 PM.png

As I’ve said repeatedly the intense heat of the Texas summer has always been difficult for me to tolerate. It forces me to stay indoors much more than I like, and being separated from the earth and God’s voice in the natural world starves my spirit. However, I have come to love much of the unique Texas experience, and I am thankful that the Lord created the man or woman who invented air-conditioning. I’m grateful too that our house has lots of windows so I can at least see my yard during times when it’s just too miserably hot to be out in it.. Also after I bought a digital camera, I’m able to save the garden’s glory in photographs that help me make it through the times when the summer heat temporarily robs the landscape of much of its beauty. How blessed are we that the work of His hands is as apparent as ever in His world.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19 ✝

**Images found on the Internet, Pinterest, and Pixabay; collages by Natalie

 

1130. Who hath a garden, he has joy, however small his plot may be. ~Excerpted lines by Thomas Curtis Clark

My garden is a pleasant place
Of sun glory and leaf grace.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Louise Driscoll

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 9.04.14 PM.png

What pure delight a garden bring–
What joy in watching growing things
Upspringing from the sodden mould
Their wealth of beauty to unfold–
‘Tis here my spirit soars and sings!

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 9.43.32 PM.png

To note the flash of painted wings,
And hark the bees’ soft murmurings
In quest of sweets the blossoms hold;
Where all gray days are days of gold,
Strolling its paths bright wanderings,
What pure delight!
~Louella C. Poole

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. ~Genesis 2:8  ✝

**All the flower “babies” were blooming in my yard today.

1102. Fate shall yield to fickle chance, and chaos judge the strife. ~John Milton

Bright and true and tender
can Mother Nature be albeit 
dark, fierce, fickle and disastrous
oft too is she.
~Natalie Scarberry

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 7.46.25 PM.png

It is sad that nature will play
such tricks with us poor mortals,
inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her,
and then, when we are entirely
within her power, tricking us to the heart.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 7.51.47 PM.png

Every year it seems to me
I hear complaints about spring.
It is either “late” or “unusually cold,”
“abnormally dry” or “fantastically wet,”
for no one is ever willing to admit
that there is no such thing as a normal spring.
~Thalassa Crusso

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 7.48.14 PM.png

This year had been shaping up to be the best spring ever in my gardens, and then as so often happens over the Texas prairies this time of year, blustery high winds caused cold air from the north to collide with the existing warm air making Mother Nature more foe than friend as night fell. I must have had some kind of sixth-sense inclination of the impending doom, however, because I took the three photographs above before I called it a day and came inside for good. Sadly what you see in them is gone now. The reason for their demise can be seen in the picture below of the huge amount of pea-size to quarter-size hail that fell with the two-inch downpour of rain. I know that it could have been worse because tornados can and do sometimes accompany such weather events; so I’m grateful this time wasn’t one of them and that no one was hurt or experienced loss of life, limb, or property. But it was still sad, very sad today, to see masses of green “carnage” as well as the remains of flowery life and beauty scattered everywhere. Yet I will always praise the Lord for the rain.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 7.44.05 PM.png

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  ✝

1007. “The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents.” ~Excerpt from the The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.
~Excerpt from a hymn
by John H. Hopkins, Jr. (1857)

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 6.47.42 PM.png

The Journey Of The Magi

“A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again…”
~Excerpt from a poem by T.S. Eliot

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. ~Matthew 2:9-11  ✝

**White horse image found on Pinterest

991. The autumn air is clear, The autumn moon is bright. Fallen leaves gather and scatter… ~Li Bai

That’s no December sky!
Surely ’tis still June
Holding her state on high
As queen of the noon.
For only the tree-tops are bare
Clear-cut in the perfect air…
~Edited and adapted excerpt from a poem
by Robert Fuller Murray

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 3.54.13 PM.png

Now the seasons are closing
their files on each of us,
the heavy drawers full of certificates
rolling back into the tree trunks,
a few old papers  flocking away.
Someone we loved has fallen from
our thoughts, making a little, glittering
splash like a bicycle pushed by a breeze.
Otherwise, not much has happened;
we fell in love again, finding
that one red leaf on the wind.
~Edited and adapted poem
by Ted Kooser

He (God) made the moon to mark the seasons… ~Excerpt from Psalm 104:19  ✝

900. We must learn what it means to listen to inner longings other than the appetite for more, longings that quietly assert that enough is enough. Paul L. Escamilla

 It is enough for me by day
To walk the same bright earth with him;
Enough that over us by night
The same great roof of stars is dim.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 3.28.58 PM

I do not hope to bind the wind
Or set a fetter on the sea —
It is enough to feel his love
Blow by like music over me.
~Sara Teasdale

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 3.18.21 PM

When the starry sky, a vista of open seas, or a stained-glass window shedding purple beams fascinate me, there is a cluster of meaning, of colors, of words, of caresses. There are light touches, scents, sighs, cadences that arise, shroud me, carry me away, and sweep me beyond the things I see, hear, or think. The “sublime” object dissolves in the raptures of a bottomless memory. It is such a memory, which, from stopping point to stopping point, remembrance to remembrance, love to love, transfers that object to enough and the refulgent point of the dazzlement in which I stray in order to be. ~Adapted excerpt from Julia Kristeva

Are God’s consolations not enough for you, words spoken gently to you? ~Job 15: 11  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collages created by Natalie

849. Yellow-the hue of that portion of the visible spectrum lying between green and orange, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy… ~The Dictionary

DSC_0012 It has been a kind of yellowlicious day,
and what could such be, one might say?
Well, yellowlicious is as
yellowlicious does,
and what yellowlicious does is color
our days with the brightest of luscious flowers.
~A Dr. Seussical kind of query
by Natalie Scarberry

DSC_0053

I caught
a yellow rhyme
in my hands, and
it fluttered
like a bevy of
bright butterfly wings

DSC_0019

Since yellow is
the brightest color
in the rainbow,
why shouldn’t it
pen flaxen happiness
in the sunlight

DSC_0007

As it spreads
its luminous wings
and paints across
the yard in swaths of gold,
landing here and there
as nimbly as a butterfly

DSC_0069

Now I can’t help but
wonder if one couldn’t
catch such dazzling
poesy and turn it
into butterfly smiles
for the whole world to see.
~Heavily edited and adapted poem
by Gregory Golden

DSC_0023

God your love is so precious. You protect people in the shadow of your wings. ~Psalm 36:7  ✝