548. The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. ~Flora Whittemore

Life is full of beauty.
Notice it.
Notice the bumble bee,
the small child,
and the smiling faces.
Smell the rain,
and feel the wind.
~Ashley Smith

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How Would You Live Then?
What if a hundred rose-breasted grosbeaks
blew in circles around your head? What if
the mockingbird came into the house with you and
became your advisor? What if
the bees filled your walls with honey and all
you needed to do was ask them and they would fill
the bowl? What if the brook slid downhill just
past your bedroom window so you could listen
to its slow prayers as you fell asleep? What if
the stars began to shout their names, or to run
this way and that way above the clouds? What if
you painted a picture of a tree, and the leaves
began to rustle, and a bird cheerful sang
from its painted branches? What if you suddenly saw
that the silver of water was brighter than the silver
of money? What if you finally saw
that the sunflowers, turning toward the sun all day
and every day — who knows how, but they do it — were
more precious, more meaningful than gold?
~Mary Oliver

They have ears, but cannot hear, noses but cannot smell. ~Psalm 115:6   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

419. Let your love be like the misty rains, coming softly, but flooding the river. ~Malagasy Proverb

Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving. ~Khalil Gibran

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My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.


Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,


which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth
and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam…

~Mary Oliver

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:5  ✝

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.

385. Like billowing clouds, like the incessant gurgle of the brook the longing of the spirit can never be stilled. ~Hildegard von Bingen

Thus am I, a feather on the breath of God. ~Hildegard von Bingen

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O most noble Greenness, rooted in the sun,
shining forth in streaming splendor upon the wheel of Earth.
No earthly sense or being can comprehend you.
You are encircled by the very arms of Divine mysteries.
You are radiant like the red of dawn!
You glow like the incandescence of the sun!

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O moving force of Wisdom, encircling the wheel of the cosmos,
Encompassing all that is, all that has life,
in one vast circle.
You have three wings: The first unfurls aloft
in the highest heights.
The second dips its way dripping sweat on the Earth.
Over, under, and through all things whirls the third.
Praise to you, O Wisdom worthy of praise!

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Holy spirit, making life alive,
moving in all things, root of all created being…
You are lustrous and praiseworthy life,
You waken and re-awaken everything that is.

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Who was she, this feather on the breath of God? By name, she was Hildegard von Bingen; by profession, among other things, she was a writer of one of the largest bodies of letters to survive from the Middle Ages. Born in 1098, Hildegard was given as a tithe to the church, and later as a writer of poetry and songs as well as theological, botanical, and medicinal texts, a composer, a philosopher, a Christian mystic, and a benedictine abbess, it has been said that “her life tells of an irresistible spirit overcoming social, physical and gender barriers to achieve great things in the service of Christ.”

He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. ~Psalm 91:4  ✝

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!

**Poetry by Hildegard von Blingen
** Images via Pinterest

342. Thou art the Iris, fair among the fairest… ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Undulating ranks of Iris
Slimly holding their broad flat blooms
Like tripods of incense
Aloft towards the moist spearing
Of morning sunlight.
~Michael Strange

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Iris, most beautiful flower,
Symbol of life, love, and light;
Found by the brook, and the meadow,
Or lofty, on arable height.
You come in such glorious colors,
In hues, the rainbow surpass;
The chart of color portrays you,
In petal, or veins, of your class.
You steal the full beauty of Springtime,
With your fragrance and sharp color glow.
~Edith Edwards

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“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” Isaiah 60:1  ✝

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!

198. Autumn is the dim shadow that clusters about the sweet precious things that God created in the realm of nature. ~Northern Advocate

That soft autumnal time…
The year’s last, loveliest smile,
Thou comest to fill with hope the human heart,
And strengthen it to bear the storms a while,
Till winter days depart…

Far in a shelter’d nook
I’ve met, in these calm days, a smiling flower,
A lonely aster, trembling by a brook…
~John Howard Bryant

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In autumn the Maker’s pigments turn from the soft pastels of springtime to emboldened, jewel tones.  Glad witnesses are we to the green leaves on shining sumac, flowering dogwoods, Bradford pears, sweet gums, Shumard oaks, and crape myrtles changing to mixtures of burgundy, crimson, orange, and gold.  Other treats are setting buds for next year’s blossoms among the fiery red, ripening fruits of the dogwoods, and the deeper shades of blues and pinks that adorn the thickened petals of hydrangeas.  And if that is not enough to make the year smile, there are the willow leaves, among the other falling foliage, that rain down golden glory in one wave after the other like confetti from a ticker-tape parade.  In the gusting winds they litter the streets, and as cars pass by the multicolored leafage gives a festive look to curbs and lawns.  But again, that’s not all.  Roses bloom in deeper hues than before, the red fruits on the Prairifire crabapples shine forth, and sweet purple asters with their bright yellow eyes provide a closing feast for hordes of humming bees.  So smile on, lovely Autumn, and fill my heart with the hope I need to be strengthened against winter’s gathering storms.

Faithfulness spring’s forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.  The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.   ~Psalm 85:11-12  ✝