1328. It is an old story, this irresistible and ceaseless onflow of life and time… ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.
~William Blake

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Dead and brown is all that once was verdant and full of life. And again today a north wind blew to scatter more of autumn’s splendrous, leafy remains. Willy nilly the leaves whirled about and over the ground as if they were happy children chasing one another. Though a smattering of leaves yet dons a tree or two, for the most part the yard is a graveyard of clattering skeletons, desiccated leaves and withered flowers, bare soil and beige sod. Too, the beating heart of Creation’s life has grown ever so faint, but nonetheless it is discernible to the listening, longing ear. All the while beneath the surface, there’s an entirely different story evolving. For it is there that miraculous, even magical, proceedings are taking place and moving to the rhythm of winter’s muted heartbeat. And as they advance, they gather strength from their sacred sources, mother nature and Father God. So carry on tiny embryos of earth’s womb; I shall wait patiently and not lose heart nor faith while surrounded by this death and decay for I trust and know you will rise in the Spring and once more thrill me beyond the ability to speak so that only squeals of joy will fill the space herein between heaven and earth.

How can those who do not garden,
who have no lot in the great fraternity
of those who watch the changing year
as it affects the earth and its growth,
how can they keep warm their hearts in winter?
~Francis King

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Photos taken by Natalie; collage by Natalie

1036. There is something bigger than fact: the underlying spirit, all it stands for, the mood, the vastness, the wildness. ~Emily Carr

Time cools, time clarifies;
no mood can be maintained
quite unaltered through
the course of hours.
~Thomas Mann

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Moods
I am the still rain falling,
Too tired for singing mirth—
Oh, be the green fields calling,
Oh, be for me the earth!

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I am the brown bird pining
To leave the nest and fly—
Oh, be the fresh cloud shining,
Oh, be for me the sky!
~Sara Teasdale

But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding. ~Job 32:8   ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

 

845. I hate August in Texas! I hate August in Texas! I hate August in Texas! ~Natalie

It’s beyond miserable outside.
Everything is turning or has turned brown.
I can’t use my oven because it heats up the house too much.
I’m confined to being indoors most of the day.
My water bill this month was astronomical.
And so yes, I’m having a melt down,
literally and figuratively!

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I’m uninspired and apathetic,
and this sweltering heat
has completely overwhelmed me
this time around, my friends.
So I’m taking a break from my blog,
from my weeding, actually more or less
from everything for a few days.
Be back soon, I hope.
Okay, so go ahead and call me
a whiner or a wimp or a big baby or all three.
You’ll get no argument out of me.

This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime…and sleep fled from my eyes. ~Genesis 31:40  ✝

**All images in collage via Pinterest

623. To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves. ~Mahatma Gandhi

With rake and seeds and sower,
And hoe and line and reel,
When the meadows shrill with “peeping”
And the old world wakes from sleeping,
Who wouldn’t be a grower
That has any heart to feel?
~Frederick Frye Rockwell

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The gardener in his old brown hands
Turns over the brown earth,
As if he loves and understands
The flowers before their birth,
The fragile childish little strands
He buries in the earth.
Like pious children one by one
He sets them head by head,
And draws the clothes when all is done,
Closely about each head.
And leaves his children to sleep on
In the one quiet bed.
~Arthur Symons

When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil? When he has leveled the surface, does he no sow caraway and scatter cumin? Does he not plant wheat in its place, barley in its plot, and spelt in the field? His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. ~Isaiah 28:24-26 ✝

**Image via Facebook

580. Once more on our morning walk we tread upon carpets of gold and crimson, of brown and bronze, woven by the winds… ~John Burroughs

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

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With every north wind that blows the landscape decomposes more and more, and the air grows a little wilder with falling leaves. After each assault layer upon layer of the leafy insulation blankets the lawn and beds in more warmth to protect them from coming winter’s icy blasts. Above, the branches, if not already bare, are now dotted with only a smattering of leaves. They, the ones too tenacious to let go so far, cannot hold on much longer though because the winter solstice will be upon us in less than a week. These brisk northerly winds have also taken a toll on the once verdant and supple, ornamental grasses. Many of them have begun drying out and taking on a shabby, tattered look, but among the shades of brown, remain a few tinged with glorious color. Autumn may be beset with more gray than sunny days and quelling blows night after night, but some continue to hold a measure of winsome smiles and “honey’d leavings.” And as the lusty song of life plays on, earth yet murmurs, “come play again with me,” a call, way, way too alluring for me to ignore.

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. ~Isaiah 40:8   ✝

536. There is music in the meadows…There is rhythm in the woods, and in the fields…
 ~William Stanley Braithwaite

How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.
~Elsie N. Brady

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I imagine the eyes of Jesus
Were harvest brown,
The light of their gazing suffused
With the seasons:

The shadow of winter,
The mind of spring,
The blues of summer,
And amber of harvest.

A gaze that is perfect sister
To the kindness that dwells
In his beautiful hands.

The eyes of Jesus gaze on us,
Stirring in the heart’s clay
The confidence of seasons
That never lose their way to harvest.

This gaze knows the signature
Of our heartbeat, the first glimmer
From the dawn that dreamed our minds,

The crevices where thoughts grow
Long before the longing in the bone
Sends them towards the mind’s eye,

The artistry of the emptiness
That knows to slow the hunger
Of outside things until they weave
Into the twilight side of the heart,

A gaze full of all that is still future
Looking out for us to glimpse
The jeweled light in winter stone,

Quickening the eyes that look at us
To see through to where words
Are blind to say what we would love,

Forever falling softly on our faces,
His gaze plies the soul with light,
Laying down a luminous layer,

Beneath our brief and brittle days
Until the appointed dawn comes
Assured and harvest deft

To unravel the last black knot
And we are back home in the house
That we have never left.
~John O’Donohue

Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen and understand.” ~Matthew 15:10   ✝

* Edited image via Pinterest

452. She told me about rolling hills covered with cornfields and treeless miles of land without water. ~A. LaFaye

I have no hostility to nature,
but a child’s love to it.
I expand and live in
the warm day like corn and melons.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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August is upon us now with its usual dry nastiness and so the “parcels of corn” have indeed become “brown and sere.” Though their yield was harvested some time ago and the plants left to die under the blistering summer sun, I think their golden-brown, curled flag-leaves create a kind of unique beauty. And now that the farmers have begun the process of removing the dry, dead remains, even the barren, stub-filled fields have an intriguing eye-appeal. Although both my parents were raised on farms in farming communities, I had my very first experience with growing a crop like corn a few summers ago when our daughter and her husband decided to sow some corn in their inner city garden. Once the seedlings got going, it seemed like almost every day for a while that the stalks grew taller and taller. Then as the tassels appeared, the stalks began to buzz with the constant hum of more honey bees than I’ve ever seen in a suburban garden. Later on when the pale yellow silks started emerging, our excitement heightened again as the bees buzzed on harvesting the huge amounts of yellowish pollen falling from the floppy tassels. At that point I became so fascinated by the goings on that I went to the internet and was truly dumfounded to read that each piece of pollen that lands on a silk produces only one of the two to four hundred kernels that typically appear on a single ear of corn. How amazing is that! When it was all said and done, not only was their small crop of corn the tastiest any of us had ever eaten, but it also aroused in us and our offspring a sense of respect for the generations of farmers within our family lineage as well as for the ancient civilizations whose cultures had had a marked and ongoing influence on the global landscape. But more than anything, we marveled, as we always do, at the wonders of Creation and its Maker.

May the people praise you, O God; may all the people praise you. Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God will bless us. ~Psalm 67:5-7   ✝

Thank you, 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.