1422. It wasn’t until I slowed the car and rolled down the windows that I realized I spend most of my days driving “through” life without driving “in” life. ~Craig D. Lounsbrough

Go placidly amid the noise and haste
and remember what peace
there may be in silence.
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As far as possible, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly
and listen to others for everyone has a story.
Don’t compare yourself with others,
for always there will be greater
and lesser persons than yourself.
The world is full of trickery,
but let this not blind you
to what virtue there is.
Many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
love is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you
in sudden misfortune but do not
distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of God no less than
the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
~-Edited and adapted rendition of
THE DESIDERATA, by Max Erhmann

Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. ~Psalm 150:1, 6 ✝

**THE DESIDERATA became very popular in the 1970’s and still holds some well-penned truths of which I needed to remind myself after recent hectic days.

***Images found on Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

1155. A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars. ~Victor Hugo

I haven’t much time to be fond of anything…
but when I have a moment’s fondness
to bestow, most times…the roses get it.
I began my life among them
in my father’s nursery garden, and
I shall end my life among them, if I can.
~Wilkie Collins

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The garden is the place I go for refuge and shelter, not the house. In the house are duties and annoyances, servants to exhort and admonish, furniture, and meals; but out there blessings crowd round me at every step — it is there that I am sorry for the unkindness in me, for those selfish thoughts that are so much worse than they feel; it is there that all my sins and silliness are forgiven, there that I feel protected and at home, and every flower and weed is a friend and every tree a lover. When I have been vexed I run to them for comfort, and when I have been angry without just cause, it is there I find absolution. Did ever a woman have so many friends? And always the same, always ready to welcome me and fill me with cheerful thoughts. Happy children of a common Father, why should I, their own sister, be less content and joyous than they? ~Elizabeth von Arnim

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Gardens and chocolate
both have mystical qualities.
~Edward Flaherty

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I would hurry to my place of shelter far from the tempest and the storm. ~Psalm 55:8 ✝

**All flower images taken by me in my yard; lower most chocolate image via Pinterest

634. Bright reds – scarlet, pillar-box red, crimson or cherry – are very cheerful. There is certainly a red for everyone. ~Christian Dior

If one says “Red” – the name of color –
and there are fifty people listening,
it can be expected that
there will be fifty reds in their minds.
And one can be sure that all these
reds will be very different.
~Josef Albers

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Red is a fading sunset on the horizon.
It’s a burst of flame;
A spray of the fire leaping towards us.

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It’s the heat of the warm afternoon.
It’s a flickering flame of a tiny candle.
It’s the spark able to spread the wildfire of love.

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Red is the color of heat.
It’s full of passion.
It’s bold.
~Sunny Summers

For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love. ~Psalm 33:4-5   ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collages by Natalie

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

250. Stay, little cheerful Robin! stay, and at my easement sing… ~William Wordsworth


The robin’s song at daybreak
Is a clarion call to me.
Get up and get out in the garden.
For the morning hours flee.


I cannot resist the summons,
What earnest gardener could?
For the golden hours of morning
Get into the gardener’s blood.


The magic spell is upon me,
I’m glad that I did not wait;
For life’s at its best in the morning,
As you pass through the garden gate.
~Howard Dolf

In the first photo, a Pinterest posting, is a European robin who according to my English garden bloggers is already singing in their gardens.  The one in the second photo is our American robin who has yet to come, but when he does, we’ll know that spring can’t be too far away.  For he, the stuff of a Messianic legend and spring’s cheery harbinger, will, as the poem says, sing loudly of its coming and our need to get up and out in the garden.  Given my willingness to heed a garden’s summons at any point in time, the robin’s task won’t be too hard to accomplish.  Would that I were as willing to listen to Christ’s calling.  The last photograph I also found on Pinterest.  Although I’ve heard and seen robins feeding their young in my yard, I’ve not yet been able to get a good photograph of the event.

For every wild animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.  I(God) know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine. ~Psalm 50:10-11  ✝

**See post 46 to read the legend of the robin.