1296. I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. ~John Burroughs

The moment that a child can walk,
like that in which it first can talk,
is a precious start of exploration into landscapes of creation.
Walking, walking, walking, walking, walking on the earth.
By sense of touch the feet assess
the nature of the wilderness
of earth beneath;
yet human speech cannot express
what feet can teach.
Walking, walking, walking, walking,
walking on the earth.
~Francis D. Hole

Screen Shot 2016-11-12 at 5.43.48 PM.png

The ancient Hebrew association of man with soil is echoed in the Latin name for man, homo, derived from humus, the stuff of life in the soil. This powerful metaphor suggests an early realization of a profound truth that humanity has since disregarded to its own detriment. Since the words “humility” and “humble” also derive from humus, it is rather ironic that we should have assigned our species so arrogant a name as Homo sapiens sapiens (“wise wise man”). It occurs to me, as I ponder our past and future relation to the earth, that we might consider changing our name to a more modest Homo sapiens curans, with the word curans denoting caring or caretaking, as in “curator.” (“Teach us to care” was T.S. Eliot’s poetic plea.) Of course, we must work to deserve the new name, even as we have not deserved the old one. ~Daniel Hillel, Out of the Earth: Civilization and the Life of the Soil

My feet have closely followed His(God’s) steps; I have kept to His(God’s) way without turning aside. ~Job 23:11 ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

1278. In the fall each seed is like a child being loosed upon the earth to wait for the blessing of sun and rain to fulfill its destiny. ~Natalie

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression,
it must come completely undone.
The shell cracks, its insides come out,
and everything changes.
To someone who doesn’t understand growth,
it would look like complete destruction.
~Cynthia Occelli

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 7.41.40 PM.png

“Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe of God, nothing seems to me more surprising that the planting of a seed in the blank earth and the result thereof.  Take that Poppy seed, for instance: it lies in your palm, the merest atom of matter, hardly visible, a speck, a pin’s point in bulk, but within it is imprisoned a spirit of beauty ineffable, which will break its bonds and emerge from the dark ground and blossom in a splendor so dazzling as to baffle all powers of description.” ~Celia Thaxter

Where I live winters are mild and so poppies must be sown in the fall. After weeks of making preparations, today was the day to sow not only my poppy seeds, but also the hollyhock, larkspur, and bachelor button seeds. Now in a week or so they will germinate, and I shall squeal with delight once more to find little green babies popping up everywhere. Among the other truly amazing things about the sowing process, is the fact that these small new seedlings will survive some pretty cold days and maybe even some ice and snow. But the leaves of trees, many of which have yet to fall, will eventually blanket the ground and keep my babies warm and safe until the spring’s sun urges them upward and onward. And as for me going out to check on them throughout winter’s often gloomy and forbidding days will keep me thrilled and hopeful!

They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest… ~Psalm 107:37 ✝

**Images of poppy seed pods and seeds found on Pinterest; border and special effects via iPiccy

1276. I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it, … I will go to the bank by the wood… ~Walt Whitman

I feel the need to “coddiwomple!”
To be out where autumn’s breath fills my lungs,
where the presence of the Lord is afoot,
where the miracles of nature abound,
where wonder and awe feed my soul,
where I find rhythmic harmony and peace,
where I see visible signs of God’s goodness,
where the simple pleasures of life bring me joy,
where the child I once was rises to the top,
where she laughs and my heart sings
be it in woods, fields, or gardens,
where I feel alive and well!
Indeed it is time to
coddiwomple
again!

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.50.15 PM.png

To wonder, to know,
To explore, always asking:
What am I?
Who am I?
What will become of me?
Of my knowledge?

Am I squandered on the world?
Cheapening existence through vanity?
How long before I am fit to say, I know this!
Rather than, I think this.

That in itself questions self,
Whether our thought and mind is
Our own knowledge and assurance.
At what point in time do we stop marching?

Pencil upon paper, sight upon colour and light.
A fixation upon what we comprehend
And that, which is incomprehensible.
Are we gambling with the gifts we are given?

Are they gifts?
The ability to question choice, life, the air we breathe;
The sun, the moon, clouds, stars, the earth, wind, rain, height.
Random, our teachers abandon us,
Fending for all we are on our own
‘Tis a lonely path humans follow, trying to fill the void
~Edited excerpt of a poem,
To Wonder, by Lily

“Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord’s approval.” ~Excerpt from Judges 18:6  ✝

**Text above images by Natalie. Images found on  Pinterest; collage by Natalie; backgrounds and special effects via iPiccy

1256. Never say “no” to pie. ~Al Roker

We must have pie.
Stress cannot exist in
the presence of pie.
~David Mamet

It was luscious lemon meringue pie at the deli again today, and whilst I was gobbling mine down, I recalled a “pie story” blessing, the importance of which was not the pie, nor was it a lemon pie. Instead it was a random act of kindness cherry pie!

Screen Shot 2016-09-13 at 4.57.19 PM.png

I was five days short of being 30 years old, when my one and only child was born. As it turned out she was born on a day when the hospital had been having record numbers of babies all week long so I had to be kept in the recovery area all night until and if a room became available the next morning. My visitors, who were allowed in briefly to see me in recovery, had all been able to see Nikki, but sadly I had not seen her yet, and they wouldn’t bring her to me until I was in a room. When morning came, a room did become available so they took me up and brought my baby too me for the first time. However, I only held her briefly because I was having chills and shaking so badly I was afraid I might drop her. So I rang for a nurse to come take her back to the nursery and take me to the bathroom. The nurse asked me why I was shaking like that, and I told her it was because I was freezing cold. She quickly stuck a thermometer in my mouth, then yanked it out almost immediately, and commented that I didn’t have any fever. Next she got me up to take me to the bathroom and when I sat down on the toilet I passed out. When I finally came to, there were an assortment of doctors and nurses who were worried that I’d had been having a seizure. As it turns out I had a fever of 105 degrees but not a seizure. So they immediately launched into what would become a 9 day campaign to bring my fever down, to determine where I had an infection, and to keep me from infecting the baby with whatever it was. As a result all they would do to alleviate my angst about the situation was roll Nikki down to my room in her little bed and let me walk to the door so I could at least see her from a distance a few minutes each day. Needless to say I was completely bummed! When day five, my 30th birthday, dawned they had finally discovered where and what kind of infection it was, but until the antibiotics, which had had to be changed several times, finally started significantly kicking in they wouldn’t let me go home yet. So when the phone rang that morning, I answered it in an extremely pissy mood. On the other end of the line was a voice I didn’t recognize who was singing happy birthday to me. When she finished she asked how I was, and I said, “lousy,” to which she replied, “well I hope you have a good day and hung up.” Okay let’s see! I couldn’t go home, I couldn’t hold my baby, I couldn’t have visitors until after 2 in the afternoons! What do you think? Helluva a good 30th birthday or not?!

Screen Shot 2016-09-13 at 4.53.41 PM.png

About an hour later as I was lying there crying and feeling very sorry for myself, my mom came in carrying a small, freshly baked cherry pie and singing happy birthday. Stunned I sat up and asked, “What are you doing here? How did you get in? It’s not 2 o’clock yet!” She told me that she had gotten a call at home that I was very distraught and that she needed to get up to the hospital as soon as possible and bring me some kind of birthday surprise. And then the female voice told her that she’d just need to tell them at the desk who she was and they would let her in. So Mom quickly baked a cherry pie and came on up. Needless to say it was an amazing gift of grace that I sorely needed that day. It wasn’t until I got ready to leave the hospital 4 days later that one of the other nurses told me who had called me that day. It was the head nurse on that floor, and the day before she had noticed on my chart that the next day was my birthday. So she had taken time out of her day off, first to call and sing to me, then to call the hospital to see if they had my mother’s name and phone number, and finally to call and send my mother on an errand of mercy. I don’t know what others would call that, but as far as I’m concernd it was God’s grace in action with an “earth” angel He had appointed to deliver it. Sadly I was so glad to be able to hold my baby at long last and get to go home that last day that I didn’t even think to ask the head nurse’s name so I could call or write to thank her. But I think of her often and am so grateful for her selfless act of kindness.

You(God) gave me life and showed me kindness, and in Your providence watched over my spirit. ~Job 10:12 ✝

**My daughter was born on 10-12-72. What a coincidence that the scripture I chose is from Chapter 10 and verse 12 of Job! Or is it just coincidence?!

**Pie images via Pinterest

1209. Spinning round and round, everything was magical and gold. ~Karen Aba

The Carousel
the carousel turns in the carnival park
on a pier further down on the beach
the gold ring is its greatest allure

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 8.01.49 PM.png

the spirited ponies, animals quaint,
all snorting and rearing whirl round
and round in their brightly colored paints

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 7.47.53 PM.png

the spinning floor stops for us to get on
and after we choose our mounts, the
ride starts with the enchanting sounds

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 7.50.48 PM.png

up and down, round and round,
prance the horses while the calliope sings and
we go ’round waiting to reach for the rings

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 9.07.46 PM.png

sometimes we miss them as they fly by
or they’re too far out of reach but there’s
always that chance for the second try
~Edited and adapted poem
by Soul Survivor

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 7.48.09 PM.png

Who knows what triggers memories? Even childhood memories can be aroused a half a century or more after their occurrence. Today was such a day. The house where we lived California was just a half a block from the Pacific Ocean. Though I was forbidden to cross the busy street to get over to the beach by myself, the allure was just too great to resist for one such as me. And then quite a ways down the beach was a place called Rainbow Pier which had midway with a Merry-Go-Round and other amusements. And of course I was forbidden to go there by myself too. But again the lure of that Merry-Go-Round with its gold ring that if caught garnered one a free ride was just too enticing for me. Thankfully, the Lord was watching over me and no harm came to me the numerous times that I heeded not parental rules. I’m the oldest of 3 girls and not too long ago, we were reminiscing about our California days, and I told them of my stealing away alone to the beach and the midway. Both were surprised, and the middle one was indignant that I had not invited either of them to go with me. When asked why I didn’t, I laughed and said because one or both of you would have “spilled the beans” and that would have been the end of my forays to those magical places. The middle one insisted that she would never have said anything, and I had to remind her that every time she became angry with me she had “squealed” about something just to get me in trouble. The fact that she adamantly denied it doesn’t change the truth of it however. We left California to move to Texas when I was 13, but those memories are still vibrantly alive!

Purple horses with orange manes,
Elephants pink and blue,
Tigers and lions there were never seen
In circus parade or zoo!
Bring out your money and choose your steed,
And prance to the delightsome sound.
What fun if the world would turn some day
Into a Merry-Go-Round!
~Rachel Field

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. ~1 Corinthians 12:11  ✝

1190. It is during this crucial period of brain development that a child can be scarred significantly. ~Debi Grebenik

Last night I asked for prayers for my sweet grandson who has been hospitalized with what they are calling Reactive Attachment Disorder. He was adopted at birth from an orphanage in Guatemala, but due to the red-tape involved in an international adoption, it was six months before my daughter and her husband could fly to Guatemala, pick him up from the orphanage, and bring him home. He is 14 now and the last two years he has really struggled with the fact that his mother chose to give him up for adoption. Sadly that has led him to some very harmful behaviors. At the bottom of this page is a URL link to an article about RAD and why it happens.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 7.50.13 PM.png

Sometimes there is an invisible raven
That will fly low to pierce the shell of trust
When it has been brought near to ground.
When he strikes, he breaks a bond of faith
That should be built quietly in the beginning
In the rhythm of tried and tested experiences.
With one strike, the shelter is down though
And the yoke of truth turns to black falsehood
And puts poison in the garden of memory.
Now the heart’s dream turns to requiem,
Offering itself a poultice of tears
To cleanse from loss what mustn’t be lost.
Through all the raw and awkward days,
Dignity will hold the heart to grace lest
It squander its dream on the lies of a ghost.
For often torn ground is ideal for seed
That can take root disappointment deep enough
To yield a harvest that cannot, will not wither:
A deeper light comes to anoint the eyes,
Understanding opens wings in the heart,
In a subtle radiance of countenance:
The soul ready now for its truest birth.
~Edited and adapted piece by John O’Donohue,
offered up as a prayer for my hurting grandson

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/adoptive-families/attachment-and-bonding/reactive-attachment-disorder

Sadly this is the way this sweet boy is feeling at the moment:
I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children… ~Psalm 69:8  ✝

1175. When you love something as a kid, you never stop loving it; you just tuck that love away in a spot in your heart. ~Edited excerpt from a quote by Nikki Van Noy

In the life of everyone there is a number
of experiences which are not just written
upon the memory, but stamped there with a die;
and in the long years after, they can be
called up in detail, and every emotion that was
stirred by them can be lived through anew…
~Edited excerpt from a quote by
James Weldon Johnson

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 10.52.43 PM.png
**Image of my dad, me on the right, and my middle sister on the left;
text image via Pinterest

I will perpetuate Your(God’s) memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise You for ever and ever. Psalm 45: 17  ✝