1300. The child I was is just one breath away from me. ~Sheniz Janmohamed, a Canadian born writer

…little faces sweetened laughter
bubbling- – dappled golden jeweled memories
scatter…
delightful as butterfly wings carry
wishful mind explosions
in brilliantly colored balloons,
a to and fro gliding spin..
.
~Excerpted lines from a poem by Sue Ashby posted on https://scvincent.com/2016/11/14/tire-swing-dreams-by-sue-ashby/

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Sunday afternoon, I was working in a flowerbed in my front yard and listening to young children laughing as they played across the street. It reminded me so much of times when my two sisters and I played as children in California. Those were halcyon days indeed, and I yet have such fond and venerated memories of those early days. Then on Monday I read Ashby’s poem above and again the revered memories came flooding back in the kind of “wishful mind explosions” of which she spoke. On top of that, when we drove by a local school yesterday, the children were out playing on the playground, another prized memory of mine, and so boom, the “brilliantly colored balloons” glided even higher still. And now today two photo images I found on Pinterest sent the lovely balloons soaring almost to the moon and back! And no, some elderly dementia has not set in (she say’s tongue in cheek); these things have just helped me touch base with my inner child, a personage with whom I frequently like to visit. In fact it was a healing mentor decades ago who told me that it was a must to not only stay in touch with our “inner child” but it’s also essential to feed and nourish that child on a regular basis! Thus in these troubling times especially, it’s of utmost importance to remember and reconnect with the childhood “joy and intense happiness” as well as the “real meaning of life” spoken about in the lines below. Like Janmohamed and me, he too seems to believe that we should always remain “just one breath away” from childhood. Why so? I believe it’s because it is the part of us closest to the sacred breath of life blown into us by Yahweh, the Maker of heaven and earth.

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When I look back at that freedom of childhood,
which is in a way infinite, and at all the joy
and the intense happiness, now lost,
I sometimes think that childhood is where
the real meaning of life is located,
and that we, adults, are its
servants – that that’s our purpose.
~Karl Ove Knausgaard

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! ~Psalm 107:8  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie. The images of the girls swinging on the beach is a especially fond memory of mine.

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

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

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

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

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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

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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  ✝

1194. We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it. ~George Eliot

There is a garden in every childhood,
an enchanted place where colors are
brighter, the air is softer, and the morning
more fragrant than ever again.
~Elizabeth Lawrence

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If you love a flower, don’t pick it.
Because if you pick it, it dies and
ceases to be what you love.
So just let it be…
Love is not about possession.
Love is about appreciation.
~Osho

As a child and an adult, I’m overcome with wonder when I smell a flower, like this lily. They are so very beautiful and fragrant, and I’m also fascinated by their stamen and anthers. Just look at the amazing red anthers on this one. Is it any wonder pollinators are attracted to them? My youngest grandson is one of those beautifully innocent children who is filled with curiosity. And as we worked in the garden one day last summer, he was quite taken with these anthers and I explained that they were food for pollinators. Afterwards I turned to get a tool out of my bucket, and when I swiveled back around, he had red all over his little mouth. Stunned, I asked if he’d eaten some of the pollen, and he said yes. As I reeled from the possibility that I might have killed my grandson or at least let him become very sick, I asked him why in the world he would have eaten the pollen. He said, “Well Mompy, I figured if it doesn’t kill the bees and such, it won’t kill me.” Before I took him in to wipe off his mouth, I decided to phone my daughter who just laughed and said, “That’s my Joe.” As it turns out he was okay and did not get a bellyache, but we had a long talk about not putting things in our mouths without first being very sure that the substances are not toxic to humans.

The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper. ~Proverbs 19:8  ✝

**Image found on Pixabay

1193. Imprinted on our heart is the exact moment we fell in love with the beach. ~Judith Frenette

What we remember from
childhood we remember forever —
permanent images, stamped,
inked, imprinted, eternally seen.
~Edited excerpt
from Cynthia Ozick

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Oh, the golden age of the barefoot time,
While life was a fairy tale sung in rhyme,
When phantoms grim of a future day
Were hid in the mists of the far away…
Off for a swim on an afternoon,—
The moments—why would they fly so soon!
The rosy skies of our barefoot days.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Adelbert Farrington Caldwell

On the far left in the collage above are my great uncle and I on the beach in Southern California. He was one of my most favorite people on the planet, and before my Daddy came home from the War, he frequently took me the half a block down to the shores of the beautiful blue Pacific. Even after daddy got home and until we moved to Texas, the beach remained a cherished part of my daily reality. Sadly the photo of uncle and me is so faded now that you can’t even make out the water anymore. So I added the other pictures in the collage that I found on Pinterest to show what my earliest memories of the beach look like. Although my photo has faded, the imprint of those images in my mind’s eye is still brilliantly vivid so much so that 7 decades later I’ve never forgotten the people and places of my childhood. They are treasures that I horde and keep safe in my heart because I know that childlike faith, along with childlike love, are an open road to God’s heart.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” ~Matthew 18:3 ✝

1178. Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it. Vladimir Nabokov

Smell is a potent wizard that transports you
across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.
~Helen Keller

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Creature comforts! What are they anyway? Okay, lets establish what the term “creature comforts” means. It is thought that the expression was first used in the 1600‘s to describe the simple things that met a person’s needs such as food, a good bed, comfortable shoes, etc. The meaning has evolved a bit over time as it now includes physical ease such as warmth, available hot and cold water, clean laundry, in other words anything that makes life more comfortable and pleasant. Simply put, it can be any small item or detail that makes a person feel at home, which includes not only creature comforts but also heart and soul comforts as well. I think perhaps many of us have similar creature comforts but then time and place may, if asked, change some of our answers to the question. On a side note, before I go on though, I’ve read that interestingly in World War I, creature comforts were cherished even more than comradeship and unit loyalties.

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Nothing is more memorable than a smell.
Smells detonate softly in our memory like
poignant land mines hidden under
the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire
of smell and memories explode all at once.
A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.
~Diane Ackerman

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Okay, so what does all this creature comfort stuff have to do with smell? It all started this morning as I sat looking out at my white lilies and remembered their lovely fragrance. Probably because these particular lilies are so white it hit a tripwire of the unforgettable and delicious scent of linens, sheets and towels and such, from my childhood that had been hung outside to dry on a clothesline. That led to thoughts of homemade quilts and white iron beds and the incredibly luscious night’s sleep that was to be had in, on, and under such things which have always been some of my most favorite creature, heart, and soul comforts. Then as Ackerman put it, poignant land mines of memories began to detonate all over my place, but they were the kinds of memories not too many share these days.

If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? ~1 Corinthians 12:17  ✝

**All images but the white lily found on Pinterest; collages by Natalie

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

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**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  ✝

1157. To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself
the means of inspiration and survival.
~Winston Churchil

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One of my favorite quotes is by G.K. Chesterton: “Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul but his life.” Decades ago when I was going through a particularly dark and difficult time, I spent 8 months in the weekly care and tutelage of a healing mentor who after spending an hour with me on the first visit, asked this question, “If you were a 4 year old child what would you want to do right now?” Since it had been a long day at work and I was tired and a bit hungry, I said, “Get a chocolate ice cream cone.” Subsequently she asked me if I knew where to get one and when I said yes, she stood up and declared, “Good, I want you to do that today and every time we finish our work here.” Though dumbfounded by such an unexpected and odd request, I followed the doctor’s orders and eventually came to know the reason behind it.

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The child we once were didn’t die. He/she is still alive and well somewhere inside all the years of growing and becoming an adult. And like any sentient being our inner child is still able to perceive and feel things. Thus he/she needs to be fed and nurtured and stimulated. And part of my problem back then was that my inner child was and had been for some time apparently starving to death. I know to some of you that may sound silly or absurd, but becoming aware of that and learning how to take care of little Natalie Holcomb has brought great healing to grown-up Natalie Scarberry. And so it is that when the day by day grind of pain and the day after day accounts of doom and gloom on the world’s stage begin to break me that I find ways to feed and delight my inner child on a grander scale. Besides finding way to do that in the glory of my garden, I often come by it as well in humor and the stories I adored in childhood. Thus all the silliness on my blog today. It was simply time to throw off the suffering and heaviness and darkness of this fallen world and time to talk of unicorns and white rabbits and good faeries and such. Ergo as Chesterton said, the saving of my soul and my life is underway one again. Yay team!

…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. ~Excerpted line from Romans 5:3-4  ✝

**Images via Pinterest