1113. Spring comes: the flowers learn their colored shapes. ~Maria Konopnicka

Spring makes its own statement,
so loud and clear that the gardener
seems to be only one of the instruments,
not the composer.
~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

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In the great gardens, after bright spring rain,
We find sweet innocence come once again,
White periwinkles, little pensionnaires,
With muslin gowns and shy and candid airs,

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That under saint-blue skies, with gold stars sown,
Hide their sweet innocence by spring winds blown,
From zephyr libertines that like Richelieu
And d’Orsay their gold-spangled kisses blew;

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And lilies of the valley whose buds blonde and tight
Seem curls of little schoolchildren that light
The priests’ procession, when on some saint’s day
Along the country paths they make their way;

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Forget-me-nots, whose eyes of childish blue,
God-starred like heaven, speak of love still true;
And all the flowers that we call “dear heart,”
Who say their prayers like children, then depart

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Into dark. Amid the dew’s bright beams
The summer airs, like Weber waltzes, fall
Round the first rose who, flushed with her youth, seems
Like a young Princess dressed for her first ball.

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Who knows what beauty ripens from dark mould
After the sad wind and the winter’s cold? —
But a small wind sighed, colder than the rose
Blooming in desolation, “No one knows.”
~Edith Sitwell

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I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live. ~Job 27:6  ✝

**Images found on Pinterest


746. I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day. ~Vincent Van Gogh

Night, the beloved.
Night, when words fade
and things come alive.
When the destructive analysis of day is done,
and all that is truly important
becomes whole and sound again.
When man reassembles his fragmentary self
and grows with the calm of a tree.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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The golden sun has gone, the busy day is done.
Twilight has come and with it peace draws near
To dwell an hour within my garden walls, while in
The lambent sky the first pale stars appear.
The wheeling shadows that so slowly marked the hours
Have left no impress on the tender grass,
Nor does the air hold fast the patterns bold and free
That winging birds weave as the warm days pass.
The rued pool is stilled at last, and Lily buds
Prepare to open gently to the night
And to the questing moth whose fragile, gauzy wings
Quiver too rapidly for human sight.
In. this tranquillity, touch, hearing, sight are lulled.
I am as selfless as the scented airs
That wrap me round, while daylight’s drowsy flowers
Send out the fragrance of their vesper prayers.
~Marie Nettleton Carroll

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I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. ~Psalm 16:7   ✝

**Images of Hawk (Hummingbird) Moths via Pinterest

720. O, the month of May, the merry month of may… ~Thomas Dekker

Ho! the merrie first of Maie
Brings the daunce and blossoms gaie
To make of lyfe a holiday!
~Old English saying

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Thousands of years ago winter was a time to honor death and the summer a time to honor life. In those ancient times the short days, grey skies, and cold temperatures began to wear people down and that coupled with a gradual decline in food supplies took its toll on their spirits. Indeed winter was a very difficult time for the ancients, and so the coming of summer brought them great hope. As the crops and grasslands became full of life again, the animals bred, and the warmth of the sun thawed out the earth and their spirits, they celebrated the cross-over and coming change in the human cycle that reflected the turning of the seasons. It was a time for celebrating the forces of life overcoming death, light overcoming darkness, and summer overcoming winter.

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Thus began the dancing around the May pole. A kind of maypole dance, with origins in the 18th century, began as a traditional artistic dance popular in Italy and France. Eventually, traveling troupes performed it in London theaters, thus bringing this traditional dance to larger audiences. An English teacher training school adopted the maypole dance and soon it had spread across most of central and southern England. The dance became part of the repertoire of physical education for girls and remained popular in elementary schools in both England and the US well into the 1950’s.

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I remember in elementary school making May baskets and flowers out of coloredl pieces of construction paper and crepe paper. Today May Day has many different meanings, if any, but it eventually found its place in Christianity. And though considered quaint now, in decades past, like dancing around the maypole, as the month of April rolled to an end, people begin gathering flowers and candies and goodies to put in May baskets to hang on the doors of friends, neighbors, and loved ones on May 1st. And there were even rules about the basket tradition:

1.  Giving was supposed to be anonymous. Reciprocity was not expected. One was to leave the basket on the doorknob or doorstep, ring the doorbell, and run.
2.  Children were to give to grownups, instead of the other way around. On almost every other holiday, only the child receives gifts; so they don’t get to experience the true joy of unselfish giving.

He(Jesus) told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near…” ~Luke 21:29-30   ✝

**Images via Pinterest and the Internet; collages created by Natalie

542. Most glorious night! Thou wert not meant for slumber! ~Lord Byron

I often think that the night
is more alive and more
 colored than the day.
~Vincent Van Gogh

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On a dark, windy November night huge raindrops were slapping autumn leaves against the car or sending them whirling, willy-nilly all around us. As we drove on towards home, more and more of the colorful foliage litttered the slick black pavement ahead of us. As I listened to the sound of the leaves and rain smacking against the windshield in addition to the clicking back and forth noise of the wipers I was being lulled into a deep reverie of personal reflection. But as we turned onto a more traveled thoroughfare, the bright street lights illuminating our neighborhood duck pond broke my preoccupation with the day’s troubling matters. At that moment I looked up, away from my thoughts, and saw a few mallards and some geese gliding serenely along on the reservoir’s glazed, rain-spattered surface. In the halo-like light and the falling rain, the buoyant creatures looked surreal. They were like visions of floating grace and peace seemingly sent to testify that God is with us even in the midst of bothersome realities on cold, rainy nights.

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. ~Psalm 16:7   ✝

**Image via Pinterest