1313. In the woods we return to reason and faith. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson  

How beautifully the leaves grow old!
How full of light and color are their last days!
~John Burroughs

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It is not so much for its beauty
that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts,
as for that subtle something, that quality of air,
that emanation from old trees that so wonderfully
changes and renews a weary spirit.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

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The forest is not merely an expression or representation of sacredness, nor a place to invoke the sacred; the forest is sacredness itself.  Nature is not merely created by God, nature is God. Whoever moves within the forest can partake directly of sacredness, experience sacredness with his entire body, breath sacredness and contain it within himself, drink the sacred water as a living communion, bury his feet in sacredness, open his eyes and witness the burning beauty of sacredness. ~Richard Nelson

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The forests are the flags of nature.
They appeal to all and awaken
inspiring universal feelings.
Enter the forest and the boundaries
of nations are forgotten. It may be
that some time an immortal pine
will be the flag of a united peaceful world.
~Enos A. Mills

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When you enter a grove peopled with ancient trees, higher than the ordinary, and shutting out the sky with their thickly inter-twined branches, do not the stately shadows of the wood, the stillness of the place, and the awful gloom of this doomed cavern then strike you with the presence of a deity?  ~Seneca

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Take me to a quiet place
with earth under our backs,
cradled in a soft forest glade.
There we’ll point out and
acknowledge things we see
and things we do not.
In solitude we’ll take in the
wisdom offered in each other
and in the hum of the forest.
~Phoebe Wahl

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Underfoot, leaves of  wondrous autumn colors
crunch beneath my feet as I tread on and upon
earth’s hallowed ground to capture a piece of the
Lord’s reddened glory laid upon a wooden altar!
~Natalie Scarberry

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When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” ~Luke 5:20  ✝

**Notice the lady bug on the leaf in the first photo. I love it when I get an unexpected bonus on a photo. All photos were taken this last week by me.

932. How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli

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

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There is something incredibly engaging and comforting about a garden, especially when one is surprised this late in the year by a find as lovely as this Heavenly Blue morning glory. However, even long after she’s gone when winter has plunged us into its “vale of grief,” there will yet be signs that point to primeval and sacred origins, ordained recurring seasons, and our connection to the Holy Breath of the Creator. But today it was the brilliance of the autumn morn, the splendor and blueness of the blossom, and a gentle breeze blowing in my face from time to time that prompted an awareness of the in and out movement of God’s life-giving breath in me as well as cognizance of a sacramental connection to Him. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French philosopher and Jesuit priest, said, “There is a communion with God, and there is a communion with earth, and there is a communion with God through the earth.” Teilhard de Chardin contended that the more he devoted himself in some way to the interests of the earth the more he belonged to God. It is the same for me. Being close to the earth in my garden or taking photographs of its progeny and/or nature in general, is like being attached to an umbilical cord that keeps me forever tethered to the Divine Source of all life, and therefore through it comes the spiritual nourishment that feeds my hungry soul.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. ~Psalm 24:1-2  ✝

Music’s Mystery


I’ve heard it said that only human beings have been given the gift of music; that only people create songs, sing and serenade their souls with this most magical and uplifting form of communication and communion. Yet, should we not consider the song of the lark? The haunting ballads of the whales? The mournful call of the wolf? The robin’s lyrical laugh at dawn and dusk? The crickets that serenade the nighttide? The burbles of monkeys swaying in the trees? The laughing of the hyena?

Who is to say that in their melodic tunes, caterwauls, howls, wails, and other worldly vocalizations there is not some measure of music. Why should we be the only ones to sing praise, to croon our love, and to bewail our distress? How can we know, in truth, in honesty, that the deliberate scree of the hawk, the piercing bugle of the elk, the chattering of raccoon and ferret, and the murmurings of infrasonic elephant calls is not music to their ears?

Music is a form of communication that lifts the soul, expresses emotion, and brings one being into contact with another being. If this is, indeed, the definition of music (of which it is a form) then can that being not be one other than human? Does not one wolf join another when it sings? Does not the whale song change season to season and year to year, picked up by another whale to be carried on? Does not one roaring lion inspire the entire pride by its lusty cry?

Consider what the morning would sound like without the sweet music of the birds. Contemplate what the summer night might be when not a single chirrup, trill, drone or buzz lilted through the air. Ponder how deep and lonely the oceans would be without the drifting, breathtaking songs of the whales. Can you even imagine a mountain landscape without hearing the echoing howl of a wolf or the bubbling laugh of the loon?

If these sounds, that can captivate us and uplift our thoughts, our hearts and even our souls, are not music and do not do the same for all those who hear them, regardless of race, than perhaps, we must follow that course of logic and say that cave paintings are not art, tap is not dance, improvisation is not acting and free verse is not poetry.

Or perhaps, Music Teaches the Soul what the Heart Feels and Guides the Heart with what only the Soul can Truly Know.

Music’s Mystery is by Morgan at:  http://booknvolume.com