446. Petunia, you are a jewel of the dawn; your horn is thick and bright as the morning. ~Steve Gunther

Petunia, you raise your face
and trumpet your song to the midday.
Your song is delicate and frail.
Your green fingers tremble in the smile of the eye
like the hum of a bee lost in the torpor of your kiss.

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Your head nods with the gentle breeze.
You are at peace.
Your color is your happiness.
Petunia, open your eye,
spread your fragile smile to the moon.

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Your petals drink in the night,
the cool air sits on you
weightless, trickling
from your fluted flowers,
from your fingers.

~Excerpted and adapted verses from a poem by Steve Gunther

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. ~Psalm 57:7-8   ✝

Sweet Jesus, fill us with the mercy You bled and draw us back unto Yourself!

 

432. Colors are the smiles of nature. ~Leigh Hunt, British author

Summer is the time when one sheds
one’s tensions with one’s clothes,
and the right kind of day is a jeweled balm
for the battered spirit.
A few of those days and you can become drunk
with the belief that all’s right with the world.
~Ada Louise Huxtable

What color do words like blush, coral, fuchsia, magenta, raspberry, rose, and salmon conjure up? Isn’t it pink, pink that tones down the physical passion of red, replacing it with a gentle, loving energy?

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Pink that’s the sweet side of red, pink that’s playfulness and tenderness, pink that’s the color of bubble gum and cotton candy and babies, especially little girls.

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Pink that’s charming, pink that soothes the heart and fills it with love, pink that’s feminine and romantic, affectionate and intimate, thoughtful and caring.

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Pink that’s compassion and nurturing and unconditional love, pink that’s a sign of hope, pink that represents the sweetness and innocence of the child in all of us.

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But pink is not just a color; it embodies a variety of attitudes, all of which are uplifting. There’s the cool and collected pinks, the bold and sassy hotter pinks, the soft and drowsy pinks, and the daring and dramatic deep pinks.

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In the spring I think of pink as a somewhat shy presence but as summer’s fiery temperatures rise, pink is anything but timid. In Texas the scorching days of July and August punish the flesh and the spirit relentlessly, but even the smallest touch of pink pours over them like a soothing salve of goodness. The pinks of summer may not entirely keep one from walking “without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer,” but they do keep the flames from licking up so high that they completely snuff out the breath. While locusts screech, pink flowers murmur softer melodies taking some of the edge off their discordant harmonies and human discomfort. I’ve even seen ribbons of pink in a majestic sunset at the end of a day when they seemed to cool down the heat from the intense, fiery glow of the summer sun.

Praise the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. The Lord wraps Himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chamber on their waters. ~Psalm 104:1-2   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

356. Reflection is a flower of the mind, giving out wholesome fragrance… Desiderius Erasmus

Your writing voice is the
deepest possible reflection of who you are.
The job of your voice is not
to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences.
In your voice, your readers
should be able to hear the contents
of your mind, your heart, and your soul
~Meg Rosoff

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A spring morn,
A summer’s eve,
A gladsome spirit…

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A soaking rain,
A lawn sprinkler’s whirl,
A well watered garden…

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A single rose,
A blazing sunset,
A solitary serenity…

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A flower garden,
A lowering hush,
A steeping sanctitude…

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A sacred Sabbath,
A timely sermon,
A pastor’s wisdom…

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A holy benediction,
A Franciscan prayer,
A forgiving Savior’s love…

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A cool, crisp day,
A frost tipped lawn,
An end to summer’s siege…

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A chilly, autumn night,
A yellow harvest moon,
A heart full of thanksgiving…

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A fallen leaf,
A heavy, wintry frost,
A magical majesty under a sapphire sky…

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Years ago in trying to cope with undesired limitations induced by chronic pain, I realized I could keep myself up and out of a downward spiraling gloom by writing down 3 to 5 things each day that charmed or delighted me both outwardly and inwardly. I also found that I could find uplifting joy in photos of objects and colors in the natural world. Finding the goodness in God and His Creation as well as being thankful for His gifts is a light that showed me the way out of moments of dark desperation.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 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. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. ~1 Corinthians 13:8-12 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

**Some photos via Pinterest

229. So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us. ~Gaston Bachelard

To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature.
Most persons do not see the sun.
At least they have a very superficial way of seeing.
The sun illuminates only the eye of the man
but shines into the eye and heart of the child.
The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses
are still truly adjusted to each other;
who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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God sometimes reaches out at the most unexpected times to capture our hearts and attention, and not infrequently does He do that by using one of Creation’s eye-catching spectacles.  When a moment like that happens, it’s much like when a lover surprises his beloved by pulling a handful of flowers from behind his back.   And every time I’m delighted by the Holy One in such a way, I fall in love with Him all over again.  A friend of mine recently shared a moment like that with me, and as I read her description, I realized that understanding God’s parables can occur when the innocence of childhood floats up back up in our present realities.

On this cool, crisp morning, I arose before the sun and
went out my front door to look for the newspaper.
But that’s not what caused me to stop in my driveway, paper forgotten.
Overhead, Ursa Major and other stars twinkled brightly,
framed only by a few thin, wind-shaped clouds.
And at a time of the year when children take center stage,
I thought of the innocence in all of us.
For it was not my intellect that held me spellbound
but my own innocence, untarnished by age.
In that moment, caught by the wonder of nature,
blessed with its beauty, I felt magical.
~Emily Seate

Who is this that appears like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars in procession?  ~Song of Solomon 6:10  ✝

186. Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ~Victor Hugo

There is in souls a sympathy with sounds:
And as the mind is pitch’d the ear is pleased
With melting airs, or martial, brisk or grave;
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch’d within us, and the heart replies.
~William Cowper

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The November morn was cool and crisp, and the solitary man playing the bag pipes was standing against the backdrop of changing leaves and flowing water.  The mystical sounds of the “pipes” were drifting along on gentle breezes over the whole of a very large park.  It was Veterans Day, and the man may have been playing in remembrance of friends or relatives, but it could have been a salutation to the day’s magnificence as well because his harmonies embodied not only touches of the melancholy but also traces of the celebratory.  As I watched transfixed and mesmerized by the sounds, he played on at first unaware of my presence behind him.  But soon I realized that between the melodies he was slowly turning in a circle and would soon face me and the ones gathering behind me.  It was as if he was wanting to address his elegy and/or hymn of praise to all the earth.  At each of his turns we who were witnessing the spectacle seemingly became aware that something sacrosanct was moving through us, moving through the “piper”, moving through the pipes, moving through the trees, moving through the water.  More than that, one could not help but feel that the sanctity was moving throughout the whole of Creation that was within the sound of his pipes and our vision.  I can’t speak for the other observers, but when the “piper” finished “some chord in unison” with what I’d heard and seen had touched me so deeply that my heart replied with tears of sadness for fallen and wounded patriots everywhere and for the joy I’d felt in the beauty of the “piper’s” music.

**I didn’t attempt to take the bag piper’s photo that day because it somehow seemed like an invasion of his privacy.  I decided the one above would be equally appropriate for this post since my sister took it on a beach at Normandy where so many fell in WW II while in pursuit of freedom’s calling.

My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.  ~Psalm 57:7  ✝