706. Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year’s pleasant king… ~Thomas Nashe

The rose is a flower of love.
The world has acclaimed it for centuries.
Pink roses are for love hopeful and expectant.
White roses are for love, dead or forsaken,
but the red roses, all the red roses,
are for love triumphant.
~Author Unknown

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Beauty is a form of genius –
is higher, indeed, than genius,
as it needs no explanation.
It is of the great facts in the world
like sunlight, or springtime,
or the reflection in dark water
of that silver shell we call the moon.
~Oscar Wilde

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Earth, my dearest, I will.  Oh believe me, you no longer need your springtimes to win me over – one of them, ah, even one, is already too much for my blood.  Unspeakably, I have belonged to you, from the first. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke took the words right out of my mouth!  Earth is all we have, and it is more than enough, to bring us back to the Lord who made it.  Every bit of it–every creature, every flower, every tree, simply everything speaks of God’s glory and His love so that we cannot resist looking for Him and listening for His voice.  It was part of His plan, and it works well for to belong to the earth is to belong to Him.  These two photos are the last in my series of yard photos from my recliner.  The first is a close up of the small pink roses on the arch over the little porch outside my studio.  The second is farther away from that arch so you can see the size of a Cécile Brünner climbing rose somewhat.  Below it and in the background, the darker pink roses are on top of the smaller arch leading to the secret garden at the very back of my yard.  The third one can’t be seen from my recliner.  It, the entrance to the backyard, fills the window here by my computer with yet another pink climbing rose.

The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth He has given to mankind. ~Psalm 115:16  ✝

541. Little things seem nothing, but they give peace, like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless but all together perfume the air. ~Georges Bernanos

Who will tell whether one happy moment
of love or the joy of breathing or walking
on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air,
is not worth all the suffering and effort
which life implies.
~Erich Seligmann Fromm

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Let us bless the air
Benefactor of breath,
Keeper of the fragile bridge
We breathe across.

Air waiting outside
The womb, to funnel
A first breath
That lets us begin
To be here,
Each moment
Drawn from
Its invisible stock.
~Excerpt from In Praise of Air
by John O’Donohue

In His hands is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. ~Job 12:10  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

513. All things on earth point home in old October… ~Thomas Wolfe

…the year’s grown old,
mornings are dark,
and evenings come apace.
~Hilaire Belloc

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Hummingbird, hummingbird
be gone.  Fly, fly, fly away soon.
September’s harvest moon
rose early on, but glory days remain
belying summer’s lingering, warm chant.


Temps too cold for you are on the march
as shorter grow October’s days
lessening sunlight hours
and the food 
a garden can provide.
Likewise, dark clouds bearing
high winds, 
rain, and hail
are on the move
 from northern climes.

Prithee take to wing tiny creature;
do not delay, for you have far to go and
deepening autumn will anon turn to winter and
beneath the soil its pretty flowers send.
~Natalie Scarberry

Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. ~Jeremiah 8:7a    ✝

**Image via Pinterest

463. I sit here transfixed, bewitched by the dragonfly stealing nectar’s kiss. ~Georgina Blankscreen

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In The Flutter Of Gossamer Wings

When the ire of Nature changes to Summer
and flowery blankets are lain far and wide,
amidst valleys and meadows I hear a murmur
of that silent flutter called “dragonfly glide.”

On cool crystal air so clean and yet fresh
the arrival of the season fills insect nostrils,
with exotic fragrances that seem to mesh
as over a pond, his thirst it gently fills.

This creature with eyes of 30,000 lenses
with a slender body so fragile and thin,
most excellent a flier he hovers, then senses
to do a round loop-d-loop on wings twin.

And to even fly backwards, oh what a surprise
like a tiny chopper skipping on water’s surface,
and it’s weird that he has those bulging eyes
this dragon called insecta odonata is “boss.”

Comes in many shapes, sizes and odd colors,
flying in such grace on those gossamer wings,
this sleek dragonfly, when seen, my soul stirs
for God in his splendor created such things!
~By Rick Fernandez, Sr.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering and come before Him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. 1 Chronicles 16:29   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! May I dwell in Your holy presence and praise Your name for all that you have given and done.

**Image of the dragonfly via Pinterest

 

424. Holy Spirit–You’re the Live in being alive, the Be in every creature’s being, the Breathe in every breath on earth. ~St. Hildegard von Bingen

We praise You for these gifts,
Light-giver,
Sound of joy,
Wonder of being alive,
Hope of every person,
and our strongest Good.
~St. Hildegard von Bingen

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purpleliciousness
color of robe given Christ
in passion’s demand
~Natalie Scarberry

The flower in my photograph is a passion flower (passiflora incarnata.) Besides being breathtakingly beautiful there was a time long ago when Catholic missionaries connected certain aspects of the passion flower with Christian beliefs. To them the ten petals of the flower represented the ten apostles in Christianity excluding St. Peter and Judas. The vines of the plant symbolized the whips that were used during the flagellation of Christ. One of the major characteristics is the hundreds of filaments on the flower that symbolized the Crown of Thorns. The five anthers were associated with the five sacred wounds of Christ. The flower contains three stigmas that reflected the three nails that were used for Christ’s hands and feet during his Crucifixion. There is a floral component that resembles a chalice-like ovary that has been supposed to symbolize the Holy Grail. The religious symbolism and associations that had been brought to attention once gave the missionaries faith and comfort for their efforts in spreading Christianity to the indigenous cultures of South America. The Jesuit Missionaries transported color drawings and dried versions of the plant back to their country where a Spanish herbalist named Nicolas Monardes was the first to document the plant and write about the qualities of the flower, indicating that it was a powerful plant and that it carried a symbolic relationship with Christianity.

The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe. ~John 19:2   ✝

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.

 

331. The sound of birds stops the noise in my mind. ~Carly Simon

Those little nimble musicians of the air,
that warble forth their curious ditties,
with which nature hath furnished them
to the shame of art.
~Izaak Walton

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Is this little guy cute or what! I first saw it yesterday while I was out taking pictures. What made me aware of its presence was the unusual twittering noise I heard above me. Wanting to know what creature’s “curious ditties” had broken into my solitude, I turned around and listened for it to come again. When it did, I spied the little thing sitting up high in the branches of the still barren, woody althea shrub. At first glance and seeing only its back side I thought the bird was a small female cardinal but the longer I stood there peering up at it, the less convinced of that idea I was. Finally it dawned on me what it was even though until then I’d only seen photographs of titmice in books. Of course my first instinct was to raise the camera and snap away, but since I didn’t know how skittish this bird might be, I decided to stand very still for a few more minutes. When I did start shooting, the titmouse continued on about its business seemingly quite unconcerned about my presence, so much so that instead of flying away it proceeded to move, hop by hop, closer to the adjacent peanut feeder. As it turned out the tufted darling, at least this one, was quite the “ham” because it would stop from time to time and look right at me as if posing for the camera. Once its hunger was satiated, the titmouse flew away, but I somehow knew this one would come again. And sure enough it returned today. Its curious little twittering noise alerted me of the bird’s presence, and I, delighted to see it, only watched from afar this time. Life here on planet earth is undeniably fraught with hardships and brutality, but every now and again it gives the appearance of being the untroubled paradise it once was. Where? Mercifully in the little piece of Eden that a garden is the difficulties and noise of a fallen world are sometimes silenced long enough for paradise to reveal itself once again if only for a short while.

My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. ~Psalm 63:5 ✝

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 of these images were found on Pinterest.

315. 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

A garden spot may be a noisy place
Where droning bees
Seek honey, spiders weave their silver lace
Upon the trees,
And little birds sing songs the livelong day.

Or it may be so silent that it seems
The flowers sleep,
And shy, mysterious virgin dreams
Their vigil keep,
And God communes with earth the livelong day.
~Pringle Barret

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Spring, ever so splendid springtime!  God’s glory colors the arms of barren trees, the unfolding petals of flowers, and the fanciful wings of every creature in flight.  Rebirth and renewal explode from soil seemingly laid waste by icy months of freezing temperatures, and the sunshine charges the air with invigorating currents.  The hum of the bees and the song of the birds fill ears with melodies, sweet and grand, while spiders do indeed weave sticky lairs of “silver lace.”  Then there are those splendiferous moments at dawn and twilight when a tranquil hush pervades the space between heaven and earth, and in the silence sacred whispers cross the thresholds of listening ears.

Listen! My beloved! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.  ~Song of Songs  2:8   ✝

May your salvation, Jesus, be with us always!