1115.Two of my favorite things are sitting on porch, smoking a pipe, and playing my harmonica. ~Edited excerpt from Abraham Lincoln

I return to my front porch to find
the place where the air smells sweeter and
the sun feels warmer than at any other
bend in life’s long road.
~John Sarris

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After the end of a long hot day
At the end of my rope – with nerves all frayed
I sat on the porch…to rest a spell
As the sun slipped…slowly behind the hill.
Calmed…by the lingering…after glow
I watched…the star-speckled night unfold.
Crimson streaks…on a sky of blue
Melted…in a thousand…different hues
That got lost…in the dark…without the light
Leaving…just their shadows…in the darkness.
And in fields…of clover…across the way
The crickets…began…their serenade
As fireflies danced…with sheer delight
Glowing…in love…with the ebony night.
And there…ahead…at the end of the road
Above the bridge…where the river flows
It rose – like magic – before my eyes
An orange moon…so big…it filled the sky.
~Edited poem by Elaine George

You(God) know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. ~Psalm 139:2  ✝

**Images via Pinterest and the internet; collage created by Natalie

1030. What was that? Did you see it? There, there it goes again! Look! It can’t have disappeared.

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In the half light of dawn a quick flash of red had been darting back and forth just beyond the blue gazing ball. Whoosh! There is was again! Surely you saw it that time. No? Ohhhhhh, but I did! Even from 30 yards away the vibrant color and black mask of a male cardinal is unmistakable. Fully awake and focused now I could clearly see what the beautiful flash was, and yet sadly I had not obeyed the call earlier to get up and find my camera. After weeks of early wake ups, I just couldn’t make myself get up out of my chair; I was being lulled into a kind of stupor by the gray, quietude of the early January morn. Then I remembered the last line in Kalidasa’s Sanskrit poem, “The Salutation to the the Dawn. “Look well therefore to this day,” he said. So with a better late than never resolve, I started trying to untangle myself from a blanket and get up from my chair when all of a sudden the amazing crimson creature landed not ten feet away from me on the other side of my patio door. Lots of cardinals live in and around our yard, but until today none of them had come this close to the house. What a brave, cheeky guy was this one who had found and perched itself atop the blackberry vine I’d purchased last week. Though he tarried there a while, I was afraid to move for fear I’d shoo it away. So I eased back down in my chair, watching in awe and admiration until it flew off. Afterwards, I did go grab my camera in case the beauty returned again. Alas, however, it did not. Instead now it was only flying back and forth, along with its mate, from the feeders to the top of my rose arch outside Natalieworld

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Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at His coming. ~1 Peter 1:13 ✝

**Images found on Pinterest

 

634. Bright reds – scarlet, pillar-box red, crimson or cherry – are very cheerful. There is certainly a red for everyone. ~Christian Dior

If one says “Red” – the name of color –
and there are fifty people listening,
it can be expected that
there will be fifty reds in their minds.
And one can be sure that all these
reds will be very different.
~Josef Albers

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Red
Red is a fading sunset on the horizon.
It’s a burst of flame;
A spray of the fire leaping towards us.

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It’s the heat of the warm afternoon.
It’s a flickering flame of a tiny candle.
It’s the spark able to spread the wildfire of love.

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Red is the color of heat.
It’s full of passion.
It’s bold.
~Sunny Summers

For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love. ~Psalm 33:4-5   ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collages by Natalie

581. It’s like nature (in autumn) is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary. ~Siobhan Vivian

The autumn of the year is an artist,
a mural artist who enchants the landscape
with 
touches of tangerine and magenta, crimson and gold.
And we, we who witness and relish fall’s splendor
are invited to tell its story or to dance or to sing
with the same kind gusto as the dazzle of its drama.
~Natalie Scarberry

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Magenta! The mystery of marvelous, magical magenta! But why, why would a color as gorgeous as it be a mystery? Well, magenta doesn’t have a wavelength, and it’s never seen in a rainbow. Yet the rainbow is supposed to be the full spectrum of color, and wavelengths of reflected light determine what color the eye sees. So the answer lies in color mixing. But wait, colors cannot be mixed in physics! And therein lies the mystery of magenta. It has to do, not with photons and physics, but instead with the physiology of the way the eye works. Even though the human eye is sensitive to color, it is only through red cones, blue cones, and green cones in the retina, none of which mixed, result in magenta. However, as it turns out, the brain can be tricked into color mixing or even into inventing or making up a color. And so magenta results from the perceived absence of green in the color spectrum leaving only red and blue, and blue light mixed with red light creates magenta. That’s why my photo of the ornamental grass yesterday and the one today tell me that the Lord, genius and maker of all this is, is a Master Artist as enamored as anyone, including “moi,” with mixing and matching colors and creating what some call “eye candy.”

I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh praise the greatness of our God. ~Deuteronomy 32:3    ✝

580. Once more on our morning walk we tread upon carpets of gold and crimson, of brown and bronze, woven by the winds… ~John Burroughs

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

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With every north wind that blows the landscape decomposes more and more, and the air grows a little wilder with falling leaves. After each assault layer upon layer of the leafy insulation blankets the lawn and beds in more warmth to protect them from coming winter’s icy blasts. Above, the branches, if not already bare, are now dotted with only a smattering of leaves. They, the ones too tenacious to let go so far, cannot hold on much longer though because the winter solstice will be upon us in less than a week. These brisk northerly winds have also taken a toll on the once verdant and supple, ornamental grasses. Many of them have begun drying out and taking on a shabby, tattered look, but among the shades of brown, remain a few tinged with glorious color. Autumn may be beset with more gray than sunny days and quelling blows night after night, but some continue to hold a measure of winsome smiles and “honey’d leavings.” And as the lusty song of life plays on, earth yet murmurs, “come play again with me,” a call, way, way too alluring for me to ignore.

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. ~Isaiah 40:8   ✝

478. If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God. ~Gilbert K. Chesterton

Tonight the sun died like an Emperor…
great scarlet arcs of silk…
saffron…green…crimson…
and the blaze of Venus to remind one
of the absolute and the infinite…
~John Coldstream

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The busy buzzing of the bees had ceased, and the butterflies had completed the day’s last waltz as gentle breezes began ruffling leaves late yesterday. As the zephyrs moved through the yard, the nodding sea oats looked like jittery lawn dancers in the descending, shadows of darkness. The sunlight, with night, the vanquishing “emperor,” nipping at its heels, had almost oozed out of the day as I went out to watch it yield more and more of its hold on the garden. While I kept an eye on the stunning blaze along the western horizon, I saw the yard birds diving and darting into safe havens for the night and the screeching grackles, much higher in the sky, looking for lodging elsewhere. The hastening darkness added frantic drama to their random forays for nightly asylum but not enough to make me feel even the slightest remorse for making sure they didn’t return to my yard. Then in the distance I heard a train whistle, and from the sound the locomotive seemed to be moving at a fast and frenzied pace for home, and I hoped it, too, would make it before long. As the last shaft of sunlight moved up and off the towering oak, a velvety hush lowered, and the lone sparrow who’d been sitting on the edge of the roof at last vanished. Then, boom, the sun fell off the edge of the world, and the blackness of night was to be denied no longer.

Each part of a day has a feel and reality of its own. Take time to savor the uniqueness in each passing moment and say a prayer of simple praise for comforting patterns and rhythms.

May you go into the night
blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.
~John O’Donohue

By day the Lord directs His love, at night His Son is with me-a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8   ✝

443. August bursts on the scene like a matchflame in the heat and haze of crimson sunsets. ~Edited excerpt from a poem by Elizabeth Maua Taylor

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When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend



all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking



of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.
~Mary Oliver

Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety. ~Leviticus 25:10  ✝

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.

** Photo via Pinterest