1246. If we were but conscious of our own utter littleness, we would not dare look with contempt on the smallest atom in the world. ~Charles Lanman

Clouds of insects danced and buzzed in the sunlight,
and the air was full of the piping of the song-birds.
Long glinting dragon-flies shot across the path, or hung
tremulous with gauzy wings and gleaming bodies.
~Edited excerpt from Arthur Conan Doyle

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 5.17.05 PM.png

Did you know that there’s always a party going on in a backyard. Yes, indeed there is, and the guests frolic on their flooring, the ground, and under the “coffered ceiling” of the sky. Some even “boogie down” underground; thus a lawn, not just the grass, is alive. And the world out there is filled with beasties that buzz, tweet, squawk, flutter, scurry, build, dance, burrow, hoot, chase, pounce, and soar among other things. Not only that but the party goes on 24/7. If you don’t believe me, just step outside sometime, take a look around, and listen.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 3.39.48 PM.png

Depending upon the season and time of day or night, you might hear a chorus of amphibians, insects a buzzin’, and birds a callin’ or a singin’ or a drummin’. And those noisy birds, for example, just might be a gatherin’ nesting materials, or a feedin’ on berries or insects, or a splashin’ around in a birdbath. Whilst the birds are doing their things, the butterflies and bees might be a fluttterin’ about and a sippin’ on the nectars in flowers. If not that, then you might find a “hophopper” a chowin’ down on a tasty leaf or a dragonfly a skimmin’ across a surface of water. Or you might even find something exotic like my friend in the photos above a lookin’ back at you and gettin’ perturbed because you’re too close to its perch, so close in fact that it raises an arm of warning to scold you. When I find a praying mantis like this one, they are often on a rose bush which is where I found this one. Well actually it was on the trellis where the rose was, but I think he’d made his way from the rose over to it in hopes he could scare off dusk’s unwanted interloper.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 3.39.07 PM.png

For who scorns the day of small things. ~Excerpt from Zechariah 4:10 ✝

*The collage of praying mantis images at the top created by Natalie from photos via Pinterest

1218. Flowers do not indulge in sentiment. They indulge in passion… Octave Mirbeau

Surely the flowers of a hundred springs
Are simply the souls of beautiful things!

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 6.56.27 PM.png

The poppies aflame with gold and red
Were the kisses of lovers in days that are fled.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 6.13.40 PM.png

The purple pansies with dew-drops pearled
Were the rainbow dreams of a youngling world.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 5.58.56 PM.png

The lily, white as a star apart,
Was the first pure prayer of a virgin heart.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 6.37.32 PM.png

The daisies that dance and twinkle so
Were the laughter of children in long ago.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 6.10.37 PM.png

The sweetness of all true friendship yet
Lives in the breath of the mignonette.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 5.55.42 PM.png

To the white narcissus there must belong
The very delight of a maiden’s song.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 6.04.12 PM.png

And the rose, all flowers of the earth above,
Was a perfect, rapturous thought of love.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 6.10.18 PM.png

Oh! surely the blossoms of all the springs
Must be the souls of beautiful things.
~Lucy Maud Montgomery

My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. ~Song of Songs 1:14  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

1213. May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with the fairies and talk to the moon. ~Morgan Bergeron

THERE are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
It’s not so very, very far away;
You pass the gardner’s shed and you just keep straight ahead —
I do so hope they’ve really come to stay.
There’s a little wood, with moss in it and beetles,
And a little stream that quietly runs through;
You wouldn’t think they’d dare to come merrymaking there–
Well, they do.

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 9.47.11 PM.png

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
They often have a dance on summer nights;
The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,
And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.
Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams
And pick a little star to make a fan,
And dance away up there in the middle of the air?
Well, they can.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Rose Fyleman

And if ever there were a place on a summer night such as this to look for the fairies at the bottom of the garden, I’d start by peering up into this enchanting, blue clematis bloom.

Praise Him(God), sun and moon; praise Him, all you shining stars. ~Psalm 148:3  ✝

**Image of blue clematis taken in my garden by me

1170. Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ~Oscar Wilde

Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colours;
let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow.
~Kahlil Gibran

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 4.00.21 PM.png

A colour, no doubt, is a trifle in itself, and only has its full value when it is in contrast or harmony with other colours…. each colour has an expression and a character peculiar to itself, and each is enlivened as it approaches its lightest shade by its mixture with white, just as it is saddened and perishes as it approaches its darkest shade by its mixture with black. ~Auguste Alexandre Philippe Charles Blanc (1813–1882)

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 5.29.01 PM.png

In a sense, one could speak of the secret life of colour. Despite its outward beckoning, like true beauty, colour is immensely hesitant in giving away its secrets. Painters learn to respect the hesitancy of colour and endeavour to refine their skill to become worthy of its revelations. A painter learns the language of colour slowly. As with any language, you struggle for a long time outside the language. There is a willed deliberateness to how you sequence the strange words to make a sentence.Then one day the language lets you in to where the words dance to your thoughts with ease and fluency. Perhaps for the painter there is a day when colour lets him in, when his palette sings with synergy and delight. ~John O’Donohue

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 9.41.11 PM.png

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me(God) and the earth. ~Genesis 9:13  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yardt; all collages created by me

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

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 8.55.09 PM.png

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

1089. The quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven  upon the place beneath. ~William Shakespeare

The great and amorous sky curved over the earth,
and lay upon her as a pure lover.
The rain, the humid flux descending from heaven
for both man and animal, for both thick and strong,
germinated the wheat, swelled the furrows
with fecund mud and brought forth the buds in the orchards.
~Aeschylus, The Danaides, c 500 B.C.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 8.45.59 PM.png

Rain! Each drop is a small, but powerful, miracle descending from above, and when it falls, it comes down on a mission of salvation through time, space, and distance. When it first hits the ground after a prolonged dry spell like the one we’d been having, the sound of it fills my ears with joyful delight. As I listen to the falling rain it seems to create a kind of music which is not unlike the dulcet chords a beloved’s voice gives rise to. What’s more its haunting melodies often spark the remembrance of a vague “water” memory, perhaps a nebulous recollection of my wet beginning that lingers somewhere in memory’s oldest and deepest recesses. So it is that for as long as I can remember I’ve been drawn to rain’s mystique, and it never fails to put a smile on my face and thanksgiving in my heart. It has been said that nature, like man, sometimes weeps for gladness, and when the smell of wet soil and damp grass greet my nose, I have also been known to “weep for gladness.” Not only that but on the heels of the smiling, gratitude, and weeping, I’m oftimes overcome with the irresistible urge I felt in childhood to jump and dance with wanton joy in the sloshy puddles beneath my feet.

He(God) draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams. Job 36: 27  ✝

**These are rain dotted flowers already blooming in my gardens.

1074. It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or at dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought. ~James Douglas

The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression,
and their author always has a niche
in the temple of memory
from which the image is never cast out
to be thrown on the rubbish heap
of things that are outgrown or outlived.
~Howard Pyle

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 7.07.15 PM.png

The “shy presences” of which Douglas spoke can be very real ones, like toads or snails or garden snakes and such; however, the “shy presences” for an imaginative child are often both real as well as make believe. For them the real ones might be shadow dancers, enlivened dollops of light, or glistening drops of dew whereas their make-believe ones might be the fabled “wee folk” found in stories they’ve heard or read. Gardens in and of themselves are naturally enchanting places, and tales of “fairies, elves, and leprechauns” can’t help but add an irresistible dimension to that enchantment, at least in the mind of a child or in someone with a very healthy inner child. And as Mr. Pyle so aptly put it, childhood images are never cast out onto rubbish heaps but instead leave “indelible impressions in the temples of our memories.” That’s why in early spring findings such as grape hyacinth, daffodils, crocus, snowdrops, and tulips can open doors in revered temples of memory and thus release cherished phrases such as “fairy woods where the wild bee wings,” or  “tiny trees for tiny dames,” or “tiny woods below whose bough shady fairies weave a house,” or “tiny tree tops, rose or thyme, where the braver fairies climb” as found in poems by Robert Louis Stevenson and others. Or maybe they come from a poem like this one below:

THERE are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
It’s not so very, very far away;
You pass the gardner’s shed and you
just keep straight ahead —
I do so hope they’ve really come to stay.
There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
They often have a dance on summer nights;
The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,
And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.
Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams
And pick a little star to make a fan,
And dance away up there in the middle of the air?
Well, they can.
There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
Now you can guess who that could be
(She’s a little girl all day, but at night she steals away)?
Well — it’s Me!
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Rose Fyleman

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 5.44.21 PM.png

**Image via Pinterest

1070. Dance is the hidden language of the soul. ~Martha Graham

May I stand amazed in the Presence of God;
May I stand in the midst of celestial fire
until my heart is molten gold…
May I walk everywhere on earth radiant, complete…
~Normandi Ellis

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 8.25.59 PM.png

I am the Lord of the Dance said he!
I danced in the days when the world began.
I live in you, and you live in me.
So dance on, then, wherever you may be
For I am still Lord of the dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be!

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 8.24.17 PM.png

I sleep in the kernel and I dance in the rain;
I dance in the wind and through the waving grain.
I dance in the constancy of waves in the sea,
For I am still the Lord of the waves’ mystery.
I dance at the Sabbath when it’s time to rest
For to live is to dance, and the dance goes on and on.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 8.17.11 PM.png

The moon in her phases, the tides of the sea,
The movement of the earth, and the seasons that will be
Are the rhythm of the dancing and a promise through the years
That the dance goes on through both joy and the tears.
They took My life at Calvary, but I leapt up high,
Because I am the Life that will never, ever die.

**This is not a repeat of last night’s hymn that I quoted in part. It’s a heavily edited and adapted version of another rendition of the Lord of the Dance, and I love the new elements of it because I think they add depth and richness. I hope you enjoy it.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. ~Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 4   ✝

***Images via Pinterest; collages created by Natalie

1069. On with the dance! Let joy be unconfined. ~Lord Byron

I danced in the morning when the world was begun
I danced in the Moon, and the stars, and the Sun
Next I came down and danced on the Earth
For I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And  now I’ll lead you in the Dance with me!
~Edited and excerpted lyrics
from the hymn, Lord of the Dance

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 8.11.22 PM.png

This day had begun with a
dollop of golden light in the east.
And then up, up, up recoiled
the night’s dark shade
so that the space all around me
was filled with wondrous light,
holy light,  warming light.
And in the light was a sparkle;
’twas a glittering hint of spring’s
advance upon earth’s stage.
In the midst of the morn’s litany
Yahweh’s familiar footsteps could be heard
as he moved along the garden’s paths.
~Natalie

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 8.02.34 PM.png

Sing and dance did we,
the birds and I, with
the Lord of the Universe,
the God who won’t let go of
all that He has made and loves.
~Natalie

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 8.08.08 PM.png

Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I till turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. ~Jeremiah 31:13   ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

1028.Whosoever knoweth the power of the dance, dwelleth in God. ~Rumi

Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 6.48.21 PM.png

Don’t call this world adorable, or useful, that’s not it.
It’s frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.
The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.
The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 6.56.19 PM.png

But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white
feet of the trees
whose mouths open.
Doesn’t the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?
Haven’t the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia, then Europe,
until at last, now, they shine
in your own yard?

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 6.58.45 PM.png

Don’t call this world an explanation, or even an education.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 6.56.07 PM.png

When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking
outward, to the mountains so solidly there
in a white-capped ring, or was he looking

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 7.03.29 PM.png

to the center of everything: the seed, the egg, the idea
that was also there,
beautiful as a thumb
curved and touching the finger, tenderly,
little love-ring,

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 6.59.51 PM.png

as he whirled,
oh jug of breath,
in the garden of dust?
~Mary Oliver

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 7.02.22 PM.png

Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. ~Excerpt from Jeremiah 31:13   ✝

**All images via Pinterest