398. I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes. ~Sara Teasdale

My riches consist not
in the extent of my possessions,
but in the fewness
of my wants.
~Joseph Brotherton

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May the God of your days and the dawn awaken you.
May the God of the rising sun stir you up.
May the God of the morning bless the work of your hands.
May the God of noontime renew your strength and energy.
May the God of the sunset bring you safely back home.
May the God of the dusk soothe your flesh and soul.
May the God of the night bring you peaceful rest.
~Edited adaptation of a blessing for the day
by Andrew Greeley

Blessed are those You choose and bring near to live in Your courts! We are filled with the good things of Your house, of Your holy temple. ~Psalm 65:4  ✝

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.

**Image via Pinterest

244. The sky puts on the darkening blue coat held for it by a row of ancient trees… ~Ranier Maria Rilke

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

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Reverence rises, a hush falls, and a lone bird sings on in the silence of twilight until there is no more cloud cover, no more noise, no more light.  A waxing gibbous moon climbs higher and higher in an azure sky that’s quickly deepening to dark indigo.  Silhouetted trees stand like giant sentinels over the winter-ravaged garden.  The darkness around me now is steeped in calmness beneath the ancient moon that’s casting its glow through the branches of the huge oak as it heads up to cross over heaven’s dome.  Although there’s an element of fear in the dark of night, something sacred draws me into it.  Whenever possible, I linger and, in being haunted by all its shy presences, I feel the wonder of Creation beneath the stars.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established…O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  Psalm 8:3,9  ✝

197. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos. ~Edward O. Wilson, American Biologist

A single swallow, it is said,
devours ten millions of insects every year.
The supplying of these insects
I take to be a signal instance of the Creator’s bounty
in providing for the lives of His creatures.
~Ambrose Bierce

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Seldom silent is a garden, not in deep darkness nor when the savage sun sits high atop the world.  In it are creatures that buzz, some that croak, others that chirp, those that squawk, and many a bird that has a pretty melody to sing.  These creatures fly, they hop, they walk, they slither, they crawl, they jump; one of them even prays as does the kind of “beastie” I found hiding in one of my roses last week.   Late in the day I’d gone out to cut away rose growth withered by summer’s siege.  As I reached in the second one to cut what I thought was a dead, brown piece of stem lying flat against a thick cane, it moved and raised its upper body.  Quite alive instead was a mantis hanging comically upside down and peering out at me.  When I realized what it was, I dashed back in the house to grab my camera.  Once back at the scene I took a few shots where it was; then I tried to get it to turn into an upright position.  Despite my repeated attempts, it only conceded a sideways turn which allowed me at least to see that one of its eyes was missing and covered with scar tissue.  Stubbornly determined however to get more compliance, I persisted in my nudging effort one more time. But boy oh boy, this guy had had enough, and it instantly raised its front legs as if preparing to attack the overzealous, annoying, and maddening pest.  So I wisely relented in my efforts, took what shots I could get, and departed.  The mantis was still holding steadfastly to that same cane when I went in at dusk, but by the next morning he had moved on to either a safer haven or one where the prey he was trying to lure with his “dead leaf” appearance was a great deal smaller and less bothersome than I.

Yet I am not silenced by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.  ~Job 23:17  ✝

Music’s Mystery

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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

176. For the mind disturbed, the still beauty of dawn is nature’s finest balm. ~Edwin Way Teale

Slow buds the pink dawn like a rose
from out night’s gray and cloudy sheath;
softly and still it grows and grows,
petal by petal, leaf by leaf.
~Susan Coolidge

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Tired of tossing and turning, I got up out of bed and went in to rock in my favorite chair.  Not wanting to miss the “slow budding” of dawn’s light, however, I first raised the bamboo shade in front of the glass, patio-doors.  After a short wait a faint pinkish glow appeared low on the horizon in the eastward sky, and as the sun inched up and up and up, a ray of golden light poured through an opening centered in the heart of a tall tree framed against it just above a neighboring housetop.  The branches of the tree then took on a hallowed appearance so much so that a bird atop the roof and two squirrels sitting very still in nearby branches looked like parishioners in pews awaiting the high priest.  Later, as the sun climbed high enough for night’s curtain to be lifted completely off earth’s stage, it was apparent that all who’d seen this amazing “salutation of the dawn” were summoned to make ready for the new day.  The first to respond was a flock of birds darting willy nilly across the pastel blue sky in search of food, but beneath them as more and more drops of light appeared like jewels aloft in the bamboo I knew that despite a restless night the time for me to rise had come as well.

If I rise on the wings of dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.  ~Psalm 139:9-10  ✝

138. My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants. ~J. Brotherton, a reforming British politician and non-conformist minister

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May the God of your days and the dawn awaken you.
May the God of the rising sun stir you up.
May the God of the morning bless the work of your hands.
May the God of noontime renew your strength and energy.
May the God of the sunset bring you safely back home.
May the God of the dusk soothe your flesh and soul.
May the God of the night bring you peaceful rest.

~Edited adaptation of a blessing for the day by Andrew Greeley

Blessed are those You choose and bring near to live in Your courts!  We are filled with the good things of Your house, of Your holy temple.  ~Psalm 65:4 ✝