1224. Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

Take a music bath once or twice
a week for a few seasons.
You will find it is to the soul
what a water bath is to the body.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Do re me fa so la ti–this, the solfège is a music education method used to teach pitch. Syllables assigned to the notes of the scale enable musicians to mentally hear the pitches of music that they are seeing for the first time. But that wasn’t the really the fun thing about it today. Because of it a familiar song came to mind, and singing it washed away the dust of our 105 degree day. As I thought of the SOUND OF MUSIC and the song based on the solfège, it made me smile and say aha about a possible blog post! And with the lack of rain we’re enduring, what better way to take a water bath than with music. So here goes…

Doe-a deer, a female deer

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Ray-a drop of golden sun

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Me-a name I call myself

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Far-a long, long way to go

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Sew-a needle pulling thread

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La-a note to follow sew

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Tea-a drink with jam and bread that will bring us back to do…

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Which brings us back to do…

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

**All images found on Pinterest

1075. Dancing is silent poetry. ~Simonides

To dance is to reach for a word that doesn’t exist,
To sing the heart-song of a thousand generations,
To feel the meaning of a moment in time.
~Beth Jones

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Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?
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.
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?
Don’t call this world an explanation, or even an education.
When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking outward,
to the mountains so solidly there in a white-capped ring,
or was he looking 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, as he whirled,
oh jug of breath, in the garden of dust?
~Mary Oliver

And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might… ~Excerpt from 2 Samuel 6:14 ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

1042. Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents
And as silently steal away.
~Edited lines by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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In January, as winter begins to deepen, the rhythms that “wash away from the soul the dust of everyday life” grow faint, as if whispered. However, when nature’s earthly notes are muffled by icy gales, heavy frosts, or falling snow, the “echo of the spheres” overheard remains audible. And on the less chilly days, the ones between cold fronts, bits and pieces of tender, albeit potent, harmonies often continue to rise. Today, for example, I spotted the tiny tips of hyacinth bulbs breaking the cold, hard ground, and as if escaping through the tiny fissures the bulbs had created, Eden’s heartbeat jumped up another fraction of a decibel. Even on the really, really forbiddingly cold days, within the sounds of silence, there are pauses, ripe and pregnant, that are as eloquent as notes and lyrics. For it is in those rests and pauses that can be heard dulcet sounds, soothing honeyed ones which are recognized not by the ears, but by the soul. And although it has been said that trees and flowers grow in utter silence while the sun, the moon, and the stars above our heads do the same, I’m not sure that’s true. I contend that on any  given day of the year if one listens with a hunger in the heart and a thirst in the soul, the footfalls of God can yet be ascertained upon the sacred soil of Creation and His voice which spoke everything into being can still be heard echoing amid the orbs of the firmament. That’s why if one stills him or herself and earnestly seeks Yahweh’s face, it can be made out even winter’s inhospitable bleakness. And after it’s glimpsed, one’s ears can also discern the sweet, sweet sounds of the Father’s loving utterances as He calls out to His beloved children.

The music is not in the notes,
but in the silence in between.
~Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day… ~Excerpt from Genesis 3:8 ✝

**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?

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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.

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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?

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

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

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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,

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

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

**All images via Pinterest

854. On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it. ~Jules Renard

When we recognize the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born. You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Sense the blessings of the earth in the perfect arc of a ripe tangerine, the taste of warm, fresh bread, the circling flight of birds, the lavender color of the sky shining in a late afternoon rain puddle, the million times we pass other beings in our cars and shops and out among the trees without crashing, conflict, or harm. ~Jack Kornfield

In the beginning God created the heavens and earth. ~Genesis 1:1 ✝
Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. ~Genesis 2:7 ✝
The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. ~Psalm 24:1 ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage by Natalie

851. Oh sweet and fragrant lily, from still water…quietly, you find your way to sunshine… ~Excerpt from a poem by Jackie D’Elia

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As I’ve said in previous posts, I love Claude Monet; I love his gardens at Giverny; and I love his paintings, many of which are of water lilies. So I was thrilled to find a few years back that at our city’s Botanical Garden a water lily pond had been created. “Et voilá” here are some that were in full bloom in that pond today–magnificent beauties rooted in “dust” and anchored in water glowing in the bright Texas sun of a late August day.

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Here is a problem, a wonder for all to see.
Look at this marvelous thing I hold in my hand!
This is a magic surprising, a mystery
Strange as a miracle, harder to understand.
What is it? Only a handful of earth: to your touch
A dry rough powder you trample beneath your feet,
Dark and lifeless; but think for a moment, how much
It hides and holds that is beautiful, bitter, or sweet.
Think of the glory of color! The red of the rose,
Green of the myriad leaves and the fields of grass,
Yellow as bright as the sun where the daffodil blows,
Purple where violets nod as the breezes pass.
Think of the manifold form, of the oak and the vine,
Nut, and fruit, and cluster, and ears of corn;
Of the anchored water-lily, a thing divine,
Unfolding its dazzling snow to the kiss of morn.
Who shall compass or fathom God’s thought profound?
We can but praise, for we may not understand;
But there’s no more beautiful riddle the whole world round
Than is hid in this heap of dust I hold in my hand.
~Excerpted lines from Dust, a poem
by Celia Thaxter

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living thing. ~Genesis 2:7  ✝

819. My garden is a balancing act between weeds and wonders. ~Carol Stocker

Roots of the weed sucked first
life from the genesis of earth
and hold the essence of it still.
Always the weed returns; and
the cultured plant retreats before it.
~Beryl Markham

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They know, they just know where to grow,
how to dupe you, and how to camouflage themselves
among the perfectly respectable plants,
they just know, and therefore, I’ve concluded
weeds must have brains.
~Dianne Benson

Man oh man am I up to my “derrière” in weeds. After the huge amount of rain we had last spring, more weeds than ever sprang up, and they are EVERYWHERE. I was already losing the battle with them when we left for Europe on the 22nd of June; then after we got home nearly three weeks later, they had grown exponentially denser and bigger.

Sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste. ~William Shakespeare

So in this awful heat I’ve been going out when I can to save my flowers from being overcome by their immensity and girth. However, since many have already dropped seeds that will lie dormant until next year, I’ve essentially already lost next year’s battle too. Oh well, if one wants beds and beds of pretty flowers and/or veggies, a weeding one must go, right?! But, ya know, it’s not so much the backbreaking work of pulling or digging them up that’s a problem; it’s this relentless, searing heat that sends me grumbling back in the house dripping with sweat from head to toe and in clothes that are wet down to my underwear.

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust are you and to dust you will return. ~Genesis 3:19  ✝