1225. I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. ~John Burroughs

We live on the leash of our senses.
There is no way in which to understand
the world without first detecting it
through the radar-net of our senses.
~Diane Ackerman

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Listen-Do you see that you can’t hear beauty? But you can hear beautiful birdsongs.

Look-Do you see that you can’t smell love? But you can smell the fragrance of a rose when it comes into view.

Touch-Do you see that you can’t see the soul? But you can touch the hand of another and look into his/her eyes, the windows to his/her soul.

Taste-Do you see that you can’t taste color? But you can taste the purplicious flavor of a grape.

Smell-Do you see that you can’t touch the intellect? But you can smell food prepared intelligently for our health.

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Look at the opening sunflower and passionflower above: I can see their beauty; I can hear the buzz of the bees around them; I can touch their petals and leaves; I can taste their edible seeds and fruit; I can smell the earth in which I planted them; and in my garden which puts my senses in order I am soothed and healed by their presence.

Ears that hear and eyes that see—the Lord has made them both. ~Proverbs 20:12  ✝
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. ~Psalm 34:8  ✝
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. ~Matthew 8:3  ✝
For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:15  ✝

**I took both these photos in my yard today.

1188. Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. ~Chief Seattle

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across
the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
~Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator

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Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
~A Ute Prayer

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Oh Lord, whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath I feel moving in and out of me,
the very breath that gives life to me and all living things.
I come before you, as one of your children to ask that
You continue to reveal Yourself through Creation’s beauty.
May my hands always respect the things you’ve created;
May my ears be ever sharp to hear your voice; and
May I be wise enough to perceive the lessons
hidden in all things made of Your hands.
~My prayer based on one by
Chief Yellow Lark of the Lakota Sioux

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. ~Job 33:4  ✝

**Three images via Pinterest; the bottom picture of the granite boulders taken by me on what were once First Nation’s lands at Medicine Park, Oklahoma

1187. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Arthur Ward

Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is a privilege; that we are miraculously part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape. ~Excerpt from an article by David Whyte@gratefulness.org

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Stop what you are doing right now! Just stop for a minute! Close your eyes and feel the in and out movement of your breath. Keep your eyes closed, stay still a little longer, and feel your heart beating. Now open your eyes, take in all the colors and sights around you, and recognize the blessing of sight. Then listen to any sounds you hear and be thankful for you ears and the blessing of both sound and silence. Next reach out your hands and touch something, anything, and become aware of its textures or smoothness, hardness or softness–all those things that come with the blessing of touch. After that find something to take a bite or sip of, and as you chew or swallow, savor and enjoy the flavor and taste of whatever it is. Last, before you return to what you were or were not doing, try to wrap your mind around the “many millions of things that had to come together and live together and mesh together” for all those gifts to be realities in your world. Almost 4 years ago, a day came when all that was threatened to be over for me as the result of 2 clots in my brain. Never, ever take for granted the gifts, the blessings, the miracles, and especially the Giver of the “many millions of things!” Thank you Jesus for this day, these gifts, and your faithfulness!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ~John 1:1-5  ✝

**Image via Pixabay; text added by Natalie

1140. I tried to discover, in the rumor of forests and waves, words that other men could not hear, and I pricked up my ears to listen to the revelation of their harmony. ~Gustave Flaubert

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You can listen to silence, Reuven.
I’ve begun to realize that you can
listen to silence and learn from it.
It has a quality and a dimension all its own.
It talks to me sometimes.
I feel myself alive in it.
It talks. And I can hear it.

You have to want to listen to it,
and then you can hear it.
It has a strange, beautiful texture.
It doesn’t always talk.
Sometimes – sometimes it cries,
and you can hear the pain of the world in it.
It hurts to listen to it then. But you have to.
~From THE CHOSEN by Chaim Potok

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Be still and listen to the rhythm of your beating heart.

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Be still and feel the in and out movement of your breath.

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Be still and find the peace at the center of your being.

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Be still and seek the presence of your inner child.

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Be still and remember childhood’s simple pleasures.

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Be still and recall the unadulterated innocence of a child

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Be still and let joy now bubble up from gratitude for the gift of life.

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And finally in the silence of your thankfulness be still and listen so that you hear the Lord calling you by name.

Be still, and know that I am God… ~Excerpt from Psalm 46:10  ✝

**Images found on Pinterest and Pixabay

1139. If it’s drama that you sigh for, plant a garden and you’ll get it. ~Edward A. Guest

‘Tis like the birthday of the world,
When earth was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes,
The air is all perfume…
~Excerpt from a poem by Thomas Hood

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One of my favorite poems in all of “poemdom” is this one below by Robert Browning. In fact I recite it to myself at least once every spring.

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn; God’s in his Heaven—
All’s right with the world!

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Spring began very early here, almost a month and a half ago, but this morning was the first one exactly like the quintessential spring morning of which Browning spoke. A heavy dew had blanketed everything that lay before my eyes making grass and flower sparkle, and in the sparkle was the sort of magic that thrills this old gardener’s heart beyond measure. So I sat spellbound forever so long in my chair watching the birds feed and the squirrels play and the breeze ruffle petals and leaves. My little piece of Eden was gloriously alive as well as all of her adoring paramours. What a  magnificent sight to behold it was as light oozed into all the dark corners, not only outside the window but also in the windows of my being! What had been created in the beginning continually points to the Creator, and oh what a Creator He is! My eyes were filled, my ears were filled, my cup of life was filled, and in and of it all was Yahweh, that Holy Presence, who continually fills my soul with His goodness and grace. Oh how I adore Him and His wondrous Eden!!!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. ~Psalm 23: 6  ✝

1077. Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, things other than self. ~Edited quote by Dean Jackson

Listening is a great way of receiving gifts
of wisdom, intelligence and inspiration,
but we only hear.
~Anonymous

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Only the briefest of moments
When everything is still
When the world is silent
A magical moment
When there’s just you
And everything God has
Created for you

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That moment
Is always there
But the noise of life
The mad rush
Of the day
Is too loud for us
To hear it to see it
To feel it

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Sit back
Let your worries
Drift away
Clear your mind
And just listen
Breathe in the breeze
As it splashes
Over you

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Listen
Not with your ears
But with your Soul
To the sounds of
The leaves rustling
In the trees and
The song of the birds
Rising like a wave

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Listen
Listen with your heart
Listen closely
For there’s only a moment
Only the briefest of moments
And then the magic’s gone
Lost in the chaos
Of the day.
~Edited poem
by Michael Traveler

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let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance– ~Proverbs 1:5

Images via Pinterest

899. The people who know God well—mystics, hermits, prayerful people, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, not a dictator. ~Richard Rohr

Once you are in communion with God,
you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear other
people in whom God has also found a dwelling place.
~Henri Nouwen

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Lover of my soul
Will you listen to me
I know you will
My spirit you see
My heart you touch
My soul you shape
My being is yours
I’m here, please take
Me away to that secret place
Where we connect
~Staci Lys Dunn Silva at:
https://stacilys.wordpress.com/about/

From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. ~Psalm 33:13-15  ✝

**Rose image via Pinterest