1297. There are no sounds that can stir the sublime emotions of men’s souls like the sighs and whispers of nature. ~James Lendall Basford

Magic is really only the utilization
of the entire spectrum of the senses.
Humans have cut themselves off
from their senses. Now they see only
a tiny portion of the visible spectrum,
hear only the loudest of sounds;
their sense of smell is shockingly poor,
and they can only distinguish
the sweetest and sourest of tastes.
~Michael Scott

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I know the thrill of the grasses
when the rain pours over them.
I know the trembling of the leaves
when the winds sweep through them.
I know what the white clover
felt as it held a drop of dew
pressed close in its beauteousness.
I know the quivering of the fragrant petals
at the touch of the pollen-legged bees.
I know what the stream said
to the dipping willows, and what
the moon said to the sweet lavender.
I know what the stars said when
they came stealthily down and crept
fondly into the tops of the trees.
~Muriel Strode

…there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord… ~Excerpt fro Jeremiah 33:10 and 11  ✝

1123. Our memories from early childhood seem to have such purchase on our emotions. ~Dana Spiotta

What we remember from childhood we remember forever —
permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.
~Cynthia Ozick

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When I look back at that freedom of childhood, which is in a way infinite, and at all the joy and the intense happiness, now lost, I sometimes think that childhood is where the real meaning of life is located, and that we, adults, are its servants – that that’s our purpose. ~Karl Ove Knausgaard

It’s funny how when one is hurting physically and/or emotionally things from his/her childhood sometimes come to the foreground of the mind and that as the result even nearly 6 decades after the fact rembrances of egregious circumstances can still rear their ugly heads so that finding forgiveness for the toll the incident(s) have taken is a battle that begins again. The migraine began at midnight last night and it rages on and probably will for the remainder of this night too. So I’m gonna shut down and search for the strength to endure again.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. ~Matthew 6:14  ✝

1031. Your thoughts and emotions are yours alone. ~John Buchanan Robinson

Rather than being your thoughts and emotions,
try being the awareness behind them.
~Edited line by Eckhart Tolle

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Thoughts
When I am all alone
Envy me most,
Then my thoughts flutter round me
In a glimmering host;

Some dressed in silver,
Some dressed in white,
Each like a taper
Blossoming light;

Most of them merry,
Some of them grave,
Each of them lithe
As willows that wave;

Some bearing violets,
Some bearing bay,
One with a burning rose
Hidden away —

When I am all alone
Envy me then,
For I have better friends
Than women and men.
~Sara Teasdale

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. ~Isaiah 55:8  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest.

 

767. I think our dreams are held in safe-keeping within our souls, and when fulfilled, tears are the happy release of the “minding.” ~Masked Native at: http://maskednative.com/

There is sacredness in tears.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of overwhelming grief,
irrepressible joy,
deep contrition,
and unspeakable love.
~Adapted quote
by Washington Irving

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I want to start off by thanking all of you who read the daily installments of my personal saga about Paris as well as those of you who took the time to comment about my story. I didn’t realize that walking back through the years to tell about the events that lead up to our trip in 2013 and the one we’ll be making again soon, would bring about a kind of catharsis which ultimately defined and released long held emotions about things in my past.

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However, now I realize more than ever how important it is that people share their personal stories, the things that make us who and what we are, not only for the impact they’ve had and continue to have on us, but also because others may find release, healing, encouragement, assurances, etc. in our narratives. We are, after all, a composite of everything that happens to us as well as the resulting influence of all those who cross our paths.

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Several years ago I ordered some morning glory seeds from a catalog, and another packet of a different kind of morning glories was thrown in as a bonus. However, that bonus package got lost at the bottom of my seed-storage box until I discovered it again earlier in spring. So I sowed the seeds, “et voilà,” here it is. Isn’t it lovely? I’ve never seen a morning glory like this one, but I think I’m falling in love with its cute, pink and white curlicues.

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Although in France they don’t associate the color pink with the city of Paris, imagery around the turn of the last century (the Belle Époque) as well as later images in the media and Paris-themed feminine merchandise, the color pink does continue to be associated with Paris elsewhere in the world. So I’m calling this frilly little pink posy my “Parisienne Glory,” and I pray that it blesses your eyes. Love, Natalie

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. ~Psalm 126:5  ✝

736. I was in love with the whole world and all that lived in its rainy arms. ~Louise Erdrich

My poetry was born
between the hill and the river.
It took its voice
 from the rain,
and like the timber,
it steeped itself in the forests.
~Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and
winner of the Nobel Prize in literature

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I expect there are many writers, like Neruda, as well as artists and musicians who have found a voice in the rain as it evokes strong emotions in the human heart. In some unfathomable way I even believe rain is wedded to the human soul. So it is that I am drawn into its web and mystery whenever it blesses this arid and often drought-ridden land where I live. I’m not only intoxicated by the sounds and sights of it but also the whole other level of interest it creates in the garden and other earthly places.

Like billowing clouds,
Like the incessant gurgle of the brook
The longing of the spirit can never be stilled.
~ St. Hildegard von Bingen

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The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands… ~Deuteronomy 28:12   ✝

**Upper collage created by Natalie from her photo archives; lower collage created from images via Pinterest

645. And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower then I have been dipped again in God, new created. ~D. H. Lawrence

In slumber we fall into the deep, silent waters of consciousness, and then something, somewhere beneath the surface stirs us back to wakefulness. The same thing is happening now in my slumbering, wintry garden. A divine force or spark is stirring life back into seemingly lifelessness.

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A spark.  A flame.  A fire. A seed.  A plant.  A flower.  An egg.  An embryo.  A life. What is it that stirs matter and spirit?  What is it that stirs us?  What moves us?  What is it that makes life taste bitter or sweet upon the tongue?  What things do we feel that can’t quite be put into words?

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The following poem was written by Wallace Stevens. In it, his is the voice of questioning meant to refute religion/Christianity, and yet his images are the kinds of things that stir me in the opposite direction by rousing and impassioning my faith and belief in Christ. So it seems to me that Stevens, even in his attempt at denial, was himself somehow stirred by things in nature not wholly of this world, And I also have to wonder what exactly he thinks a soul is? Is not the soul that which connects mortal man to the Holy One who made us? Isn’t it the piece of God in us?

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Sunday Morning

What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch,
These are the measures destined for her soul.
~Wallace Stevens

For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. ~Job 33:14-16   ✝

493. It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility. ~Rachel Carson

If facts are seeds that later produce 
knowledge and wisdom,
then the emotions and 
the impressions of the senses
are the fertile soil 
in which the seeds must grow.
~Rachel Carson

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God made the forests, the tiny stars, and the wild winds–
and I think that He has made them partly
as a balance for that kind of civilization that
would choke the spirit of joy out of our hearts.
He made the great open places for people who want to be…
away from the crowds that kill all reverence.
And I think He is glad at times to have us forget
our cares and responsibilities so that we may be nearer Him–
as Jesus was when he crept away into the wilderness to pray.
~Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. ~Mark 1:35   ✝

** Image via Pinterest