1022. While it robs them of life, it tears away the veil and reveals the golden gem of beauty and sweetness. ~Northern Advocate

The death-glow always beautifies anything
that wears the trace of beauty ere it goes back to nothingness.
We do not understand the secret of this principle,
yet we know that it is some law of the infinite mind.
~Northern Advocate

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Threads, filaments, silken strands holding to the past and yet releasing the future in the air. The amazing looking objects in the photos above and below are seed pods from a milkweed (Asclepias) plant. Asclepias species produce some of the most complex flowers in the plant kingdom, and they are an important nectar source for native bees, wasps, and other nectar-seeking insects. Asclepias species produce their seeds in follicles, and the seeds, which are arranged in overlapping rows, bear a cluster white, silky, filament-like hairs known as the coma (often referred to by other names such as pappus, “floss”, “plume”, or “silk”). The follicles ripen and split open, and the seeds, each carried by its coma, are blown by the wind. Milkweed is an essential larval host plant for the Monarch Butterfly which is why I have grown some in my garden for the last two years. Endangered Monarchs must pass through the “Texas funnel” coming and going on their epic migration to and from Canada to their roosting grounds in Michoacán, Mexico, in the spring and fall, and so Texas has been deemed critically important to the health of these beautiful and unique butterflies, threatened by the loss of habitats. But why should I bring this up now at the end of the year since we won’t see butterflies for months to come? Because it shows that though winter is an ending, it’s important to remember that it is the first season of the new year and so it is a beginning as well. Not only that but when all seems drab and lackluster, one who looks carefully can find great beauty even in the dying of the past.

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We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. ~Romans 6:4  ✝

**Images via Pinterest.

758. Maybe it’s not about the happy ending. Maybe it’s just about the story. ~Author Unknown

There are many chapters in your story.
One bad chapter doesn’t mean
it’s the end of the book.

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Sometimes life will bring you down to your knees
but don’t let it make you cold
and don’t let it harden your heart.
Keep the faith ~ the sun will shine again
and you’ll feel love fill up your soul.
~Karen Kostyla

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. ~Hebrews 11:1-3 ✝

**Image from Internet

743. Zero (0) is not nothing.  It’s a circle, without beginning or end. Holy. Healed. ~Wallace Black Elk, Lakota

A wheel was shown to me,
wonderful to behold.
Divinity . . . is like a wheel,
a circle, a whole,
that can neither be understood,
nor divided, nor begun nor ended . . .
no one has the power
 to divide
this circle, 
to surpass it, or to limit it.
~St. Hildegard of Bingen

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beginnings, middles, endings,
go the circles of life
and over and over again
the sacred circles repeat themselves
with more beginnings,
more middles,
more endings,
and yet little seems the same from
day to day, month to month, year to year,
in these patterns of inconstancy
within the undeniable constancy
that create our “wow” now moments
as well as the not so “wow” ones
so what’s to be made of all the same
and not so same circular sameness
or the ups and downs and all around times
in the beginnings, middles, and endings
only the Ancient of Days knows why
these everlasting 
holy rhythms
of the universe
 move in such a way
~Natalie Scarberry

It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. ~Deuteronomy 11:12   ✝

**Image via Pinterest