1226. The marvels of daily life are exciting… ~Excerpt from Robert Doisneau

For me, life offers so many
complexly surprising moments
that two beautiful objects
may be equally beautiful or dramatic for
different reasons and at different times.
~Edited and adapted quote
by Diane Ackerman

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You think it will do what? You think it will look like what? You think it will be what color? You think it will be pretty? And stay that way? SURPRISE!!! Ordinarily I love surprises, and when it comes to a rose that is one color as a bud and another after it opens up, I’m good with that kind of surprise. In fact I’m fascinated all by roses which do that or those which are one color on one side of their petals and a completely different color on the other side. Or even ones that are edged in a different color than the rest of the rose are always a lovely and welcome surprise. But when a gorgeous rose opens, one that might ordinarily be an exciting marvel for several days, and then fries by mid-afternoon because the heat rises to 105, the surprise becomes more of a melancholy shocker which I suppose in some sense is a surprise. Actually it is more of a being taken by surprise kind of thing and certainly not one that is good or welcomed. And as for what’s in this collage below being an exciting marvel, the top part certainly is, but the bottom deep-fried version of it only excited my ire. And as for the marveling in regards to it, I was dumbfounded at how long I’ve managed to endure living in Texas during August without going stark raving mad. Oh well, I reckon we’ve all got to learn to take the good with the bad, and enjoy moments no matter how fleeting they may be.

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Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love! ~Proverbs 7:18  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yard

1198. When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive-to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. ~Marcus Aurelius

Every morning, when we wake up,
we have twenty-four brand new hours to live.
What a precious gift!
We have the capacity to live in a way
that these twenty-four hours will bring
peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even,
the miserable and the crotchety –
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
~Mary Oliver

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. ~Proverbs 4:18  ✝

**Morning glory in my yard

1153. He who reigns within himself and rules passions, desires, and fears is more than a king. ~John Milton

I follow three rules:
Do the right thing,
do the best you can, and
always show people you care.
~Lou Holtz

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**Watercolor image found on Pinterest; text box added by Natalie

The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. ~Psalm 103:19  ✝

1116. The happiest moments in my childhood were spent on my grandmother’s front porch. ~Andre Leon Talley

There was a quiet solitude
just to sit and look at the landscape,
an inner quietness after dinner sitting on
the back porch and looking at the waning light.
There was no need for talking
or for any other kind of communication.
~Edited excerpt by Lee Krasner

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Sit with me awhile.
We can share our thoughts,
or talk of life and
what’s going on with us,
or maybe we could just sit
and be at peace together while we
soak up the last drop of the day’s light
and breathe in the cool air.
Or perhaps we could just watch the world go by
as we linger, waist deep in thought
or in reverie drenched in vanilla twilight.
~Me and Unknown Aauthors

Suggested and approved activities for porch sitters:
1.) you can read a book,
2.) you can sip on iced tea, hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate, lemonade, or a soft drink
3.) you can enjoy the seasons,
4.) you listen to the birds sing and relax,
5.) you can visit with friends or neighbors and reminisce or share stories
6.) you can watch the sun rise or witness the setting of the sun
7.) you can let your mind wander, shoes optional,
8.) you can take a nap
9.) you can talk or not talk,
10.) you can just sit and do nothing and rock or swing

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. ~Psalm 13:12  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

1052. When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. ~Marcus Aurelius

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What did you notice today?

The dawn’s light;
the bird on the wing;
the clouds over your head;
the breeze as dried grasses swayed;
the sun as it journeyed across the heavens;
the in and out movement of your breath;
the pumping of blood in your veins;
the regular beating of your heart;
the falling shades of night.

What did you hear?

What made you smile?

What made you laugh?

What made you cry?

What made you sad?

What astonished you?

What touched you deep within?

What made you thankful?

What made you feel alive?

Should these and more not all be things to take notice of? After all isn’t each day a gift? And aren’t all the abilities to feel and do these things a part of the gift? Can anything you do or say bring this day or the opportunities it offered back?

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~Psalm 138:24  ✝

879. You are not too young or too old; it is never too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret. ~Adapted line by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Each one of us has an inner room
where we can visit to be cleansed of
fear-based thoughts and feelings.
This room, the holy of holies,
is a sanctuary of light.
~Marianne Williamson

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Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where
we perform the job of taking care of our soul.
~Christopher Forrest McDowell

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The ache for home lives in all of us,
the safe place where we can go
as we are and not to be questioned.
~Maya Angelou

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A sanctuary is your space,
a safe place in a troubling world,
private and strong for healing wounds
an oasis where you can relax
take off your shoes
enjoy being your true self
feel free, think big, think small
take your time and breathe
savor the moment
open up your heart and
laugh, cry, or be crazy if you like…
“Remember the entrance 
to the sanctuary is inside you.”
~Rumi

You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for Your Word to renew me. ~Psalm 119:114 (MSG)  ✝

**Top photo is a view of my garden, my own personal sanctuary; the other lovely ones are via Pinterest