1424. The West is color. Its colors are animal rather than vegetable, the colors of earth and sunlight and ripeness. ~Jessamyn Westl

The prairie skies can always make you
see more than what you believe.
~Jackson Burnett

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It was still that day, evocatively still and sacredly quiet. The plain’s grasses shone golden in the sunlight and spread out before us like butter on warm toast in and around the craggy terrain. Mountains, hills, buttes, mesas, and plateaus framed these prairies and stood like paternal sentinels over the hallowed ground they had erupted upon eons ago. And although there was barely a breeze blowing on that chilly autumn day when we travelled through northern New Mexico, one could faintly hear, or maybe just imagine, the earth playing her vast array of harmonies, harmonies wrought of whispering grasses, pounding hooves, lapping waters, laughing children on the run, and the call of wild birds in flight. That particular day, however, there was only a lone hawk soaring above in the cloudless expanse of the day’s sapphire blue sky. Nevertheless it it was enough to inspire images in my mind of sun-bronzed bodies riding bareback on painted ponies, wispy curls of smoke rising from tee pees, herds of grazing buffalo, joyful children at play, beautiful black-haired women going about their daily tasks, and perhaps the faint sound of drums and flutes playing a shamanic kind of melody. Despite wanting to get to our home hundreds of miles away from there, with every advancing mile I lamented that we were drawing closer to the end of this peaceful and prepossessing land, and as we neared its end I began to feel a deep sense of sorrow. There was in me a longing and a sense of envy for those who and that which had known the earth in her beautiful infancy, loved the earth for its providence and splendor, worked the land and revered it as well as its Maker..

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. ~Psalm 37:3 ✝

**Image via Pinterest

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  ✝