1341. Days pass, the years vanish, and we walk sightless among miracles. Lord, fill my eyes with seeing and my mind with knowing. ~Hebrew Sabbath Prayer

I want to gather up each and every ordinary blessing in my arms.
I want to open my eyes, release my clenched palms.
Feel the winds of time against my face.
Allow myself to be touched by all of it.
And understand that it’s all a great, unlikely miracle—
this moment, this life. And embrace it. Embrace it.
~Dani Shapiro

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Every night before I go to sleep
I say out loud
Three things that I’m grateful for,
All the significant, insignificant
Extraordinary, ordinary stuff of my life.
It’s a small practice and humble,
And yet, I find I sleep better
Holding what lightens and softens my life
Ever so briefly at the end of the day.

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Sunlight, and blueberries,
Good dogs and wool socks,
A fine rain,
A good friend,
Fresh basil and wild phlox,
A song that always makes me cry,
Always at the same part,
No matter how many times I hear it.
The frost patterns on the windows,
English horns and banjos,
Wood Thrush and June bugs,
The smooth glassy calm of the morning pond,
An old coat,
A new poem,
And after three things,
More often than not,
I get on a roll and I just keep on going.
I keep naming and listing,
Until I lie grinning,
Blankets pulled up to my chin,
Awash with wonder
At the sweetness of it all.
~Excepted lines from a poem
by Carrie Newcomer

They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles You(Lord) performed among them. ~Excerpt from Nehemiah 9:17 ✝

**Both images via Pinterest

660. A snowy day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder. ~Susan Orlean

The first fall of snow is not only an event,
it is a magical event.
You go to bed in one kind of a world
and wake up in another quite different,
and if this is not enchantment
then where is it to be found?
~J. B. Priestley

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I know snowy manifestations get in the way of “human” comings and goings and doings and that in areas where winter delivers a lot of the fluffy white stuff the populace tires of it, but man oh man is snow one of my favorite things. And for me it is definitely an “enchantment” any time it happens here which is not all that often! But snow in fact it did last week, and as always it was a “magical event” that layered the world in loveliness. Regrettably, I could only watch it from my hospital bed, but oh well, such is life.

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What I love best about snow is that, like God’s grace, it takes the ordinary, the humdrum, the lackluster, even things that are dirty or ugly and moves them into the realm of the extraordinary and the beautiful. We are told in scripture there is a time for everything under heaven, and that there is goodness and purpose in all that God has devised. It also tells us that stopping man from his toils so that he takes time to consider the work of God’s hands is a part of the grand plan too. And so it is that the slower, quieter pace of winter affords us abundant opportunities to consider the amazing works of God’s hands, to honor the Lord for what He is and does, and to enjoy His amazing abilities and gifts. And it’s the best time of year to force man’s gaze off his own self-inflated sense of greatness and to refocus his regard on the enormous magnitude of Him who made it all and who teaches His children ways to cope with whatever comes against them.

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, “Fall on the earth,” and to the rain shower, “Be a mighty downpour.” So that all men he has made may know his work, he stops every man from his labor. ~Job 37:5-7   ✝

296. March is a month of considerable frustration – it is so near spring and yet…the weather still so violent and changeable… ~Thalassa Cruso

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Let there never be forgot,
that once there was a spot,
for one brief, shining moment
that was known as Camelot.
~Lerner and Lowe, 1960

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The line above from the Broadway musical makes a statement that in fact there was a Camelot, and many people, including President John F. Kennedy, seemed to believe that it was a real time and place in history.  Real or not so real, it was the legendary, marvelously magical time and place of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. For me it’s magical moments in time when things ever so extraordinary and good are happening in the awakening landscape.  Then sadly when they get nipped in the bud by a bitter, cold snap, it’s a betrayal of sorts not unlike what brought an end to the glory of Camelot.  Such is what happened night before last to the pretty babies in the photographs.  But I shall not curse late February for telling the traitorous lies that led to their demise; instead I rejoice that they came at all.  Even if only for a few days their “brief, shining moment” in the garden’s “kingdom of Camelot” was stunningly beautiful.

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By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast.  ~Job 37:10  ✝

287. Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us… ~Vincent McNabb

Sit by the edge of the dawn / and the sun will rise for you.
Sit by the edge of the night / and the stars will shine for you.
Sit by the edge of the stream / and the nightingale will sing for you.
Sit by the edge of silence / and God will speak to you.
~from an ancient Hindu text

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“The semi-colon tells you that there is still some question about the preceding full sentence; something needs to be added…It is almost a greater pleasure to come across a semicolon than a period.  The period tells you that that is that; if you didn’t get all the meaning you wanted or expected, you got all the writer intended to parcel our and now you have to move along.  But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy there is more to come; read on; it will get clearer.”  ~Lewis Thomas, American doctor and essayist

I think of nature’s seasons as junctures followed by divinely positioned, albeit invisible, semi-colons because they impart “a pleasant little feeling of expectancy.”  There are always more of them to be had, and it is that expectancy of “more” that keeps me hopeful not only in nature’s seasons but also in the seasons of my life when what I see tries to delude me into thinking things won’t ever change or this is the end.  In the passage above from the old Hindu text the use of “slashes” and “ands” could instead have been replaced with semi-colons because there is something more that comes after each of the suggested occasions to sit and wait.  In the same way, the fact that gardens keep an unfaltering “punctuation of continuance” right in front of me is one of the reasons I’m so drawn to spend time in them.  I need endless expectancy that breeds hopefulness.

And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety.  ~Job 11:18   ✝

**Even the two mauve hellebores in the photo look a bit like a semi-colon if one uses his/her imagination.