1276. I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it, … I will go to the bank by the wood… ~Walt Whitman

I feel the need to “coddiwomple!”
To be out where autumn’s breath fills my lungs,
where the presence of the Lord is afoot,
where the miracles of nature abound,
where wonder and awe feed my soul,
where I find rhythmic harmony and peace,
where I see visible signs of God’s goodness,
where the simple pleasures of life bring me joy,
where the child I once was rises to the top,
where she laughs and my heart sings
be it in woods, fields, or gardens,
where I feel alive and well!
Indeed it is time to
coddiwomple
again!

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To wonder, to know,
To explore, always asking:
What am I?
Who am I?
What will become of me?
Of my knowledge?

Am I squandered on the world?
Cheapening existence through vanity?
How long before I am fit to say, I know this!
Rather than, I think this.

That in itself questions self,
Whether our thought and mind is
Our own knowledge and assurance.
At what point in time do we stop marching?

Pencil upon paper, sight upon colour and light.
A fixation upon what we comprehend
And that, which is incomprehensible.
Are we gambling with the gifts we are given?

Are they gifts?
The ability to question choice, life, the air we breathe;
The sun, the moon, clouds, stars, the earth, wind, rain, height.
Random, our teachers abandon us,
Fending for all we are on our own
‘Tis a lonely path humans follow, trying to fill the void
~Edited excerpt of a poem,
To Wonder, by Lily

“Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord’s approval.” ~Excerpt from Judges 18:6  ✝

**Text above images by Natalie. Images found on  Pinterest; collage by Natalie; backgrounds and special effects via iPiccy

1247. September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours… ~Rowland E. Robinson

Suffering invites us to place our hurts in larger hands.
In Christ we see God suffering – for us.
And calling us to share in God’s
suffering love for a hurting world.
The small and even overpowering pains
of our lives are intimately connected
with the greater pains of Christ.
Our daily sorrows are anchored in a
greater sorrow and therefore a larger hope.
~Henri J.M. Nouwen

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As I grapple with summer’s still sweltering heat, I have to remind myself that humanity has observed adverse aberrations of nature millennium after millennium and that out of the chaos order eventually returns.  Author, Peter Saint-Andre, says  nature “can inspire, enlighten, send shivers up the spine, delight, anger, frighten; it can make one think, feel, shake one’s head in astonishment, cry, laugh out loud; it can evoke feelings of triumph, melancholy, light-heartedness, serenity, excitement, boredom, rightness, anxiety, joy, sorrow.”  And I agree with him on all counts but until some level of coolness settles, it is challenging for me to experience much excitement and serenity.  Only now when, in the midst of the feverish misery, the wild purple eryngo blooms does the melancholy begin to lift a little.

Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. ~Lamentations 3:32  ✝

**Image taken by me along a country road in our area. These amethystine beauties can be found blooming  this time of year in fields ravaged by summer’s heat.

1215. We are all farmers tending a little part of the Lord’s vineyard. ~Sheri L. Dew

One of life’s gifts is that each of us,
no matter how tired and downtrodden,
finds reasons for thankfulness:
for the crops carried in from the fields
and the grapes from the vineyard.
~J. Robert Moskin

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So James and I are driving along headed for lunch one day last week, and I just happened to glance down a cross street in time to see a house with a large side yard that has established its own tiny vineyard. Fascinated by the prospect, I asked James to turn around and go back so I could get a better look and take some photos. There on 4 rows with 7 vines on each of the rows, whoever owns the house has created what appears to be, at least for the moment, a healthy and prospering vineyard. Sadly however there are no roses at the end of the rows. Why roses? “In wine regions around the world, roses are frequently planted at the perimeter of vineyards. Roses typically require the same type of soil and sun requirements as grapevines and traditionally, rose hedges were planted as an early warning system to protect the health of the grapevines. Early detection of disease or stress on the roses alerted winemakers to take the necessary precautions to protect vines from damage. Roses also add beauty to the vineyard landscape, provide food for bees and offer habitat for beneficial insects preying on undesirable insects that can damage the grape crop.” Unfortunately this is not being done much any more as toxic pesticides are being used instead to control what would harm the vines, and I fear that this is what may be the plan here. But we shall see for I plan to make regular visits to this little suburban vineyard and will be praying that the owners are earth-friendly gardeners.

Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? ~Excerpted line from Deuteronomy 20:6  ✝

**I already knew about roses and why they were planted at the end of vineyard rows, but I opted instead to use this snippet from an article I found on the internet to explain it. Also as you can see, the leaves on the grape vines, as are leaves on most things in Texas, are a bit wilted at midday this time of year due to the intense heat .

1009. Who, what, where, when, and why?

Every single word you read
Has a lot going on, you see?
So read this age-old story,
As it is a blessed advisory.

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The first Noel the angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds as they lay
In fields where they lay a keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

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They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far:
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.

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And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from the country far;
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.

“Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” ~Excerpt from Matthew 2:8  ✝

**All images via Pinterest

1000. Poetry is when emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. ~Robert Frost

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Everything

I want to make poems that say right out, plainly,
what I mean, that don’t go looking for the
laces of elaboration, puffed sleeves. I want to
keep close and use often words like
heavy, heart, joy, soon, and to cherish
the question mark and her bold sister
the dash. I want to write with quiet hands. I
want to write while crossing the fields that are
fresh with daisies and everlasting and the
ordinary grass. I want to make poems while thinking of
the bread of heaven and the
cup of astonishment; let them be
songs in which nothing is neglected,
not a hope, not a promise. I want to make poems
that look into the earth and the heavens
and see the unseeable. I want them to honor
both the heart of faith, and the light of the world;
the gladness that says, without any words, everything.
~Mary Oliver

He (Jesus) will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of His birth. ~Luke 1:14  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

996. Hold me, Lord, in the light of Your Being…

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Then, Breath of heaven, come dance
with me as autumn comes to an end

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And turn me round and round
on the earth, the beautiful hem of heaven

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So you can sing in my ear
the hymns of the spheres

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To fill me with heavenly peace
beneath the moon and stars

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Oh dance with me Yahweh
o’er fields of mercy and grace

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Waltz with me Emmanuel
as the angels and I sing, “Hallelujah”in praise of You

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Let them praise His(God’s) name with dancing… ~Excerpt from Psalm 149:3   ✝

**Images via Pinterest

842. A butterfly lowers and rises with the wind’s gusty breath, as if coupled within a dance of loving tenderness. ~Author Unknown

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Dance on my beautiful, winged friends
to “la sublime danse de la vie!”


Thou songless wanderer mid the songful birds,

With Nature’s secrets in thy tints unrolled

Through gorgeous cipher, past the reach of words…

~Excerpted italicized lines from a poem by
Thomas Wentworth Higginson

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In a small grassy field
With the trees all around
There’s a fairy ring ancient and old
And at times you can hear
Perfect echoes of sound–
‘Tis the music of ages untold

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For the crickets keep time
To a waltz or a reel
And the birds fill that lovely expanse
With the notes to a tune
With a light, airy feel–
In the field where the butterflies dance

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Where the wildflowers bloom
With a sweet perfume
In a rainbow of colours and shades
Where the maids hurry down
From the hill-top town
And the butterflies dance with the maids

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On a winged pirouette
Or a six legged slip
How they dance, and they wheel and they turn!
And their wings flash in time
To a bright Scottish trip
While the lassies turn ’round by the burn

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Where they splash in the stream
Or they lie and dream
Where the bullfrogs thrum
While the butterflies wing
And the hummingbirds hum
While the merry maids sing
In the field where the butterflies dance
~Excerpted verses from a poem
by Isaiah Zerbst

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…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance… ~Ecclesiastes 3:4  ✝

**All images via Pinterest

742. As for marigolds, poppies, hollyhocks, and valorous sunflowers, we shall never have a garden without them… ~Henry Ward Beecher

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That we find a crystal or a poppy beautiful
means that we are less alone, that we are
more deeply inserted into existence
than the course of a single life
would lead us to believe.
~John Berger, English Painter

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POPPIES
by Mary Oliver
The poppies send up their
orange flares; swaying
in the wind, their congregations
are a levitation

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of bright dust, of thin
and lacy leaves.
There isn’t a place
in this world that doesn’t

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sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,
but now, for a while,
the roughage

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shines like a miracle
as it floats above everything
with its yellow hair.
Of course nothing stops the cold,

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black, curved blade
from hooking forward—
of course
loss is the great lesson.

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But I also say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

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when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
Inside the bright fields,

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touched by their rough and spongy gold,
I am washed and washed
in the river
of earthly delight—

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and what are you going to do—
what can you do
about it—
deep, blue night?

~ from New and Selected Poems, Vol. I (Beacon Press, 1993)

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Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4   ✝

**These are all poppies grown in my yard from seed I sowed last fall, and as Beecher said, I shall never have a garden without them because they wash me in a river of earthly delight as Oliver puts it.

724. Earth, thou great footstool of our God, who reigns on high; thou fruitful source of all our raiment, life, and food; our house, our parent, and our nurse. ~Isaac Watts

So will I build my altar in the fields,
And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be,
And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields
Shall be the incense I will yield to thee.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners
or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—
Did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?
This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.
This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.
This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil
of this sacred earth.
So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are
but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world is made,
and the stars that blaze in our bones,
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge we bear.
~Jan Richardson

“Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; and let the fish of the sea declare to you. “Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this… ~Job 12:7-9    ✝

*Image via Pinterest

683. Whatever we are waiting for – springtime, peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart. ~Edited line by Sarah Ban Breathnach

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields
has power to move you, if the simple things
of nature have a message that you understand,
rejoice, for your soul is alive.
~Eleonora Duse

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Spring is teeming. Even in areas where snow still covers the ground, much is happening in the hidden realms at this time of year; tight buds get looser, nutrients begin to nourish roots in the sunny corners of the earth, and the hibernating creatures among us start to awaken. ~Excerpted and edited lines from Gratefulness.org

Out of His (Jesus Christ’s) fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. ~John 1:16   ✝

**Image of Pink Ranunculus via Pinterest