1222. We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves. ~Leonora Carrington

From within and from behind, a
light shines through us upon things,
and makes us aware that we
are nothing, the but light is all.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I was up early this morning and so went wandering around the yard looking for something picture worthy. As I took these photos, I decided that they were more spectacular because of the play of early morning light on them. I saw only a portion of the flower as I rounded the corner, and even so the light shining through the leaves and the small portion of this flower’s filaments was both magical and mystical. And I’m always struck by how much holiness I sense in the light, even small pieces of it. It’s like God’s radiance falls on things in the garden as well as the sunlight. When it was all said and done, I couldn’t decided which was more stunning, the fragment of the flower or in the whole thing.

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Later in the day during a Bible Study I found myself surrounded by people who like these leaves and flowers were filled with notable and holy spiritual light. In the course of our discussion we talked about the fact that we are all made in the image of God. And so it occurred to me that whenever we look in a mirror we are actually seeing the face of God, coming face to face, as it were, with the very one who breathed life into us. And when you think of it that way, you realize that we are never separated from the Lord, no matter where life takes us or what we do or don’t do. He is always there behind the face, behind the light. Notice in the lines below how the First Nation’s people also connected life with light and breath.

What is life? It is the flash
of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo
in the wintertime. It is
the little shadow which runs
across the grass and loses
itself in the sunset.

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. ~Matthew 6:22  ✝

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.

424. Holy Spirit–You’re the Live in being alive, the Be in every creature’s being, the Breathe in every breath on earth. ~St. Hildegard von Bingen

We praise You for these gifts,
Sound of joy,
Wonder of being alive,
Hope of every person,
and our strongest Good.
~St. Hildegard von Bingen


color of robe given Christ
in passion’s demand
~Natalie Scarberry

The flower in my photograph is a passion flower (passiflora incarnata.) Besides being breathtakingly beautiful there was a time long ago when Catholic missionaries connected certain aspects of the passion flower with Christian beliefs. To them the ten petals of the flower represented the ten apostles in Christianity excluding St. Peter and Judas. The vines of the plant symbolized the whips that were used during the flagellation of Christ. One of the major characteristics is the hundreds of filaments on the flower that symbolized the Crown of Thorns. The five anthers were associated with the five sacred wounds of Christ. The flower contains three stigmas that reflected the three nails that were used for Christ’s hands and feet during his Crucifixion. There is a floral component that resembles a chalice-like ovary that has been supposed to symbolize the Holy Grail. The religious symbolism and associations that had been brought to attention once gave the missionaries faith and comfort for their efforts in spreading Christianity to the indigenous cultures of South America. The Jesuit Missionaries transported color drawings and dried versions of the plant back to their country where a Spanish herbalist named Nicolas Monardes was the first to document the plant and write about the qualities of the flower, indicating that it was a powerful plant and that it carried a symbolic relationship with Christianity.

The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe. ~John 19:2   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.


323. Nature inanimate employs sweet sounds, but animated nature sweeter still, to soothe and satisfy the human ear. ~William Cowper

There’s music in the sighing of a reed;
There’s music in the gushing of a rill;
There’s music in all things, if men had ears;
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.
~Lord Byron


The wings of spring have taken flight in the feisty winds of March. In so doing they have lifted Columbine’s curving, knob-tipped spurs on fanciful flights. Spilling down from deep in the throats of the yellow, flowering “bells” are stunning filaments and anthers which are like tiny, musical tongues issuing forth sweet, golden proclamations. Winter, as inanimate as it seems, has a lyrical sound, but the sounds of spring as the earth reanimates itself are far richer and more honeyed. They along with the other silvery sounds of spring are soft-hearted and serene in the beginning; however, as spring grows long in the tooth and summer approaches, the arias reach almost deafening crescendos. Then after the solstice passes, summer moves along to a steady, hot latino beat until autumn comes again and tones down earth’s rhythms with ripe, mellower tones. We, mortals, may never understand the what and where of earth’s magic and music, but that certainly can’t stop us from enjoying it nor from adoring the mysteries of the music’s Maker.  Lest one believe that it is only poets, writers, and musicians who hear the music of the natural world, let me say that it was Giuseppe Mazzini, an influential Italian political thinker, who said, “Music is the harmonious voice of Creation, and echo of the invisible world.”  I believe the love of music comes from the Lord because He gave birds their songs, and also those who love and compose music are created in God’s image.


Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent. ~Victor Hugo

Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to Him on the ten-stringed lyre. Psalm 33:2 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us!

19. Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius. ~Pietro Aretino

We need a renaissance of wonder.
We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls,
the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense
that life is miracle and magic.
~E. Merrill Root


Since it is year’s end, we have entered the season of somber gardens, short days, low temperatures, and more-gray-than-blue skies.  The reckless abandon of the growing seasons has yielded to deepening winter’s, unadventurous restraint.  But, while looking out a window brings into view only the barrenness of winter, an actual venture out into its domain can expose wondrous sights like the seed pod in the photograph.  What a treat to see wondrous silken filaments that look like angel hair releasing seeds that are proof of a continuously running thread in Creation’s tapestry.  Such finds are tangible fragments of God’s imagination buried deep in the mystery of nature, and the aura of holiness that surrounds them often leaves onlookers amazed and awestruck.  These miraculous strands are the same kind of threads that govern the ceaseless ebbing and flowing of oceanic waves, the waxing and waning of the moon, the rising and setting of the sun, the birth and death of life forms, and the endless repetition of the seasons.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and all science.
He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder
and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
~Albert Einstein

Rediscovering awe helps us appreciate the vast wonders of what the Creator’s mind imagined, what His words spoke, and what His hands created.  It bring us closer to God and restores our childlike joy and zeal for life.  The unfathomable mysteries of life are sacred benedictions; their blessings encourage us to stay in the Lord’s keeping and continue searching for His intent for our lives.

Who among the gods is like you, LORD?  Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?  ~Exodus 15:11   ✝

**”if an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi.” “Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”  The photo of the seed pod is a excellent example of Wabi Sabi.