1367. March is the month of expectation… ~Emily Dickinson

The March wind roars
Like a lion in the sky,
And makes us shiver
As he passes by.
When winds are soft,
And the days are warm and clear,
Just like a gentle lamb,
Then spring is here.
~Author Unknown

Well, as usual March blew in hard and fast, and its gusty winds did indeed roar and prowl about like the a lion most every day. And before the month came to and end yesterday, tornados blew into our area 4 prior to its demise, which will have more than likely driven off any remaining vestiges of Old Man Winter’s wiles. Though springtime has newly sprung, sadly here it appears summer’s fires are already being stoked. So it seems that spring will be short lived, and we will most surely be in for one long, long, long hot summer. Springtime may not only be very short-lived but this year’s has also not been as stellar as those of the past few years. However, as abbreviated and limited as it may be, I couldn’t let it pass without sharing its glory.

It all started with the redbud tree
which began showing color almost
at the very onset of the month.

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Then the wisteria dangled and
spread its richly scented purple
lusciousness around the yard.

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Not to be out done the tulips tiptoed
around underneath a garden fountain.

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Then the roses commenced setting buds
and some have already opened to release
their prodigious and assorted aromas.

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Next the clematis vines embarked on
their climbs and some have even set their
pointy buds, while a few have actually
opened to display their magical deliciousness.

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Thereupon the gulf penstemmon pushed
up their tall spires and are now ringing
their dainty, purply “tinkling” fairy bells.

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About that time the colorful columbines
proceeded to prance around buffeted by
our north and south, high gusting winds.

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Finally the poppies sent up their nodding buds
that quite soon stood ever so tall and straight,
which is their modus operandi, before popping
open to jitterbug upon the whimsy of the winds.

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Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. ~Song of Songs 2:12  ✝

1038. We are here and now. Further than that, all knowledge is moonshine(foolish talk). ~H.L. Mencken

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What is there beyond knowing that keeps
calling to me? I can’t

turn in any direction
but it’s there. I don’t mean

the leaves’ grip and shine or even the thrush’s
silk song, but the far-off

fires, for example,
of the stars, heaven’s slowly turning

theater of light, or the wind
playful with its breath;

or time that’s always rushing forward,
or standing still

in the same–what shall I say–

What I know
I could put into a pack

as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it on
one shoulder,

important and honorable, but so small!
While everything else continues, unexplained

and unexplainable. How wonderful it is
to follow a thought quietly

to its logical end.
I have done this a few times.

But mostly I just stand in the dark field,
in the middle of the world, breathing

in and out. Life so far doesn’t have any other name
but breath and light, wind and rain.
~Excerpted verses from a poem by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver is my go to poet when life has been too big for too long, and though she, like me, has no concrete answers, I find her ability to make the unexplainable palatable comforting. Her words touch me in ways that are unexplainable as well, but then that makes two of us standing side by side “in the middle of the world, breathing” instead of me having to do it all by myself.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. ~Psalm139:5-7  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest


586. And so the Shortest Day came and the year died and everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world came people singing, dancing, to drive the dark away. ~Susan Cooper

They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling and
partaking of the wassail.
~Adapted excerpt from Susan Cooper

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~by Unknown Author

The word “wassail” is thought to come from the Anglo-Saxon “wel hal” which means “be healthy.” The Anglo-Saxons used the phrase as an everyday greeting. “Waes” is a form of the verb “to be.” “Hal” is the ancestor of the modern English words whole and hale. Thus, “waes hal” literally meant “Be healthy.”

The Vikings who later settled in Northern England used a variant of the same phrase, “Ves heill.” Since the Anglo-Saxons and Norse shared a custom of welcoming guests by presenting them with a horn of ale, a cup of mead, or a goblet of wine, the greeting evolved into a toast.

The phrase eventually evolved into the single word that we know today as “wassail.” The use of “wassailing” to mean “caroling” very likely descended from the custom of singing songs while drinking from the wassail bowl during the Christmas holidays.

Cranberry Wassail
1 gallon ocean spray cranberry juice
5 cups apple juice
2/3 cup sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp allspice (whole)
1 medium sized orange sliced
20 whole cloves

Combine cranberry juice cocktail, apple juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and allspice in a large pot. Heat to boiling over medium heat; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Strain punch to remove spices. Serve warm in a heat proof punch bowl or chill and serve over ice. Garnish with orange slices studded with cloves. Makes 42 4-ounce servings.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and day and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on earth.” And it was so. ~Genesis 1:13-15   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

524. Gardening: the fine art of soul to soil. ~Jan Bills

But each spring. . .a gardening instinct,
sure as the sap rising in the trees,
stirs within us.
We look about and decide to tame
another little bit of ground.
~Lewis Gantt

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Life! Life has materialized again! On a cool, misty morn of late October, little green slivers of life have emerged into visible existence, life anew made manifest from tiny black seeds scratched into barren soil and sprinkled with water, the very elixir of life itself! And it has come where two losses occurred unexpectedly in my yard last June. When it happened, “the gardening instinct” Gantt mentions kicked in immediately even though it was long after the last rising of sap and well before the next. Sadly, at that time however, the fires of summer were already growing intense, and it was too hot to start “taming” bits of ground. But when temperatures at last lowered in late September, my son-in-law tilled and tamed the new bits of ground for me. It may seem odd to sow this late in the year, but given the mild winters and early to warm up springtimes of north central Texas, the seeds of poppies, larkspur, bluebonnets, bee balm, and sweet peas must be sown in the fall so that the roots of the seedlings have enough time to grow strong and hardy. Such indeed is “the stuff of which dreams are made” for those of us who need flowers for the soul to thrive, who seek revelation of God in a garden, who live close to and find intrigue in the soil from which we came, and who dig the ground seeking His presence in earth’s depths.

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Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. ~James 5:7  ✝

**Images via Pinterest