1042. Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents
And as silently steal away.
~Edited lines by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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In January, as winter begins to deepen, the rhythms that “wash away from the soul the dust of everyday life” grow faint, as if whispered. However, when nature’s earthly notes are muffled by icy gales, heavy frosts, or falling snow, the “echo of the spheres” overheard remains audible. And on the less chilly days, the ones between cold fronts, bits and pieces of tender, albeit potent, harmonies often continue to rise. Today, for example, I spotted the tiny tips of hyacinth bulbs breaking the cold, hard ground, and as if escaping through the tiny fissures the bulbs had created, Eden’s heartbeat jumped up another fraction of a decibel. Even on the really, really forbiddingly cold days, within the sounds of silence, there are pauses, ripe and pregnant, that are as eloquent as notes and lyrics. For it is in those rests and pauses that can be heard dulcet sounds, soothing honeyed ones which are recognized not by the ears, but by the soul. And although it has been said that trees and flowers grow in utter silence while the sun, the moon, and the stars above our heads do the same, I’m not sure that’s true. I contend that on any  given day of the year if one listens with a hunger in the heart and a thirst in the soul, the footfalls of God can yet be ascertained upon the sacred soil of Creation and His voice which spoke everything into being can still be heard echoing amid the orbs of the firmament. That’s why if one stills him or herself and earnestly seeks Yahweh’s face, it can be made out even winter’s inhospitable bleakness. And after it’s glimpsed, one’s ears can also discern the sweet, sweet sounds of the Father’s loving utterances as He calls out to His beloved children.

The music is not in the notes,
but in the silence in between.
~Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day… ~Excerpt from Genesis 3:8 ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

909. Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty, I’m free at last. ~Adapted quoted by Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halleeelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halleeelujah
~From Handel’s Messiah
by Georg Friedrich Händel

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To one who has long been in the throes of confining heat,
‘tis very sweet to look into the fair and open face of heaven–
to breathe a prayer full in the smile of the blue firmament.
~Adapted excerpt by John Keats

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Okay, so I realize I’m probably committing some heinous sacrilege with these revered excerpts as they relate to my topic, but there is just no better or more accurate way to describe how I feel about what was outside my door this morning. I’d long waited and waited for it, I’d long prayed and prayed for it, and I’d long shed tears over its delay. But now at long last today it has arrived. So when I opened the door and felt that first autumn chill in the air, there was simply nothing else I could do but joyfully and thankfully throw my arms up and break into a hallelujah chorus. And it didn’t matter whether it was my own “couldn’t-carry-a-tune-in-a-bucket” rendition, a squirrel’s rendition, or an opera star’s rendition! But my shamefulness didn’t just end there. It got worse! For on the heels of the hallelujah chorus I then emitted a most diabolic and wrongfully wicked laugh at the thought of the “Heat Monster’s” impending and hopefully terrible demise! Yes, folks I am apparently a complete degenerate, but I could not help myself then nor now. So praise the Lord and hallelujah that autumn is finally throwing off her meekness and moving full throttle into this wretched place. I feel like an incarcerated prisoner who has been set free and instead of having the breath sucked out of me by suffocating and prolonged mugginess, thank you, God that I can once again “breathe a prayer full in the smile of the blue” and cool “firmament!”

Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from anguish. ~Psalm 25:17  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

827. The moon is at her full and riding high… ~William C. Bryant

As ancients saw, so do I
A throbbing light, a painted globe
Upon a pinpricked sparkled sky.
Suspended in the nothingness of black
Always there, poetic universal rhyme
Dangling upon an invisible track of time.
~justme

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The Moon was but a Chin of Gold
A Night or two ago—
And now she turns Her perfect Face
Upon the World below—
Her Forehead is of Amplest Blonde—
Her Cheek—a Beryl hewn—
Her Eye unto the Summer Dew
The likest I have known—
Her Bonnet is the Firmament—
The Universe—Her Shoe—
The Stars—the Trinkets at Her Belt—
Her Dimities—of Blue—
~Excerpted verses from a poem
by Emily Dickinson

The Eiffel Tower in the photo is blue, and there’s a “blue moon” in the sky tonight – but that doesn’t mean the lunar surface will turn indigo. Tonight’s (July 31) moon will be a gorgeous sight, but it won’t look different than any other full moon. The term Blue Moon has come to refer to the second full moon in a given month (since full moons come around about every 29 days, most months only contain one). So set your sights skyward tonight, but don’t expect a change in the moon’s regular hue.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? ~Psalm 8:3-4  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

475. To one who has been long in city pent, ‘tis sweet to look into the fair and open face of heaven-to breathe a prayer full in the smile of the blue firmament. ~John Keats

Nature is man’s teacher.
She unfolds her treasures to his search
unseals his eye, illumes his mind, purifies his heart;
an influence breathes from all the sights
and sounds of existence.
~Alfred Billings Street

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It is not so much being “city pent” that keeps me from looking long into the “fair and open face” of the heavens in summer. It’s from being “house pent.” However, to keep my heat-driven incarceration inside my air-conditioned home from totally stifling my spiritual breathing, I hungrily emerge out of doors for a while very early and/or very late in the day. Outside and under the heavens I am able at last to breathe long and deep in prayer. According to Howard Pyle, “The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived.” In my childhood nature and her sweet stories left a profound impression in my memory. Because as Pyle suggests that impression was not thrown on “the rubbish heap” and because late in life I reentered nature’s haunts by means of a garden, I was brought back to a reverent and devoted relationship with the Maker of my soul and Creation.

Last night when I was out, I noticed that a pure white Angel’s Trumpet had opened, and it was still there briefly this morning. The brilliance of its whiteness reminded me of the temporal dominion of any kind of darkness and the inevitable return of light. Then when I came inside, I read an email from a friend in which he quoted “Peace is seeing the sunrise and sunset and knowing who to thank.” Though neither he nor I knew whom to credit for the thought, we always know who to thank for everything. So thank you, Lord, for sunrises and sunsets as well as endings and beginnings. For you see the Angel in the Trumpet intimated that the heat beast is on its last legs.

The earth is filled with Your love, Lord; teach me Your decrees. ~Psalm 119:64   ✝

Lord God, Your breath is within me, and I will honor and praise you with every breath that I breathe.

69. Only from the heart can you touch the sky. ~Rumi

It is a glorious privilege
to live, to know, to act, to listen, to behold, to love.
To look up at the blue summer sky;
to see the sun sink slowly beyond the line of the horizon;
to watch the worlds come twinkling into view,
first one by one, and the myriads that no man can count,
and lo! the universe is white with them;
and you and I are here.
~Marco Morrow

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It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them.  ~Proverbs 25:2   ✝