1223. Color is joy. One does not think joy. One is carried by it. ~Ernst Hass

Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud–
We in ourselves rejoice!
And thence flows all that charms our ear or sight,
All melodies, the echoes of that voice
All colors a suffusion from that light.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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From my hate-the-heat perspective the garden being adorned with crown jewels like these in the collage is one of the few saving graces of a Texas summer. If these flowers had voices instead of brilliant colors, I think that even as buds whose colors had not yet been revealed they would start the day off with soft, murmuring melodies. Then as the day’s flames licked up higher and higher and they burst into bloom, their songs would play on but in loud and bold arias so that the bees, the butterflies, and other pollinators would harken to their lusty, changeling voices. And all the while as the harmonies played on, the insect benefactors would suckle on the tasty fare despite the sizzling sultriness. And I, I would remain the envious onlooker because it is only they and not I who are small enough to crawl down into the gloriously-filled caverns of sweet nectars. Then at day’s end in weariness from performing their noisy choruses and from enduring the onslaught of mugginess their songs would give way to those of the white and silver flowery voices that mingle in with the enlarging and marvelous music of the night. As for me, though saddened by their silence and passing, I would have agree with Barbara Kingsolver who said that “in the places that call me out, I know I’ll recover my wordless childhood trust in the largeness of life and its willingness to take me in” again, another day. Another writer once said that in the isolation and silence of winter one can savor belonging to him or herself. And who knows, perhaps summer allows one to do the same but in a different way, especially when that individual is falling short of being thankful for God’s gifts by fussing about the way they are wrapped.

You(God) turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy… ~Psalm 30:11  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yard; not all were taken on the same days

1174. Bring me the the sunflower crazed with the love of light. ~Eugenio Montale

Many flowers open to the sun
but only one follows it constantly.
Heart be thou the sunflower, not only
only open to receive God’s blessing
but constant in looking to Him.
~Jean Paul Richter

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The Legend of the Sunflower

A beautiful princess once sought to find a path to the sun.  She traveled the world over but couldn’t seem to find a path that would take her there.  One day as she was searching, she chanced upon a small straggling flower hidden in the shade of a large tree. The princess, believing in the healing powers of the sun, dug up the small flower and placed it in her garden.

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That night as the princess slept, the sun, sensing the princess’s sadness, showered sunbeams down on the little flower. The next morning as the princess looked upon her struggling flower, tears fell from her eyes and when they touched the flower a magical thing happened. The sunbeams came alive and encircled the head of the flower like flames shooting from the sun. Day after day, the flower reached up for the sun until it towered over the princess. At summer’s end, she gathered all the sunflower’s seeds, and scattered them throughout the land, spreading sunshine.

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In the same way, let your light shine before others, they they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. ~Matthew 5:16  ✝

**Images of sunflower taken by me in my yard; bottom image of seeds in the center of a mature sunflower found on the Internet; collages by Natalie

488. Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul but his life. ~G. K. Chesterton

Feel the wild imprint of surprise.
Free the joy inside the self.
Awaken to the wonder of life.
~Edited excerpts from John O’Donohue blessings

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When children first feel “the wild imprint of surprise,” they easily let go the joy inside themselves, but by the time they enter adolescence most become guarded about their feelings and their expressions of joyfulness. Then as playgrounds and backyard recreations are left far behind when they enter young adulthood, they are, like I was, less and less exposed to the wonders of Creation. However, I discovered when I first retired “that like a forgotten fire, childhood can flare up again.” The flames were sparked when I could at last spend greater amounts of time in my garden and with my creative outlets that I found my inner child was still alive and well.

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Sadly, the middle years of my life took me far from the things I loved in my childhood as well as through some deep valleys of brokenness. Now painful health issues rob me many nights of restful sleep, but I’ve yet to be “broken in two by time.” Though past and present circumstances have and continue trying to steal my “joie de vivre,” the Lord has not left me stranded on detours away from the His plan for my life nor stuck at dead ends. Instead the Shepherd keeps leading His lamb back into His keeping, and that as well as the freeing of my inner child helps to restore my joy. When one of my grandson’s was younger he told me once that he loved the way I often got down on the floor and played right alongside him and his brother. The question is: Was I doing it for them or for myself?

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. ~Isaiah 55:12 ✝

** Images via Pinterest

432. Colors are the smiles of nature. ~Leigh Hunt, British author

Summer is the time when one sheds
one’s tensions with one’s clothes,
and the right kind of day is a jeweled balm
for the battered spirit.
A few of those days and you can become drunk
with the belief that all’s right with the world.
~Ada Louise Huxtable

What color do words like blush, coral, fuchsia, magenta, raspberry, rose, and salmon conjure up? Isn’t it pink, pink that tones down the physical passion of red, replacing it with a gentle, loving energy?


Pink that’s the sweet side of red, pink that’s playfulness and tenderness, pink that’s the color of bubble gum and cotton candy and babies, especially little girls.


Pink that’s charming, pink that soothes the heart and fills it with love, pink that’s feminine and romantic, affectionate and intimate, thoughtful and caring.


Pink that’s compassion and nurturing and unconditional love, pink that’s a sign of hope, pink that represents the sweetness and innocence of the child in all of us.


But pink is not just a color; it embodies a variety of attitudes, all of which are uplifting. There’s the cool and collected pinks, the bold and sassy hotter pinks, the soft and drowsy pinks, and the daring and dramatic deep pinks.


In the spring I think of pink as a somewhat shy presence but as summer’s fiery temperatures rise, pink is anything but timid. In Texas the scorching days of July and August punish the flesh and the spirit relentlessly, but even the smallest touch of pink pours over them like a soothing salve of goodness. The pinks of summer may not entirely keep one from walking “without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer,” but they do keep the flames from licking up so high that they completely snuff out the breath. While locusts screech, pink flowers murmur softer melodies taking some of the edge off their discordant harmonies and human discomfort. I’ve even seen ribbons of pink in a majestic sunset at the end of a day when they seemed to cool down the heat from the intense, fiery glow of the summer sun.

Praise the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. The Lord wraps Himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chamber on their waters. ~Psalm 104:1-2   ✝

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.

324. Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where we perform the job of taking care of our soul. ~Christopher Forrest McDowell


Let us put by some hour of every day
For holy things!  — whether it be when dawn
Peers through the window pane, or when the noon
Flames, like a burnished topaz, in the vault,
Or when the thrush pours in the ear of eve
Its plaintive monody; some little hour
Wherein to hold rapt converse with the soul,
From sordidness and self a sanctuary,
Swept by the winnowing of unseen wings,
And touched by the White Light Ineffable!
~Clinton Scollard

Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. ~Psalm 150:l  ✝

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