863. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad. ~Lyrics written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein

 Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.

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Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

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Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

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He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. ~Job 8:21  ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage by Natalie

308. All was silent as before – all silent save the dripping rain. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

One by one great drops are falling
Doubtful and slow,
Down the pane they are crookedly crawling,
And the wind breathes low…
~Excerpt from a poem by James Russell Lowell

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Rain!  Deliciously glorious rain finally came for the first time in many months from the grayness of a late winter’s day, and the drought-ridden soil soaked it up like a sponge.  Thankfully this rain was not the child of violent clashes of hot and cold air which can, this time of year, spawn rushing winds or tornados charged with electricity and loud claps of thunder.  Instead it tapped softly on rooftops and windows beating out long-awaited, haunting harmonies accompanied only by occasional rolls of muffled thunder and flashes of distant lightning.  After the parched ground had drunk in enough, puddles began to form, and from them rain’s captivating smell rose to bless my nose.  Scientists may say the scent in rain is petrichor, which is an oil produced by plants, absorbed by rocks and soil, and then later released into the air during rainfall, but I personally think it’s the alluring scent of the Holy One, Yahweh Himself.

Oh, how I’ve missed the rain!  I adore it; I always have!  And now that I live in a place where rain can be absent for long periods of time, my spirit experiences an aching hunger when it’s gone.  So I envy those who live in areas where it rains regularly.  There’s just something very comforting and inviting about the sound of rain, the sight of it, the feel of it, and the unmistakable fragrance of it.  It  has a way of reassuring me that “God’s in His heaven and all’s right with the world,” and if rainy days bless my soul in such a way, I can’t help but believe the earth feels the same sweet joy.

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In time of silver rain
The earth puts forth new life again,
Green grasses grow
And flowers lift their heads,
And over all the plain
The wonder spreads

Of Life,
Of Life,
Of Life!

In time of silver rain
The butterflies lift silken wings
To catch a rainbow cry,
And trees put forth new leaves to sing
In joy beneath the sky
As down the roadway
Passing boys and girls
Go singing, too,

In time of silver rain
When spring
And life
Are new.
~Poem by Langston Hughes

As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I(God) desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  ~Isaiah 55:9-11   ✝

276. There is no greater sorrow in the world, than eyes unseeing, color everywhere, or ears unhearing, softly wafted notes from nature’s great cathedral of the air. ~Mabel G. Austin

What is pink? a rose is pink
By a fountain’s brink.
What is red? a poppy’s red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thro’.
~Christina Rossetti

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Well, it’s another gloomy winter’s day hereabouts, but I’m a singin’ away, a singin’ in the rain as a matter of fact.  “I’m laughing at the clouds so dark up above, what a glorious feelin’ I’m happy again…”  Okay, so it isn’t much rain, but it has rained a bit nevertheless.  And what am I a singing?  I’m a singin’ the blues.  No, no, no, not the sad blues–the happy blues because some of my little, blue grape hyacinths are blooming in the greenhouse, and they like “girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes” are “a few of my favorites things.”  I love the color blue and I love some of the expressions using the color blue, expressions like:  true blue, out of the blue, bluer than blue, blue on blue, once in a blue moon, something borrowed, something blue, and on and on it goes.  I also love some of the ways people describe what the color blue means to them.  For example I’ve heard things like: blue is the wonder in my mind; blue is the sound a sunny day makes; blue is the smell of blueberries ripening in the sun; blue is the wind over water; blue is the color of the never-ending sky; blue is the place where song birds fly; blue is a world of sweet mellow joy; blue is the sky that God holds close to His presence; blue was meant for us to see and believe.

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Blue is the color of God’s Glory according to some rabbinic sages, and it is a constant in our lives.  Not only is it the color of the clear sky and the deep sea, but it’s the color of our planet, Mother Earth, our precious blue pearl in the heavens.  God does indeed hold the sky close to His presence, and we were meant to see evidence of Him, our Creator, in its orbs and in “my blue, blue, blue heaven.”

Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout the generations to put a blue cord on the fringe at each corner.  ~Numbers 15:38  ✝