1359. Human beings need pleasure, as in to be thrilled, the way they need vitamins. ~Edited line by Lionel Tiger

thrilled

1. a. A sudden feeling of pleasure or excitement
    b. A source or cause of pleasure or excitement
2. a. A quivering caused by sudden excitement or emotion
    b. A trembling caused by pleasurable excitement or emotion

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O, money can’t buy the delights of the garden,
Nor Poetry sing all its charms:
There’s a solace and calm ne’er described by the pen
When we’re folded within Nature’s arms!
~Edited and adapted poem
by James Rigg

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Surely you’ve been thrilled by something that truly speaks to you, and when it does, your heart bursts with an adrenaline rush? I hope so! For me, is has happened time and time again in my garden during every season. And there is something about all of them that thrills and excites me through and through. But in spring the excitement ratchets up even more so especially when finding those first little green shoots pushing up through the soil or better yet that first bloom that makes me tremble with delight all the way down to my very core. As it sends pure elation racing through my veins, that spicy taste of something thrilling ushers along a sweet taste of hope. For in witnessing another round of earth’s sweet beginning in God’s Eden, I experience the richness of nature’s holy, ancient, and forever faithful design. In knowing that I am so filled with gladness that tears well up in gratitude for the privilege of being alive as well as for being granted time to lead a quiet life and work the soil with my hands in my tiny piece of Eden. Above and below are the first fruits of my labor this year; I planted these tulips last December, and their exquisiteness is taking by breath away day by day by day!

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To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter…to be elated by the stars at night; to be thrilled by a bird’s nest or a flower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~Edited and adapted quote by John Burroughs

In trying to please God, we are asked in Scripture to: Make it our goal to live a quiet life, minding our own business and working with our hands… ~1 Thessalonians 4:11  ✝

1338. The joyful heart sees and reads the world with a sense of freedom and graciousness. John O’Donohue

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

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As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

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Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

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As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

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As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

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As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

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May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god. ~John O’Donohue

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Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. ~Psalm 100:2  ✝

**All photos found on Pinterest;
special effects on the last two were done by me on iPiccy

1317. When I am among the trees, they give off such hints of gladness. ~Excerpted and combined lines from a poem by Mary Oliver

Autumn is the American season.The leaves
take fire on the trees and hang there flaming.
~Excerpted and combined lines
by Archibald MacLeish

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MacLeish is right; the leaves hang in varying shades of flaming red and orange and yellow. And I’m happy to report that it seems the weather guys were a tad overly zealous about the forecast last night. Although it did freeze, the temperature did not fall far enough below freezing to vanquish autumn’s glory after all. Now tonight may be a different story. But we’ll see. My grandfather used to say that anyone who tried to predict the weather in Texas was either a fool or a jackass because ya just never know for sure what the weather’s gonna do in the Lone Star State. However since NOAA is predicting temps in the low 20’s tonight and just in case they’re right this time, I went out today and took one last photographic look at autumn’s splendor, not only that which aflame hangs but also that which ultimately falls to the ground.

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Four hundred year old trees,
who draw aliveness from the earth
like smoke from the heart of God,
we come, not knowing you
will hush our little want to be big;

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we come, not knowing
that all the work is so much
busyness of mind; all
the worry, so much
busyness of heart.

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As the sun warms anything near,
being warms everything still
and the great still things
that outlast us

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make us crack l
ike leaves of laurel
releasing a fragrance
that has always been.
~Mark Nepo, In Muir Woods

Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord… ~Excerpt from 1 Chronicles 16:33  ✝

**In the photos are leaves from an assortment of local trees including my Japanese Maple as well as fallen leaves both conglomerates of such and individual ones on my front sidewalk. My favorite was the carpet of yellow Gingko Biloba in the yard of a house my daughter used to own.

1312. Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven. ~Rabindranath Tagore

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt,
finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
sermons in stones, and good in everything.
~William Shakespeare

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When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
~Mary Oliver

The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. ~Excerpt from Genesis 2:9  ✝

1164. Drip, drip, drip in cadenced rhythm fall the rain’s dotted silver threads from heaven above. ~Natalie Scarberry

I looked out the window at the falling rain
and gave myself over to the compelling urge to put
myself entirely in the keeping of this rainy day.
~Edited lines from a poem
by Raymond Carver

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Drip, drip, dripping from on high it falls
Not in torrents this time, but in a tender grayness.
Fall, fall, falling through space it comes
Traveling from who knows where and what source
Yet it brings familiar scents and thoughts of yore.
Would I, could I, unravel such things!

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Puddles, puddles, puddling everywhere
Making pools of water like bits of glassy mirrors.
Hang, hang, hanging are leaves and flowery faces
Weighed down by the heaviness of daylong showers
Born of lowering gray clouds leaden with water
Yet there is loveliness in their blurry, drooping poses.
Would I, could I, paint such things.

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Memories, memories, making their way through the rain
With smacks of this fragrance and that, places and people,
Joys and pain, good things and bad things all tied up
In “raindrops on roses” and more of my favorite things
That sparkle and forever accompany rainy days and quiet ways.
Yet there’s gladness in it all for it’s the sum and magic of a life.
Would I, could I, understand such things.
~Natalie Scarberry

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Last night the rain spoke to me
slowly, saying, what joy to come falling
out of the brisk cloud, to be happy again
in a new way on the earth!
~Excerpt from a poem
by Mary Oliver

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“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” ~Job 11:7  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yard today while holding an umbrella in one hand and trying to manage the camera with the other one.

1089. The quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven  upon the place beneath. ~William Shakespeare

The great and amorous sky curved over the earth,
and lay upon her as a pure lover.
The rain, the humid flux descending from heaven
for both man and animal, for both thick and strong,
germinated the wheat, swelled the furrows
with fecund mud and brought forth the buds in the orchards.
~Aeschylus, The Danaides, c 500 B.C.

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Rain! Each drop is a small, but powerful, miracle descending from above, and when it falls, it comes down on a mission of salvation through time, space, and distance. When it first hits the ground after a prolonged dry spell like the one we’d been having, the sound of it fills my ears with joyful delight. As I listen to the falling rain it seems to create a kind of music which is not unlike the dulcet chords a beloved’s voice gives rise to. What’s more its haunting melodies often spark the remembrance of a vague “water” memory, perhaps a nebulous recollection of my wet beginning that lingers somewhere in memory’s oldest and deepest recesses. So it is that for as long as I can remember I’ve been drawn to rain’s mystique, and it never fails to put a smile on my face and thanksgiving in my heart. It has been said that nature, like man, sometimes weeps for gladness, and when the smell of wet soil and damp grass greet my nose, I have also been known to “weep for gladness.” Not only that but on the heels of the smiling, gratitude, and weeping, I’m oftimes overcome with the irresistible urge I felt in childhood to jump and dance with wanton joy in the sloshy puddles beneath my feet.

He(God) draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams. Job 36: 27  ✝

**These are rain dotted flowers already blooming in my gardens.

1051. The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart in nature. To nurture a garden is to feed the soul. ~Edited quote by Alfred Austin

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.
My garden of flowers is also my garden of
thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely
as the flowers and the dreams are as beautiful.
~Abram L. Urban

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Once upon a time there was a tiny seed, a sacred and anointed seed, deposited deep down in a woman’s soul, though she wasn’t aware of its presence. The Creator of the seed had sowed it there long ago, but it wasn’t until she’d become despairingly broken and cynical about life that He set off a spark to split the seed’s casing. Thus an unexpected and silent impetus began within in her dark world where hope for happily ever after or even anything better had all but been extinguished. Her first awareness of the changing tide was vocalized one spring by the melodies coming from a songbird. It had been an especially painful night when she found herself lying there at dawn listening to the bird’s sweet song and feeling a vestige of joy beginning to whisper in her heart. Wanting to know what kind of bird, where it was, and why it was so cheerful, she arose before long and went outside. She found the winged minstrel perched in her neighbor’s tree, a dogwood that was filled with hundreds and hundreds of stunning pink blossoms. Thrilled by the sight of it her brain was flooded with memories of flowery images from her now distant childhood. And in that magical moment, though she’d always thought herself to be lacking a “green thumb,” she knew, knew that somehow she had to create that kind of natural beauty in her world again. Wanting to start prudently at first, however, she bought only a few pots, filled them with soil, pushed them together on a corner of her patio, and then sowed in them an assortment of inexpensive seeds. Soon afterwards came a most wondrous day, one in which she saw “that first, minuscule, curled, pale green wisp of a sprout poking up.” In an instant her heart felt unsurpassed gladness and her ears heard God’s voice speaking, for the seed in her had germinated as well. So it was that the credence of fairytales, in part, was restored, a devout gardener was birthed, and a faith journey was restarted.

For we are glad whenever we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. ~2 Corinthians 13:9  ✝