1070. Dance is the hidden language of the soul. ~Martha Graham

May I stand amazed in the Presence of God;
May I stand in the midst of celestial fire
until my heart is molten gold…
May I walk everywhere on earth radiant, complete…
~Normandi Ellis

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I am the Lord of the Dance said he!
I danced in the days when the world began.
I live in you, and you live in me.
So dance on, then, wherever you may be
For I am still Lord of the dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be!

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I sleep in the kernel and I dance in the rain;
I dance in the wind and through the waving grain.
I dance in the constancy of waves in the sea,
For I am still the Lord of the waves’ mystery.
I dance at the Sabbath when it’s time to rest
For to live is to dance, and the dance goes on and on.

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The moon in her phases, the tides of the sea,
The movement of the earth, and the seasons that will be
Are the rhythm of the dancing and a promise through the years
That the dance goes on through both joy and the tears.
They took My life at Calvary, but I leapt up high,
Because I am the Life that will never, ever die.

**This is not a repeat of last night’s hymn that I quoted in part. It’s a heavily edited and adapted version of another rendition of the Lord of the Dance, and I love the new elements of it because I think they add depth and richness. I hope you enjoy it.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. ~Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 4   ✝

***Images via Pinterest; collages created by Natalie

630. If Heaven made him — earth can find some use for him. ~Chinese Proverb

Truly, I am as a grain of sand in the desert,
Infinitesimal, so very small!
And, yet, I serve a purpose in this wondrous world,
As do the trees, so stately and so tall.
I’m just a tiny atom that God has placed down here—
I do not even know the reason why!
But I’m sure that He, with wisdom, has evolved a plan
To fit me in His pattern ere I die.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham

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According to Scripture, each one of us is made in God’s image, and though we are, as Buckingham declares, merely an infinitesimal “grain of sand in the desert,” we do indeed, as she also purports, serve a purpose “in this wondrous world.” We are also told in Holy Writ, that the Lord with His limitless power is ready, willing, and able to helps us discern what our purpose is. So the question is how does He do that? Well, we are given a brain that has the ability to learn, a heart that is able to love, ears that hear, and eyes that are capable of discerning a wide spectrum of things. Okay, then, how does He, from afar, orchestrate the discharge of His plan. Well, since our mouths can deliver His loving smile, our voices speak comforting words, our hands administer compassionate healing, our legs carry whatever is lacking to places totally bereft of the “wondrous” aspect of life, it would appear our lives are to be spent serving Him with the gifts we’ve been given. The better question is: how can we who bear Yahweh’s image and breathe His holy breath, do anything but make it our primary concern to spend time with Him and ask for revelation about what it is He would have us do with our “one wild and precious life.” Otherwise, what would be the point of being able to give and receive love if there were no place to spend it nor people with whom to share it?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

555. …teach me how to trust my heart, my mind, my inner knowing, the senses of my body, the blessings of my spirit. ~Edited excerpt of a Lakota Prayer

I give you this, one thought to keep.
I am with you still, I do not sleep.

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I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain
born of November’s misty morns.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush…
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
I am with you still,
in each new dawn.
~Edited Native American Prayer

Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you shining stars. ~Psalm 148:3   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

406. The rain came down today littering blossoms on the ground. ~June Kellum


Rain splashes on the footpath
Dribbles down the drain
Trickles pretty patterns 
on the window pane.
~Brenda Williams


Summer Rain
What could be lovelier than to hear the summer rain
Cutting across the heat, as scythes cutting across grain?
Falling upon the steaming roof with sweet uproar,
Tapping and rapping wildly at the door?
No, do not lift the latch, but through the pane
We’ll stand and watch the circus pageant
Of the rain,
And see the lightening, like a tiger, striped and dread,
And hear the thunder cross the shaken sky
With elephant tread.
~Elizabeth Coatsworth

We thank thee, O Lord, for the recent rains. This long and severe drought has been hard on the land and its people.  In this and all things, we are grateful and praise your holy name for all your “tender mercies.”

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside. ~Job 5:9-10    ✝

302. So deeply is the gardener’s instinct implanted in my soul, I really love the tools with which I work – the iron fork, the spade, the hoe, the rake, the trowel, and the watering pot are pleasant objects in my eyes. ~Celia Thaxter

Toward seven o’clock every morning,
I leave my study and step out on the bright terrace;
Here my tools lie ready and waiting,
each one an intimate, an ally:
the round basket for weeds, there’s a rake here as well,
at times a mattock and spade,
or two watering cans…and a small hoe…
~Edited and adapted excerpt from a work by Herman Hesse


I have raked the soil and planted the seeds
Now I’ve joined the army that fights the weeds.
For me no flashing saber and sword,
To battle the swiftly marching horde;
With a valiant heart I fight the foe,
My only weapon a trusty hoe.
No martial music to swing me along,
I march to the robin redbreast song.
No stirring anthem of bugle and drum
But the cricket’s chirp and the honey bee’s hum.
No anti-aircraft or siren yell
But there’s Trumpet-creeper and Lily-bell.
With a loving heart and a sturdy hand,
I defend the borders of flower-land;
While high over Larkspur and Leopardsbane,
A butterfly pilots his tiny plane;
But I shall not fear his skillful hand,
My enemy charges only by land.
~Alma B. Eymann

So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well.  ~Matthew 13:26    ✝

**photos via Pinterest

278. Winter is the time for comfort – it is the time for home. ~Edith Sitwell


He knows no winter, he who loves the soil,
For, stormy days, when he is free from toil,
He plans his summer crops, selects his seeds
From bright-paged catalogues for garden needs.
When looking out upon frost-silvered fields,
He visualizes autumn’s golden yields;
He sees in snow and sleet and icy rain
Precious moisture for his early grain;
He hears spring heralds in the storm’s turmoil.
He knows no winter, he who loves the soil.
~Sudie Stuart Hager

…and the Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil.  For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, just as He delighted in prospering your ancestors…  ~Deuteronomy 30:9  ✝

11. The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome,
indescribably magnificent world in itself. ~Henry Miller

Each blade of grass has its spot on earth whence it draws its life,
its strength; and so man is rooted to the land
from which he draws his faith together with his life.
~Joseph Conrad


Against the backdrop of autumn’s falling leaves ornamental grasses shift and sigh adding an ethereal element to the landscape.  With airy flower panicles, fluffy seed plumes, and striking seed heads ornamental grasses provide charming “fringe accents” in yards and gardens. Even after the onslaughts of freezing temperatures, grasses continue to grace the landscape with beauty.  They add subtle colors, assorted textures, and the dimensions of motion and sound.  Throughout winter’s “vale of grief,” they capture and play with whatever light is available and in so doing speak of life and give us something “that glimmers in the sleep of things.” The “music” of their swishing and swaying reminds us that what’s happening isn’t an ending but merely a transition for the next beginning.

In a poetic conversation with the Lord, Edna St. Vincent Millay said, “God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on Thy heart.”  A Quaker and itinerant preacher named Elias Hicks wrote that “the fullness of the godhead dwelt in every blade of grass.”  And Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish writer, asked, “To us also, through every star, through every blade of grass, is not God made visible if we will open our minds and our eyes.”  These writers, like me, realize that man was meant to be “rooted to the land and therefore to God.”  But, the “umbilical cord” that connects all humanity to Creation and God seems, for many, to have been severed.

The Lord, however, refuses to remain separated or removed from that which He has made.  In an effort to reconnect people to the land and to provide healthier food, many neighborhoods are finding places to build community gardens.  More and more people are getting involved in caring for the land in these communal plots.  Also many schools across the nation are incorporating habitat gardens into the learning experiences of their students, and we are seeing a rise in “hobby farms” where retired professionals have started a second career as a hobby farmer or others who are still working are spending their spare time on their own small farm.

You care for the land and water it; You enrich it abundantly.  The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so You have ordained it.   You drench its furrows and level its ridges; You soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with Your bounty, and Your carts overflow with abundance.  The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.  The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.  ~Psalm 65:9-13   ✝