1292. Let me keep company always with those who say “look!” and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads. ~Mary Oliver

For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind’s delight,
for the mystic harmony,
linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.
~Folliat S. Pierpoint

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Life is huge!
Rejoice about the sun, moon, flowers, and sky.
Rejoice about the food you have to eat.
Rejoice about the body that houses your spirit.
Rejoice about the fact that you can
be a positive force in the world around you.
Rejoice about the love that is around you.
If you want to be happy, commit
to making your life one of rejoicing.
~Author Unknown

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. ~Psalm 96:11  ✝

**Photo taken by Natalie

1071. Mother Nature is a son-of-a-gun. ~Murphy’s Tenth Law

Nature reserves the right to inflict upon
her children the most terrifying jests.
~Thornton Wilder

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Winter? What winter? Did we have winter? We did? I do seem to remember some gray, gloomy and very short days as well as a few times when the temperature fell below freezing, barely, and the leaves fell off the trees. But was that it? That’s all we’re gonna get? No blue northers? No snow? No sleet? No ice? No fog? No rain? Nada, zip, zilch! Or is it gonna be like what’s happened sometimes before, Mother Nature? You’re gonna let everything get started in the garden and then wham bam! You’re gonna hit us hard with a late and bitter blast of winter’s fury that will nip everything in the bud as it has before. Or maybe, you’re just gonna let us move right along into an early spring and then onto a very, very long hot summer, one that’s so especially wretched that it redefines what a  long, hot summer truly is? Is that it? Oh fickle, fickle Mother Nature, what a beastly shrew you can be from time to time! Okay, okay, I know it’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature or say bad things about her. So perhaps I ought to strive to see the error of my fractious ways once again and just be grateful for the exquisite beauty above and below that started blooming in my yard today.

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. ~Romans 7:21  ✝

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876. Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art. ~Ambrose Bierce

  Sometimes I do get to places just when
God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.
~Ansel Adams

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For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies;
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

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For the wonder of each hour,
Of the day and of the night;
Hill and vale and tree and flow’r,
Sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

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For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight;
For the mystic harmony,
Linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.
~Folliot S. Pierpont

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. ~Excerpt from Psalm 40:3  ✝

686. Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust

We only part to meet again.
Change, as ye list, ye winds;
my heart shall be the faithful compass
that still points to thee.
~John Gay

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Once one steps into cyberspace via the internet, he/she opens the door to being able to speak to “strangers” all over the world. And even if there is no photo attached to their blog post, over time a recognizable “identity” develops from the kinds of things posted, be they words or simply images of some sort. Then as time passes and interactions continue with these “strangers,” one is not only able to learn more and more about who he or she is but also more about himself/herself from ongoing conversations or the sharing of images. Another fascinating aspect about this process is that through nothing more than this kind of “distant” and “blind” communication, lasting relationships develop, genuine fondnesses grow, and abiding love and respect occur. For, distance, it seems, never separates the hearts of those who come to care for one another and shared experiences as well as the building of memories make it possible for love to span miles and miles of vast distances.  This is not surprising since It is from and in God’s love which knows no boundaries that we are made and sustained, and it’s in the redeeming love of Jesus that we find salvation.

Once the realization is accepted that
even between the closest of human beings
infinite distances continue,
a wonderful living side by side can grow,
if they succeed in loving the distance between them
which makes it possible for each to see
the other whole against the sky.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. ~1 John 4:11   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

683. Whatever we are waiting for – springtime, peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart. ~Edited line by Sarah Ban Breathnach

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields
has power to move you, if the simple things
of nature have a message that you understand,
rejoice, for your soul is alive.
~Eleonora Duse

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Spring is teeming. Even in areas where snow still covers the ground, much is happening in the hidden realms at this time of year; tight buds get looser, nutrients begin to nourish roots in the sunny corners of the earth, and the hibernating creatures among us start to awaken. ~Excerpted and edited lines from Gratefulness.org

Out of His (Jesus Christ’s) fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. ~John 1:16   ✝

**Image of Pink Ranunculus via Pinterest

631. We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

Blessings are the things we take for granted.
Most know the Earth is utterly enchanted
Yet walk through life and love mechanically.
Love brings the sweet relief of absolution,
Enveloping our hesitance in need.
No touch inspires so swift a revolution,
Transforming all the hieroglyphs we read.
In your love is the charity of spring,
Nor self-obsessed nor blinded by some creed,
Embracing the grey dawns that blessings bring.
~Excerpted lines by Cornelius Lyons

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Dawn washes away night’s darkness and brings light to the day. Be grateful for the light, your eyes, and the purposes they serve. Ears allow humankind to hear the song of the birds and words of love. Be grateful for them and the purposes they serve. Feet take mortals places where they want and need to go. Be grateful for them and the purposes they serve. Arms and hands enable people to work, care for themselves, and embrace others. Be grateful for them and the purposes they serve. The in and out movement of breath sustains the gift of life all have been granted. Thus, in all things honor the gifts, the Giver, and the blessings that they are and that they bring.

…because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and womb. Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills… ~Genesis 49:25-26   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

613. But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? ~William Shakespeare

Here comes the sun
and I say, it’s all right…
Little darlin’, it seems like years
since it’s been clear….
~Excerpted lyrics by John Lennon
George Harrison, and Paul McCartney

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Degree by degree by degree a glow appears on the eastern horizon. Brighter and lighter it grows as inch by inch by inch the sun lifts night’s shades higher and higher revealing a cloudless sky was washed clean of the cold, greys of past days. Up and up and up rises the blaze of the sun, ancient bearer of light and warmth and cheer. In the rising incandescence the busy birds are chirpier, the scampering squirrels are friskier, and the prowling feral cats are bushy-tailed. The sun, the sun, the marvelous sun–now it’s kissing the tips and tops of things before oozing and spreading like melting butter on a warm piece of toast over everything it touches. The morning air, charged with electricity in anticipation of its fullness, is kindling a warmer rhythm for this wintry day, and when the first splinters of the sun’s golden rays finally run across the garden and lawn, the dance of life will pulse strong again in hearts and feet alike. And then, when there is light, glorious, glorious light, we shall rise and greet thee, O Lord, with glad and grateful hearts.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. ~Genesis 1:3-4   ✝

**Image via Pinterest