1353. Timeless thoughts of a winter’s stare; eyes gazing over a landscape bare. ~Michael A. Barron

Gray, endless shades of
Gray, winter’s somber suit of
Gray, the season’s shroud

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Beige, broad blankets of
Beige, chilling frosts turn green to
Beige, on what we trod

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Color, drear shades of
Color, muted, faint hues of
Color, in stark realm

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Winter, the woe of
Winter, shall soon be gone for
Winter, bows to spring

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As the rain and the 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 55:10-11  ✝

**All 4 haikus written by Natalie; most images from Pinterest; collages by Natalie; a few of the images in the last collage are ones I’ve taken in past winters

1337. Of winter’s lifeless world each tree now seems a perfect part; yet each one holds spring’s secret deep down within its heart. ~Edited quote by Charles G. Stater

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers…
~Thomas Campion

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Gray, foggy dreariness
ushered in the day;
A mist, a cold, frigid drizzle,
fell from on high;
Bare, starkly austere, lay everything
I could see; and
Silence, a stilled quietude, blanketed
my wintry garden.
Bleakly naked, towered tall trees that
stood above all else,
But underneath them from the secret place
murmured a voice,
The sacred, almost indistinguishable, faint
whisper emerged amid
The fog and fine rain to go forward undetected
past the woody sentinels
To allow its utterances to break into morn’s reverie
to tell of signs, longed for signs
Of tiny sparks of life that are preparing to push up
despite the gloominess
And ‘twas this message that stirred embers in my spirit
to keep their glimmer from
Becoming far too dim to continue sustaining my hope,
expectations, and “joie de vie.”

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Don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter.
It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.
~Rumi

The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. ~Job 37:9 ✝

**Both photos taken by Natalie

957. It is November. The noons are more laconic and the sundowns sterner. ~Emily Dickinson

And November sad,—a psalm
Tender, trustful, full of balm…
~Caroline May

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November is usually such a disagreeable month…as if the year had suddenly found out that she was growing old and could do nothing but weep and fret over it. This year it is growing old gracefully…just like a stately old lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles. We’ve had lovely days and delicious twilights. ~Lucy Maud Montgomery

The glory of the young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old. ~Proverbs 20:29   ✝

**Collage created  by Natalie

839. And soon, too soon, we part with pain to sail o’er silent seas again. ~Thomas Moore

It’s an art to live with pain…
to mix the light into gray.
~Eddie Vedder

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I have lived pain, and my life can tell,
but I only deepen the wounds
when I neglect to give thanks for
the heavy perfume of wild roses in August
and the song of crickets on humid summer nights
and the rivers that run and the stars that rise
and the rain that falls and all the
good things that a good God gives.
~Edited and adapted excerpt
from Ann Voskamp

The migraine rages on, and once more I’m sailing the silent seas of pain. Though it be a life long story, the Lord has and will again bring me back one day to dry land. ~Natalie

But as for me, afflicted and in pain–may your salvation, God, protect me. ~Psalm 69:29  ✝

**Images found on Pinterest

748. Red is passion-lit, orange is flowerageous, yellow is suntastic, pink is lipsensual, green is lifebursting, blue is skyful, purple is berrydancing, gray is cloudrainy. ~Terri Guillemets

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Beauty is the adjustment of all parts
proportionately so that one cannot add
or subtract or change without
impairing 
the harmony of the whole.
~Leon B. Alberti

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To conquer a piece of earth and make it as beautiful
as one can dream of it being: That is art, too.
A man cannot be separated from the earth.
I come out of the garden every day feeling,
oh, inspired in a way that one needs
in order to convert the daily-ness of the life
into something greater than that little life itself.
~Stanley Kunitz

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Nothing is more the child
of art than a garden.
~Sir Walter Scott

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But who can paint
like Nature?
Can imagination boast,
amid its gay creation,
hues like hers?
~James Thomson

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Nature is painting for us,
day after day,
pictures of infinite beauty.
~James Russell Lowell

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If you ask me what I came
to do in this world,
I, an artist, will answer you:
I am here to live out loud.
~Emile Zola

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My garden is the canvas
upon which nature paints,
and in it I daily toil.
With my camera in hand
at other times,
I let live 
Yahweh’s art
out loud!
~Natalie Scarberry

Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are al the work of your hand. ~Isaiah 64:8   ✝

**I took all these photos of flowers blooming in my yard.

665. Come, gentle Spring! Ethereal Mildness! Come! ~James Thomson

Down, down, down and drip, drip, drip
falls the gray, gray, grayness of yet another rainy day.
And outside my feet go squish, squish, squish
from the rain and snow and rain and snow and rain,
but oh heavens no, no, no you won’t find me a fussin’
because now, my friends, a grow, grow, growin’
we’ll find the sweet green, green, greening things
of advancing, birthing, sprouting spring.
~Natalie Scarberry

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O the green things growing, the green things growing,
The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve,
Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing.

O the fluttering and the pattering of those green things growing!
How they talk each to each, when none of us are knowing;
In the wonderful white of the weird moonlight
Or the dim dreamy dawn when the cocks are crowing.



I love, I love them so – my green things growing!
And I think that they love me, without false showing;
For by many a tender touch, they comfort me so much,
With the soft mute comfort of green things growing.



And in the rich store of their blossoms glowing
Ten for one I take they’re on me bestowing:
Oh, I should like to see, if God’s will it may be,
Many, many a summer of my green things growing!

But if I must be gathered for the angel’s sowing,
Sleep out of sight awhile, like the green things growing,
Though dust to dust return, I think I’ll scarcely mourn,
If I may change into green things growing.
~Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~Ephesians 5:19b-20   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

593. It is in the nature of cats to do a certain amount of unescorted roaming. ~Adlai Stevenson

Prowling his own quiet backyard
or asleep by the fire,
he (a cat) is only a whisker
away from the wilds.
~Jean Burden

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Twas three days after Christmas, and all through the yards
Nothing was stirring, not even wind-blown papery discards;
The feeders were hung by the greenhouse with care,
In hopes the red cardinals soon would be there;
And seedlings were nestled snug in leafy beds,
While thoughts of springtime danced in my head;
The squirrels in their nests and I in my chair,
Lay resting ourselves from yesterday’s fare,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash
And raised the bamboo curtain and tied up its sash.
The lowering gray clouds of a cold winter’s day
Had earlier shrouded the land in garments of gray.
Now in the sun what to my wondering eyes did appear
But a feral feline running a path both straight and clear.
With a blue jay held loosely in her clenched jaw awry
The proud huntress lost her grip and away it did fly
Leaving her to wonder
Why her incursion was put asunder.
~A parody of Clement’s
Twas the Night Before Christmas 

…a time to weep and a time to laugh… ~Ecclesiastes 3:4a   ✝

I was laughing so hard after what I’d seen, I couldn’t resist the urge for some playfulness and thus wrote the parody above.  The cat, however, was not amused at all by what had happened.

**Image via Pinterest

571. There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. ~Charles Dickens

We look at life from the back side of the tapestry.
And most of the time, what we see are
loose threads, tangled knots and the like.
But occasionally, God’s light shines through, and
we get a glimpse of the larger design with God
weaving together the darks and lights of existence.
~John Piper

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No moon, no stars, no sun, no blue of sky… No bees, no butterflies, no adoring, garden paramours… Only a foggy Sabbath steeped in silent, grey stillness as bit by bit by bit color empties out of the landscape leaving in its wake pallid, watercolored remains to blanket the lawn… Autumn has but a fortnight left before she relinquishes her throne to winter’s chilling reign. So I wonder if she’s weeping, if the falling mists are her crestfallen tears. It would certainly seem so as gloomy and grey as her recent days have been. Her palette, once streaked with chestnut and chocolate, maroon and mahogany, mauve and mulberry, orange and ochre, red and russet, is soon to be washed of all but grey and beige and evergreen. Thankfully, however, there are the brightly colored lights of Christmas to brighten the dying year’s ever-increasing, muted days.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~James 1:17  ✝

565. Come, come thou bleak December wind, and blow the dry leaves from the tree! ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Through bare trees
I can be winter’s innocence,
unashamed needfulness,
the thin and reaching limbs 
of a beggar,
longing to touch 
but the hem of the sun.
~Lisa Lindsey

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It’s the first morn of December. It’s cold. It’s gray. Leaves are brown, dying, or gone. Branches already bare resemble arms reaching to the heavens for something or someone. A norther continues to blow open wider and wider the gates of the year’s Sabbath, and the wings and winds of change are palpable in the frosty air. In the garden’s resounding gong, in its tinkling wind chimes, and in its clanging bells I hear portents of the changes. I’m reminded not only by these sounds but also by the morning’s silences that December is a time of expectancy, a time of waiting, and a time of preparation; moreover, it is a time to share in the ancient longing for the Messiah’s birth as well as a time to look forward to His second coming. And since our time coin for this year is almost spent, it is time now more than ever to let love reign our hearts, to let peace be our constant prayer, to let compassion and giving pour our of our gratitude for another year of Yahweh’s gifts, blessings, fulfilled promises, and miracles. And it is also time, now and always, to reach for the heavens and praise God for all that He is, for all that He has done, and all that He continues to do for His children!

Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. ~2 Chronicles 6:40   ✝

** Image via Pinterest, but edited by Natalie

556. The wild November come at last beneath a veil of rain… ~Richard Henry Stoddard

A fine rain was falling,
and the landscape was
that of autumn.
The sky was hung
with various shades of gray…
~Henri Frédéric Amiel

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No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! –
November!
~Thomas Hood

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Last night in late November’s darkness a “veil of rain” dropped down, and clouds have wept chilling tears this livelong day. In the mists and showers a host of leaves, newly tinged in autumnal hues, have drifted down in silence bereft of all the above-named poet penned. And yet there’s no sadness in fall’s tears, just the rhythm of sacred purpose. Drop by drop by drop November’s rain closes the door to the year’s last ordained arena, but the promise of resurrection is held in every drop that falls. So we thank thee, Lord, for the sweet November rain and the blessing to come brought down in each of its parenting drops.

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But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. ~2 Corinthians 3:16   ✝