1397. August brings into sharp focus and a furious boil everything… ~Excerpt from a quote by Henry Rollins

“Heat, ma’am! it was so dreadful here,
that I found there was nothing left for it
but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones.”
~Sydney SmithScreen Shot 2017-08-01 at 9.34.53 PM.png
The month of August had turned
into a griddle where the days just
lay there and sizzled.
~Sue Monk KiddScreen Shot 2017-08-01 at 9.24.55 PM.pngEvery year, August lashes out in volcanic fury,
rising with the din of morning traffic,
its great metallic wings smashing against the ground,
heating the air with ever-increasing intensity.
~Henry RollinsScreen Shot 2017-08-01 at 9.26.38 PM.pngAugust is one of the great and awful tests
of one’s endurance, sanity and stamina.
~Henry RollinsScreen Shot 2017-08-01 at 9.27.53 PM.png

Mr. Rollins has also said that August is the summer’s last messenger of misery, but I would have to beg to differ with him on that at least here in Texas. Our heat “misery” can and often does extend into September, sometimes even into October, and upon occasion it has also been known to infiltrate part of November. And so try as I have all day, I can think of nothing else to say about July’s departure and August’s arrival but goodbye and good riddance and a begrudging hello to the year’s longest month. For me August moves at a snail’s pace and seems to go on forever and ever. And though I never fear that summer will be short, I love this quote by Emerson as it reminds me that the next season is autumn, and I rely on the Word of God to be as faithful about that and all thingsas He always is!

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 9.30.38 PM.pngWhen summer opens, I see how fast it matures,
and fear it will be short; but after the heats of
July and August, I am reconciled, like one
who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn.
~Ralph Waldo EmersonScreen Shot 2017-08-01 at 9.32.33 PM.png“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
~Genesis 8:22 ✝

**Sunflower photos taken by Natalie in her yard

1231. We are in midsummer; the sun is in full power, and at noon all nature is silent under his spell… ~Excerpt from Eliza Cook’s Journal

Summer is the time when one sheds
one’s tensions with one’s clothes,
and the right kind of day is
jeweled balm for the battered spirit.
A few of those days and you
can become drunk with the belief
that all’s right with the world.
~Ada Louise Huxtable

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Yay! Hooray! Woo Hoo! We’ve been having some of those jeweled balm days! I can’t exactly say that summer’s coming to an end because at times it can last well into late September or even October where we live. However, there’s a smattering of things at the moment that are foreshadowing Autumn’s coming. Not only that but we’ve gotten some much needed rain lately, and that has brought with it somewhat lower temperatures. And although I know these anomalies will end soon, it has been a welcome and rejuvenating respite from the dastardly dog days of Texas in July and August. One of the forerunners I’ve seen is a few blooming spikes on my physostegia virginiana, a plant commonly called False Dragonhead because of the flower’s resemblance to snapdragons. And it is their pinkish lavender blooms that are adding beauty to the bedraggled remains in the garden. They also bring hope that summer’s siege will in fact come to an end a some point in time, something that some of us begin to doubt after weeks and weeks of triple-digit or near triple-digit temperatures.

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Large image in background via Pinterest; the side by side images on top of it were taken in my yard today.

1096. It would be infinitely lonely to live in a world without blessing. ~John O’Donohue

Though suffering and chaos befall us,
they can never quench the inner light of providence.
~John O’Donohue

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There is a quiet light that shines in every heart.
It draws no attention to itself,
though it is always secretly there.
It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty,
our desire to seek possibility, and our hearts to love life.
Without this subtle quickening our days
would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon
would ever awaken our longing.
Our passion for life is quietly sustained from
somewhere in us that is welded to the energy
and excitement of life. This shy inner light is what
enables us to recognize and receive our
very presence here as blessing.
We enter the world as strangers who all at once
become heirs to a harvest of memory,
spirit, and dream that has long preceded us
and will now enfold, nourish, and sustain us.
The gift of the world is our first blessing.

This is the opening paragraph of the book
“To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings” 

by John O’Donohue

They will receive blessing from the Lord… ~Excerpt from Psalm 24:5  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

677. Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love! ~Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa, Lakota holy man and tribal chief

Spring has returned.
The Earth is like a child
that knows poems
by heart.
~Ranier Maria Rilke

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The cycle of nature—the progress from seed to fruition
to dying-off and then renewal in the spring—
was mirrored in the wild fields and the cultivated garden alike,
while the fragility of harvest—the possible interruption of
the cycle by drought, wind, or other natural calamities—
established the pattern of how humans understood
the workings of the cosmos.  The oldest of surviving
sacred stories have their roots in the garden
and reflect how humanity sought to understand
the changeable patterns of their world and, at the same time,
to imagine a world no longer subject to change.
~Peg Streep

See! The winter is past…flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is hear in our land. ~Song of Songs 2:11-12   ✝

**Image via Pinterest, text written by Natalie

668. There is…an order of succession in the garden year which is deeply pleasing…seed time flows on to flowering time and flowering time flows on to harvest time… ~Edited lines by Susan Hill and Rory Stuart

A little seed for me to sow…
A little earth to make it grow…
A little hole, a little pat…
A little wish, and that is that.
A little sun, a little shower…
A little while, and then – a flower!
~Mabel Watts

Screen shot 2014-11-01 at 12.23.57 PM

SEEDS
The seeds I sowed –
For week unseen –
Have pushed up pygmy
Shoots of green;
So frail you’d think
The tiniest stone
Would never let
A glimpse be shown.
But no; a pebble
Near them lies,
At least a cherry-stone
In size,
Which that mere sprout
Has heaved away,
To bask in sunshine,
See the day.
~Walter de la Mare

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

536. There is music in the meadows…There is rhythm in the woods, and in the fields…
 ~William Stanley Braithwaite

How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.
~Elsie N. Brady

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I imagine the eyes of Jesus
Were harvest brown,
The light of their gazing suffused
With the seasons:

The shadow of winter,
The mind of spring,
The blues of summer,
And amber of harvest.

A gaze that is perfect sister
To the kindness that dwells
In his beautiful hands.

The eyes of Jesus gaze on us,
Stirring in the heart’s clay
The confidence of seasons
That never lose their way to harvest.

This gaze knows the signature
Of our heartbeat, the first glimmer
From the dawn that dreamed our minds,

The crevices where thoughts grow
Long before the longing in the bone
Sends them towards the mind’s eye,

The artistry of the emptiness
That knows to slow the hunger
Of outside things until they weave
Into the twilight side of the heart,

A gaze full of all that is still future
Looking out for us to glimpse
The jeweled light in winter stone,

Quickening the eyes that look at us
To see through to where words
Are blind to say what we would love,

Forever falling softly on our faces,
His gaze plies the soul with light,
Laying down a luminous layer,

Beneath our brief and brittle days
Until the appointed dawn comes
Assured and harvest deft

To unravel the last black knot
And we are back home in the house
That we have never left.
~John O’Donohue

Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen and understand.” ~Matthew 15:10   ✝

* Edited image via Pinterest

534. The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest. ~William Blake

A year of beauty. A year of plenty.
A year of planting. A year of harvest.
A year of forests. A year of healing.
A year of vision. A year of passion.
A year of rebirth.
~Starhwak

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Irish immigrants fleeing from the Great Famine of the 1840’s brought versions of Halloween to North America. For them the celebration had its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian “All Saints Day” on November 1st. The festivities of the centuries-old holiday began at sunset and ended at midnight on October 31st. Samhain meant roughly “summer’s end,” and it was a celebration of the end of the “lighter half” of the year in which the daylight hours steadily increased and the beginning of the “darker half” of the year in which the daylight hours steadily decreased.

As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.
The days when the veil lifted
And the soul could see delight;
When a quiver caressed the heart
In the sheer exuberance of being here.
Surprises that came awake
In forgotten corners of old fields
Where expectation seemed to have quenched.
~Excerpts from a blessing by
John O’Donohue

The land yields its harvest; God, our God blesses us. ~Psalm 67:6  ✝

**Images via Pinterest