1293. We strain to renew our capacity to wonder, to shock ourselves into astonishment once again. ~Shana Alexander

Human life is as evanescent as the
morning dew or a flash of lightning.
~Samuel Butler

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 6.13.37 PM.png

The disciples are drawn to the high altars
with magnetic certainty, knowing that a
great Presence hovers over the ranges …
in the primal patterns of nature,
a magical union with beauty.
~Ansel Adams

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 6.14.10 PM.png

Beauty is truth’s smile when she
beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.
~Rabindranath Tagore

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 6.33.25 PM.png

The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.
The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
speaks to me.
The faintness of the stars,
the trail of the sun,
the strength of fire,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me.
And my heart soars.
~Chief Dan George

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 6.14.33 PM.png

He(God) performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. ~Job 5:9 ✝

**Images via Pinterest

1288. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!! We did it…

‘tis almost mid-autumn and the last day of this month!
And as of today we’ve set a record here for having
the warmest October ever! The wind yet blows from
the south so I’m still wearing tank tops and shorts!
Yay! Yippie! Hooray! NOT!!! Where oh where
is our cool autumn for goodness sakes!

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 4.12.36 PM.png

O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.
Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air–
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and rounds the grapes.
Cut the heat–
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path.
~Hilda Doolittle

And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. ~Luke 12:55  ✝

1285. Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Bittersweet October.
The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking,
perfect pause between the opposing
miseries of summer and winter.
~Carol Bishop Hipps

Screen Shot 2016-10-27 at 2.45.01 PM.png

Do you see any leaves turning autumn colors in the photo above? Do you get any sense at all that it’s cool and crisp outside the window, the window that’s right here where I sit to work at my computer, the window from which I shot that not-so-great photo through the venetian blinds? Sadly neither do I! It’s almost November and that “opposing misery of summer” of which Hipps speaks has NOT gone! I’m certain because when I went out in the yard just a few minutes ago to take some photos, I came in just as dripping wet as I had all summer. It might be about ten degrees cooler our there than it was in August, but with the high humidity we are STILL having, it continues to feel like I’m walking into a sauna when I open the door to go out! So where or where is Autumn??? Did it get lost somewhere along its way to Texas??? Perhaps so because according to the National Weather Service the ending of the year and throughout the winter for much of the US will be warmer and drier as the result of another “La Niña” that has set up in the Pacific. (See the photo below where it shows the predicted varying degrees of heat and lack of rainfall as the year ends in the US.) And that makes for an oh so unlucky me because I’m here in north central Texas. Yippee, huh?! That’s why when I read your blogs about cool, crisp days that include photos of lovely autumn leaves, I either begin to salivate like a rabid dog or my eyes start tearing up because Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year and I’m so ready for it to come! Oh, I know, who wants to listen to a whiny old lady rant? So off I go to find a way, despite the “misery,” to self-soothe and seek the presence of things for which to be grateful. Breathe, Natalie, just breathe…

Screen Shot 2016-10-27 at 3.14.13 PM.png

“But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” ~Jonah 2:9  ✝

**I added the border around the photo I took out my window so you would get the feel of looking out a window.

1280. October inherits summer’s hand-me-downs… ~Rachel Peden

I know the year is slowly dying…
Ah, ‘tis then I love to wander,
Wander idly and alone,
Listening to the solemn music
Of sweet nature’s undertone…
~Excerpted lines from a poem by
Mortimer Crane Brown

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.55.37 PM.png

Though October grows long in the tooth
a measure of summer’s steamy heat lingers on
and so the dance of sweet glories of the morn waltzes on

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.54.59 PM.png

The full, harvest moon has come and gone
but the sultry high humidity of August yet remains
thus dance on still the satiny, white glories of the evening

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 8.37.44 PM.png

Morning’s are cooler, some even quite crisp
but afternoons revive September’s persistent misery
keeping at bay the last dance of all the glories in the garden fair

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.56.13 PM.png

The grass is showing patches not quite as green
though it’s not dead enough to slow the hum of mowers
near arbors and trellises where scramble high the twining vines

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.54.34 PM.png

The promise of autumn rain has not been fulfilled so far
which keeps the gardener’s feet scuffling along the dusty paths
but it has yet to halt the dance of the morning glories and moonflowers

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 8.36.12 PM.png

The sun’s trek from east to west across the yard continues
and days grow shorter and more golden as November draws nigh
but still the flowering vines dance perkily along the chain-link fence lines

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.56.49 PM.png

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. ~James 5:7  ✝

**All the photos taken by me in my yard today

1258. Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears. ~Barbara Johnson

When expectations delay for too long,
doubt draws nearer in haste and
and patience grows far more tiresome .
~Edited quote by
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 8.53.27 PM.png

Where, oh where, is autumn,
Beautiful, comely, colorful autumn
With its crisp, dewy mornings,
Its big, bright, orange pumpkins,
And leaves of prettily tinted hues
That blow around willy-nilly on
The urpsurges of its blustery days?
And when, oh when, will we see
That huge,  yellow harvest moon?
What could be the cause of such delays?
Could autumn be lost somewhere
Along the way, or could it just be
That ancient earth is slowing down?
Or, is it because the “heat beast”
Is disinclined to let loose its hold?
I’ve observed the sun and moon
And the stars changing places above
So I know autumn must be on its way.
But could someone please tell me
When this steamy heat will leave!
~Natalie Scarberry

How my impatience grows when I’m this heat-weary and uncomfortable! But since there are no real guarantees for more of life or anything else than what I already have, it is really foolish to be impatient. Happily-ever-after is elusive in all things, and a certain measure of joy can be found in and on all the roads we travel through this thing called life. And interestingly it is in our discomfort zones that we often increase our spiritual awarenesses. Genuine peace comes from accepting what is and in looking for the promised gifts within each of our days whether they are spent in comfort or just the opposite. And so I’m reminded as I write this that Scripture tells us this is the day the Lord has made and so rejoice in it not whine in it.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. ~Romans 8:25  ✝

**Photo by Mandy Disher

1248. I am forced to conclude that God made Texas on his day off, for pure entertainment, just to prove that all that diversity could be crammed into one section of earth… ~Author Mary Lasswell

The stars at night – are big and bright
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The prairie sky – is wide and high
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The sage in bloom – is like perfume
Deep in the heart of Texas…
~Excerpted lyrics from a song
by June Hershey

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 5.39.11 PM.png

Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession.
Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word.
Like most passionate nations, Texas has 
its own
history based on, but not limited by, facts.
~John Steinbeck

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 5.47.44 PM.png

I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study and the passionate possession of all Texans. ~John Steinbeck, 1962

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 3.07.45 PM.png

And, “Texans for the most part have never learned to be dull,” accurately quipped Randolph Campbell.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 3.05.43 PM.png

As I’ve said repeatedly the intense heat of the Texas summer has always been difficult for me to tolerate. It forces me to stay indoors much more than I like, and being separated from the earth and God’s voice in the natural world starves my spirit. However, I have come to love much of the unique Texas experience, and I am thankful that the Lord created the man or woman who invented air-conditioning. I’m grateful too that our house has lots of windows so I can at least see my yard during times when it’s just too miserably hot to be out in it.. Also after I bought a digital camera, I’m able to save the garden’s glory in photographs that help me make it through the times when the summer heat temporarily robs the landscape of much of its beauty. How blessed are we that the work of His hands is as apparent as ever in His world.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19 ✝

**Images found on the Internet, Pinterest, and Pixabay; collages by Natalie

 

1247. September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours… ~Rowland E. Robinson

Suffering invites us to place our hurts in larger hands.
In Christ we see God suffering – for us.
And calling us to share in God’s
suffering love for a hurting world.
The small and even overpowering pains
of our lives are intimately connected
with the greater pains of Christ.
Our daily sorrows are anchored in a
greater sorrow and therefore a larger hope.
~Henri J.M. Nouwen

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 8.35.20 PM.png

As I grapple with summer’s still sweltering heat, I have to remind myself that humanity has observed adverse aberrations of nature millennium after millennium and that out of the chaos order eventually returns.  Author, Peter Saint-Andre, says  nature “can inspire, enlighten, send shivers up the spine, delight, anger, frighten; it can make one think, feel, shake one’s head in astonishment, cry, laugh out loud; it can evoke feelings of triumph, melancholy, light-heartedness, serenity, excitement, boredom, rightness, anxiety, joy, sorrow.”  And I agree with him on all counts but until some level of coolness settles, it is challenging for me to experience much excitement and serenity.  Only now when, in the midst of the feverish misery, the wild purple eryngo blooms does the melancholy begin to lift a little.

Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. ~Lamentations 3:32  ✝

**Image taken by me along a country road in our area. These amethystine beauties can be found blooming  this time of year in fields ravaged by summer’s heat.