1313. In the woods we return to reason and faith. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson  

How beautifully the leaves grow old!
How full of light and color are their last days!
~John Burroughs

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It is not so much for its beauty
that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts,
as for that subtle something, that quality of air,
that emanation from old trees that so wonderfully
changes and renews a weary spirit.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

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The forest is not merely an expression or representation of sacredness, nor a place to invoke the sacred; the forest is sacredness itself.  Nature is not merely created by God, nature is God. Whoever moves within the forest can partake directly of sacredness, experience sacredness with his entire body, breath sacredness and contain it within himself, drink the sacred water as a living communion, bury his feet in sacredness, open his eyes and witness the burning beauty of sacredness. ~Richard Nelson

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The forests are the flags of nature.
They appeal to all and awaken
inspiring universal feelings.
Enter the forest and the boundaries
of nations are forgotten. It may be
that some time an immortal pine
will be the flag of a united peaceful world.
~Enos A. Mills

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When you enter a grove peopled with ancient trees, higher than the ordinary, and shutting out the sky with their thickly inter-twined branches, do not the stately shadows of the wood, the stillness of the place, and the awful gloom of this doomed cavern then strike you with the presence of a deity?  ~Seneca

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Take me to a quiet place
with earth under our backs,
cradled in a soft forest glade.
There we’ll point out and
acknowledge things we see
and things we do not.
In solitude we’ll take in the
wisdom offered in each other
and in the hum of the forest.
~Phoebe Wahl

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Underfoot, leaves of  wondrous autumn colors
crunch beneath my feet as I tread on and upon
earth’s hallowed ground to capture a piece of the
Lord’s reddened glory laid upon a wooden altar!
~Natalie Scarberry

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When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” ~Luke 5:20  ✝

**Notice the lady bug on the leaf in the first photo. I love it when I get an unexpected bonus on a photo. All photos were taken this last week by me.

1305. [L]et us linger awhile in the wonderful old Lilac walk. It is a glory of tender green and shaded amethyst and grateful hum of bees. ~Alice Morse Earle

There are a thousand ways
to kneel and kiss the earth.
~Rumi

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Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness.  One of the doors
into the temple.
~Mary Oliver

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker… ~Psalm 95:6  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

1269. The object of our lives is to look at, listen to, touch, taste things.  Without them,-these sticks, stones, feathers, shells,-there is no Deity. ~R. H. Blyth

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In the afternoons,
in the almost  empty fields,
I hum the hymns
I used to sing

in church.
They could not tame me,
so they would not keep me,
alas,

and how that feels,
the weight of it,
I will not tell
any of you,

not ever.
Still, as they promised,
God, once he is in your heart,
is everywhere –

so even here
among the weeds
and the brisk trees.
How long does it take

to hum a hymn?  Strolling
one or two acres
of the sweetness
of the world,

not counting
a lapse, now and again,
of sheer emptiness.
Once a deer

stood quietly at my side.
And sometimes the wind
has touched my cheek
like a spirit.

Am I lonely?
The beautiful, striped sparrow,
serenely, on the tallest weed in his kingdom,
also sings without words.
-Mary Oliver 

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. ~Psalm 84:3  ✝

**Images via Pinterest and the Internet; collage by Natalie

1114. The hum of the bees is the voice of the garden. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

The bee collects honey from flowers
in such a way as to do the least
damage or destruction to them,
and he leaves them whole, undamaged
and fresh, just as he found them.
~Saint Francis de Sales

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A garden spot may be a noisy place
Where droning bees seek honey,
Spiders weave their silver lace upon the trees,
And little birds sing songs the livelong day.

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Or it may be so silent that is seems
The flowers sleep, and shy
Mysterious virgin dreams their vigil keep,
And God communes with earth all day.
~Pringle Barret

Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. ~Proverbs 24:13  ✝

**Images of the bees via Pinterest; images of spider webs found on Pixabay

 

875. The foliage began losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many. ~Adapted quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Lord, it is time.
Summer has been very big.
Lay thy shadow on the sundials,
and on the meadows let the winds go loose.
Command the last fruits that they shall be full;
give them only a few more southerly days,
~Adapted quote by Rainer Maria Rilke

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September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours but in their lengthening evenings a prophetic breath of autumn.  The cricket chirps in the noontide, making the most of what remains of his brief life.  The bumblebee is busy among the blossoms of the aftermath, and their shrill and dreamy hum hold the outdoor world above the voices of the songbirds, now silent or departed. ~Rowland E. Robinson

Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. ~Song of Songs 4:16  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

833. The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it. ~Jacques Yves Cousteau

The careful insect ‘midst his works I view,
Now from the flowers exhaust the fragrant dew,
With golden treasures load his little thighs,
And steer his distant journey through the skies.
~John Gay

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“Veiled in this fragile filigree of wax is the essence of sunshine, golden and limpid, tasting of grassy meadows, mountain wildflowers, lavishly blooming orange trees, or scrubby desert weeds. Honey, even more than wine, is a reflection of place. If the process of grape to glass is alchemy, then the trail from blossom to bottle is one of reflection. The nectar collected by the bee is the spirit and sap of the plant, its sweetest juice. Honey is the flower transmuted, its scent and beauty transformed into aroma and taste.” ~Stephanie Rosenbaum

The bees’ rhythms may be heard only by petaled ears, but the hum of the bee is sweet music to the gardener’s ears for the “wonder at it” divvies up its humming happiness and the honey it makes renders the taste of the fragrant flower’s sweetness.

Eat honey, my child, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. ~Proverbs 24:13  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

559. Here on gray paths of November like a trembling hand a beam of light caressing my pain and my soul breathes the sweet scent of God. ~Frédéric G. Martin

At no other time (than autumn) does
the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell,
the ripe earth; in a smell that is in
no way inferior to the smell of the sea,
bitter where it borders on taste,
and honeysweet where you feel it
touching the first sounds.
~Ranier Maria Rilke

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There’s a nip in the morning air. The willow leaves have turned yellow, and the once green lawn has now donned its beige coat. As autumn continues to morph into winter, the sun streaks across the yard from its more southerly stance. In the aftermath of recent rain and wind, the redbud tree scarcely has any leaves, and the Rose of Sharon stands naked in the chilled garden. Beneath her the rose hips are dressed in scarlet and above the oaks leaves are reddening. The whir of butterfly wings is gone, the hum of the bees is gone, the fragrance of the blossoms is gone, and yet something mysterious, something magical, something hallowed remains. But what is it? What is alway present in Eden’s haunts? Surely you must know for all around us the air sweetly speaks of the unmistakable, unending, undying, abiding aroma of El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty.

They have ears, but cannot hear, noses but cannot smell. ~Psalm 115:6   ✝