1296. I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. ~John Burroughs

The moment that a child can walk,
like that in which it first can talk,
is a precious start of exploration into landscapes of creation.
Walking, walking, walking, walking, walking on the earth.
By sense of touch the feet assess
the nature of the wilderness
of earth beneath;
yet human speech cannot express
what feet can teach.
Walking, walking, walking, walking,
walking on the earth.
~Francis D. Hole

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The ancient Hebrew association of man with soil is echoed in the Latin name for man, homo, derived from humus, the stuff of life in the soil. This powerful metaphor suggests an early realization of a profound truth that humanity has since disregarded to its own detriment. Since the words “humility” and “humble” also derive from humus, it is rather ironic that we should have assigned our species so arrogant a name as Homo sapiens sapiens (“wise wise man”). It occurs to me, as I ponder our past and future relation to the earth, that we might consider changing our name to a more modest Homo sapiens curans, with the word curans denoting caring or caretaking, as in “curator.” (“Teach us to care” was T.S. Eliot’s poetic plea.) Of course, we must work to deserve the new name, even as we have not deserved the old one. ~Daniel Hillel, Out of the Earth: Civilization and the Life of the Soil

My feet have closely followed His(God’s) steps; I have kept to His(God’s) way without turning aside. ~Job 23:11 ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

1188. Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. ~Chief Seattle

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across
the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
~Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator

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Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
~A Ute Prayer

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Oh Lord, whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath I feel moving in and out of me,
the very breath that gives life to me and all living things.
I come before you, as one of your children to ask that
You continue to reveal Yourself through Creation’s beauty.
May my hands always respect the things you’ve created;
May my ears be ever sharp to hear your voice; and
May I be wise enough to perceive the lessons
hidden in all things made of Your hands.
~My prayer based on one by
Chief Yellow Lark of the Lakota Sioux

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. ~Job 33:4  ✝

**Three images via Pinterest; the bottom picture of the granite boulders taken by me on what were once First Nation’s lands at Medicine Park, Oklahoma

1119. It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility. ~ Rachel Carson

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Earth, my dearest, I will.
Oh believe me, you no longer need
your springtimes to win me over –
one of them, ah, even one,
is already too much for my blood.
Unspeakably, I have belonged to you,
from the first.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

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The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God.  Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles. ~Anne Frank

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The mystery at the heart of creation is Love. To be in love with the gift of nature is to be well within oneself. ~J. Philip Newell

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Grace of the love of the skies be thine,
Grace of the love of the stars be thine,
Grace of the love of the moon be thine,
Grace of the love of the sun be thine.
~Excerpt from the
Carmina Gadelica, an anthology
of poems and prayers from Gaelic oral tradition

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. ~Psalm 19:1  ✝

**All the images are ones I took in my yard this last week, and I created the collages with the.

493. It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility. ~Rachel Carson

If facts are seeds that later produce 
knowledge and wisdom,
then the emotions and 
the impressions of the senses
are the fertile soil 
in which the seeds must grow.
~Rachel Carson

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God made the forests, the tiny stars, and the wild winds–
and I think that He has made them partly
as a balance for that kind of civilization that
would choke the spirit of joy out of our hearts.
He made the great open places for people who want to be…
away from the crowds that kill all reverence.
And I think He is glad at times to have us forget
our cares and responsibilities so that we may be nearer Him–
as Jesus was when he crept away into the wilderness to pray.
~Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. ~Mark 1:35   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

422. The wings of angels are often found on the backs of the least likely people. ~Eric Honeycutt

Angels deliver fate to our doorstep–
and anywhere else it is needed.
~Jessi Lane Adams

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My back and knee are hurting more so than usual today, and I’ve been fighting off feeling sorry for myself. Thankfully it doesn’t take long for me to snap out of that invitation to a pity party when I remember something that happened a year or so ago. James and I were going to a movie downtown, and as we rounded a corner, I who was lost in a “blue funk” heard a voice I didn’t recognize say something. I looked around to see who it was and encountered a man missing both legs sitting in a wheelchair. And he, a homeless and crippled black man, said again with a huge smile on his face, “God bless you!”

Amazing! A man, asking nothing of or from me, with no home, not knowing where he’d sleep that night nor where his next meal was coming from was asking the Lord to bless me, an obviously ambulatory and much more financially secure white woman. Now, how glad am I that I remember that man, his smile, and his blessing on days like today when I’m inclined to feel discouraged from my long and ongoing bouts of chronic pain. Whenever I think on it, it reminds me that every day is an opportunity to honor God for His gifts and His “angels unawares.” I pray that wherever this man is today that he’s greeted with a host of smiles and that he still finds reasons to rejoice and be glad in the day the Lord has given him.  For how well clothed in God’s compassion was he the day our paths crossed!

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. ~Colossians 3:12   ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

** Mixed media image via Pinterest