1106. Everything in heaven and earth breathes. Breath is the thread that ties creation together. ~Morihei Ueshiba

Every breath we take,
every step we make,
can be filled with peace,
joy and serenity.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Breath
Breath, the mindful breath,
the rhythm, out and in,
the wave that washes
through our days,
creating space for stillness,
sorrow, joy, or exaltation.
Full, then empty,
ebb and flow,
breath accompanies
each step into the unknown.
In the breath, the soul
finds an opportunity to speak.
Images or intuition,
poetry or wordless wisdom
come and go — no effort but
to breathe and listen.
~Danna Faulds

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. ~Psalm 33:6  ✝

**Image found on Pixabay; text added by Natalie

686. Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust

We only part to meet again.
Change, as ye list, ye winds;
my heart shall be the faithful compass
that still points to thee.
~John Gay

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Once one steps into cyberspace via the internet, he/she opens the door to being able to speak to “strangers” all over the world. And even if there is no photo attached to their blog post, over time a recognizable “identity” develops from the kinds of things posted, be they words or simply images of some sort. Then as time passes and interactions continue with these “strangers,” one is not only able to learn more and more about who he or she is but also more about himself/herself from ongoing conversations or the sharing of images. Another fascinating aspect about this process is that through nothing more than this kind of “distant” and “blind” communication, lasting relationships develop, genuine fondnesses grow, and abiding love and respect occur. For, distance, it seems, never separates the hearts of those who come to care for one another and shared experiences as well as the building of memories make it possible for love to span miles and miles of vast distances.  This is not surprising since It is from and in God’s love which knows no boundaries that we are made and sustained, and it’s in the redeeming love of Jesus that we find salvation.

Once the realization is accepted that
even between the closest of human beings
infinite distances continue,
a wonderful living side by side can grow,
if they succeed in loving the distance between them
which makes it possible for each to see
the other whole against the sky.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. ~1 John 4:11   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

567. Fragrance takes you on a journey of time. ~Daphne Guinness

There’s not a wind
but whispers thy name;
not a scent that beneath the moon,
but tells a tale of thee…
~Edited and adapted excerpt
from Bryan Proctor

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As I opened the door to go out and close up the greenhouse, I could smell the scent of a wood burning fire wafting through the garden. All around me the darkness was descending uncommonly quiet and still except for a slow trickle of water falling from one tier to another in the fountain. It had been a cloudy day, but now occasional breaks in the clouds were allowing glimpses of a waxing gibbous moon–the distinctive, ancient moon that was the only nocturnal companion for those who’d once lived a more solitary existence where I now stand. As I stopped to inhale the fragrance of autumn’s ripeness, the aroma of burning oak, and the scent of the damp soil, I was momentarily transfixed as images of pioneers moving west across the land passed before my mind’s eye. They were descendants of immigrants like my great-grandparents who came here in covered wagons from the east, and I reckon that maybe, just maybe, it’s echoes of their voices I yet hear whispering faintly in the winds that blow across the Texas prairies.

I love the aroma of wood smoke and the crunching sound of autumn leaves beneath my feet and the savory scents that fill the space between heaven and earth this time of year. When darkness lowers, the moon, if it’s up there, is a comforting presence in the night sky, and the long nights ahead become cozy times of nestling down in a comfy chair with a cup of hot chocolate or tea for warmth to dream, yes to dream, first that in some soon-to-come felicitous moment I’ll look out the window and witness the wondrous spectacle of snow and secondly that spring will come sooner than usual and be even more glorious than the last. Ah, but how the marvelous old moon makes dreamers out of us all!

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere. ~2 Corinthians 2:14   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

526. Heat lingers as days are still long; early mornings are cool while autumn is still young. ~Po Chu-i, Chinese poet who lived from 772-864 during the Tang Dynasty

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


~Excerpt from i thank you God for most this amazing… (65)

by e.e. cummings, a poet whose peculiar syntax
and lack of or strange use of punctuation
conjures up as lasting and as memorable
images as this photo

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I think it curious when I read another’s perfect description of my current reality, especially when it is one like Po Chu-i’s that was written so long ago and so far away from where I am. When it happens, I can’t help but wonder what the writer was like, what he was doing when not writing poetry, and what the landscape looked like that inspired his thoughts and rhymes. Was he young like the autumn of which he spoke, or was he like me, one who has weathered many an autumn. I also  wonder if in China today the heat lingers again in Lady Autumn’s infancy. It’s certainly lingering hear in Texas in the 21st century. However, I’m not complaining because for some time now our early morns have been deliciously cool as have been the evenings that draw the days to an end. So cool in fact was it again this morning that after last night’s watering, droplets yet bejeweled the rose in the photo. That in and of itself is cause for thanksgiving since it wasn’t too long ago that all such surface water would have evaporated before dawn’s first light brushed away night’s obscurity. Actually, despite the lingering heat, this fall has been filled with more than a fair measure of splendor, a smattering of its usual intimations of holy mysteries, and now the first expected touches of nature’s autumnal poetry have been penned. Speaking of poetry, some poets like e.e. cummings write lines that challenge easy interpretation, but often poetry which defies easy understanding endures through the ages because the words and thoughts resonate in the deepest chambers of the human heart. Perhaps that’s why today I’m captivated by cumming’s poetic imagination as well as nature’s magical images and the Lord’s amazing genius.

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

328. Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

We are mosaics–
pieces of light,
love,
history,
stars–
glued together
with
magic
and music
and words.
~Anita Krizzan

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Wordsmiths we are, we who pen our thoughts and feelings upon the page, scribes who search the depths of our hearts to share the terrors in our “dark nights of the soul” and the heights of ecstasy in our glad times and victories for if we touch such things in others, we connect in our vulnerable sameness, grief is halved and joys doubled. The artist who paints upon a canvas or sketches on paper does the same with the images he/she creates as does the musician who marks notes upon a staff. The creative urge is deeply rooted in the human soul, and our yearning to bring what’s inside to the surface is a way of getting to know God, our Creator, for we are, after all, made in His image.

This is what God the Lord says–the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it… Isaiah 42:5  ✝

Thank you, Lord 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!

318. Water is the driver of nature. ~Leonardo da Vinci

Be praised, My Lord,
through Sister Water;
she is very useful,
and humble,
and precious,
and pure.
~St. Francis of Assisi

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The sight of water, be it in a pond, a river, the sea, a fountain, or even a drop from a spigot touches something deep in “the temple of my inner being.” I love to sit quietly and watch water fall or splash or ripple or break like the waves on a seashore. And if I peer down long enough into the mysterious depths of a body of water, my mind conjures up images of earth’s origins, and subsequently the Garden of Eden comes alive in my soul’s eye. Even gauzy reflections which quiver and quake in a puddle or body of water seem to possess a captivating life, a compelling story, a gripping sanctity of their own.

Although I know not where it rests in the human psyche, I believe somewhere therein mortals recognize familiar things not necessarily of this world, things they appear to know without human tutelage or logic’s reason. In the same way a child instinctively recognizes its biological mother even after the umbilical cord is severed, I believe we, who are temporarily separated from the Holy Source of our being, retain a sense of the Father’s parenting presence because we belong to the Lord and are inextricably a part of Him. It could be that’s why earth and its waters not only call to me but also comfort me.

…by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. ~2 Peter 3:5  ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us!

**Photo via Pinterest

299. Last weekend, there came a bitter cold snap, which did great damage to my garden…It is sad that Nature plays such tricks on us poor mortals, inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her, and then, when we are entirely within her power, striking us to the heart. ~Edited and adapted excerpt from Nathaniel Hawthorne

Who loves a garden
Finds within his soul
Life’s whole,
He hears the anthem of the soil
While ingrates toil;
And sees beyond his little sphere
The waving fronds of heaven, clear.
~Louise Seymour Jones

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I’ve been trying to figure out today what it is about a garden that is so seductive and irresistible for me, but I’m still no closer to an answer than when I’ve pondered it before.  I just know that something in nature calls to me and touches me on a deep level, brings glad music to my heart, and feeds “life’s whole” within my soul.  That’s why the losses due to last weekend’s dirty “trick” have struck a grievous blow to my heart which in turn has sent me sinking down, down, down into what one writer has called winter’s “vale of grief.”  Normally I can shake things off pretty quickly, but in addition to that casualty the arthritis in my left knee and left foot have me hobbling around on a cane, unable to get outside and do things that need to be done in the garden, and that’s creating a bluer than blue, bluish “funk.”  Now after spending way too much time inside, stationary and feeling a bit sorry for myself, I’m STARVED!!!  Like a junkie, I need my “fix.”  I need to hear the “anthem of the soil.”  Moreover, I need to touch the earth and dig in the dirt.  I need to feel Eden’s beating heart, her rhythms.  I need to hear the birds singing over my head.  I need color.  I need to see things growing and to look upon flowery faces, even a wretched dandelion would do.  I need to feel the sun’s warmth on my back.  And as much as anything else I need to feel God’s palpable presence in my tiny corner of His sanctum sanctorum.

Alas, sadly, I’m afraid it will be sometime before all those needs are met.  So I dug around on Pinterest board’s trying to find the kinds of images that typically draw me into a garden’s web of magic and glory.  Since I have no way of knowing when Old Man Winter will return to his arctic cave nor when my body will stop betraying me, they and a a little garden poetry will have to suffice.

From there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul.  ~Deuteronomy 4:29   ✝