330. The birds pour forth their souls in notes, of rapture from a thousand throats. ~William Wordsworth

Happier of happy though I be, like them
I cannot take possession of the sky,
Mount with a thoughtless impulse and wheel there
One of a mighty multitude, whose way
And motion is a harmony and dance
Magnificent…
~William Wordsworth

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A few weeks ago much of the ground in my garden was bare and seemingly bereft of life; now growing things are exploding from every plot, nook, and cranny. Even things I didn’t sow or plant are coming forth thanks to the winter winds and birds who sowed seeds for me. The bird population, as it does every spring, has swelled as well; the air is filled with the fluttering of wings, the building of nests, and joyful birdsongs. And what sweet melodies the birds sing for mankind! It does indeed seem that they “pour forth their souls in notes, of rapture from a thousand throats.” And as I listen, I find myself wondering how many birds have sung these same songs since the beginning of time. The number would probably stagger my imagination, but whatever it is would be more than enough to remind me that each of us is here with as much of a Divine purpose as they. Why, might one ask does their singing bring that thought to mind? It’s something that occurred to me long ago when I read, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has a reason. It sings because it has a song.” So now that thought always reminds me that every one of us has a voice, a “song” of some kind that’s capable, like the birds, of bringing a joyful noise into the world both for the Lord and for those mortals in need of hearing one.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. ~Psalm 98:4 ✝

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!

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219. That each day I may walk unceasingly on the banks of my water, that my soul may repose on the branches of the trees which I planted, that I may refresh myself under the shadow of my sycamore. ~Egyptian Tomb Inscription, circa 1400 BCE

Because they are primeval, because they outlive us,
because they are fixed, trees seem to emanate a sense of permanence.
And though rooted in earth, they seem to touch the sky.
For these reasons it is natural to feel we might learn wisdom from them,
to haunt about them with the idea that if we could only read
their silent riddle rightly we should learn some secret vital
to our real, our lasting and spiritual existence.
~Kim Taplin

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Before the sun fell over the edge of the world yesterday, it painted its recently traversed path with reddish-pink and mauve streaks.  In between the streaks were smaller golden rays that eventually blended into the pinker bands of light.  As these streaks shot up to the sky’s pinnacle, they oozed deliciousness through the open spaces in one of my favorite trees.  It’s a sycamore tree directly across the street from our house, and it’s so old that most of its bark has fallen away.  When it has, as it has now, lost most of its floppy brown leaves the tree’s strange fruits are more visible as area its long, slender alabaster arms, arms that seem to reach up and caress the heavens’ spacious blue lagoons.  Another thing I love about this particular tree is that in winter’s chilling winds its clattering branches seem to whisper prophecies of another spring’s birthing beneath the soil in silent chambers waiting for the prompting of the sun’s warmth on lengthening days and spring rains.

I’m the first one to admit that sometimes I’m hard pressed on difficult days to find reasons to be joyful, but I’m learning to look expectantly as well as long enough to find some measure of God’s glory in the day at hand.  When dealing with a run of painful days as I am now, it becomes not only more challenging but also more necessary.  The Holy Spirit within is the protector of one’s spiritual flame as well as a guide, and so if one turns inward to look for an appointment of grace, he/she will find what’s needed to press upward and onward.  On this day that spark of relief and mercy was found in the beauty of a tree.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  ~Psalm 118:24  ✝