1361. The spring is coming by many a sign… ~Excerpted line from a poem by John Clare

I have said that there was
great pleasure in watching
the ways in which different plants
come through the ground,
and February and March are
the months in which that
can best be seen.
~Henry N. Ellacombe

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March! March! March!
They are coming In troops to the tune of the wind.
Redheaded woodpeckers drumming,
Gold – crested thrushes behind;
Sparrows in brown jackets, hopping
Past every gateway and door;
Finches, with crimson caps, stopping
Just where they stopped before.

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March! March! March! They are slipping
Into their places at last. . .
Literature white lily buds, dripping
Under the showers that fall fast;
Buttercups, violets, roses;
Tulip and bluebell and pink;
Daffodils and saucer magnolias
Throng upon throng of sweet posies
Bending the dewdrops to drink.

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March! March! March! They will hurry
Forth at the wild bugle sound,
Blossoms and birds in a flurry,
Fluttering all over the ground.
Shake out your flags, birch and willow!
Shake out your red tassels, larch!
Grass blades, up from your earth – pillow.
Hear who is calling you. . . March.
~Edited and adapted poem
by Lucy Larcom

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Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. ~Song of Songs 2:12 ✝

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**All photos taken by Natalie except the one of the House Finch.

1205. Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name. ~Rabindranath Tagore

This time of the year is so terribly hot that I find myself grumbling morning, noon, and evening about the relentless, scorching rays of the sun, the same sun that in winter is quite a welcome presence! So here’s to the beautiful sun, bearer of light and life, and the sunflower that mimics its golden glory.

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Beautiful Sun! with thy golden rays,
To God, the wise Creator, be all praise;
For thou nourisheth all the creation,
Wherever there is found to be animation.

Without thy heat we could not live,
Then praise to God we ought to give;
For thou makest the fruits and provisions to grow,
To nourish all creatures on earth below.

Thou makest the birds to sing on the tree,
Also by meadow, mountain, and lea;
And the lark high poised up in air,
Caroling its little song with its heart free from care.

While the bee from flower to flower does roam
To gather honey, and carry it home;
While it hums its little song in the beautiful sunshine,
And seemingly to thank the Creator divine —

For the honey it hath gathered during the day,
In the merry growing months of the year
When the flowers are in full bloom,
Also the sweet honeysuckle and the broom.

How beautiful thy appearance while setting in the west,
Whilst encircled with red and azure, ’tis then thou look’st best!
Then let us all thank God for thy golden light
In our prayers every morning and night!
~Edited poem by Max Plowman

…“May the Lord bless his land with the precious dew from heaven above and with the deep waters that lie below; with the best the sun brings forth and the finest the moon can yield…” ~Excerpted lines from Deuteronomy 33:13-14  ✝

**Photo taken by me in my yard

1021. Life is a series of little deaths out of which life always returns. ~Charles Feidelson, Jr. 

There is something frank
and joyous and young
in the open face 
of the country.
It gives itself ungrudgingly
to the moods of the season,
holding nothing back.
~Willa Cather

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Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. It’s only two days until the end of the year. The train carrying all of this year’s comings and goings has all but run out of track, and it has been almost 10 days since we entered the season of somber gardens, short, but lengthening days, decidedly lower temperatures, and more-gray-than-blue skies. The reckless abandon of the growing seasons has yielded to winter’s, seemingly unadventurous restraint, and the countryside has been at least somewhat ravaged. The bare bones of the landscape now stand like silent sentinels over treasures buried beneath the soil where masses of autumn’s fallen have come to rest. Although the countryside appears to be wasted and barren, the soil in reality is teeming with life, life which the decaying matter warms and protects. And so it is time for us to rest and reflect on life, love, and home, whatever, whoever, and wherever that might be for you.

~The land enjoyed its sabbath rests… ~Excerpt from 2 Chronicles 36:21  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

743. Zero (0) is not nothing.  It’s a circle, without beginning or end. Holy. Healed. ~Wallace Black Elk, Lakota

A wheel was shown to me,
wonderful to behold.
Divinity . . . is like a wheel,
a circle, a whole,
that can neither be understood,
nor divided, nor begun nor ended . . .
no one has the power
 to divide
this circle, 
to surpass it, or to limit it.
~St. Hildegard of Bingen

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beginnings, middles, endings,
so 
go the circles of life
 here
and over and over again
the sacred circles repeat themselves
with more beginnings,
more middles,
more endings,
and yet little seems the same from
day to day, month to month, year to year,
in these patterns of inconstancy
within the undeniable constancy
that create our “wow” now moments
as well as the not so “wow” ones
so what’s to be made of all the same
and not so same circular sameness
or the ups and downs and all around times
in the beginnings, middles, and endings
only the Ancient of Days knows why
these everlasting 
holy rhythms
of the universe
 move in such a way
~Natalie Scarberry

It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. ~Deuteronomy 11:12   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

692. Could life so end, half told; its school so fail? Soul, soul, there is a sequel to thy tale! ~Robert Mowry Bell

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices…
~Charles Kingsley

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These realities, of which Kingsley speaks, are meant to stir in humanity an ancient sense of belonging and in turn spark a desire to seek Yahweh, the Ancient of Days, but should they not, finding God in Christ is something even the blind can do. Our Creator sent us His son over 2000 years ago to be our memory and remind us of who we are and to whom we belong. Jesus is a revelation of our loving Father, of His amazing Grace, and of His Kingdom’s intention. And as the Messiah, Christ offers mortals, all of whom are subjected to detrimental temptation by malevolent forces in a fallen world, salvation, and then He, as their spiritual leader, directs those, who accept His offer, into righteous rhythms of life, into a willingness to serve others, and into the dance of life–a dance in which the whole universe can be seen as a partner.

“Easter is not a time for groping through dusty, musty tomes or tombs to disprove spontaneous generation or even to prove life eternal.  It is a day to fan the ashes of dead hope, a day to banish doubts and seek the slopes where the sun is rising, to revel in the faith which transports us out of ourselves and the dead past into the vast and inviting unknown.”  ~Author unknown, as quoted in the Lewiston Tribune

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 12:2 ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage by Natalie

688. No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. ~Hal Borland

Let me arise and open the gate,
to breathe the wild warm air…
To let in Life,
and to let out Death.
~Violet Fane, British novelist, poet, and essayist

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Blow, Breath of heaven, blow!  Blow through the land and over the waters.  Carry away death’s dark vapors and let life in.  Let the “wild warm air” of springtime spark life in every nook and cranny.  Let every mountain, plain, and valley break forth in gladness.  Let the ceaseless waves of the seas and the rushing currents of rivers roar with a renewed passion for life.  Let the clouds suckle earth’s waters and then send rain from heaven to moisten the earth and let loose her flowering.  Let life, whole and vibrant, dazzle us into a new awareness of You.

Blow, Breath of heaven, blow!  Blow through us and take us down to the bottom of our souls where You, O God, the Breath of all things, are present “deep within all that has life.”  We who have recently traversed winter’s dark domain yearn to feel your warmth and vitality course through our bodies and all that has life again.  We long for earth and sky’s vast array of bright colors to take away winter’s preponderance of grays and browns.  O Holy One, come; let us see You “in every emanation of Creation’s life.”  We give you glory and thanks for all that You are, for Your ever-lasting goodness and never-ending love, “for creatures stirring forth,” “for plant forms stretching and unfolding,” “for the stable earth and its solid rocks.”  O blessed Breath of heaven, arise and blow life afresh through Eden’s gates!

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

**Both images via Pinterest