1178. Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it. Vladimir Nabokov

Smell is a potent wizard that transports you
across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.
~Helen Keller

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Creature comforts! What are they anyway? Okay, lets establish what the term “creature comforts” means. It is thought that the expression was first used in the 1600‘s to describe the simple things that met a person’s needs such as food, a good bed, comfortable shoes, etc. The meaning has evolved a bit over time as it now includes physical ease such as warmth, available hot and cold water, clean laundry, in other words anything that makes life more comfortable and pleasant. Simply put, it can be any small item or detail that makes a person feel at home, which includes not only creature comforts but also heart and soul comforts as well. I think perhaps many of us have similar creature comforts but then time and place may, if asked, change some of our answers to the question. On a side note, before I go on though, I’ve read that interestingly in World War I, creature comforts were cherished even more than comradeship and unit loyalties.

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Nothing is more memorable than a smell.
Smells detonate softly in our memory like
poignant land mines hidden under
the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire
of smell and memories explode all at once.
A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.
~Diane Ackerman

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Okay, so what does all this creature comfort stuff have to do with smell? It all started this morning as I sat looking out at my white lilies and remembered their lovely fragrance. Probably because these particular lilies are so white it hit a tripwire of the unforgettable and delicious scent of linens, sheets and towels and such, from my childhood that had been hung outside to dry on a clothesline. That led to thoughts of homemade quilts and white iron beds and the incredibly luscious night’s sleep that was to be had in, on, and under such things which have always been some of my most favorite creature, heart, and soul comforts. Then as Ackerman put it, poignant land mines of memories began to detonate all over my place, but they were the kinds of memories not too many share these days.

If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? ~1 Corinthians 12:17  ✝

**All images but the white lily found on Pinterest; collages by Natalie

1066. God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. ~Francis Bacon

A garden is a delight to the eye
and a solace for the soul.
~Sadi

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Who hath a garden, he has joy,
However small his plot may be.
Wide his horizons; in his demesne
Master of beauty and life is he.

God has gracious smiled on him,
Made him a helper in His great task–
Building a glorious world in time;
What finer task could anyone ask?

Who hath a garden, he has friends–
Lilies and roses will not forsake;
When they depart, ‘tis but for a time;
They will return when the spring winds wake.

Let him rejoice on his kingly throne
Who hath a garden of pink and gold;
Kings bear burdens and soon are gray–
Who hath a garden shall not grow old.
~Thomas Curtis Clark

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. ~Psalm 47:1  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

872. The sun is new each day. ~Heraclitus

Every day is the world made new.
I have lived all my life up to this moment,
to come to this day. I shall make of this day –
each moment of this day – a heaven on earth.
~Dan Custer

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Every morning the world is created.
Under the orange sticks of the sun
the heaped ashes of the night
turn into leaves again and
fasten themselves to the high branches —
and the ponds appear like black cloth
on which are painted islands of summer lilies.
If it is your nature to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails for hours,
your imagination alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit carries within it
the thorn that is heavier than lead —
if it’s all you can do to keep on trudging —
there is still somewhere deep within you a beast
shouting that the earth is exactly what it wanted —
each pond with its blazing lilies is a prayer
heard and answered lavishly, every morning,
whether or not you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not you have ever dared to pray.
~Mary Oliver

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. ~Psalm 65:8  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

401. Tough as a mule, big as imagination, pretty as a summer dress, eternal as the sky. ~Steve Bender

One little, two little, three little flowers
Four little, five little, six little flowers
Seven little, eight little, nine little flowers
Ten little blooming pinknesses!

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Bender’s words above describe crinum lilies, which he says are “also called hot country lilies.” In the article that Steve wrote about crinums, he went on to say that “forever Southerners have cultivated, swapped, and rhapsodized about these bulbs, according them nearly legendary status.” He, himself, remembers sitting on his grandmother’s porch with crinum clumps on either side, and as their fragrance enveloped him, he thought it was the most pleasant thing on earth.

First there was one, and I was thrilled. Then there were two, and I was beyond thrilled. Now there are three and I am overwhelmed with gladness and gratitude for what has been born of faith, hope, and love.  So far my newly acquired crinum bulb that I wrote about last weekend has produced three large flower stalks from its strappy green foliage, and each stalk has produced at least ten showy pink blossoms. How much more blessed can one little gardener be!

Where flowers bloom so does hope.
~Lady Bird Johnson

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With a few flowers in my garden,
half a dozen picture and some books,
I live without envy.
~Lope de Vega

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Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. ~Psalm 25:5 ✝

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! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

381. Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Painting is poetry
that is seen rather than felt,
and poetry is painting
that is felt rather than seen.
~Leonardo da Vinci

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COLORS OF MY BRUSH

Blue for the eyes that loved my calm sky,
green for the soft grass we slept on,
white for the lilies we picked,
yellow for small daises,
purple for sunsets,
red for wild lips,
pink for skin,
rose for
you.
~by Andrew Crisci

Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is created. And no matter whether it be by painting, sculpture, architecture, music, writing (poetry, prose, drama), performing arts (theater or dance), film making, photography, or printmaking, the maker of whatever inspired the creative endeavor, has felt, experienced, and/or seen things so moving that the urge to give life to artistic expressions has erupted in his/her very soul. Why?  Because inherent in each of our souls is Yahweh’s creative abilities since we are made in His creating image.

Art is a collaboration
between God and the artist,
and the less the artist does
the better.
~André Gide

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. ~Genesis 2:7  ✝

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!

** Image via Pinterest.

380. Flowers are the alphabet of angels, whereby they write on the hills and fields mysterious truths. ~Benjamin Franklin

Yet, the great ocean hath no tone of power mightier
to reach the soul, in thought’s hushed hour,
than yours, ye Lilies! chosen thus and graced!
~Mrs. Felicia D. Hemans

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Lilies, beautiful lilies, I adore them! And I feel sure they’ve written “mysterious truths” on many a hill and field since they’ve been cultivated for thousands and thousands of years. Lilies were the holy flower of the ancient Assyrians, and there’s an ancient legend that says the lily sprang up from the tears Eve shed as she left the Garden of Eden. It has also been written that the lily-of-the-valley grew up from the tears shed by Mary over the death of her son, Jesus, the Messiah. The word lily in French is lis and the fleur-de-lis may be a stylized representation of a lily. However there’s been much controversy and debate about whether the stylized flower is a lily or a wild yellow iris instead. Despite the disputes, at some point in the Middle Ages, the fleur-de-lis did in fact become a religious symbol associated with the lily. That may have stemmed from words in the Song of Solomon and other passages of scripture or literary works since Christ has often been depicted amid stylized lilies.

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My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another. Like lily pads, round and green, these places summoned and then held me up while I grew. Each prepared me for the next leaf on which I would land, and in this way I moved across the swamp of doubt and fear. ~Anne Lamott

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My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies. ~Song of Songs 6:2 ✝

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!

379. And the stately lilies stand, fair in the silvery light, like saintly vestals, pale in prayer; their pure breath sanctifies the air, as their fragrance fills the night. ~Julia C. R. Dorr

God’s the lily of the valley
Praise Him from all fields to cope
Where all angels meet to rally
Insuring us with lasting hope.
~Excerpted lines from a poem by Mae Stein

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I have been thinking
about living
like the lilies
that blow in the fields.

They rise and fall
in the edge of the wind,
and have no shelter
from the tongues of the cattle,

and have no closets or cupboards,
and have no legs.
Still I would like to be
as wonderful

as the old idea.
But if I were a lily
I think I would wait all day
for the green face

of the hummingbird
to touch me.
What I mean is,
could I forget myself

even in those feathery fields?
~Excerpted lines from Mary Oliver’s poem, Lilies

My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies. ~Song of Songs 2:16 ✝

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!