1287. And all the daughters of the year shall dance! ~Excerpted line from “To Autumn” by William Blake

We should consider every day lost
in which we have not danced at least once.
~Friedrich Nietzsche

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I am the Lord of the Dance said He
And we shall dance with each other in autumn’s splendor

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I am the Lord of the Dance said He
And we shall dance in the slant of its golden hours

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I am the Lord of the Dance said He
And we shall dance beneath skies of China blues

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I am the Lord of the Dance said He
And we shall dance amid the glory of colorful leaves

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I am the Lord of the Dance said He
And we shall dance alongside blossoms laden with dew

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I am the Lord of the Dance said He
And we shall dance in winds that speak of change

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I am the Lord of the Dance said He
And we shall dance rings around big plump pumpkins

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I am the Lord of the Dance said He
And you and I shall dance as Lover with His beloved

Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. ~Excerpt from Jeremiah 31:13  ✝

**All photos taken by Natalie except the two images in the collage at the top

1155. A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars. ~Victor Hugo

I haven’t much time to be fond of anything…
but when I have a moment’s fondness
to bestow, most times…the roses get it.
I began my life among them
in my father’s nursery garden, and
I shall end my life among them, if I can.
~Wilkie Collins

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The garden is the place I go for refuge and shelter, not the house. In the house are duties and annoyances, servants to exhort and admonish, furniture, and meals; but out there blessings crowd round me at every step — it is there that I am sorry for the unkindness in me, for those selfish thoughts that are so much worse than they feel; it is there that all my sins and silliness are forgiven, there that I feel protected and at home, and every flower and weed is a friend and every tree a lover. When I have been vexed I run to them for comfort, and when I have been angry without just cause, it is there I find absolution. Did ever a woman have so many friends? And always the same, always ready to welcome me and fill me with cheerful thoughts. Happy children of a common Father, why should I, their own sister, be less content and joyous than they? ~Elizabeth von Arnim

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Gardens and chocolate
both have mystical qualities.
~Edward Flaherty

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I would hurry to my place of shelter far from the tempest and the storm. ~Psalm 55:8 ✝

**All flower images taken by me in my yard; lower most chocolate image via Pinterest

1129. Butterflies dot springtime with flitting airy kisses. ~Terri Guillemets

The butterfly long loved the beautiful rose,
And flirted around all day;
While round him in turn with her golden caress,
Soft fluttered the sun’s warm ray…
~Excerpt from a poem by
Heinrich Heine

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Butterfly, butterfly, where are you going?
Do you dine today with the regal rose
Or nectar sip with the lilies blowing
In the golden noontide’s sweet repose?
Away, away, on silken pinions,
Gay guest of Flora’s proudest minions.

Or will you pause midst the fragrant clover
And their humbler viands not despise,
While the proud tuberoses wait their lover
And the pansies smile from their velvet eyes?
Away, away, on dainty pinions
Gay guest in Flora’s fair dominions.
~Excerpted verses from a poem by
Martha Lavinia Hoffman

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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  ✝

**Top image found on Pinterest; edited bottom image found on the Internet

1089. The quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven  upon the place beneath. ~William Shakespeare

The great and amorous sky curved over the earth,
and lay upon her as a pure lover.
The rain, the humid flux descending from heaven
for both man and animal, for both thick and strong,
germinated the wheat, swelled the furrows
with fecund mud and brought forth the buds in the orchards.
~Aeschylus, The Danaides, c 500 B.C.

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Rain! Each drop is a small, but powerful, miracle descending from above, and when it falls, it comes down on a mission of salvation through time, space, and distance. When it first hits the ground after a prolonged dry spell like the one we’d been having, the sound of it fills my ears with joyful delight. As I listen to the falling rain it seems to create a kind of music which is not unlike the dulcet chords a beloved’s voice gives rise to. What’s more its haunting melodies often spark the remembrance of a vague “water” memory, perhaps a nebulous recollection of my wet beginning that lingers somewhere in memory’s oldest and deepest recesses. So it is that for as long as I can remember I’ve been drawn to rain’s mystique, and it never fails to put a smile on my face and thanksgiving in my heart. It has been said that nature, like man, sometimes weeps for gladness, and when the smell of wet soil and damp grass greet my nose, I have also been known to “weep for gladness.” Not only that but on the heels of the smiling, gratitude, and weeping, I’m oftimes overcome with the irresistible urge I felt in childhood to jump and dance with wanton joy in the sloshy puddles beneath my feet.

He(God) draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams. Job 36: 27  ✝

**These are rain dotted flowers already blooming in my gardens.

1004. Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the spirit of God. ~Edwin Keith

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I believe in God, and that there are pieces of him, called love and goodness, in everyone. I also believe in prayer, not the memorized type mumbled in church but the spontaneous kind spoken, ironically, in the last breath of the day, when the lamp has been dimmed and the bedspread drawn down, and it’s just you and those pieces of God in you, alone…. I suspect that when a man grows too big to kneel, then he is destined to fall. ~Joe Kita

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. ~Psalm 42:8  ✝

**The image is of monarda that grew in garden last summer.

899. The people who know God well—mystics, hermits, prayerful people, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, not a dictator. ~Richard Rohr

Once you are in communion with God,
you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear other
people in whom God has also found a dwelling place.
~Henri Nouwen

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Lover of my soul
Will you listen to me
I know you will
My spirit you see
My heart you touch
My soul you shape
My being is yours
I’m here, please take
Me away to that secret place
Where we connect
~Staci Lys Dunn Silva at:
https://stacilys.wordpress.com/about/

From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. ~Psalm 33:13-15  ✝

**Rose image via Pinterest

563. Mournful singer of dawn and dusk I hear well your song. ~Author Unknown

And now November rains erode the nests
That mourning doves assembled in the gardens
From where their mild and wind-warm coos caressed
My ear, to quiet earth that cools and hardens
~Edward Alan Bartholomew

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As I worked in the yard today, a mourning dove somewhere above my head sang her sad, sad tune in the dwindling hours of the late November day. Although I could hear her long before I could see her, eventually I spied her and her soft, pinkish underbelly on the high wire where she sat in an intermittent reverie between her sorrowful cries. Perplexed by her pleas I sat pondering the meaning of the doleful melodies. Why does she cry I wondered? Does she lament the closing of the day and the dark, moonless night that lies ahead? Have her children come and gone too soon? Where is her lover that he might console her? Is she hungry? Is she frightened? Surely she doesn’t lament the regrettable affairs of men. Then I noticed that the stone rabbit with the upright ears seemed to be pondering her despair as well. Again I mulled over what the cause of her woe might be. The weather and the garden, though not perfect this time of year, should be no cause for such sorrowful sounds. Other birds had for sure been chattering gleefully which made her cries and lamentations even more pitiful. Cooah, coo, coo, coo she’d called over and over again as the day wound down, and then suddenly just before all light was gone her melancholy voice vanished. And then it occurred to me that perhaps her haunting, soulful sounds were simply songs of praise for another day of living and it was time to rest her weary wings.

I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” ~Psalm 55:6   ✝

** Image via Pinterest