820. Flowers really do intoxicate me. ~Vita Sackville-West

  All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener’s garters, Shepherd’s purse,
Bachelor’s buttons, Lady’s smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.

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Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames–
These must all be fairy names!

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Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!

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Fair are grown-up people’s trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where, if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms. Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him. ~Auguste Rodin

Ah to be an artist and to be able to have conversations with the flowers, but then I talk to mine all the time, offering up praise for their beauty. Admittedly they tend to be one-sided conversations, but nodding the head demurely is an acceptable way of accepting words of admiration, is it not?! So too, when I hear the Lord speak, I bow my head in the same way the flowers do, and I pray He also sees it as an act of devoted adoration.

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. ~1 Chronicles 29:11  ✝

**I took the photo of the pink Hollyhock when we visited Monet’s gardens at Giverny, France. The other two images I found on Pinterest.

517. Autumn: “The season for enjoying the fullness of life…” ~Denis Waitley

Autumn, the year’s last,
loveliest smile.
~William Cullen Bryant

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And what an absolutely lovely smile it is! Earth is the only planet in the universe that’s just the right distance from the sun to support life as we know it, and by its 23 and a half degree tilt, the seasons are created, seasons that change as the result of wind, rain, fire, and ice. I think autumn smiles because it knows that its predecessors will come again and again to bring days of glory born in their reign back to fall’s domain. At the end of a great, BBC-made Disney movie called EARTH, the narrator, speaking with an appropriate sense of wonder and awe, makes the following statement, “Earth is full of harsh realities, but sometimes it’s just paradise.” And so it is! When our planet is seen in that light, one can’t help but realize the captivating majesty and goodness that Adam saw and that can still be seen today. When seasons are observed closely on a day to day basis or the opening verses of Ecclesiastes’ third chapter are read, mortals understand that everything, even harsh realities, has a season and purpose in God’s Creation. So it is that now the corners of fall’s mouth are already turning up and soon the season will spread into a grand and broad smiling face that brings an end only to the span of a single year.

  There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

502. The morrow was a bright September morn; the earth was beautiful as if newborn; 
there was nameless splendor everywhere, that wild exhilaration in the air… ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Did you hear them? Of maybe see them?! Did you? I didn’t either, but I know autumn fairies played upon the lawn last night; dew from their pixie dust was shining like diamonds upon the grass this morning. They must have worn themselves out in their playfulness, however, and vanished with the dawn because now where once they romped all I see are avian wings crisscrossing the yard.

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Fall has come but her red leaf and her gold have not. And so though the year is growing long in the tooth, the sparkle of life’s spark continues to pulse audibly to the beat of Yahweh’s heart. His Eden is still very much alive; spring and summer’s glory have not been vanquished. I know because I can hear it and see it bursting forth in the red of rosy faces, the yellow that sits atop the Maximillian sunflowers, the white that calls out from the Angel’s trumpets, the pink that plays on in phloxy mounds, the blue that paints the sky and the morning glories, the orange that echoes from the echinacea, the purple that mounts the ruella, and the green that continues to flesh out in grass and fern.

Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place. ~1 Chronicles 16:27   ✝

Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of this amazing day as well as the power and strength that fills this aging, ailing body with enough oomph to praise you and rejoice in another day!

** Image via Pinterest

432. Colors are the smiles of nature. ~Leigh Hunt, British author

Summer is the time when one sheds
one’s tensions with one’s clothes,
and the right kind of day is a jeweled balm
for the battered spirit.
A few of those days and you can become drunk
with the belief that all’s right with the world.
~Ada Louise Huxtable

What color do words like blush, coral, fuchsia, magenta, raspberry, rose, and salmon conjure up? Isn’t it pink, pink that tones down the physical passion of red, replacing it with a gentle, loving energy?

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Pink that’s the sweet side of red, pink that’s playfulness and tenderness, pink that’s the color of bubble gum and cotton candy and babies, especially little girls.

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Pink that’s charming, pink that soothes the heart and fills it with love, pink that’s feminine and romantic, affectionate and intimate, thoughtful and caring.

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Pink that’s compassion and nurturing and unconditional love, pink that’s a sign of hope, pink that represents the sweetness and innocence of the child in all of us.

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But pink is not just a color; it embodies a variety of attitudes, all of which are uplifting. There’s the cool and collected pinks, the bold and sassy hotter pinks, the soft and drowsy pinks, and the daring and dramatic deep pinks.

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In the spring I think of pink as a somewhat shy presence but as summer’s fiery temperatures rise, pink is anything but timid. In Texas the scorching days of July and August punish the flesh and the spirit relentlessly, but even the smallest touch of pink pours over them like a soothing salve of goodness. The pinks of summer may not entirely keep one from walking “without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer,” but they do keep the flames from licking up so high that they completely snuff out the breath. While locusts screech, pink flowers murmur softer melodies taking some of the edge off their discordant harmonies and human discomfort. I’ve even seen ribbons of pink in a majestic sunset at the end of a day when they seemed to cool down the heat from the intense, fiery glow of the summer sun.

Praise the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. The Lord wraps Himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chamber on their waters. ~Psalm 104:1-2   ✝

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

356. Reflection is a flower of the mind, giving out wholesome fragrance… Desiderius Erasmus

Your writing voice is the
deepest possible reflection of who you are.
The job of your voice is not
to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences.
In your voice, your readers
should be able to hear the contents
of your mind, your heart, and your soul
~Meg Rosoff

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A spring morn,
A summer’s eve,
A gladsome spirit…

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A soaking rain,
A lawn sprinkler’s whirl,
A well watered garden…

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A single rose,
A blazing sunset,
A solitary serenity…

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A flower garden,
A lowering hush,
A steeping sanctitude…

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A sacred Sabbath,
A timely sermon,
A pastor’s wisdom…

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A holy benediction,
A Franciscan prayer,
A forgiving Savior’s love…

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A cool, crisp day,
A frost tipped lawn,
An end to summer’s siege…

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A chilly, autumn night,
A yellow harvest moon,
A heart full of thanksgiving…

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A fallen leaf,
A heavy, wintry frost,
A magical majesty under a sapphire sky…

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Years ago in trying to cope with undesired limitations induced by chronic pain, I realized I could keep myself up and out of a downward spiraling gloom by writing down 3 to 5 things each day that charmed or delighted me both outwardly and inwardly. I also found that I could find uplifting joy in photos of objects and colors in the natural world. Finding the goodness in God and His Creation as well as being thankful for His gifts is a light that showed me the way out of moments of dark desperation.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. ~1 Corinthians 13:8-12 ✝

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!

**Some photos via Pinterest

223. Sometimes Thou may’st walk in Groves, which being full of Majestie will much advance the Soul. ~Thomas Vaughan

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He that planteth a tree is a servant of God, he provideth a kindness for many generations, and faces that he hath not seen shall bless him.”  ~Henry Van Dyke

For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace: the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  ~Isaiah 55:12