1247. September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours… ~Rowland E. Robinson

Suffering invites us to place our hurts in larger hands.
In Christ we see God suffering – for us.
And calling us to share in God’s
suffering love for a hurting world.
The small and even overpowering pains
of our lives are intimately connected
with the greater pains of Christ.
Our daily sorrows are anchored in a
greater sorrow and therefore a larger hope.
~Henri J.M. Nouwen

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As I grapple with summer’s still sweltering heat, I have to remind myself that humanity has observed adverse aberrations of nature millennium after millennium and that out of the chaos order eventually returns.  Author, Peter Saint-Andre, says  nature “can inspire, enlighten, send shivers up the spine, delight, anger, frighten; it can make one think, feel, shake one’s head in astonishment, cry, laugh out loud; it can evoke feelings of triumph, melancholy, light-heartedness, serenity, excitement, boredom, rightness, anxiety, joy, sorrow.”  And I agree with him on all counts but until some level of coolness settles, it is challenging for me to experience much excitement and serenity.  Only now when, in the midst of the feverish misery, the wild purple eryngo blooms does the melancholy begin to lift a little.

Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. ~Lamentations 3:32  ✝

**Image taken by me along a country road in our area. These amethystine beauties can be found blooming  this time of year in fields ravaged by summer’s heat.

1244. August breathes its final, burning breath today and so tomorrow we welcome long-awaited September’s arrival. ~Natalie Scarberry

Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning.
Ladies bathed before noon after their three o’clock naps.
And by nightfall were like soft teacakes
with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum.
The day was twenty-four hours long,
but it seemed longer.
~Excerpted lines from
by Harper Lee

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I used to teach TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, and it was and is one of my favorite pieces of American literature. I especially loved this passage above as it described the older women of my childhood. Now that spring flowers have gone I’m like those ladies Harper Lee describes in her novel because by day’s end I am frosted with sweat and talc.

Spring flowers are long since gone.
Summer’s bloom hangs limp on every terrace.
The gardener’s feet drag a bit on the dusty
path and the hinge in his back is full of creaks.
~Louise Seymour Jones

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Much of summer’s bloom hangs not just limp but some of it is fried to a crisp. As for my feet, they are dragging more than a bit on my dusty paths and “the hinge in his back is” definitely “full of creaks” so much so that it’s begging me daily to stop the torturous activity.

The summer days are fading, as they must
From endless hours to short and fleeting light
The bird’s once bright, immortal tune,
now cries A melancholy aura to the dusk.
~Shannon Georgia Schaubroeck

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As night falls, the birds’ tunes are as melancholy as I feel, but my melancholy has nothing to do with lamenting the fading of summer. It has more to do with being weary from the long trek through the burning cathedral with a high pressure dome for a ceiling that is the reality of July and August in Texas. But I can’t say I wouldn’t do it all over again, for the garden feeds my soul and in it I find so many reasons to praise the Lord over and over again.

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear His voice… ~Psalm 95:6-7  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage at top created by Natalie

1226. The marvels of daily life are exciting… ~Excerpt from Robert Doisneau

For me, life offers so many
complexly surprising moments
that two beautiful objects
may be equally beautiful or dramatic for
different reasons and at different times.
~Edited and adapted quote
by Diane Ackerman

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You think it will do what? You think it will look like what? You think it will be what color? You think it will be pretty? And stay that way? SURPRISE!!! Ordinarily I love surprises, and when it comes to a rose that is one color as a bud and another after it opens up, I’m good with that kind of surprise. In fact I’m fascinated all by roses which do that or those which are one color on one side of their petals and a completely different color on the other side. Or even ones that are edged in a different color than the rest of the rose are always a lovely and welcome surprise. But when a gorgeous rose opens, one that might ordinarily be an exciting marvel for several days, and then fries by mid-afternoon because the heat rises to 105, the surprise becomes more of a melancholy shocker which I suppose in some sense is a surprise. Actually it is more of a being taken by surprise kind of thing and certainly not one that is good or welcomed. And as for what’s in this collage below being an exciting marvel, the top part certainly is, but the bottom deep-fried version of it only excited my ire. And as for the marveling in regards to it, I was dumbfounded at how long I’ve managed to endure living in Texas during August without going stark raving mad. Oh well, I reckon we’ve all got to learn to take the good with the bad, and enjoy moments no matter how fleeting they may be.

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Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love! ~Proverbs 7:18  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yard

951. All was silent as before – all silent save the dripping rain. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Mid-November has come shrouded in its predictable gloom
Which has set the sky to weeping from its heavy clouds of grey.
Somber as that may be autumn’s flowery remains yet bloom
Albeit droop amidst the decomposing ghosts of yesterday.

The garden, it is still and as silent as a tomb except for
The rain that varies from mists to showers to a downpour,
And there are no birds, no butterflies, no bees, no cats astray
Venturing forth from their dry haunts all the livelong day.

And I, I sit in front of the window and watch in a melancholy
Kind of funk, the cause of which I know not except to say
That like a chameleon perhaps I’ve taken on the colors of the day
But not because the rain, the silence, and the peacefulness are folly.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7   ✝

514. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell–some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power. ~Northern Advocate

Is not this a true autumn day?
Just the still melancholy that I love–
that makes life and nature harmonize.
~George Eliot


Autumn Rose

Beaming bright across the galaxies,
Your petals extend through heaven’s gate.
You waited until now to reveal yourself;
For the world it was worth the wait.

Autumn is your awakening,
While the world prepares for winter’s sleep.
Summer has quickly slipped away,
While your colors of coral and pink run deep.

Some think age is upon you,
But truth is you are now fulfilled.
You blossomed into life in maturity,
Before the north wind’s chill.

Soon golden fields will be covered,
In a virgin blanket of snow.
The streams will freeze then re-awaken,
For another, beautiful autumn rose.

~Edited poem by Mark Anderson

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. ~Psalm 103:1   ✝

186. Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ~Victor Hugo

There is in souls a sympathy with sounds:
And as the mind is pitch’d the ear is pleased
With melting airs, or martial, brisk or grave;
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch’d within us, and the heart replies.
~William Cowper


The November morn was cool and crisp, and the solitary man playing the bag pipes was standing against the backdrop of changing leaves and flowing water.  The mystical sounds of the “pipes” were drifting along on gentle breezes over the whole of a very large park.  It was Veterans Day, and the man may have been playing in remembrance of friends or relatives, but it could have been a salutation to the day’s magnificence as well because his harmonies embodied not only touches of the melancholy but also traces of the celebratory.  As I watched transfixed and mesmerized by the sounds, he played on at first unaware of my presence behind him.  But soon I realized that between the melodies he was slowly turning in a circle and would soon face me and the ones gathering behind me.  It was as if he was wanting to address his elegy and/or hymn of praise to all the earth.  At each of his turns we who were witnessing the spectacle seemingly became aware that something sacrosanct was moving through us, moving through the “piper”, moving through the pipes, moving through the trees, moving through the water.  More than that, one could not help but feel that the sanctity was moving throughout the whole of Creation that was within the sound of his pipes and our vision.  I can’t speak for the other observers, but when the “piper” finished “some chord in unison” with what I’d heard and seen had touched me so deeply that my heart replied with tears of sadness for fallen and wounded patriots everywhere and for the joy I’d felt in the beauty of the “piper’s” music.

**I didn’t attempt to take the bag piper’s photo that day because it somehow seemed like an invasion of his privacy.  I decided the one above would be equally appropriate for this post since my sister took it on a beach at Normandy where so many fell in WW II while in pursuit of freedom’s calling.

My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.  ~Psalm 57:7  ✝

140. All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. ~Maltbie D. Babcock

This is my Father’s world
He shines in all that’s fair,
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.
~Lyrics from This is My Father’s World by Maltbie D. Babcock


What a glorious morning!  When I raised the shade, my eyes were met with a delicious light pouring down on a corner of the garden.  And it was light not born of the intense heat of past months but instead of the crisp coolness of a 59 degree autumnal equinox morn.  Zephyrs were ruffling leaves, and they were shouting hallelujahs in praise of the Lord’s Sabbath and yesterday’s rain.  Ancient Eden’s unmistakable holy voice reverberated in the air, and all of us, creature and man alike, recognized it and rejoiced.  The “special air of melancholy and magic” typical of September’s opus rose louder and louder as the light moved southward across the yard frosting everything in its wake.  Yahweh’s glory breathed new life into wilted leaves, faded blossoms, and weary bones as the light moved as sweetly as a bow across the strings of a Stradivarius in slanted increments across the yard.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”  ~Isaiah 60:1  ✝

*Thanks to Annette Lepple for the great description of September that I quoted above.