1223. Color is joy. One does not think joy. One is carried by it. ~Ernst Hass

Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud–
We in ourselves rejoice!
And thence flows all that charms our ear or sight,
All melodies, the echoes of that voice
All colors a suffusion from that light.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 3.24.50 PM.png

From my hate-the-heat perspective the garden being adorned with crown jewels like these in the collage is one of the few saving graces of a Texas summer. If these flowers had voices instead of brilliant colors, I think that even as buds whose colors had not yet been revealed they would start the day off with soft, murmuring melodies. Then as the day’s flames licked up higher and higher and they burst into bloom, their songs would play on but in loud and bold arias so that the bees, the butterflies, and other pollinators would harken to their lusty, changeling voices. And all the while as the harmonies played on, the insect benefactors would suckle on the tasty fare despite the sizzling sultriness. And I, I would remain the envious onlooker because it is only they and not I who are small enough to crawl down into the gloriously-filled caverns of sweet nectars. Then at day’s end in weariness from performing their noisy choruses and from enduring the onslaught of mugginess their songs would give way to those of the white and silver flowery voices that mingle in with the enlarging and marvelous music of the night. As for me, though saddened by their silence and passing, I would have agree with Barbara Kingsolver who said that “in the places that call me out, I know I’ll recover my wordless childhood trust in the largeness of life and its willingness to take me in” again, another day. Another writer once said that in the isolation and silence of winter one can savor belonging to him or herself. And who knows, perhaps summer allows one to do the same but in a different way, especially when that individual is falling short of being thankful for God’s gifts by fussing about the way they are wrapped.

You(God) turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy… ~Psalm 30:11  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yard; not all were taken on the same days

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.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 8.45.59 PM.png

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.

858. Faith sees a beautiful blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed, and a giant oak in an acorn. ~William Arthur Ward

Faith is that tiny beautiful songbird in
one’s heart that sings wonderful melodies
even during the darkest moments
because it feels and sees the divine light
that is yet to arrive with the dawn.

Screen shot 2015-04-08 at 4.07.38 PM

Faith enables us to believe in something,
something that may be beyond 
any
rationale, reasoning or logic.
And faith is also our inner strength that
empowers us to bring our dreams and vision
to fruition, with the Grace of God.
So take a leap in the unknown with
full faith in God and yourself.
~Author Unknown

The earth is filled with your love, Lord: teach me your decrees. ~Psalm 119:64  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

667. There will come soft rain and the smell of the ground… ~Sara Teasdale

Plink, plink, plinkity-plunk,
Plink, plink, plinkity-plink,
Ting, ting, ting,
Drip, drip, drip,
Ping, ping, ping,
I’ve put myself completely
in the keeping of another rainy day.
Plop, plop, ploppity-plop.
~Natalie Scarberry

Screen shot 2015-03-09 at 3.28.48 PM

Rain Music

On a drenched earth-drum
Beats anew the falling rain;
First a whispered thrum,
Then a louder strain.
Slender, silvery drumsticks,
On an ancient drum.
Beat the mellow melodies
Bidding life to come.
Chords of earth awakening,
Notes of coming spring
Rise and fall triumphant
Over each and everything.
For God, the Great Musician
Taps out all such transitions.
~Edited and adapted lines
from a poem
by Joseph Seamon Cotter

Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. ~Hosea 6:3

**Image via Pinterest

621. Color is a power which directly influences the soul. ~Wassily Kandinsky

In the house of words was a table of colors.
They offered themselves in great fountains,
and each poet took the color he needed:
lemon yellow or sun yellow
ocean blue or smoke blue,
crimson red, blood red, or wine red.
~Eduardo Galeano

DSC_0044

There is not one blade of grass,
there is no color in this world
that is not intended to make us rejoice.
~John Calvin

DSC_0040

Joy is the sweet voice, joy the luminous cloud–
We in ourselves rejoice!
And thence flows all that charms our ear or sight
all melodies the echoes of that voice,
all colours a suffusion from that light.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

DSC_0066

In nature, light creates the color.
In the picture, color creates the light.
~Hans Hoffman

DSC_0010

Color! Ah, the fabulous, mystic realm of color! Just look at these flowers I photographed in my greenhouse yesterday! What a sacred voice is the song of their colors! It never fails to wow me over and over again! Even in the low-light of a cold, grey, rainy winter’s day, color declares and praises God’s holy name! Thus, may it ever draw us near Him.

Sing the praises of the Lord, you His faithful people; praise His holy name. ~ Psalm 30: 4   ✝

588. The magic of Christmas Eve is not in the presents under the tree but in the coming of His presence…

Christmas Eve is a night of sacred hymns
that wrap themselves around us like a shawl.
And they warm more than the body–
they warm the human heart and fill it
with melodies that last forever.
~Edited and adapted
excerpt 
by Bess Streeter Aldrich

Screen shot 2014-12-24 at 7.43.54 AM

ROSEMARY WREATH 

~by Teri Casper

Several common herbs have legends connected with the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt after Jesus was born. Since rosemary is silent underfoot, its soft leaves muffling crackling twigs beneath it, it prevented detection and ensured their safe journey.

Another story involves rosemary, sugar cane and date palm. The plants argued as to which provided the Holy Family with the greatest benefit. Palm sheltered them in the daytime heat and gave them fruit. Sugar cane provided sweetness. The rosemary bush was silent, having nothing special to offer the family.

After Mary washed Jesus’ swaddling clothes she asked the palm to bend its head so she could hang them on its fronds to dry. It couldn’t bend low enough for her to reach them. Sugar cane offered its branches but the clothes fell to the ground. So Mary hung out Jesus’ clothes on the rosemary, a small flowerless bush that had antiseptic properties. Mary blessed the rosemary, giving it flowers the blue color of her robe. Legend has it that a rosemary plant will grow no higher than six feet in thirty-three years, so as not to stand taller than Jesus did.

During their flight to Egypt, Mary, Jesus and Joseph ran out of water. Joseph went to the nearest village to get some. Mary heard Herod’s soldiers’ shouts and the sound of hoof beats approaching. There was no place to hide.

Mary saw a rose bush and asked for shelter. It refused, which is why rose bushes have thorns. The clove bush also refused help and this resulted in it having unpleasant smelling flowers. The sage plant hid them, blossoming to create safe haven. The soldiers passed by. Since then, the plant was considered sacred and believed to possess curative and protective powers.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ~Psalm 73:25-26   ✝

**Image via Pinterest, text added by Natalie

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

Screen shot 2014-11-29 at 2.21.36 PM

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