1337. Of winter’s lifeless world each tree now seems a perfect part; yet each one holds spring’s secret deep down within its heart. ~Edited quote by Charles G. Stater

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers…
~Thomas Campion

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Gray, foggy dreariness
ushered in the day;
A mist, a cold, frigid drizzle,
fell from on high;
Bare, starkly austere, lay everything
I could see; and
Silence, a stilled quietude, blanketed
my wintry garden.
Bleakly naked, towered tall trees that
stood above all else,
But underneath them from the secret place
murmured a voice,
The sacred, almost indistinguishable, faint
whisper emerged amid
The fog and fine rain to go forward undetected
past the woody sentinels
To allow its utterances to break into morn’s reverie
to tell of signs, longed for signs
Of tiny sparks of life that are preparing to push up
despite the gloominess
And ‘twas this message that stirred embers in my spirit
to keep their glimmer from
Becoming far too dim to continue sustaining my hope,
expectations, and “joie de vie.”

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Don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter.
It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.
~Rumi

The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. ~Job 37:9 ✝

**Both photos taken by Natalie

1309. O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being. ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

So I like best of all autumn,
because its tone is mellower,
its colors are richer,
and it is tinged with a little sorrow.
~Lin Yutang

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If I had to pick a recent, appropriate emblem for deep November, it would be the mellow richness of this rose. Though a wild west wind has blown today, the day I found it, dawn had broken under a heavy fog, and when the mist lifted, this rose and everything else in the garden was left completely soaked. It was as if the heavens had rained down a multitude of tears and tinged the landscape with more than the little autumn sorrow of which Yutang speaks. I for one have to wonder if, with daybreak coming later and later and darkness falling earlier and earlier, a garden knows that the year has almost completed another turn around the sun. If so and because the longing to be, to exist as an expression of the Divine Presence, can be seen in all Creation, that longing is not easily given up.

As this year draws to its end
we give thanks for the gifts it has brought
and how they came inlaid within,
where neither time nor tide
could touch them, and we also thanks
for the days when the veil lifted
and the soul could see delight;
when a quiver caressed the heart
in the sheer exuberance of being here.
-Excerpted and edited lines
by John O’Donohoe

When we take time to look beyond the trials of life, we see God’s blessings and realize that daily we continue to be given endowments of grace from the Host of the universe. From unmistakable “quivers that caress the heart” we know that we are not alone. We know that we belong to God and recognize a longing within us to touch Him. We know that He sits at the heart of life, and from there works at bringing to fruition that which He inlaid in us from the beginning. We know too that He is beside us in every moment and that our sadness is His sadness, our joy His joy, our loss His loss, our victory His victory.

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done. ~1 Chronicles 16:8  ✝

1072. Twilight fell: The sky turned to a light, dusky purple littered with tiny silver stars. ~J.K. Rowling

The setting sun had turned the blue sky a brilliant orange,
then soft pink merging to pearl; the plum velvet of night
had come out of the east, spangled with stars.
~Paul Gallico

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I love to watch the fine mist of the night come on,
The windows and the stars illumined, one by one,
The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily,
And the moon rises and turns them silver.
I shall see the springs, the summers,
And the autumns slowly pass;
And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass,
I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight,
And build me stately palaces by candlelight.
~Charles Baudelaire

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The moon went slowly down in loveliness;
she departed into the depth of the horizon,
and long veil-like shadows crept up the sky
through which the stars appeared.
Soon, however, they too began to pale
before a splendour in the east,
and the advent of the dawn declared itself
in the newborn blue of heaven.
~H. Rider Haggard

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years…” ~Genesis 1:14  ✝

Images via Pinterest

975. Rain, I can hear you making small holes in the silence. The many notes of falling rain are all in tune. ~Unknown

Grey clouds flowing overhead
Dead silence across the rolling hills
Misting haze hovering over the grass
Water dripping from leaf to leaf
Speckling pavement like splattered ink
Soft knocking at your door
Feel it, taste it on your lips
Rain…
~Sarah Mariah

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The only thing I love more
than a day of rain
is a night of rain,
a warm, colourless rain
that paints itself upon me
in long melodic lines.
~Edited excerpt from a poem by
Stephanie Rachel Seely

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Walked for half an hour in the garden. A fine rain was falling, and the landscape was that of autumn. The sky was hung with various shades of gray, and mists hovered in the distance – a melancholy nature.  The leaves were falling on all sides like the last illusions of youth under the tears of irremediable grief. A brood of chattering birds were chasing each other through the shrubberies, and playing games among the branches, like a knot of hiding schoolboys. Every landscape is, as it were, a state of the soul, and whoever penetrates into both is astonished to find how much likeness there is in each detail. ~Edited excerpt from Henri Frédéric Amiel

May he(Solomon) be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth. Praise be to His(God) glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and amen. ~Psalm 72:6, 19  ✝

**All images via Pinterest

717. A whisper in the silence; it’s grass having some fun, rustling in the sunshine… ~Excerpt from poem by Olivia Kent

Where is that secret glade?
The one where time seems to fade
In that place of magic pools
Where ladybugs and fairies lounge on the toadstools…
~Adapted excerpt by Will Justus

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Dumpy toadstools grew close by
Our old peach tree: some were high,
Peak’d, like half-shut parasols;|
Others round and low, like balls,
Little hollow balls; and I
Called my father to the tree:
And he said, ‘I tell you what:
Fairies have been here, you see.
This is just the kind of spot
Fairies love to live in. Those
Are their houses, I suppose.
Yes, those surely are their huts!
Built of moon and mist and rain…
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Madison Julius Cawein

**The “lady” in ladybug refers to the Virgin Mary. Legend has it that crops in Europe during the Middle Ages were plagued by pests, so the farmers began praying to the Blessed Lady, the Virgin Mary. Soon, the farmers started seeing ladybugs in their fields, and the crops were miraculously saved from the pests. They associated their good fortune with the black and red beetles, and so began calling them lady beetles. In Germany, these insects go by the name Marienkafer, which means Mary beetles. The 7-spotted lady beetle is believed to be the first named for the Virgin Mary; the red color represents her cloak, and the black spots represent her sorrows. ~Image via Pinterest; information about the ladybug via the Internet

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call be blessed. ~Luke 1:46-48   ✝

583. Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness. ~George MacDonald

To sit with a dog on a hillside
on a glorious afternoon 
is to be
back in Eden,
 where doing nothing
was not boring – 
it was peace.
~Milan Kundera

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The Old Poets of China

Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high
into the mountains,
then crept into the pale mist.

~Mary Oliver

When Mozart was composing at the end of the eighteenth century, the city of Vienna was so quiet that fire alarms could be given verbally, by a shouting watchman mounted on top of St. Stefan’s Cathedral. In twenty-first-century society, the noise level is such that it keeps knocking our bodies out of tune and out of their natural rhythms. This ever-increasing assault of sound upon our ears, minds, and bodies adds to the stress load of civilized beings trying to live in a highly complex environment. ~Edited comment by Steven Halpern

He (the Lord) makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. ~Psalm 23:2-3   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

575. The view of the highway was so bad that you could not even see the next exit. The moment it loomed out of the mist it disappeared again, as if the world created itself and was blotted out again. ~Adapted excerpt from Janet Fitch

As on many mornings of late autumn,
there is an ever so sly fog –
water in it’s most mystical incarnation –
slithering over, around, and through,
making everything look ancient and unsolved.
~Edited and adapted excerpt
from Jaimal Yogis

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Foggy Day Haikus

Condensed water
lies low on the road like a
blanket from above

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Foggy dew drops hang
on withered, fading grasses
creating magic

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The cloudlike masses,
layers of minute droplets
make all hard to see

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Everywhere one goes
clouds on the ground insist we
must move slowly
~by Natalie Scarberry

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I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. ~Isaiah 24:2   ✝

** First image via Pinterest, all other photos taken by Natalie