1291. The sky was hung with various shades of gray, and mists hovered at times over the garden… ~Excerpted and adapted line by Henri-Frédéric Amiel

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In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. ~Rose G. Kingsley

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And at no season, save perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as we find in October and November when a cooler version of summer is in effect in Texas. ~Edited and adapted quote by Rose G. Kingsley

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I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud and too hot. ~Edited and adapted line by Lin Yutang

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

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Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. ~Lin Yutang

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It knows the limitations of life and its content. ~Lin Yutang

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Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? ~Job 12:12  ✝

**All photos taken by me in my yard today. The yard may not has as many blooms now as the riotous days of its early splendor, but it has more than enough to keep feeding my soul.

1137. Innumerable as the stars of night, or stars of morning, dewdrops which the sun impearls on every leaf and every flower. ~John Milton

Morning is the best of all times in the garden.
The sun is not yet hot, sweet vapors rise from the earth.
Night dew clings to the soil and makes plants glisten.
Birds call to one another. Bees are already at work.
~William Longgood

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My garden goes to rest at night.
To wind-sweet lullabies
The flowers fold them in their slim
Green shifts and close their eyes.
Over their nodding heads the Moon
Her tranquil vigil keeps–
Oh, ‘tis a peaceful sight to see
A garden when it sleeps!
When through gray morning mists the sun
Rides splendidly to view,
The flowers flutter drowsy lids
All sweet and wet with dew!
Refreshed by slumber, every one
Its dainty toilet makes–
Oh, ‘tis a lovely thing to see
A garden when it wakes!
~Mazie V. Caruthers

May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness… ~Excerpt from Genesis 27:28  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

1013. I saw old autumn in the misty morn stand shadowless like silence, listening 
to silence. ~Thomas Hood

After the leaves have fallen, we return
To a plain sense of things.  It is as if
We had come to an end of the imagination,
Inanimate in an inert savoir(way of knowing).
~Wallace Stevens

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O splendid, lusty autumn, you who come with a subtle change in the light, with skies a deeper blue, with cooler days and lengthening chilly nights, it is, I’m sad to say, time for you to go. This year’s first frosts have come and gone, migratory birds have vanished over distant horizons, and crops have been harvested from garden and field alike. And all the while your while beauty and bounty “shined unconfined” as your days spread a “common feast for all that live.” Grateful are we to God and thee, o “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” that rains fell in good measure and gusty winds laid abundant, leafy blankets over the ground in protective readiness against winter’s icy blasts.

silence
seeks the center
of every tree and rock,
that thing we hold closest
-
the end of mere songs
~Michael McClintock

O Lord, I have truly enjoyed listening to nature’s solemn, autumnal hymns once again. And I’ve watched in wonder as leaf upon leaf floated down disrobing the earth. Now I find delight in the millions of shining stars I can see through the bare tree branches, and I know, according to Your promises, that when autumn’s allotted sands of time run out of this year’s hourglass that it’s not an ending. So I’ll go to bed tonight assured that with the arrival of the winter solstice near midnight this evening that the slamming shut of fall’s back door is in reality just a new beginning, a fresh start that will usher in another season, a season of restful silences. Thus at the morrow’s first light, I will rise and begin in earnest to prepare my heart to welcome Your son, Emmanuel, and to rest–to rest, to observe, to listen, and to continue worshiping You.

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

824. My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. I must have flowers, always and always. ~Claude Monet

The finale:
Every day I discover more and more beautiful things.
It’s enough to drive one mad.
I have such a desire to do everything,
my head is bursting with it.
~Claude Monet
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A man, his house, his gardens, his art, his passion, his life, his loves, his sorrows–all are kept alive in a place called Giverny. Claude Monet lived for 43 years in his house at Giverny, and with a passion for gardening as well as for colours, he conceived and created his flower gardens and water gardens which in and of themselves are true works of art visited by 500,000 people each year. And without a doubt as one marvels at the floral compositions and nymphéas, his greatest sources of inspiration, one can still feel the atmosphere which reigned at the home of the Master of Impressionism.
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Monet did not like organized or constrained gardens. Instead he married flowers according to their colours and left them to grow freely, and grow freely they have ever since. But always looking for mists and transparencies, Monet eventually dedicated himself less to the flowers than to reflections in water, which was a kind of inverted world transfigured by the element of liquidity.
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As I said in an earlier post, it was over a 100 degrees fahrenheit the day we visited to Giverny, and since so little time was allotted for the tour we ended up having to find our way back to the bus-hot, tired, and hungry. But the biggest problem as it turned out was there were no signs pointing us to the distant lot where we had gotten off the bus. So we, like other lost souls, wandered for what seemed like forever in the unrelenting heat in a place where NO shade was to be found anywhere. At one point I leaned against a wooden post and told James I was about to fall down on the ground and perish from heat exhaustion. But I did add that it was okay because he could just bury me right there amidst all that beauty and I would die a happy woman.
**My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and gather lilies. ~Song of Songs 6:2  ✝
**My source for the information I included above was several articles I found on the Internet, and I found a few of the photos I used on Pinterest and the Internet.

626. White is the beautiful broken lace of snowflakes falling on your face. ~Mary O’Neill

White is snow falling on the ground.
It’s clouds in the blue sky
And foam that splashed on oceans shores.
It’s the richness of pearls.
It’s the robe of angels.
It’s a crisp winter’s chill.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Marvel-Maniac

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Is White a Color?


White, pristine, unblemished
They say it is not a color.
I love white mists, clouds
Lingering on blue mountains.

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White, no shades
No off white, cream
Pure as snow on shimmering peaks
Is my favorite sight.

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Nurses, priests, politicians
Are bound, chained to white.
White nebulous clouds
Evoke deep nostalgic thoughts.

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The paper I write is white.
White is holy, pure.
They say light is white
Because it combines all colors.

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So white is the mother of all colors
The churning of all yellow, blue, green.
Colors sacrifice their egos
To the eternal white.

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Is white a color?
The matriarch of all colors
The fountain of all extent colors
Yes, king white reigns supreme!
~Excerpted verses from a poem
by John Matthew

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Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. ~Psalm 51:7   ✝

**Images via Pinterest, all collages created by Natalie

571. There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. ~Charles Dickens

We look at life from the back side of the tapestry.
And most of the time, what we see are
loose threads, tangled knots and the like.
But occasionally, God’s light shines through, and
we get a glimpse of the larger design with God
weaving together the darks and lights of existence.
~John Piper

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No moon, no stars, no sun, no blue of sky… No bees, no butterflies, no adoring, garden paramours… Only a foggy Sabbath steeped in silent, grey stillness as bit by bit by bit color empties out of the landscape leaving in its wake pallid, watercolored remains to blanket the lawn… Autumn has but a fortnight left before she relinquishes her throne to winter’s chilling reign. So I wonder if she’s weeping, if the falling mists are her crestfallen tears. It would certainly seem so as gloomy and grey as her recent days have been. Her palette, once streaked with chestnut and chocolate, maroon and mahogany, mauve and mulberry, orange and ochre, red and russet, is soon to be washed of all but grey and beige and evergreen. Thankfully, however, there are the brightly colored lights of Christmas to brighten the dying year’s ever-increasing, muted days.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~James 1:17  ✝

556. The wild November come at last beneath a veil of rain… ~Richard Henry Stoddard

A fine rain was falling,
and the landscape was
that of autumn.
The sky was hung
with various shades of gray…
~Henri Frédéric Amiel

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No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! –
November!
~Thomas Hood

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Last night in late November’s darkness a “veil of rain” dropped down, and clouds have wept chilling tears this livelong day. In the mists and showers a host of leaves, newly tinged in autumnal hues, have drifted down in silence bereft of all the above-named poet penned. And yet there’s no sadness in fall’s tears, just the rhythm of sacred purpose. Drop by drop by drop November’s rain closes the door to the year’s last ordained arena, but the promise of resurrection is held in every drop that falls. So we thank thee, Lord, for the sweet November rain and the blessing to come brought down in each of its parenting drops.

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But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. ~2 Corinthians 3:16   ✝

528. Behold congenial autumn comes, the Sabbath of the year. ~John Logan

There’s music in the sighing of a reed;
There’s music in the gushing of a rill;
There’s music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.
~Lord Byron

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Year after year I fall in love again with autumn, and this one is no different than all the others. Even though few leaves have changed colors, there are tangible signs of Keats “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” Samples of such manifest themselves daily in the form of ripening seeds, nuts, hips, berries, fruits, and acorns. As well several crisp mornings have filled autumn’s cup with its quintessential sanctity, and some shrouded in foggy mists have revealed squirrels scurrying about with greater urgency while birds, soon to pull out on migratory treks, feast on seeds and berries like the ones in the photo. These are American beautyberries, and they first appeared months ago in shades of pretty, pale greens, but as autumn drew near they deepened into their stunning shade of magenta and began issuing forth tunes in this, the next series of earth’s delightful melodies.

Passages in Scripture indicate that music originated with God and accompanied Creation, and there are those who yet hear the continuing echoes of Yahweh’s “Divine symphony” as made evident in the lines I quoted from Lord Byron. The American evangelist, Beth Moore, says that a song is “the fluent language of the soul,” and I couldn’t agree more because it is my soul that “hears” the myriads of earth’s melodic voices. I think perhaps the hymns of nature are more discernible in spring and autumn after they’ve been weighed down by winter’s oppression or nearly snuffed out by the intensity of summer’s fires, but earth’s music never fails to play on. And whenever the “echo of the spheres” and “the music in all things” of which Baron Byron spoke is heard, it is a privilege to “listen” to the “songs of the morning stars and the angels shout for joy” (Job 38:7). And how blessed are we, the peoples of the earth, that God “takes delight” in us, that “He quiets” us “with His love,” and that “He rejoices” over us “with singing.”

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”   ~Zephaniah 3:17   ✝

508. All our lives we are engaged in preserving our experiences and keeping them fresh by artificially sprinkling the water of memory over them. ~Vimala Thakar

Memory is a child walking the seashore.
You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up
and store away among its treasured things.
~Pierce Harris

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Events-a heartbreak here, a miracle there-come and go weaving the experiences of our seasons solidly into the fabric of our lives and who we are. Layer upon layer of growing moves us through doors that forever alter our reality and render us somewhat different than we were prior to each particular journey. And as we leave behind places and people, time attempts to swallow them up. But we carry the treasured “pebbles” we pick up with us into every new arena because they’ve etched indelible marks in us which continue to reverberate deep within our hearts. And these memories of past events that we’ve “stored away” never cease to ebb and flow even from behind foggy mists of forgetfulness. With me they are often remembered in moonlight reveries when seeking the feel of God’s presence or when lingering in places of beauty with no other agenda but to relish the glory of all that He made.

In the secret,
in the quiet place,
in the stillness
You(God) are there.
~Excerpt from the lyrics of a song
by Chris Tomlin

I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever. ~Psalm 45:17   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

418. Seeing, hearing and feeling are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle. ~Walt Whitman

The fragrance of white tea is the feeling of existing in the mists that float over waters; the scent of peony is the scent of the absence of negativity: a lack of confusion, doubt, and darkness; to smell a rose is to teach your soul to skip; a nut and a wood together is a walk over fallen Autumn leaves; the touch of jasmine is a night’s dream under the nomad’s moon.  ~C. JoyBell C.

DSC_0159For the Senses


May the touch of your skin
Register the beauty
Of the otherness
That surrounds you.

May your listening be attuned
To the deeper silence
Where sound is honed
To bring distance home.

May the fragrance
Of the breathing meadow
Refresh your heart
And remind you you are
A child of the Earth.

May your inner eye
See through surfaces
And glean the real presence
Of everything that meets you.

May your soul beautify
The desire of your eyes
That you might glimpse
The infinity that hides
In the simple sights
That seem worn
To your usual eyes.

~John O’Donohue

Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Phillip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.  ~Acts 8:13   ✝

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.