1327. I must have flowers, always, and always. ~Claude Monet

Flowers seem intended for the
solace of ordinary humanity.
~John Ruskin

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Last weekend one of my grandsons went with me to do our grocery shopping. When I told him to stop a minute at the floral department, he asked if I bought flowers every week, and I replied with a boisterous “yes.” That made him chuckle at first; then he became curious and asked me why. I replied with Monet’s exact declaration above. Since then I’ve been contemplating why I have that compelling need but have been able to come up little more than that they are beautiful, they cheer me up, and they are fun to replicate with a camera or on a canvas. Since I’m not much of an artist however, a camera and editing programs are much more able to help me create good images than those I try to achieve with paints or pens. Not only that, because I’m one of those people who has a persistent and irresistible urge to find beauty and be creative, even the tiniest of flowers can satisfy both those needs.

Passions, who can say from whence they come
or why, but I for one am glad there’s solace,
comfort, and joy to be found in them, for ‘tis they
that bringeth the light needed to make it through
the dark nights of my soul, and it’s evident that the
Lord of heaven and earth whom I adore and seek
finds them to be so as well for one learns much of
Him and His heart in the Genesis account of Creation.

There is no atom in earth but is alive and astir in the all-penetrating splendor of God. From the infinitesimal to the infinite, everything is striving to express the thought of His Presence with which it overflows. ~Lucy Larcom

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. ~Romans 1:20  ✝

**Photo taken by Natalie and the special effects and border were done by her on iPiccy

1192. Water lilies, Monet’s passion written in whispering tears as dragonflies press the air into a whir. ~Edited and adapted excerpts from poems by Beth St. Clair

Lilies perch upon their little islands
To flower on pads of green in the water
Amid the dance of dragonflies by day
And fireflies that grace the dark of night.
~Natalie Scarberry

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If you have forgotten water lilies floating
On a dark lake among mountains in the afternoon shade,
If you have forgotten their wet, sleepy fragrance,
Then you can return and not be afraid.

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But if you remember, then turn away forever
To the plains and the prairies where pools are far apart,
There you will not come at dusk on closing water lilies,
And the shadow of mountains will not fall on your heart.
~Sara Teasdale

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Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. ~Psalm 126:5  ✝

**Image of one of Monet’s water lily paintings and his signature found on the Interent; collage by Natalie

1048. God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. ~Voltaire

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

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Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

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which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

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which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes, a mouth
with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam…
~Excerpted lines from the poem, The Messenger by Mary Oliver

I am 73 years old and nearly six feet tall, and yet there are things in life that still make me dance a jig and squeal with joy like a child. And I’m not one bit sheepish about doing it either. As many of you know I absolutely adore Mary Oliver’s poetry. It’s as if she somehow managed to crawl around in my soul and heart and then spilled out what she found therein into her poetry. So I bought 4 new books of her poetry at Amazon last week and when they came today, they were greeted with none other than the same unabashed, joyful squeals. Afterwards there was a round of eeny, meeny, miny, mo before picking one of the four to open first. Then I turned to the first poem in it, read the one above, and guess what? I joyfully squealed some more. Damn, but I love that woman’s thoughts and poetry!!!

When I was in college, there were occasions when my friends and I tried to come up with the names of five people throughout history that we’d most like to meet and spend time with. I’m not sure who I would have picked or did pick back then, but at 73 I know for sure who the top 3 on my list would be now–Jesus(God), Claude Monet, and Mary Oliver. The remaining two are still up for grabs, but that’s not to say that they aren’t lots of splendid candidates to choose from. I pray that each and everyone one of you who’ve read this also have something or someone that thrills you to the point of at least wanting to squeal with animated pleasure!

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 18:3   ✝

961. The wind shows us how close to the edge we are. ~Joan Didion   

 I hear the wind among the trees
Playing the celestial symphonies;
I see the branches downward bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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And this time of year the edge is often closer than we hope or realize. But oh so visible did that brink become when we awoke this morning to find a cold, blustery north wind bearing down upon us. I’m never ready to say goodbye to the still blooming remnants in the garden. Nonetheless, I sensed earlier in the week that their demise was imminent and started putting the potted ferns and clock vine in the greenhouse. What’s more I decided to buy a large container in which to plant pansies, snapdragons, stock, alyssum, Sweet William, and cyclamen for like Monet, I always, always have to have flowers. So now I’m guaranteed to have flowery beauty along with luscious scents and colors even as late autumn’s unraveling continues to roll us over into winter’s drab and ofttimes forbidding realm. The potted beauty is on a much smaller scale than what grows and blooms in the yard, and the display is not as visible from my recliner in the house. However, the descent into winter’s “vale of grief” and the season’s allotted time thereafter never seems as stark when I go out to the greenhouse to check on the warmth inside, to look after the plants, and to give them all a drink of water.

National Weather Service Forecast:
This Afternoon
Sunny, with a high near 50. Windy, with a north wind 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.
Tonight
Patchy frost after 3am. Otherwise, mostly clear, with a low around 30. North wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Sunday
Patchy frost before 10am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 53. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the morning.
Sunday Night
Clear, with a low around 33. South wind around 5 mph.

The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. ~Ecclesiastes 1:6  ✝

**Images in my collage are from photos I took in my garden last week.

851. Oh sweet and fragrant lily, from still water…quietly, you find your way to sunshine… ~Excerpt from a poem by Jackie D’Elia

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As I’ve said in previous posts, I love Claude Monet; I love his gardens at Giverny; and I love his paintings, many of which are of water lilies. So I was thrilled to find a few years back that at our city’s Botanical Garden a water lily pond had been created. “Et voilá” here are some that were in full bloom in that pond today–magnificent beauties rooted in “dust” and anchored in water glowing in the bright Texas sun of a late August day.

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Here is a problem, a wonder for all to see.
Look at this marvelous thing I hold in my hand!
This is a magic surprising, a mystery
Strange as a miracle, harder to understand.
What is it? Only a handful of earth: to your touch
A dry rough powder you trample beneath your feet,
Dark and lifeless; but think for a moment, how much
It hides and holds that is beautiful, bitter, or sweet.
Think of the glory of color! The red of the rose,
Green of the myriad leaves and the fields of grass,
Yellow as bright as the sun where the daffodil blows,
Purple where violets nod as the breezes pass.
Think of the manifold form, of the oak and the vine,
Nut, and fruit, and cluster, and ears of corn;
Of the anchored water-lily, a thing divine,
Unfolding its dazzling snow to the kiss of morn.
Who shall compass or fathom God’s thought profound?
We can but praise, for we may not understand;
But there’s no more beautiful riddle the whole world round
Than is hid in this heap of dust I hold in my hand.
~Excerpted lines from Dust, a poem
by Celia Thaxter

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living thing. ~Genesis 2:7  ✝

825. What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply, becomes part of us. ~Helen Keller

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Thank you, Monsieur Monet, for all the beauty your art and gardens have created for your fellow man to enjoy. What you felt in your heart continues to touch our hearts.

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Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. ~1 Peter 3:4  ✝

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.