720. O, the month of May, the merry month of may… ~Thomas Dekker

Ho! the merrie first of Maie
Brings the daunce and blossoms gaie
To make of lyfe a holiday!
~Old English saying

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Thousands of years ago winter was a time to honor death and the summer a time to honor life. In those ancient times the short days, grey skies, and cold temperatures began to wear people down and that coupled with a gradual decline in food supplies took its toll on their spirits. Indeed winter was a very difficult time for the ancients, and so the coming of summer brought them great hope. As the crops and grasslands became full of life again, the animals bred, and the warmth of the sun thawed out the earth and their spirits, they celebrated the cross-over and coming change in the human cycle that reflected the turning of the seasons. It was a time for celebrating the forces of life overcoming death, light overcoming darkness, and summer overcoming winter.

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Thus began the dancing around the May pole. A kind of maypole dance, with origins in the 18th century, began as a traditional artistic dance popular in Italy and France. Eventually, traveling troupes performed it in London theaters, thus bringing this traditional dance to larger audiences. An English teacher training school adopted the maypole dance and soon it had spread across most of central and southern England. The dance became part of the repertoire of physical education for girls and remained popular in elementary schools in both England and the US well into the 1950’s.

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I remember in elementary school making May baskets and flowers out of coloredl pieces of construction paper and crepe paper. Today May Day has many different meanings, if any, but it eventually found its place in Christianity. And though considered quaint now, in decades past, like dancing around the maypole, as the month of April rolled to an end, people begin gathering flowers and candies and goodies to put in May baskets to hang on the doors of friends, neighbors, and loved ones on May 1st. And there were even rules about the basket tradition:

1.  Giving was supposed to be anonymous. Reciprocity was not expected. One was to leave the basket on the doorknob or doorstep, ring the doorbell, and run.
2.  Children were to give to grownups, instead of the other way around. On almost every other holiday, only the child receives gifts; so they don’t get to experience the true joy of unselfish giving.

He(Jesus) told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near…” ~Luke 21:29-30   ✝

**Images via Pinterest and the Internet; collages created by Natalie

601. Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.  Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go. ~Brooks Atkinson

To leave the old with a burst of song,
To recall the right and forgive the wrong;
To forget the thing that blinds you fast
To the vain regrets of the year that’s past.
~Robert B. Beattie

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New year
New month
New day

New start
New hope
New tale

Forget the past
the grief and pain
leave both behind

Take your failure
as a challenge
to stand and strive

Go on
live life
with grateful bliss

Move on
have faith
and smile!
~Edited poem 
by D. H. Jazlle

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. ~Titus 2:11   ✝

** Image via Pinterest; Text on photo by Natalie

389. Come let’s enjoy our winecup today… ~Wang Wei

June is bustin’ out all over!
All over the meadow and the hill!
Buds’re bustin’ outa bushes…
~Rodgers and Hammerstein


The garden during this first week of June has been a dazzling fiesta of color staged around lively splashes in the two courtyard fountains. Little yellow and white butterflies, though not nearly as many as usual, have been beautiful “señoritas” gaily fluttering, whirling, and dancing amid the intensely orange daylilies, the bright yellow coreopsis, the flashy pink petunias, the blazing red roses, and the rich pink, blue, and purple hues of salvia spires, lavender spikes, and althea blossoms. The new month has also brought more of the white as snow angel’s trumpets which appear to be the lead musicians in the roving Mariachi bands. Their “divine music” has been, as expected, lively Latin “salsa” rhythms as hot as the rising temperatures of an oncoming Texas summer.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. ~Job 8:21 ✝

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.

375. It’s May! It’s May! The lusty month of May! ~Lerner and Loewe

The May Queen is waiting.
Move with her in sacred dance
Living earth is breathing.
Loving through the night in the bright moonlight,
As seedlings open with the rain.
~Ruth Barren


Yes, I will spend the livelong day
With Nature in this Month of May..,
~William Henry Davies


Among the changing months,
May stands confest
the sweetest,
and in fairest colors dressed.
~James Thomson


Spring’s last-born darling, clear-eyed, sweet,
Pauses a a moment, with white twinkling feet,
And golden locks in breezy play,
Half teasing and half tender, to repeat
Her song of May.
~Susan Coolidge


Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people and plants of the field to everyone. ~Zechariah 10:1  ✝


Thank you, 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!

349. The sky and the strong wind have moved the spirit inside me till I am carried away trembling with joy. ~Uvavnuk, a female angakkuq (shaman) of the Iglulik Inuit, now considered an oral poet

Oh wind, a blowing all day long,
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!
~Robert Louis Stevenson


In a spring garden flowers speak of sacred sacraments; the wind that ruffles through them, like my breath moving in and out, speaks of holy beginnings. And so back go my thoughts to Eden wherein the creative acts of Ruach Elohim took place. Ruach is an ancient Hebrew word for God which literally means “wind.” As such it was not observed as a being but rather as a “vitalizing force.” Bishop J. S. Spong explains that “among the Hebrews the ruach or wind of God was said to bring forth life. Slowly this ruach evolved and became personalized and called Spirit… The ruach or wind of God was not external. It rather emerged from within the world and was understood as its very ground, its live-giving reality…in the very mysterious wind, which the Jews felt on their faces, they believed they found themselves touched by God here and now.” So it is that in the here and now of my life, I find myself touched by Ruach Elohim in my garden hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after year. The holiness within my garden’s confines comes forth again and again from branch and leaf, thorn and blossom, and creatures great and small. Through it flow waters that sustain and nurture life. Above it orbs, golden and white, shine bringing light into darkness, and the ground upon which I walk is as holy as the hallowed ground on which Yahweh and the Christ trod.

Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. ~Job 12:9-10 ✝

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!

286. Where flowers bloom so does hope. ~Lady Bird Johnson

Live each season as it passes
breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself
to the influences of each.
~Henry David Thoreau


Smitten (v.) – affected suddenly and strongly with a specified feeling; affected mentally or morally with a sudden pang; impressed favorably; charmed; enamored.  I love the word smitten, I love being smitten, I look forward to being smitten, and on days like today I’m in desperate need of being smitten.  And what might the source of my “smittenness” be today?  It’s tulips and daffodils and hyacinths and crocus.  After years of planting bulbs in the ground to little or no avail, I’d resigned myself to being able to admire them until now only in books, magazines, and yards where others somehow have success with them.


Nothing speaks of springtime louder or more clearly than flowering bulbs.  They are the epitome of spring’s opening opus, and now that my greenhouse is abloom with many of them, it feels like spring is close enough to reach out and touch.  Ah, spring, the season of increased sunlight, warmer temperatures, and the rebirth of fauna and flora, the season when the tilt of the earth relative to the sun is zero, the season which begins one month from today.


For me drinking the drink, tasting the fruit, and resigning myself to the influence of each season as it passes is a way of life that inevitably brings me face to face with Yahweh and Son, the Holy One with whom I am beyond smitten.  Like Tennyson, I’m convinced that if one can understand what a flower is “root and all, and all in all, one should know what God and man is.”

O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in Him.  ~Psalm 34:8   ✝

204. The autumn leaves drift by my window, the autumn leaves of red and gold…and soon I’ll hear old winter’s song… ~Excerpts from a tune by Johnny Mercer

There is music in the meadows, in the air…
Leaves are crimson, brown, and yellow…
There is rhythm in the woods,
And in the fields, nature yields…
~Excerpts from LYRIC OF AUTUMN by
William Stanley Braithwaite


It was 1947 when Johnny Mercer borrowed lines from a French song to create the lyrics to his unforgettable melody, AUTUMN LEAVES, a song I find myself singing, at least the parts I remember, almost every year as I tear November’s page off the calendar.  Why?  I don’t know.  The words just seem appropriate when autumn’s persistent winds, wild with leaves, blow wide open the final month’s portals, and this year’s opening was no different.  November’s yet in place blustery gales did in fact sweep December onto its throne.  Once seated, the 12th month opened under bright, sunny skies, but by noon day one had become shrouded in unending shades of gray.   When night fell, there were few, if any, remaining leaves on the redbud and willow at the back of the yard.  The beneficiaries of these as well as the oak’s leaves when they fall are the big island bed and my secret garden in the north corner.  So now not only can my voice be heard singing autumn’s anthems, but wherever these tinted tidbits lie, I’ll be able to hear them crooning their embracing ballads of promise.  And theirs, songs different from the ones in springtime, pledge warmth and declare they’ll keep my plants safe during the bitter, stone-cold days of winter.  But wait, things like trees and leaves sing?  Really? As a matter of fact, according to some Scriptural references and to those of us who listen carefully, they do!

The Lord reigns…Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.  Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing with joy.  ~Psalm 96:11-12  ✝