1409. A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. ~Walt Whitman

For, after all, put it as we may ourselves,
we are all of us, from birth to death, guests
at a table which we did not spread.
The sun, the earth, love, friends, our very breath
are parts of the banquet…
Shall we think of the day then as a chance
to come nearer our Host, and find out
something of Him who has fed us so long?
-Rebecca Harding Davis

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Autumn is perennially one of the two seasons in which I pray every available drop of glory lands squarely in the metaphorical cup intended to quench the thirst of the my soul. Although there are delights to serve that purpose in all the seasons, spring and fall feed my parched soul like no other, and I would lament the spillage of even a single drop of their honeyed elixir. From the very beginning all humanity has indeed been a guest at a table it did not set, and Yahweh who set the table remains the Gracious Host of the banquet which is annually laid before us. Given that, the question is how does one respond appropriately to the Lord’s continuous and magnanimous gifts. Among other things Scripture says His people should rejoice and be glad in their days and that they should be thankful for His gifts and praise Him always. So years ago when I began to realize how much a bent toward cynicism was squelching my gratitude and keeping me from receiving God’s full measure of grace, I began an experiment to prove something to myself. At the end of each day, I’d write down at least 5 blessings, good things that I’d experienced during the course of the day. Despite my doubts of accomplishing that goal for any length of time, I soon discovered that I could find more than enough commendable and/or noteworthy good things for which to thank God, especially the blessings that come through the five senses especially when I discovered that morning glories love the fall’s cooler temps and put on a splendid, “grand finale.” Once moe I realized that for any relationship to work and flourish it is not enough to just feel love. The recipient, be it a mortal he or she or a Deity, they must be told and shown as often as possible how deep our love and gratitude goes.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. -Philippians 2:1-2 ✝

**Photos taken by Natalie; collage by Natalie

1259. Ipomoea alba, a white blooming, fragile moon destined only to bloom for a single, lovely night. ~Natalie

In whispered song of shadowed pearl,
her lumened face now opened
for night’s cool embrace.
~Edited excerpt
from a poem, by David Mohn

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From out of twining, emerald leaves
what was at first a tight, small
small bud of green, emerges
a twisted spiral of white and green.

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Then wider and wider it
spreads until like a lady’s
handkerchief it opens.

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As the stars pop out one by one
in the heavens above the satiny,
fragrant, night-blooming
morning glory begins its reign
as sovereign monarch throughout
the entirely of night’s realm.

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Round like the moon, it mimics 
 the orb in the utter splendor 
of its fullness before it begins
to crumple in the day’s first light,

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But that it might be
cool enough to embolden it
to linger a little longer.

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The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. ~1 Corinthians 15:41  ✝

**In the last photograph you are looking at a moonflower fully opened after first light because it was cool enough that morning when I took the picture. And I’m looking at it from the back so that you can see one of the small green buds behind it that it was before it began to untwist and open.

1229. The glory in the garden lies in more than meets the eye. ~Rudyard Kipling

Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be…
~William Wordsworth

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“Glory days, they’ll pass you by in the wink of a young girl’s eye” goes a line in a song by Bruce Springsteen. And so it is with the morning glory. She comes and spends her brief hour upon life’s stage but that wink of her daily glory lasts a lifetime, at least for me. I adore each and every one that blooms until the vines die with the first freeze. And if there is a blessing in our hot summers here in Texas, it is in that we enjoy a long growing season and our first average freeze date is not until November 15th.

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About this time each year my morning glory vines hit their stride and from here on out until our first freeze, glory will indeed abound in my yard. Each one though it lives but that one day looks like a chalice which holds morning’s light and therefore God’s continuing glory on earth. As such she feeds body and soul with her beauty and she honors her Maker with her glory. So yes, Mr. Wordsworth we shall grieve not the “splendor in the grass or the glory in the flower,” but ever find strength in the “primal sympathy which having been must ever be…”

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morning glory sings in
the highest pitch
that fills
all the
empty spaces
unto the eyes of
the Lord
~Gregory Golden

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But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. ~Psalm 3:3  ✝

**All morning glory images taken in my yard but not all today

932. How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli

To forget how to dig the earth and
to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.
~Mahatma Gandhi

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There is something incredibly engaging and comforting about a garden, especially when one is surprised this late in the year by a find as lovely as this Heavenly Blue morning glory. However, even long after she’s gone when winter has plunged us into its “vale of grief,” there will yet be signs that point to primeval and sacred origins, ordained recurring seasons, and our connection to the Holy Breath of the Creator. But today it was the brilliance of the autumn morn, the splendor and blueness of the blossom, and a gentle breeze blowing in my face from time to time that prompted an awareness of the in and out movement of God’s life-giving breath in me as well as cognizance of a sacramental connection to Him. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French philosopher and Jesuit priest, said, “There is a communion with God, and there is a communion with earth, and there is a communion with God through the earth.” Teilhard de Chardin contended that the more he devoted himself in some way to the interests of the earth the more he belonged to God. It is the same for me. Being close to the earth in my garden or taking photographs of its progeny and/or nature in general, is like being attached to an umbilical cord that keeps me forever tethered to the Divine Source of all life, and therefore through it comes the spiritual nourishment that feeds my hungry soul.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. ~Psalm 24:1-2  ✝

847. There is a joy that comes from admiring the beauty of flowers. ~Luther Burbank

 To nurture a garden is to feed
not just the body but also the soul.
~Alfred Austin

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When in these fresh mornings
I go into my garden before anyone is awake,
I go for the time being into perfect happiness.
In this hour divinely fresh and still,
the fair face of every flower
salutes me with a silent joy. . .
All the cares, perplexities,
and griefs of existence,
all the burdens of life
slip from my shoulders
and leave me with the heart
of a little child that asks nothing
beyond the present moment
of innocent bliss.
~Celia Thaxter, American writer

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As I stood there yesterday morning looking at what you see in the photographs, I was trying to figure out how I could describe to others the impact of the vision before my eyes. Scenes like this are exactly the reason I created and continue to maintain a garden. The exquisite beauty of a single morning glory perched atop a sea of blooming autumn clematis touched my soul in a way that is beyond all reason and verbal expression. It was indeed a source of holy food that nurtured my body and soul. How could I ask for anything more!

For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. ~Psalm 92:4  ✝

767. I think our dreams are held in safe-keeping within our souls, and when fulfilled, tears are the happy release of the “minding.” ~Masked Native at: http://maskednative.com/

There is sacredness in tears.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of overwhelming grief,
irrepressible joy,
deep contrition,
and unspeakable love.
~Adapted quote
by Washington Irving

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I want to start off by thanking all of you who read the daily installments of my personal saga about Paris as well as those of you who took the time to comment about my story. I didn’t realize that walking back through the years to tell about the events that lead up to our trip in 2013 and the one we’ll be making again soon, would bring about a kind of catharsis which ultimately defined and released long held emotions about things in my past.

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However, now I realize more than ever how important it is that people share their personal stories, the things that make us who and what we are, not only for the impact they’ve had and continue to have on us, but also because others may find release, healing, encouragement, assurances, etc. in our narratives. We are, after all, a composite of everything that happens to us as well as the resulting influence of all those who cross our paths.

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Several years ago I ordered some morning glory seeds from a catalog, and another packet of a different kind of morning glories was thrown in as a bonus. However, that bonus package got lost at the bottom of my seed-storage box until I discovered it again earlier in spring. So I sowed the seeds, “et voilà,” here it is. Isn’t it lovely? I’ve never seen a morning glory like this one, but I think I’m falling in love with its cute, pink and white curlicues.

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Although in France they don’t associate the color pink with the city of Paris, imagery around the turn of the last century (the Belle Époque) as well as later images in the media and Paris-themed feminine merchandise, the color pink does continue to be associated with Paris elsewhere in the world. So I’m calling this frilly little pink posy my “Parisienne Glory,” and I pray that it blesses your eyes. Love, Natalie

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

741. A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest of men. ~Roald Dahl

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Nonsense, you say,
Why that’s right up my alley.
It adds spice to life
and soothes the strife.
So here I go like Dr. Seuss
but with a touch of poetic residues.
~Natalie Scarberry

Wham bam popped the hollyhock!

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Swoosh unfurled a shady lady morning glory!

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Blam boom burst the echinacea!

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Zoom scampered the gladiola!

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Kapow pounced the daylily!

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Onomatopoeia imitates a sound
that it describes with nonsensical words
while alliteration repeats the same letter or sound
at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.
And so today after photographing flowers with amazing colors
I thought it might be fun to let you see with both your eyes and ears.

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. ~Psalm 19:7   ✝

**Top photo via Pinterest; rest were taken by Natalie