1243. Pay attention. Be astonished. And tell about it. ~Mary Oliver

Leaves and Blossoms Along the Way
by Mary Oliver

If you’re John Muir you want trees
to live among. If you’re Emily
(or Natalie), a garden will do.
Try to find the right place for yourself.
If you can’t find it, at least dream of it.

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When one is alone and lonely, the body
gladly lingers in the wind or the rain,
or splashes into the cold river, or
pushes through the ice-crusted snow.

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Anything that touches.

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God, or the gods, are invisible, quite
understandable. But holiness is visible,
entirely.

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Some words will never leave God’s mouth,
no matter how hard you listen.

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In all the works of Beethoven, you will
not find a single lie.

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All important ideas must include the trees,
the mountains, and the rivers.

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To understand many things you must reach
out of your own condition.

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For how many years did I wander slowly
through the forest. What wonder and
glory I would have missed had I ever been
in a hurry!

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Beauty can both shout and whisper, and still
it explains nothing.

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The point is, you’re you, and that’s for keeps.

Stop and be astonished… ~Excerpt from Isaiah 29: 9 ✝

**All images taken by Natalie; the 3 collages by Natalie

1034. Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of mystery. ~Max Planck


Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth. ~Hugh Macmillan

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When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us then salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.
~Edited excerpt from In Praise of Earth
by John O’Donohue


“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

711. And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. ~William Shakespeare

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron

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Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. ~John Muir

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Oh, how I love the sea and at no time more than when I’m there at dusk or dawn.  I took these photos on a visit to Galveston several years ago, and they still speak to me as much of God as does my garden. While the bird and I walked along the “lonely shore” together, you’ll notice that it stopped twice as if waiting and watching and listening.  I believe it’s because in the dim quietude we both clearly heard the sacred songs of the spheres and the music of the deep sea’s roar.  So let us drink a cup of the “good in everything” today as we celebrate the earth, its bounty, and its beauty.  And let us not forget to praise the Lord now and always for all His gifts and goodness!

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   ✝

684. God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.  ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther

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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Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it’s a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
~Pueblo Blessing

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. ~Isaiah 55:12   ✝

649. This is My Wish For You. ~Charles Livingston Snell

This is my wish for you…
That the spirit of beauty may continually hover about you
and fold you close within the tenderness of her wings.

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That each beautiful and gracious thing in life
may be unto you as a symbol of good for your soul’s delight.

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That sun glories and star glories
leaf glories and bark glories
flower glories and glories
that lurk in the grasses of the field
glories of mountains and oceans
of little streams of running waters
glories of songs of poesy of all the arts
may be to you as sweet, abiding
influences that will illumine
your life and make you glad.

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That your soul may be as an alabaster cup,
filled to overflowing with the mystical wine of beauty and love.

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That happiness may put her arms around you,
and wisdom make your soul serene.

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This is my wish for you.
~Poem by Charles Livingston Snell

Dear friends, since God so loved us we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. ~1 John 4:11-12   ✝

**Images via Pinterest

643. For it was not into my ear you whispered but into my heart; it was not my lips you kissed but my soul. ~Judy Garland

I would live in your love
as the sea-grasses live in the sea,
Borne up by each wave as it passes,
drawn down by each wave that recedes;
I would empty my soul of
the
 dreams that have gathered in me,
I would beat with your heart as it beats,
I would follow your soul as it leads.
~Sara Teasdale

*Holly over at House of Heart showed me how to insert music with my blog entries. So enjoy the love song at the bottom of this post.

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The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one another’s being mingle—
Why not I with thine?

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See the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdain’d its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea—
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~John 3:16    ✝

** Images via Pinterest

628. Nature is a revelation of God. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I love to think of nature
as an unlimited broadcasting station,
through which God speaks to us  every hour,
if we will only tune in.
~George Washington Carver

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The child whispered, “God, speak to me”
And a meadowlark sang.
The child did not hear.

So the child yelled, “God, speak to me!”
And the thunder rolled across the sky
But the child did not listen.

The child looked around and said,
“God let me see you” and a star shone brightly
But the child did not notice.

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And the child shouted, “God show me a miracle!”
And a life was born
But the child did not know.

So the child cried out in despair,
“Touch me God, and let me know you are here!”
Where upon God reached down
And touched the child.

But the child brushed the butterfly away
And walked away unknowingly.
~Ravindra Kumar Harnani

He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth–the Lord God Almighty is His name. ~Amos 4:13   ✝

** Images via Pinterest