1289. There is a purifying power in laughter. It is truth in palatable form. ~Eugene P. Bertin

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung
into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.
~Jean Houston

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Heavy
That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying
I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had his hand in this,
as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,
was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry
but how you carry it –
books, bricks, grief –
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it
when you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?
Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?
How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe
also troubled –
roses in the rain,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?
~Adapted poem by Mary Oliver

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

**Photo by Natalie

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

1106. Everything in heaven and earth breathes. Breath is the thread that ties creation together. ~Morihei Ueshiba

Every breath we take,
every step we make,
can be filled with peace,
joy and serenity.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Breath
Breath, the mindful breath,
the rhythm, out and in,
the wave that washes
through our days,
creating space for stillness,
sorrow, joy, or exaltation.
Full, then empty,
ebb and flow,
breath accompanies
each step into the unknown.
In the breath, the soul
finds an opportunity to speak.
Images or intuition,
poetry or wordless wisdom
come and go — no effort but
to breathe and listen.
~Danna Faulds

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. ~Psalm 33:6  ✝

**Image found on Pixabay; text added by Natalie

834. The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. ~Saint Francis de Sales

“That buzzing-noise means something. If there’s a buzzing noise, somebody’s making a buzzing-noise, and the only reason for making a buzzing-noise that I know of is because you’re a bee … and the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey … and the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it.” ~Winnie the Pooh

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Honey At The Table
It fills you with the soft
essence of vanished flowers,it becomes
a trickle sharp as a hair that you follow
from the honey pot over the table
and out the door and over the ground,
and all the while it thickens,
grows deeper and wilder, edged
with pine boughs and wet boulders,
paw prints of bobcat and bear, until
deep in the forest you
shuffle up some tree, you rip the bark,
you float into and swallow the dripping combs,
bits of the tree, crushed bees – – – a taste
composed of everything lost, in which everything lost is found.
~Mary Oliver

How sweet are your (God’s) words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! ~Psalm 119:103  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

690. The world of Celtic spirituality is completely at home with the rhythm and wisdom of the senses. ~John O’Donohue

When you read Celtic nature poetry,
you see that all the senses are alerted:
You hear the sound of the winds,
you taste the fruits, and above all
you get a wonderful sense of
how nature touches human presence.
~John O’Donohue

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Nature isn’t just around us like the walls of a house or a building; it moves into our space and through our senses to touch us in very discernible ways. We live and breath and move on divine, holy ground and in that realm many of our life experiences come by means of our God-given senses. Even in the reading of Scripture spring’s coming is announced by the mouth in song and the ear in hearing. So this week as we approach Easter, be mindful that one should not only hear about Christ’s resurrection or see images of what happened on the Cross at Calvary, but we should also feel the agony He suffered and in a very real sense “taste” what His sacrifice accomplished.

May your body be blessed.
May your realize that your body is a faithful
and beautiful friend of your soul.
And may you be peaceful and joyful
and recognize that your senses are sacred thresholds.
May you realize that holiness is mindful,
gazing, feeling, hearing, and touching.
May your senses gather you and bring you home.
May your senses always enable you to celebrate
the universe and the mystery and
possibilities in your presence here. . .
~John O’Donohue

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. ~Isaiah 35:1-2   ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage created by Natalie

506. Laughter is a sunbeam of the soul. ~Thomas Mann

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away,
but do not take from me your laughter.

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Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.
~Pablo Neruda

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

**Images via Pinterest

494. Every dew-drop and rain-drop had a whole heaven within it. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

How cunningly nature hides 
every
wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity
under roses and violets and morning dew.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Earth’s liquid jewelry, wrought of air.
The dew ‘tis of the tears which stars weep, sweet with joy.
~Philip James Bailey

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Angels in the early morning
may be seen the dews among.
Stooping, plucking, smiling, flying.
Do the buds belong to them?
~Emily Dickinson

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That breath you just took; it was a gift! The day that lies before you; it’s a gift!  And it’s a unique gift, a new creation of God’s ageless story. Twenty four hours a day, 7 days a week, His promise of renewal is delightfully visible especially early in the day when everything sparkles with the kind of magic that sometimes can be seen in the dew on roses and other things.

It’s easy to believe in magic when you’re young.
Anything you couldn’t explain was magic then.
It didn’t matter if it was science or a fairy tale.
Electricity and elves were both infinitely mysterious
and equally possible–elves probably more so.
~Charles de Lint

I may no longer be young but while birds call to one another and bees busily work, it’s easy still for me to imagine that garden fairies are blessing the flowers and sprinkling them with dew because they  glisten and shine like Yahweh’s glory.  And it is when I sense His Presence in the light and  the sweet aromas that arise from the flowers and the soil that I fall in love with the Lord of Life all over again.

Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants, I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! ~Deuteronomy 32:1-3    ✝

Thank you, Lord, for my piece of Eden here on a small portion of the Texas prairie and for Your redeeming work on the cross at Calvary.

** Images via Pinterest