1262. “Oh! ‘darkly, deeply, beautifully blue,’ / As someone somewhere sings about the sky.” ~Lord Byron

“What is blue?” asked a child, so very small
To which a man answered, “Blue is a lot of
things of which I’ll tell you a few, but not all.”
“Blue is the ocean, the rivers and streams.”
“Blue is the “splish splash” of water, |
which in sunlight glistens and gleams.”
“Blue is the flavorful taste of seafood cuisine
made from crabs or lobsters or shrimp
found beneath the deep blue sea.”
“Blue is the delicious aroma of blueberry pie.”
“Blue is the immense, infinite sky.”

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The child delighted, then cried thanks and ran away,
while the man was left there brooding
over the things about blue he’d just said,
for he knew that though what he’d said was true
there is more than joy when it comes to blue.
Blue can also describe the feeling a person gets
when he or she is left feeling dejected and sad.
Blue, too, can express grievous sorrow
that engulfs a person and causes him or her to frown.
And blue can be used to articulate misery and pain
or the dreariness of a day in which it may rain.

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But then another man who’d heard
what the first one had added, pondered those words
within his head because he knew that blue wasn’t
always quite as bad and gloomy as all that.
For blue can also describe a type of a music.
Blue when called the blues is a wonderful noise
that flows from the soul and out through the voice
or the piano, the saxophone, the trumpet, and the bass.
Such likable blues tug at the heart of people worldwide
for they have a way of healing depression and shame.
So you see without blue, the world as we know it,
could and would never be, entirely the same.
~Edited and adapted poem
by E. A. Costa

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“Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, 32 with an opening for the head in its center…” ~Exodus 28: 31-32  ✝

**Blue columbine, blue clock vine; blue morning glory, all from my yard

1260. The fairies break their dances and leave them printed on the lawn. ~A.E. Housman

Fairies learn to dance
before they learn to walk.
and
Fairies learn to sing
before they learn to talk.
~From a poem
by Rose Fyleman

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Step lightly around the toadstools or tiptoe gingerly past them my friends, tis where the fairies gather to sing and dance beneath the wondrous moon.

The Fairy Dance
The soft stars are shining,
The moon is alight;
Blades of green grass
Are dancing tonight:
O swift and gay
Is the song that they sing;
They float and sway
As they dance in a ring.
O seek not to find them,
The wee folk so fair;
They’re shy as the swallow
And swift as the air:
If you come, they are gone
Like a snowflake in May;
Like a breath, like a sigh,
They vanish away.
~Edited and adapted poem
by Katherine Davis

Let them(the people) praise His(God’s) name with dancing and make music to Him(God’s) with timbrel and harp. ~Psalm 194:3 ✝

**Collage of toadstool photograghs I’ve been taking

1224. Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

Take a music bath once or twice
a week for a few seasons.
You will find it is to the soul
what a water bath is to the body.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Do re me fa so la ti–this, the solfège is a music education method used to teach pitch. Syllables assigned to the notes of the scale enable musicians to mentally hear the pitches of music that they are seeing for the first time. But that wasn’t the really the fun thing about it today. Because of it a familiar song came to mind, and singing it washed away the dust of our 105 degree day. As I thought of the SOUND OF MUSIC and the song based on the solfège, it made me smile and say aha about a possible blog post! And with the lack of rain we’re enduring, what better way to take a water bath than with music. So here goes…

Doe-a deer, a female deer

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Ray-a drop of golden sun

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Me-a name I call myself

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Far-a long, long way to go

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Sew-a needle pulling thread

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La-a note to follow sew

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Tea-a drink with jam and bread that will bring us back to do…

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Which brings us back to do…

My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. ~Psalm 57:7  ✝

**All images found on Pinterest

1223. Color is joy. One does not think joy. One is carried by it. ~Ernst Hass

Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud–
We in ourselves rejoice!
And thence flows all that charms our ear or sight,
All melodies, the echoes of that voice
All colors a suffusion from that light.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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From my hate-the-heat perspective the garden being adorned with crown jewels like these in the collage is one of the few saving graces of a Texas summer. If these flowers had voices instead of brilliant colors, I think that even as buds whose colors had not yet been revealed they would start the day off with soft, murmuring melodies. Then as the day’s flames licked up higher and higher and they burst into bloom, their songs would play on but in loud and bold arias so that the bees, the butterflies, and other pollinators would harken to their lusty, changeling voices. And all the while as the harmonies played on, the insect benefactors would suckle on the tasty fare despite the sizzling sultriness. And I, I would remain the envious onlooker because it is only they and not I who are small enough to crawl down into the gloriously-filled caverns of sweet nectars. Then at day’s end in weariness from performing their noisy choruses and from enduring the onslaught of mugginess their songs would give way to those of the white and silver flowery voices that mingle in with the enlarging and marvelous music of the night. As for me, though saddened by their silence and passing, I would have agree with Barbara Kingsolver who said that “in the places that call me out, I know I’ll recover my wordless childhood trust in the largeness of life and its willingness to take me in” again, another day. Another writer once said that in the isolation and silence of winter one can savor belonging to him or herself. And who knows, perhaps summer allows one to do the same but in a different way, especially when that individual is falling short of being thankful for God’s gifts by fussing about the way they are wrapped.

You(God) turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy… ~Psalm 30:11  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yard; not all were taken on the same days

1212. Freedom is the oxygen of the soul. ~Moshe Dayan

Freedom has its life in the hearts,
the actions, the spirit of men and
so it must be daily earned and refreshed —
else like a flower cut from its life-
giving roots, it will wither and die.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

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For Freedom
As a bird soars high
In the free holding of the wind,
Clear of the certainty of ground,
Opening the imagination of wings
Into the grace of emptiness
To fulfill new voyagings,
May your life awaken
To the call of its freedom.
As the ocean absolves itself
Of the expectation of land,
Approaching only In the form of waves
That fill and pleat and fall
With such gradual elegance
As to make of the limit
A sonorous threshold
Whose music echoes back among
The give and strain of memory,
Thus may your heart know the patience
That can draw infinity from limitation.
~Excerpted lines
by 
John O’Donohue

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. ~Excerpt from Galatians 5:12  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

1209. Spinning round and round, everything was magical and gold. ~Karen Aba

The Carousel
the carousel turns in the carnival park
on a pier further down on the beach
the gold ring is its greatest allure

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the spirited ponies, animals quaint,
all snorting and rearing whirl round
and round in their brightly colored paints

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the spinning floor stops for us to get on
and after we choose our mounts, the
ride starts with the enchanting sounds

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up and down, round and round,
prance the horses while the calliope sings and
we go ’round waiting to reach for the rings

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sometimes we miss them as they fly by
or they’re too far out of reach but there’s
always that chance for the second try
~Edited and adapted poem
by Soul Survivor

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Who knows what triggers memories? Even childhood memories can be aroused a half a century or more after their occurrence. Today was such a day. The house where we lived California was just a half a block from the Pacific Ocean. Though I was forbidden to cross the busy street to get over to the beach by myself, the allure was just too great to resist for one such as me. And then quite a ways down the beach was a place called Rainbow Pier which had midway with a Merry-Go-Round and other amusements. And of course I was forbidden to go there by myself too. But again the lure of that Merry-Go-Round with its gold ring that if caught garnered one a free ride was just too enticing for me. Thankfully, the Lord was watching over me and no harm came to me the numerous times that I heeded not parental rules. I’m the oldest of 3 girls and not too long ago, we were reminiscing about our California days, and I told them of my stealing away alone to the beach and the midway. Both were surprised, and the middle one was indignant that I had not invited either of them to go with me. When asked why I didn’t, I laughed and said because one or both of you would have “spilled the beans” and that would have been the end of my forays to those magical places. The middle one insisted that she would never have said anything, and I had to remind her that every time she became angry with me she had “squealed” about something just to get me in trouble. The fact that she adamantly denied it doesn’t change the truth of it however. We left California to move to Texas when I was 13, but those memories are still vibrantly alive!

Purple horses with orange manes,
Elephants pink and blue,
Tigers and lions there were never seen
In circus parade or zoo!
Bring out your money and choose your steed,
And prance to the delightsome sound.
What fun if the world would turn some day
Into a Merry-Go-Round!
~Rachel Field

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. ~1 Corinthians 12:11  ✝

1199.The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. ~Norbert Platt

The ablest writer is only a gardener first,
and then a cook: his tasks are, carefully to select
and cultivate his strongest and most nutritive thoughts;
and when they are ripe, to dress them, wholesomely,
and yet so that they may have a relish.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare

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I would like to write a poem about the world that has in it
nothing fancy.
But it seems impossible.
Whatever the subject, the morning sun
glimmers it.
The tulip feels the heat and flaps its petals open and becomes a star.
The ants bore into the peony bud and there is a dark
pinprick well of sweetness.
As for the stones on the beach, forget it.
Each one could be set in gold.
So I tried with my eyes shut, but of course the birds
were singing.
And the aspen trees were shaking the sweetest music
out of their leaves.
And that was followed by, guess what, a momentous and
beautiful silence as comes to all of us, in little earfuls, if we’re not too
hurried to hear it.
As for spiders, how the dew hangs in their webs
even if they say nothing, or seem to say nothing.
So fancy is the world, who knows, maybe they sing.
So fancy is the world, who knows, maybe the stars sing too,
and the ants, and the peonies, and the warm stones,
so happy to be where they are, on the beach, instead of being
locked up in gold.
~Mary Oliver

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. ~Psalm 45:1  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

1186. People who judge others say more about who they are than those they judge. ~Donald L. Hicks

I hate to go mincing through life, afraid to take
a single long step for fear somebody is watching.
I want to “wave my wild tail and walk by my wild lone.
~Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of,
among other things, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

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validation, noun • the recognition or affirmation of the validity or worth of (a person or their feelings or opinions); causing (a person) to feel valued or worthwhile

Ya know, there are some words and/or expressions that just irritate the heck out of me. As an educator I hated it when my daughter or any other child for that matter was labeled as an over achiever because she and they excelled academically and/or in sports or music or art or whatever. Why do people do that? We should celebrate the success of anyone who is working hard and attempting to reach their full God-given potential. I don’t like the expression under-achiever either. Or geek. Or retard. Or freak. Or any other of those thoughtless labels that make a person feel stupid or like an outsider. I taught way too long not to know that we are all unique, not only in who we are but also in how we think and how fast we acquire knowledge. And next who in the sam hill gives any one else on the planet the right to validate others. Who are they to decide if our feelings or opinions are worthwhile? Did I miss something in school? Is there some elected or appointed group who’s allowed to make such decisions about the rest of us? I don’t think so! But then perhaps I, too, was too busy being an “over achiever” and so missed the election of such enlightened individuals. Wrong again! We are, all of us, children of the Creator of all that is, and God Almighty is the ONLY voice we should and must listen to about such things. Scripture says we are all given spiritual gifts and that there is a purpose in them. And though the Lord forgives us of our failures and shortcomings if we ask with a contrite heart, I think He still fully intends for us to give the gift of life He has granted us our best effort! So instead of all this name calling and judging and criticizing, people need to be encouragers and validators of a person’s inherent worth and abilities. In fact, that is something which the Lord charges each and every one of us to do. Lastly I don’t fit in a “box,” you don’t fit in a “box,” nobody fits in a “box” of man’s making! And before someone cleverly quips that men just need to create bigger boxes then, unless they are able to create the DNA of a me and a you and endow us with our gifts, they can’t  even begin to create boxes big enough to do that!

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. ~Romans 12:6-9  ✝

1182. Wherever fear is, happiness is not. ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Fear is the main source of superstition,
and one of the main sources of cruelty.
To conquer is the beginning of wisdom.
~Bertrand Russell

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When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins
from his purse to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes like the measle-pox
when death comes like an iceberg
between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity,
wondering: what is it going to be like,
that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower,
as common as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage,
and something precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if
I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing
and frightened, or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up
simply having visited this world.
~Mary Oliver

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~Isaiah 41:10  ✝

**There are 365 days in the year, and the Bible, as in the passage above, tells us not to be afraid 365 times. Coincidence? I think not. It’s a message the Lord wants to be rooted in our hearts every single day of our lives.

1165. Did you hear it, fluting and whistling a shrill dark music – like the rain pelting the trees – like a waterfall knifing down the black ledges. ~Excerpt from the poem, The Swan, by Mary Oliver

Did you too see it, drifting all night on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air –
a perfect commotion of silk and linen
as it leaned into the bondage of its wings…
~Another excerpt from the poem, The Swan,
by Mary Oliver

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Whistling Swans
Do you bow your head when you pray or
do you look up into that blue space?
Take your choice, prayers fly from all directions.
And don’t worry about what language you use,
God no doubt understands them all.
Even when the swans are flying north
and making such a ruckus of noise,
God is surely listening and understanding.
Rumi said, There is no proof of the soul.
But isn’t the return of spring and how
it springs up in our hearts a pretty good hint?
Yes, I know, God’s silence never breaks,
but is that really a problem?
There are thousands of voices, after all.
And furthermore, don’t you imagine
(I just suggest it) that the swans know about
as much as we do about the whole business?
So listen to them and watch them, singing as they fly.
Take from it what you can.
Last night the rain spoke to me slowly,
saying, what joy to come falling out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again in a new way on the earth!
~Mary Oliver

Because You(God) are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. ~Psalm 63:7 ✝

**Singing swan images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie