736. I was in love with the whole world and all that lived in its rainy arms. ~Louise Erdrich

My poetry was born
between the hill and the river.
It took its voice
 from the rain,
and like the timber,
it steeped itself in the forests.
~Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and
winner of the Nobel Prize in literature

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I expect there are many writers, like Neruda, as well as artists and musicians who have found a voice in the rain as it evokes strong emotions in the human heart. In some unfathomable way I even believe rain is wedded to the human soul. So it is that I am drawn into its web and mystery whenever it blesses this arid and often drought-ridden land where I live. I’m not only intoxicated by the sounds and sights of it but also the whole other level of interest it creates in the garden and other earthly places.

Like billowing clouds,
Like the incessant gurgle of the brook
The longing of the spirit can never be stilled.
~ St. Hildegard von Bingen

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The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands… ~Deuteronomy 28:12   ✝

**Upper collage created by Natalie from her photo archives; lower collage created from images via Pinterest

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.

331. The sound of birds stops the noise in my mind. ~Carly Simon

Those little nimble musicians of the air,
that warble forth their curious ditties,
with which nature hath furnished them
to the shame of art.
~Izaak Walton



Is this little guy cute or what! I first saw it yesterday while I was out taking pictures. What made me aware of its presence was the unusual twittering noise I heard above me. Wanting to know what creature’s “curious ditties” had broken into my solitude, I turned around and listened for it to come again. When it did, I spied the little thing sitting up high in the branches of the still barren, woody althea shrub. At first glance and seeing only its back side I thought the bird was a small female cardinal but the longer I stood there peering up at it, the less convinced of that idea I was. Finally it dawned on me what it was even though until then I’d only seen photographs of titmice in books. Of course my first instinct was to raise the camera and snap away, but since I didn’t know how skittish this bird might be, I decided to stand very still for a few more minutes. When I did start shooting, the titmouse continued on about its business seemingly quite unconcerned about my presence, so much so that instead of flying away it proceeded to move, hop by hop, closer to the adjacent peanut feeder. As it turned out the tufted darling, at least this one, was quite the “ham” because it would stop from time to time and look right at me as if posing for the camera. Once its hunger was satiated, the titmouse flew away, but I somehow knew this one would come again. And sure enough it returned today. Its curious little twittering noise alerted me of the bird’s presence, and I, delighted to see it, only watched from afar this time. Life here on planet earth is undeniably fraught with hardships and brutality, but every now and again it gives the appearance of being the untroubled paradise it once was. Where? Mercifully in the little piece of Eden that a garden is the difficulties and noise of a fallen world are sometimes silenced long enough for paradise to reveal itself once again if only for a short while.

My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. ~Psalm 63:5 ✝

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!

**Some of these images were found on Pinterest.