1135. May every sunrise hold more promise and every sunset hold more peace. ~Irish Blessing

At Dawn
I slipped into the garden
Almost before ’twas light,
As the lazy sun arose
I glimpsed a charming sight…
Red Poppy flung her cap aside,
Shook out her silken skirt;
The way she danced with a young breeze
Told me she was a flirt!
~Mary C. Shaw

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A Noon Song
There are songs for the morning and songs for the night,
For sunrise and sunset, the stars and the moon;
But who will give praise to the fullness of light,
And sing us a song of the glory of noon?
Oh, the high noon, the clear noon,
The noon with golden crest;
When the blue sky burns, and the great sun turns
With his face to the way of the west!
~Excerpted verse from a poem
by Henry Van Dyke

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Evening Hours

The dusk has little gateways
That lead to pleasant homes
Enveloped in the soft light
Before the darkness comes.
Each home is in a garden
Alight with vivid blooms,
And there are fragrant posies
In all the restful rooms.
They are so cool and quiet,
After the hectic day,
After the crowded hours
That rush us on our way.
They are the little havens
Where we may turn to sit
And rest us in a leisure
The day could not permit.
~Ella C. Forbes

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Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. ~Psalm 90:12  ✝

**All flowery photographs taken by me in my yard

556. The wild November come at last beneath a veil of rain… ~Richard Henry Stoddard

A fine rain was falling,
and the landscape was
that of autumn.
The sky was hung
with various shades of gray…
~Henri Frédéric Amiel

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No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! –
November!
~Thomas Hood

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Last night in late November’s darkness a “veil of rain” dropped down, and clouds have wept chilling tears this livelong day. In the mists and showers a host of leaves, newly tinged in autumnal hues, have drifted down in silence bereft of all the above-named poet penned. And yet there’s no sadness in fall’s tears, just the rhythm of sacred purpose. Drop by drop by drop November’s rain closes the door to the year’s last ordained arena, but the promise of resurrection is held in every drop that falls. So we thank thee, Lord, for the sweet November rain and the blessing to come brought down in each of its parenting drops.

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But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. ~2 Corinthians 3:16   ✝

505. The moon’s an arrant thief, and her pale fire she snatches from the sun. ~William Shakespeare

The moon is at her full,
and riding high,
floods the calm fields
with light.
~William C. Bryant

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In broad daylight, and at noon,
Yesterday I saw the moon
Sailing high, but faint and white,
As a schoolboy’s paper kite.
In broad daylight, yesterday,
I read a poet’s mystic lay;
And it seemed to me at most
As a phantom, or a ghost.
But at length the feverish day
Like a passion died away,
And the night, serene and still,
Fell on village, vale, and hill.
Then the moon, in all her pride,
Like a spirit glorified,
Filled and overflowed the night
With revelations of her light.
And the Poet’s song again
Passed like music through my brain;
Night interpreted to me
All its grace and mystery.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? ~Psalm 8:3-4    ✝

**Image via Pinterest

327. I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods. ~Wendell Berry

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Not undelightful, friend, our rustic ease
To grateful hearts; for by especial hap,
Deep nested in the hill’s enormous lap,
With its own ring of walls and grove of trees,
Sits, in deep shelter, our small cottage – nor
Far-off is seen, rose carpeted and hung
With clematis, the quarry whence she sprung,
O mater pulchra filia pulchrior,
(What a beautiful mother and beautiful daughter,)
Whither in early spring, unharnessed folk,
We join the pairing swallows, glad to stay
Where, loosened in the hills, remote, unseen,
From its tall trees, it breathes a slender smoke
To heaven, and in the noon of sultry day
Stands, coolly buried, to the neck in green.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

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“I (Jesus) am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be more fruitful.” ~John 15:1-2 ✝

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!

**Photos are of blossoms on my new Clematis vine…

324. Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where we perform the job of taking care of our soul. ~Christopher Forrest McDowell

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Let us put by some hour of every day
For holy things!  — whether it be when dawn
Peers through the window pane, or when the noon
Flames, like a burnished topaz, in the vault,
Or when the thrush pours in the ear of eve
Its plaintive monody; some little hour
Wherein to hold rapt converse with the soul,
From sordidness and self a sanctuary,
Swept by the winnowing of unseen wings,
And touched by the White Light Ineffable!
~Clinton Scollard

Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. ~Psalm 150:l  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us!

204. The autumn leaves drift by my window, the autumn leaves of red and gold…and soon I’ll hear old winter’s song… ~Excerpts from a tune by Johnny Mercer

There is music in the meadows, in the air…
Leaves are crimson, brown, and yellow…
There is rhythm in the woods,
And in the fields, nature yields…
~Excerpts from LYRIC OF AUTUMN by
William Stanley Braithwaite

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It was 1947 when Johnny Mercer borrowed lines from a French song to create the lyrics to his unforgettable melody, AUTUMN LEAVES, a song I find myself singing, at least the parts I remember, almost every year as I tear November’s page off the calendar.  Why?  I don’t know.  The words just seem appropriate when autumn’s persistent winds, wild with leaves, blow wide open the final month’s portals, and this year’s opening was no different.  November’s yet in place blustery gales did in fact sweep December onto its throne.  Once seated, the 12th month opened under bright, sunny skies, but by noon day one had become shrouded in unending shades of gray.   When night fell, there were few, if any, remaining leaves on the redbud and willow at the back of the yard.  The beneficiaries of these as well as the oak’s leaves when they fall are the big island bed and my secret garden in the north corner.  So now not only can my voice be heard singing autumn’s anthems, but wherever these tinted tidbits lie, I’ll be able to hear them crooning their embracing ballads of promise.  And theirs, songs different from the ones in springtime, pledge warmth and declare they’ll keep my plants safe during the bitter, stone-cold days of winter.  But wait, things like trees and leaves sing?  Really? As a matter of fact, according to some Scriptural references and to those of us who listen carefully, they do!

The Lord reigns…Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.  Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing with joy.  ~Psalm 96:11-12  ✝

136. The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others. ~Saint John Chrysostom

His Labor is a Chant–
his idleness–a Tune–
oh, for a Bee’s experience
of Clovers, and of Noon!
~Emily Dickinson

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Honey bees and bumblebees, it seems, find a flower’s countenance as irresistible as I, and that “irresistibility” is of holy intent.  In the passage of Scripture that follows, we see that the Lord’s plan involved an interconnectedness of all life as well as a dependency, one on the other.  The poet, Kahlil Gibran, explains that connectedness in this way: “a flower is a fountain of life” for the bee, and to the bee and flower “the giving and receiving is a need and an ecstasy.”  But wait, how is any of this relevant in the 21st century?  In the age of incredible and still advancing technology should anyone care about flowers and bees?  Indeed all of us should care because bees are absolutely essential pollinators, and sadly there are now alarming reports which indicate that one fourth of the northern hemisphere’s honeybee population mysteriously vanished by the spring of 2007.  Then by the end of 2008, one in three hives was left lifeless.  Simply put, the honeybee is disappearing at an alarming rate across the entire globe.  The worst part is that those in the know are not sure why this is happening, but they do know that should the increasing catastrophe not be addressed and solutions to the problem not found, the complete loss of honeybees as pollinators would mean the end of agriculture as we know it.  Since much of what we wear and one third of what we eat depends on the pollinating activity of honeybees, our way of life and civilization would be threatened.  In fact one report said the situation is so dire that mankind would survive only 4 years after the complete collapse of the honeybee population.

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.”  And it was so.  ~Genesis 1:29-30   ✝