1328. It is an old story, this irresistible and ceaseless onflow of life and time… ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.
~William Blake

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Dead and brown is all that once was verdant and full of life. And again today a north wind blew to scatter more of autumn’s splendrous, leafy remains. Willy nilly the leaves whirled about and over the ground as if they were happy children chasing one another. Though a smattering of leaves yet dons a tree or two, for the most part the yard is a graveyard of clattering skeletons, desiccated leaves and withered flowers, bare soil and beige sod. Too, the beating heart of Creation’s life has grown ever so faint, but nonetheless it is discernible to the listening, longing ear. All the while beneath the surface, there’s an entirely different story evolving. For it is there that miraculous, even magical, proceedings are taking place and moving to the rhythm of winter’s muted heartbeat. And as they advance, they gather strength from their sacred sources, mother nature and Father God. So carry on tiny embryos of earth’s womb; I shall wait patiently and not lose heart nor faith while surrounded by this death and decay for I trust and know you will rise in the Spring and once more thrill me beyond the ability to speak so that only squeals of joy will fill the space herein between heaven and earth.

How can those who do not garden,
who have no lot in the great fraternity
of those who watch the changing year
as it affects the earth and its growth,
how can they keep warm their hearts in winter?
~Francis King

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Photos taken by Natalie; collage by Natalie

957. It is November. The noons are more laconic and the sundowns sterner. ~Emily Dickinson

And November sad,—a psalm
Tender, trustful, full of balm…
~Caroline May

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November is usually such a disagreeable month…as if the year had suddenly found out that she was growing old and could do nothing but weep and fret over it. This year it is growing old gracefully…just like a stately old lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles. We’ve had lovely days and delicious twilights. ~Lucy Maud Montgomery

The glory of the young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old. ~Proverbs 20:29   ✝

**Collage created  by Natalie

884. “I grow old, I grow old,” the garden says. It is nearly October. ~Excerpt from Robert Finch

For summer here, bear in mind,
is a loitering gossip, that only begins to talk
of leaving when September rises to go.
~George Washington Cable

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the air is different today
and the wind sings
with a new tone
sighing of changes coming…
~Rhawk

When September rises to go here, it is then that the amazing spider lily sits upon her scarlet throne. And when bejeweled in water beads from the sprinkler, her exotic, otherworldly charms grace the garden with a magical sort of sparkle and a melody that indeed seem to sigh along with the wind about coming changes.

…the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. ~Psalm 103:16  ✝

816. There is no spot of ground, however bare and ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give an impression of beauty and delight. ~Gertrude Jekyll

Eeny meeny miny moe
which roses now do I grow…
There are red ones, pink ones,
very, very bright yellow ones,
spotted ones, striped ones,
and 
even two-toned ones.
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Then there are the apricot
colored ones, and the purplish ones,
the small ones and the big ones,
the old ones and the new ones,
and so, my oh my, how will I ever
choose the ones I want to plant
this time around?
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A tree had to be felled along our north fence last fall, and as a result what used to be a relatively shady, and somewhat overgrown and unruly area, is now getting lots and lots of sunshine, so much so in fact that the white azaleas that were planted along there decades ago have all but died now. As sad as they may be it grants me the fun of new ground to be “tamed.” Thus, despite the dreadful heat I’ve been working early in the morning and/or at dusk doing as much as the “taming” as I can do. Now it’s time to call in the strong, younger guys with the big, powerful “taming” devices to do the rest. Then after they come and get their part done, I shall cover the ground with landscaping fabric and in the fall peruse my catalogs to choose what new roses and clematis I want to plant in the new spot of “tamed” ground. Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching is all old James thinks of when I go a’ tamin’ but he sure enjoys his braggin’ rights when people come in our yard. And who am I to deny him such pleasure?! Hee hee!
**Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. ~Hosea 10:12  ✝
**Some images via Pinterest and some from my archives

513. All things on earth point home in old October… ~Thomas Wolfe

…the year’s grown old,
mornings are dark,
and evenings come apace.
~Hilaire Belloc

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Hummingbird, hummingbird
be gone.  Fly, fly, fly away soon.
September’s harvest moon
rose early on, but glory days remain
belying summer’s lingering, warm chant.


Temps too cold for you are on the march
as shorter grow October’s days
lessening sunlight hours
and the food 
a garden can provide.
Likewise, dark clouds bearing
high winds, 
rain, and hail
are on the move
 from northern climes.

Prithee take to wing tiny creature;
do not delay, for you have far to go and
deepening autumn will anon turn to winter and
beneath the soil its pretty flowers send.
~Natalie Scarberry

Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. ~Jeremiah 8:7a    ✝

**Image via Pinterest

509. How we treat the vulnerable is how we define ourselves as a species. ~Russell Brand

What is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The lustre of the eye?
Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?
Yes, but not for this alone.

Is it to feel our strength –
Not our bloom only, but our strength -decay?
Is it to feel each limb
Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
Each nerve more weakly strung?

Yes, this, and more!

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It is to spend long days
And not once feel that we were ever young.
It is to add, immured
In the hot prison of the present, month
To month with weary pain.

It is to suffer this,
And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel:
Deep in our hidden heart
Festers the dull remembrance of a change,
But no emotion -none.

It is -last stage of all –
When we are frozen up within, and quite
The phantom of ourselves…
~Excerpted lines from a poem by Matthew Arnold

Echoes, echoes of the past–voices, so many familiar voices gone, now silenced by the closing of their life’s doors–memories, memories mingling with the present, all bringing the dark clouds that move in across her brain where the fury of raging storms begin on unfamiliar shores. The echoes, the voices, and the memories become scrambled in her dementia so that things and people once cherished create anxiety, anguish, and at times torment. Her mind, once sharp and clear, is now befuddled as she becomes more and more lost inside herself and her fears. Her family raised, her labors done, there is nothing left now but the lonely silence of her worsening deafness and the rapid waning of her vision. Soon she will be ever so far away from me, the one in whose womb my life began. Will she then still know my face and the feel of my touch? Will the skies ever again clear in her head and cast her weary, but back on familiar shores? Or has she begun the final journey of her dreaded aloneness? Please Lord, be with my mother as she struggles to navigate these dark passages of uncharted waters. Bring her comfort and peace, and if not mine, then let her recognize Your touch and know Your face. Let the child she has again become blindly trust as she once did that all is well with her soul and that You will care for her always. And let Your sweet benedictions steal into her senescent heart and fragile mind that’s becoming so profoundly confused, wounded, and betrayed by her aged, earthly body.

One of my followers commented yesterday on my memory post about the sadness of dealing with an aging parent who has Alzheimer’s, and I know that others of you are caring for elderly parents whose memories are failing. In those situations there are two or more people affected by the circumstances; both the aged and their caregiver(s) are profoundly impacted by this passage. So I decided to share the above with all of you.  It is something I wrote in my journal during a long, hard night when I was caring for my 92-year-old mother before she passed away.

 

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. ~Isaiah 46:4   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. ~Isaiah 46:4 ✝