549. The man who is happy is fulfilling the purpose of existence. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

If Heaven made him —
earth can find some use for him.
~Chinese Proverb

Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 2.33.40 PM

I watched light split the darkness on this chilly November morn, and as the sun rose higher on the horizon, I saw it initially tickle the tops of trees. Then leaf by leaf by leaf it began to lower. In the topmost branches, the squirrels, benefactors of the sun’s first fruits, sat poised in readiness for the day. Below the birds, yet reluctant to lift off, and I were on stand by waiting for the light’s kiss to brush its warmth against us as well. While I sat before the unfolding drama, it occurred to me that such as this, these primal vignettes of earth’s awakening, had played out in the same prevailing silence and expectancy since the dawn of time. It’s as if the light, and only the light, adds the vibrancy and buoyancy of sound and tempo to the day–as if there is a purpose in dim, quiet beginnings, as if first there is a need to obey holy rhythms, a foremost call to offer thanksgiving, a wisdom in opening songs of praise. Verily what I witnessed was the pregnant pause between what was, what is, and what’s yet to be, and standing in those gaps waiting to be greeted was, as always, the Giver of light, of breath, of life. At last when the light touched the ground, birds gave voice to the day’s opus and the dance of life began again! Thus I knew it was time not only to rise but also to celebrate miracles and keep them from becoming ordinary, time to prevent the mundane from stealing joy and a sense of awe and wonder. For it is ordained that we, all of us, have been anointed, have been given skill sets, and somehow, in some way have a purpose to fulfill. And if we are to accomplish that, we must cherish the light, take it with us, open life’s doors, and live in amazement.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

537. The wind shows us how close to the edge we are. ~Joan Didion

Although the wind is very powerful
and you can feel its presence,
in and of itself it cannot be seen.
You know it is there by its effect on things.
The great trees, the grasses, and
waves on the sea bend with its force.
If you are aware of your surroundings,
you know it is there long before you feel it.
So it is with the ineffable.
~Author Unknown

Screen shot 2014-11-03 at 10.05.29 AM

Wind, the holy breath of Ruach, blows through Eden today. In it is a changed rhythm, a brooding rhyme versing odes of finality. As November’s clouded chills sweep across the garden, from where they perch on high the first smatterings of leaves topple to the ground. When downed, they dot the lawn, alliterating the year’s closing stanzas, and as they, the altered remnants of spring’s glory fall, they foretell what blooming color has yet to disclose. For there are flowers, duped by the favorable clime, that continue to open as day by day we slide down, down, down into winter’s ordained “vale of grief.” And so it is that whilst the raucous music and poesy of summer’s feverish days fade from memory, lower and deeper dip the melodies of autumn’s opus and balladry.

The tempest comes our from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds.  ~Job 37:9   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

412. The day has eyes; the night has ears. ~David Fergusson

…in the open world it (night) passes lightly,
with its stars and dews and perfumes,
and the hours marked by changes
in the face of Nature.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Image

This evening sweetly scented perfumes and loud night noises filled the space between heaven and earth. Screeching cricket and cicada choruses rose and fell in unison with the droning engines on the nearby Interstate Highway, and splashes of water in the fountains occasionally added their trickling notes to the developing opus. The day’s winds had slowed but there were still little zephyrs carrying flowery fragrances abroad. Thankfully the day’s high temperatures had lowered as the final remnants of light oozed out of the day taming summer’s heat beast until the morrow’s mid morn when he will again stoke his fires. Early fourth of July revelers were lighting fireworks on the street behind ours, and the soft booms and the quick flashes of light were apparently the cue for barking dogs to join this oddly manned orchestra that was playing “music” through June’s rapidly closing door. Soon God’s lanterns, the stars and waxing moon, were flickering through the trees silhouetted against a deepening indigo sky and creatures, great and small, were beginning to roam, fly, or crawl. Porch lights cast shadowy phantoms over the darkened lawn as the raucous concert played on. Before long the towering trees and the sky merged into a blackened oneness and the din fell into a more subdued humming rhythm. When I rose to come in for the night, I spotted a pearly, luminescent moonflower which I knew would reign as nocturnal queen until tomorrow’s light closed her up and opened the first morning glory to reign on her recently abdicated throne.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. ~Psalm 19:1-2  ✝

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! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

286. Where flowers bloom so does hope. ~Lady Bird Johnson

Live each season as it passes
breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself
to the influences of each.
~Henry David Thoreau

Image

Smitten (v.) – affected suddenly and strongly with a specified feeling; affected mentally or morally with a sudden pang; impressed favorably; charmed; enamored.  I love the word smitten, I love being smitten, I look forward to being smitten, and on days like today I’m in desperate need of being smitten.  And what might the source of my “smittenness” be today?  It’s tulips and daffodils and hyacinths and crocus.  After years of planting bulbs in the ground to little or no avail, I’d resigned myself to being able to admire them until now only in books, magazines, and yards where others somehow have success with them.

Image

Nothing speaks of springtime louder or more clearly than flowering bulbs.  They are the epitome of spring’s opening opus, and now that my greenhouse is abloom with many of them, it feels like spring is close enough to reach out and touch.  Ah, spring, the season of increased sunlight, warmer temperatures, and the rebirth of fauna and flora, the season when the tilt of the earth relative to the sun is zero, the season which begins one month from today.

Image

For me drinking the drink, tasting the fruit, and resigning myself to the influence of each season as it passes is a way of life that inevitably brings me face to face with Yahweh and Son, the Holy One with whom I am beyond smitten.  Like Tennyson, I’m convinced that if one can understand what a flower is “root and all, and all in all, one should know what God and man is.”

O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in Him.  ~Psalm 34:8   ✝

140. All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. ~Maltbie D. Babcock

This is my Father’s world
He shines in all that’s fair,
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.
~Lyrics from This is My Father’s World by Maltbie D. Babcock

Image

What a glorious morning!  When I raised the shade, my eyes were met with a delicious light pouring down on a corner of the garden.  And it was light not born of the intense heat of past months but instead of the crisp coolness of a 59 degree autumnal equinox morn.  Zephyrs were ruffling leaves, and they were shouting hallelujahs in praise of the Lord’s Sabbath and yesterday’s rain.  Ancient Eden’s unmistakable holy voice reverberated in the air, and all of us, creature and man alike, recognized it and rejoiced.  The “special air of melancholy and magic” typical of September’s opus rose louder and louder as the light moved southward across the yard frosting everything in its wake.  Yahweh’s glory breathed new life into wilted leaves, faded blossoms, and weary bones as the light moved as sweetly as a bow across the strings of a Stradivarius in slanted increments across the yard.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”  ~Isaiah 60:1  ✝

*Thanks to Annette Lepple for the great description of September that I quoted above.