1042. Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents
And as silently steal away.
~Edited lines by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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In January, as winter begins to deepen, the rhythms that “wash away from the soul the dust of everyday life” grow faint, as if whispered. However, when nature’s earthly notes are muffled by icy gales, heavy frosts, or falling snow, the “echo of the spheres” overheard remains audible. And on the less chilly days, the ones between cold fronts, bits and pieces of tender, albeit potent, harmonies often continue to rise. Today, for example, I spotted the tiny tips of hyacinth bulbs breaking the cold, hard ground, and as if escaping through the tiny fissures the bulbs had created, Eden’s heartbeat jumped up another fraction of a decibel. Even on the really, really forbiddingly cold days, within the sounds of silence, there are pauses, ripe and pregnant, that are as eloquent as notes and lyrics. For it is in those rests and pauses that can be heard dulcet sounds, soothing honeyed ones which are recognized not by the ears, but by the soul. And although it has been said that trees and flowers grow in utter silence while the sun, the moon, and the stars above our heads do the same, I’m not sure that’s true. I contend that on any  given day of the year if one listens with a hunger in the heart and a thirst in the soul, the footfalls of God can yet be ascertained upon the sacred soil of Creation and His voice which spoke everything into being can still be heard echoing amid the orbs of the firmament. That’s why if one stills him or herself and earnestly seeks Yahweh’s face, it can be made out even winter’s inhospitable bleakness. And after it’s glimpsed, one’s ears can also discern the sweet, sweet sounds of the Father’s loving utterances as He calls out to His beloved children.

The music is not in the notes,
but in the silence in between.
~Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day… ~Excerpt from Genesis 3:8 ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

881. White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. ~G. K. Chesterton

The breeze at dawn has
secrets to tell you. Don’t
go back to sleep.
~Rumi

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Yahweh’s divine light is woven throughout the entirety of Creation’s multicolored tapestry. Among a host of other things, it can be seen in the soft radiance of a chromatic dawn “unveiling the whole face of nature,” in the blazing streaks of a brilliantly hued sunset at day’s end, in the white glow of the moon illuminating the night, and in an exquisite blossom that mimics the luminous lights of the heavenly orbs. But what does all that have to do with the breeze telling secrets at dawn, one might ask? The answer, my friend, is “blowing in the wind” as always. And it’s really no secret at all, for the breeze knows, as do I, that the Ancient of Days yet walks among us and is still in control of all that He has made.

Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is the name of his Son? Surely you know! ~Proverbs 30:4 ✝

**This white moonflower only blooms at night, but when I get up early in the morning I can capture its glory before in perishes in the bright light of day.

572. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

When the oak is felled
the whole forest echoes with its fall,
but a hundred acorns are sown
in silence by an unnoticed breeze.
~Thomas Carlyle

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A tiny acorn falls from a towering tree. An even tinier seed drops from a flowering plant. Deciduous trees and shrubs lose their sheltering leaves. Perennials die down to the shivering ground when the first hard freeze comes, and the flourishing grass withers and turns brown. At a glance there is no telling proof of life as the sun and moon pass over barren fields throughout the short, cold days and the long colder nights of late autumn and wintertime. Yet the world doesn’t pass into nothingness. What the Lord spoke into the void remains alive in dark, inner chambers where it lies in wait, waiting patiently with expectancy for moments in time when a spark will activate the memory of what Yahweh spoke, and once again life emerges from sacred, secret places. Then sunlight and rain, filled with the same kind of holiness, nurtures the new growth and urges it on to another round of completion. For in the faithful and ongoing rites of passage in springtime under the multitudinous orbs of heaven, life goes on directed by the ancient and engulfing rhyme and reason of the Maker of Heaven and Earth who is as omnipresent now as He has ever and always been.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:18   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

358. White. . .is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. . . ~G. K. Chesterton

White, pristine, unblemished…

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The paper I write is white

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White is holy, pure

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They say light is white
Because it combines all colors

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So white is the mother of all colors

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The churning of all yellow, blue, green

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Colors sacrifice their egos
To the eternal white
The matriarch of all colors

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The fountain of extent colors
~Excerpted random lines
from a poem by John Matthew

White appears often in nature, and down through the ages references have been made to it in music, art, poetry, and prose. It seems it’s a color many have sought and still seek to embrace. Could it be because it’s the color of the heavenly orbs, the moon and stars that illuminate darkness, or because it’s the color of light, light that warms, heals, and inspires faith, or because it’s perceived as the color of purity, purity of the spirit, of the soul, and in the Christ. Regardless of what draws mortals into its web, many, like me, adore white and sing its praises especially the white flowery faces that grace a garden. In them it’s easy to see that as Chesterton asserts the color white is a “shining and affirmative” thing. Walter Bellingrath once rightfully noted that a garden “is like a beautiful woman with a different ball gown for each week of the year.” And dressed in her gowns of glistening white, a garden is one of the most glamorous and inspiring muses at the party.

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. ~Ecclesiastes 9:7-8 ✝

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 the images are from Pinterest

349. The sky and the strong wind have moved the spirit inside me till I am carried away trembling with joy. ~Uvavnuk, a female angakkuq (shaman) of the Iglulik Inuit, now considered an oral poet

Oh wind, a blowing all day long,
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!
~Robert Louis Stevenson

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In a spring garden flowers speak of sacred sacraments; the wind that ruffles through them, like my breath moving in and out, speaks of holy beginnings. And so back go my thoughts to Eden wherein the creative acts of Ruach Elohim took place. Ruach is an ancient Hebrew word for God which literally means “wind.” As such it was not observed as a being but rather as a “vitalizing force.” Bishop J. S. Spong explains that “among the Hebrews the ruach or wind of God was said to bring forth life. Slowly this ruach evolved and became personalized and called Spirit… The ruach or wind of God was not external. It rather emerged from within the world and was understood as its very ground, its live-giving reality…in the very mysterious wind, which the Jews felt on their faces, they believed they found themselves touched by God here and now.” So it is that in the here and now of my life, I find myself touched by Ruach Elohim in my garden hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after year. The holiness within my garden’s confines comes forth again and again from branch and leaf, thorn and blossom, and creatures great and small. Through it flow waters that sustain and nurture life. Above it orbs, golden and white, shine bringing light into darkness, and the ground upon which I walk is as holy as the hallowed ground on which Yahweh and the Christ trod.

Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. ~Job 12:9-10 ✝

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!

276. There is no greater sorrow in the world, than eyes unseeing, color everywhere, or ears unhearing, softly wafted notes from nature’s great cathedral of the air. ~Mabel G. Austin

What is pink? a rose is pink
By a fountain’s brink.
What is red? a poppy’s red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thro’.
~Christina Rossetti

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Well, it’s another gloomy winter’s day hereabouts, but I’m a singin’ away, a singin’ in the rain as a matter of fact.  “I’m laughing at the clouds so dark up above, what a glorious feelin’ I’m happy again…”  Okay, so it isn’t much rain, but it has rained a bit nevertheless.  And what am I a singing?  I’m a singin’ the blues.  No, no, no, not the sad blues–the happy blues because some of my little, blue grape hyacinths are blooming in the greenhouse, and they like “girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes” are “a few of my favorites things.”  I love the color blue and I love some of the expressions using the color blue, expressions like:  true blue, out of the blue, bluer than blue, blue on blue, once in a blue moon, something borrowed, something blue, and on and on it goes.  I also love some of the ways people describe what the color blue means to them.  For example I’ve heard things like: blue is the wonder in my mind; blue is the sound a sunny day makes; blue is the smell of blueberries ripening in the sun; blue is the wind over water; blue is the color of the never-ending sky; blue is the place where song birds fly; blue is a world of sweet mellow joy; blue is the sky that God holds close to His presence; blue was meant for us to see and believe.

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Blue is the color of God’s Glory according to some rabbinic sages, and it is a constant in our lives.  Not only is it the color of the clear sky and the deep sea, but it’s the color of our planet, Mother Earth, our precious blue pearl in the heavens.  God does indeed hold the sky close to His presence, and we were meant to see evidence of Him, our Creator, in its orbs and in “my blue, blue, blue heaven.”

Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout the generations to put a blue cord on the fringe at each corner.  ~Numbers 15:38  ✝

261. Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see. ~C. S. Lewis

Every gardener knows
that under the cloak of winter
lies a miracle–a seed waiting to sprout,
a bulb opening to the light,
a bud straining to unfurl.
And the anticipation nurtures our dream.
~Barbara Winkler

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Miracles!  Where would any of us be without the existence of miracles?  Bad things happen on planet earth, but miraculous things occur on a daily basis too.  And many times out of the dust and devastation of catastrophic disasters arise changes for the betterment of life and living conditions as well as the inevitable uplifting examples of an amazing goodness that exist in the human soul.  I garden not just because of a love for flowers but more importantly because I find day to day evidence of the mystery and miracles of God and His goodness in the garden’s confines.  Spending even the smallest amount of time in my garden brings repeated awarenesses of the Lord’s abiding presence, and that keeps me focused on Him and not on my own smallness or limitations.  In spite of Creation’s brokenness and my own heart’s sufferings, I am guided to wellsprings of life and hope amid earth’s unmistakable hallowed workings.  Both contentment and enlightenment can be found in the orbs of the heavens, in the green of the earth, in the flowing of its waters, in the warmth of the sun, and in the wind, that like Yahweh, can be felt but not seen.  That in turn teaches me how to respond to life and its sometimes terrifying circumstances with a spirit of peace and love instead of anger, confusion, and frustration.  Understanding is not promised unto us, but peace that transcends understanding is granted to those who seek the Prince of Peace and search for the true heart of life.

The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.  ~Psalm 50:1   ✝