1265. The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. ~Flora Whittemore

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The fact that I’ve been unhappily dealing with an intense, killer migraine since 4 AM this morning has reminded me of an incident that happened years ago. It was a day when I had been grappling with physical pain like I’ve had to do off and on throughout my adult life, and I was feeling quite sorry for myself even grumbling inwardly about it. So when it was suggested that we go to a movie which would include a long walk to get to a downtown theater, I wasn’t particularly interested in going. But I was eventually talked into it, and because I am slower these days, I was trailing along somewhat behind the others. As we rounded the last corner I almost bumped into a homeless man of color with no legs who sitting on the sidewalk in a wheelchair. His head was down but all of a sudden he looked up and smiled the most engaging, warm smile, looked straight into my eyes, and said, “God bless you!” I replied in kind but perhaps without the same warmth and walked on to catch up with the others After mulling it over I knew for certain it was no accident that the man was there at that exact moment in time for a Divine reason. So I glanced back with thoughts of running back and saying thank you as we entered the theater, but he was gone. Nevertheless, in our brief encounter this nameless, homeless disabled man had driven a clear message straight into my heart–I had a home, I had legs, I was not confined to a wheelchair nor was I having to endure hard days and nights living on the streets and going hungry. And so if he could ask God to bless me when the differences between our circumstances were so vasrly different, then it was time for me to rise above my trials and do the same.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. ~1 John 4:12  ✝

**Top image by LilAS and LOlAS found on Facebook; text box created and written by Natalie; collage by Natalie

1192. Water lilies, Monet’s passion written in whispering tears as dragonflies press the air into a whir. ~Edited and adapted excerpts from poems by Beth St. Clair

Lilies perch upon their little islands
To flower on pads of green in the water
Amid the dance of dragonflies by day
And fireflies that grace the dark of night.
~Natalie Scarberry

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If you have forgotten water lilies floating
On a dark lake among mountains in the afternoon shade,
If you have forgotten their wet, sleepy fragrance,
Then you can return and not be afraid.

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But if you remember, then turn away forever
To the plains and the prairies where pools are far apart,
There you will not come at dusk on closing water lilies,
And the shadow of mountains will not fall on your heart.
~Sara Teasdale

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Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. ~Psalm 126:5  ✝

**Image of one of Monet’s water lily paintings and his signature found on the Interent; collage by Natalie

872. The sun is new each day. ~Heraclitus

Every day is the world made new.
I have lived all my life up to this moment,
to come to this day. I shall make of this day –
each moment of this day – a heaven on earth.
~Dan Custer

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Every morning the world is created.
Under the orange sticks of the sun
the heaped ashes of the night
turn into leaves again and
fasten themselves to the high branches —
and the ponds appear like black cloth
on which are painted islands of summer lilies.
If it is your nature to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails for hours,
your imagination alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit carries within it
the thorn that is heavier than lead —
if it’s all you can do to keep on trudging —
there is still somewhere deep within you a beast
shouting that the earth is exactly what it wanted —
each pond with its blazing lilies is a prayer
heard and answered lavishly, every morning,
whether or not you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not you have ever dared to pray.
~Mary Oliver

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. ~Psalm 65:8  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

851. Oh sweet and fragrant lily, from still water…quietly, you find your way to sunshine… ~Excerpt from a poem by Jackie D’Elia

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As I’ve said in previous posts, I love Claude Monet; I love his gardens at Giverny; and I love his paintings, many of which are of water lilies. So I was thrilled to find a few years back that at our city’s Botanical Garden a water lily pond had been created. “Et voilá” here are some that were in full bloom in that pond today–magnificent beauties rooted in “dust” and anchored in water glowing in the bright Texas sun of a late August day.

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Here is a problem, a wonder for all to see.
Look at this marvelous thing I hold in my hand!
This is a magic surprising, a mystery
Strange as a miracle, harder to understand.
What is it? Only a handful of earth: to your touch
A dry rough powder you trample beneath your feet,
Dark and lifeless; but think for a moment, how much
It hides and holds that is beautiful, bitter, or sweet.
Think of the glory of color! The red of the rose,
Green of the myriad leaves and the fields of grass,
Yellow as bright as the sun where the daffodil blows,
Purple where violets nod as the breezes pass.
Think of the manifold form, of the oak and the vine,
Nut, and fruit, and cluster, and ears of corn;
Of the anchored water-lily, a thing divine,
Unfolding its dazzling snow to the kiss of morn.
Who shall compass or fathom God’s thought profound?
We can but praise, for we may not understand;
But there’s no more beautiful riddle the whole world round
Than is hid in this heap of dust I hold in my hand.
~Excerpted lines from Dust, a poem
by Celia Thaxter

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living thing. ~Genesis 2:7  ✝

843. Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky… ~Dante Gabriel Rossetti

    Iridescent sylphs prancing in the breeze
with fast flickering gossamer wings
in a cloud of vivid blue, red, and green.
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by Jacob Fuson

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Alight, dragonfly, upon a frail stem,
dance with the wind
beneath the hot, summer sun.
Beneath that brittle shell of yours
is a secret, sacred grace.
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by J. L. Stanley

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blue green dragonfly
angel of my garden pond
hunt the mosquito
~Michael K. Thompson

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The dragonfly keeps dancing
over the dark water,
the flash of iridescent blue
underneath her wings
quick as a breath
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by Sy Lilang

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How graceful and lovely
is the dragonfly as it
flits about under the summer sky
observing the wonders of a garden,
attracted to its vast array of colors
~Natalie Scarberry

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I stand stunned
in awe as you
sleekly shimmer by
in a fabulous flurry
of lustrous, dew-laden lapis blue
and jubilant jade green
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by April J

By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. ~Proverbs 3:19-20  ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collages by Natalie

806. Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity. ~Lao Tzu


Whenever there is stillness
there is the still small voice,
God speaking from the whirlwind,
nature’s old song and dance…
~Annie Dillard

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“I have often wondered whether especially those days when we are forced to remain idle are not precisely the days spent in the most profound activity. Whether our actions themselves, even if they do not take place until later, are nothing more than the last reverberations of a vast movement that occurs within us during idle days. In any case, it is very important to be idle with confidence, with devotion, possibly even with joy. The days when even our hands do not stir are so exceptionally quiet that it is hardly possible to raise them without hearing a whole lot.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. ~Exodus 14:14  ✝

**The image in my photo is of still waters in a local pond.

542. Most glorious night! Thou wert not meant for slumber! ~Lord Byron

I often think that the night
is more alive and more
richly
 colored than the day.
~Vincent Van Gogh

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On a dark, windy November night huge raindrops were slapping autumn leaves against the car or sending them whirling, willy-nilly all around us. As we drove on towards home, more and more of the colorful foliage litttered the slick black pavement ahead of us. As I listened to the sound of the leaves and rain smacking against the windshield in addition to the clicking back and forth noise of the wipers I was being lulled into a deep reverie of personal reflection. But as we turned onto a more traveled thoroughfare, the bright street lights illuminating our neighborhood duck pond broke my preoccupation with the day’s troubling matters. At that moment I looked up, away from my thoughts, and saw a few mallards and some geese gliding serenely along on the reservoir’s glazed, rain-spattered surface. In the halo-like light and the falling rain, the buoyant creatures looked surreal. They were like visions of floating grace and peace seemingly sent to testify that God is with us even in the midst of bothersome realities on cold, rainy nights.

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. ~Psalm 16:7   ✝

**Image via Pinterest