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

1164. Drip, drip, drip in cadenced rhythm fall the rain’s dotted silver threads from heaven above. ~Natalie Scarberry

I looked out the window at the falling rain
and gave myself over to the compelling urge to put
myself entirely in the keeping of this rainy day.
~Edited lines from a poem
by Raymond Carver

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Drip, drip, dripping from on high it falls
Not in torrents this time, but in a tender grayness.
Fall, fall, falling through space it comes
Traveling from who knows where and what source
Yet it brings familiar scents and thoughts of yore.
Would I, could I, unravel such things!

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Puddles, puddles, puddling everywhere
Making pools of water like bits of glassy mirrors.
Hang, hang, hanging are leaves and flowery faces
Weighed down by the heaviness of daylong showers
Born of lowering gray clouds leaden with water
Yet there is loveliness in their blurry, drooping poses.
Would I, could I, paint such things.

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Memories, memories, making their way through the rain
With smacks of this fragrance and that, places and people,
Joys and pain, good things and bad things all tied up
In “raindrops on roses” and more of my favorite things
That sparkle and forever accompany rainy days and quiet ways.
Yet there’s gladness in it all for it’s the sum and magic of a life.
Would I, could I, understand such things.
~Natalie Scarberry

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Last night the rain spoke to me
slowly, saying, what joy to come falling
out of the brisk cloud, to be happy again
in a new way on the earth!
~Excerpt from a poem
by Mary Oliver

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“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” ~Job 11:7  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yard today while holding an umbrella in one hand and trying to manage the camera with the other one.

717. A whisper in the silence; it’s grass having some fun, rustling in the sunshine… ~Excerpt from poem by Olivia Kent

Where is that secret glade?
The one where time seems to fade
In that place of magic pools
Where ladybugs and fairies lounge on the toadstools…
~Adapted excerpt by Will Justus

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Dumpy toadstools grew close by
Our old peach tree: some were high,
Peak’d, like half-shut parasols;|
Others round and low, like balls,
Little hollow balls; and I
Called my father to the tree:
And he said, ‘I tell you what:
Fairies have been here, you see.
This is just the kind of spot
Fairies love to live in. Those
Are their houses, I suppose.
Yes, those surely are their huts!
Built of moon and mist and rain…
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Madison Julius Cawein

**The “lady” in ladybug refers to the Virgin Mary. Legend has it that crops in Europe during the Middle Ages were plagued by pests, so the farmers began praying to the Blessed Lady, the Virgin Mary. Soon, the farmers started seeing ladybugs in their fields, and the crops were miraculously saved from the pests. They associated their good fortune with the black and red beetles, and so began calling them lady beetles. In Germany, these insects go by the name Marienkafer, which means Mary beetles. The 7-spotted lady beetle is believed to be the first named for the Virgin Mary; the red color represents her cloak, and the black spots represent her sorrows. ~Image via Pinterest; information about the ladybug via the Internet

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call be blessed. ~Luke 1:46-48   ✝

716. Beauty deprived of its proper foils and adjuncts ceases to be enjoyed as beauty, just as light deprived of all shadows ceases to be enjoyed as light. ~John Ruskin

The peonies bloom, white and pink.
And inside each, as in a fragrant bowl,
A swarm of tiny beetles have their conversation,
For the flower is given to them as their home.
~Czeslaw Milosz

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This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open —
pools of lace,
white and pink —
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities —
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly, 
and there it is again —
beauty, the brave, the exemplary, 
blazing open.
~Excerpt from Mary Oliver’s
peom about peonies

My mother and her sister, my Aunt Johnnie, had a knack with peonies.  Theirs always bloomed year after year, even when they moved them around the yard even though the experts say they need to be put in the ground and left alone.  I, on the other hand, have done exactly that and yet mine only seem to bloom when that have a mind too.  And I was thrilled to see that this was the year for two of them to actually have a few blooms.  But all the rains and storms we’ve had have taken a toll on their beautiful blooms, and so I was able to get only a few pictures as you can see in my collage above.  The lighter one has the most heavenly fragrance, and it’s such a delight to go out in the morning or the late afternoon and be greeted by its sweet aroma.  Sadly it suffered more from the rain and storms, and so I blurred the outer edges a bit to cover up some of its browning spots.

Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. ~Song of Songs 4:16 ✝

212. It is part of the cure to want to be cured. ~Seneca

To feel keenly the poetry of a morning’s roses,
one has to just have escaped from the claws
of this vulture which we call sickness of body or heart.
~Adapted excerpt from Henri Frederic Amiel


In order to mend and bridge chasms of painful, isolating realities, I often douse the fires of what breaks my heart in cups of tea or tears that flow during quiet dawns or at night when the wee hours find me awake and alone.  After the sipping or crying comes to an end, a numbed stillness often develops.  When it does, I become aware in its clarity of the amazing nearness of God.  Jesus, whom I’ve been calling, is offering to guide me through portals to places where pools of mercy await.  Sometimes the healing waters lie deep within my own being where the Holy Spirit resides in His cloistered sanctuary.  At other times they are found in the beautiful colors of autumn, or in the glistening dew on greening grass and flowers in springtime, or in the gentle gestures of another’s compassion, or in softly spoken prayers proffered by kind and endearing voices.  Wherever the pool and whoever the beneficial bearer of blessing, one or both sustain me, if I yield, in the returning rhythm of fitness as the Lord’s grace works to render me wholly well.

I’ve discovered that tears have amazing restorative powers for frequently it is when my eyes are blurred with wetness from them that a sense of God’s presence is strongest.  For surely in the loss of His own son by the hands of creatures He breathed life into, He shed more tears than we’ll ever know.  We all endure difficult and sorrowful moments in our lives.  So excruciating is the pain on occasion that it nearly stifles our very breath, but one breath and one step at a time begins the journey out of the depths of despair.

“But I will restore your health and heal your wounds,” declares the Lord…  ~Jeremiah 30:17a  ✝

**Whittard’s is a tea, coffee, and cocoa shop that we found in London last summer.