There’s not a wind
but whispers thy name;
not a scent that beneath the moon,
but tells a tale of thee…
~Edited and adapted excerpt
from Bryan Proctor
As I opened the door to go out and close up the greenhouse, I could smell the scent of a wood burning fire wafting through the garden. All around me the darkness was descending uncommonly quiet and still except for a slow trickle of water falling from one tier to another in the fountain. It had been a cloudy day, but now occasional breaks in the clouds were allowing glimpses of a waxing gibbous moon–the distinctive, ancient moon that was the only nocturnal companion for those who’d once lived a more solitary existence where I now stand. As I stopped to inhale the fragrance of autumn’s ripeness, the aroma of burning oak, and the scent of the damp soil, I was momentarily transfixed as images of pioneers moving west across the land passed before my mind’s eye. They were descendants of immigrants like my great-grandparents who came here in covered wagons from the east, and I reckon that maybe, just maybe, it’s echoes of their voices I yet hear whispering faintly in the winds that blow across the Texas prairies.
I love the aroma of wood smoke and the crunching sound of autumn leaves beneath my feet and the savory scents that fill the space between heaven and earth this time of year. When darkness lowers, the moon, if it’s up there, is a comforting presence in the night sky, and the long nights ahead become cozy times of nestling down in a comfy chair with a cup of hot chocolate or tea for warmth to dream, yes to dream, first that in some soon-to-come felicitous moment I’ll look out the window and witness the wondrous spectacle of snow and secondly that spring will come sooner than usual and be even more glorious than the last. Ah, but how the marvelous old moon makes dreamers out of us all!
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere. ~2 Corinthians 2:14 ✝
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Several of my readers have recently voiced, either by word or in the sounds of their silence between the lines, a measure of sorrow and despair. Know that you are loved and held in the arms of Divine Grace as well as in my heart and prayers. May you soon encounter the “angel of hope” bearing the “commonplace little miracle” which will “mend again the necklace of your days.”
You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit. ~Job 10:12 ✝
Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
But wait, there’s yet another that “achieves at ties a very star-like start,” and it began blooming here this week. Though called Sweet Autumn Clematis, this handsome climbing vine displays its billowy masses of fragrant white flowers here in August. And when it does, the twining vine is one alluring diva that makes a very impressive statement. For when it blooms in the garden, it is blessed with an incredible number of small, star-shaped blossoms which form a white fleece-like blanket that drapes beautifully over large rocks, chain-link fences, arbors, pergolas, or even a dangling birdhouse. So as the “lovely stars” blossom in the “infinite meadows of heaven” in August over Texas, they bloom also day and night on her tamed prairies.
Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light. ~Psalm 148:3 ✝
Sweet Jesus, fill us with the mercy you bled on the cross and draw us back unto Yourself! Thank You for the gladness You put in our hearts. Help us to be aware of You in all that we see and hear in Creation’s realm.
Potentially violent thunderstorms began to move in over us from the western and southwestern counties this afternoon. As they did, the normally busy birds disappeared first, and then the dogs began to bark up and down the alleyway. Before the rain started to fall, the sky darkened considerably, and we could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. At that point the innocents in the garden seemed stiffly poised as if to brace themselves against the nasty, threatening storms that carried with them the threat of hail and/or tornadoes. Neither they nor I had long to wait however because soon the heavens opened up, and rain began to pour down harder than it has in years. With the rain legions of lightning bolts filled the skies; at one point TV reports said our area had had 2000 lightning strikes during a 15 minute period. Talk about the potential for violent storms! Now other than hearing water continue to drip from the gutters and thunder growl occasionally in the distance, the storms seem to have passed unless of course they build again as the evening progresses, and that they well could do. For such is life on the Texas prairies in May, but in the midst of a decade long drought me and the peach trees can’t help but sing praises to the Lord for today’s blessing of abundant rain. At the same time I’ve lived here long enough to be prudently praying that we continue to be sheltered from the nastiness that a tempest like this could yet spawn.
I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm. ~Psalm 55:8 ✝
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!
Bring to me then the plant
that points to those bright Lucidites
swirling up from the earth,
and life itself exhaling that central breath!
Bring me the sunflower crazed with the love of light.
The Maximilian sunflowers in the photo are natives to Texas, but they extend north throughout the tall-grass prairies of the central plains where they were discovered in the 19th century by a German botanist named Prince Maxmilian Alexander Philip von-Wied-Neuwied, thus their rather lofty sounding name. When I planted 2 of them several years ago, I knew that like their name, they would reach lofty heights before beginning to bloom in September, and that first summer they grew to about 7 feet. However, by the second year these perennials herbs were reaching heights of 12-16 feet or more, and although I know people like to claim that things are always bigger in Texas, I’m not buying that. So I did some research and come to find out the more one waters them the taller they grow. Okay, so now what to do? Well, before digging them up and moving them or admitting to my husband that I do, in fact, water too much, I’ve decided to give them one more year where they are and try a trick I recently read about; a plantsman in one article said if I pinch off the growing tips when the plants are 3-4 tall I will get shorter plants with more flowers. More flowers, did he say more flowers? Now that’s sweet music to my ears!
They are like a well-watered plant in the sunshine, spreading its shoots over the garden. . . ~Job 8:16 ✝