874. As September advances, the light continues to don a succession of gowns that grow more and more golden, especially in the late afternoons. ~Natalie Scarberry

Nature’s seasons don’t change in one fell swoop. Instead they keep us tottering a while on the edge of that which comes next. And so it is with autumn! Inch by inch and day by day she proffers more signs of her coming. Acorns are dropping from the oaks, the squirrels quickly snap up the nutty little treasures, a random smattering of leaves are changing colors, and the days are growing shorter and shorter.

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The light this time of year,
eclipses summer light by far.

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An eerie feeling is in the air,
as we feel what great artist’s share.

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They go there for the light.
They go there for the color.
They go there for the sight,
of the Sun dancing on the water.

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And we come too, to catch the sight,
of dust floating in the light.

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Slanting beams through cracks and seams,
lazy days in and out of dreams.

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A time for calm and reflection.
A time to study light’s deflection.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Ronald W. Hull

Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. ~Proverbs 15:30  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

814. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and that can grow brave by reflection. ~Thomas Paine

Refuse to fall down
If you cannot refuse to fall down, refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down, lift your heart toward heaven,
and like a hungry beggar, ask that it be filled.
The one who says nothing good comes of such as this,
is not yet listening.
~Edited excerpt
by Clarissa Pinkola Estés


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~Marianne Williamson


So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~Isaiah 41:10  ✝

**Photos I took in Paris when we went to see Napoleon’s Tomb at Les Invaides…

706. Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year’s pleasant king… ~Thomas Nashe

The rose is a flower of love.
The world has acclaimed it for centuries.
Pink roses are for love hopeful and expectant.
White roses are for love, dead or forsaken,
but the red roses, all the red roses,
are for love triumphant.
~Author Unknown


Beauty is a form of genius –
is higher, indeed, than genius,
as it needs no explanation.
It is of the great facts in the world
like sunlight, or springtime,
or the reflection in dark water
of that silver shell we call the moon.
~Oscar Wilde


Earth, my dearest, I will.  Oh believe me, you no longer need your springtimes to win me over – one of them, ah, even one, is already too much for my blood.  Unspeakably, I have belonged to you, from the first. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke took the words right out of my mouth!  Earth is all we have, and it is more than enough, to bring us back to the Lord who made it.  Every bit of it–every creature, every flower, every tree, simply everything speaks of God’s glory and His love so that we cannot resist looking for Him and listening for His voice.  It was part of His plan, and it works well for to belong to the earth is to belong to Him.  These two photos are the last in my series of yard photos from my recliner.  The first is a close up of the small pink roses on the arch over the little porch outside my studio.  The second is farther away from that arch so you can see the size of a Cécile Brünner climbing rose somewhat.  Below it and in the background, the darker pink roses are on top of the smaller arch leading to the secret garden at the very back of my yard.  The third one can’t be seen from my recliner.  It, the entrance to the backyard, fills the window here by my computer with yet another pink climbing rose.

The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth He has given to mankind. ~Psalm 115:16  ✝

558. I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in the darkness, the astonishing light of your own being. ~Hāfez

Are there not hours of an immortal birth,—
Bright visitations from a purer sphere,
That cannot live in language? Is there not
A mood of glory, when the mind attuned
To heaven, can out of dreams create her worlds?—
~Robert Montgomery

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The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
~Derek Walcott

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. ~1 Corinthians 13:12  ✝

** Image via Pinterest

203. Surely a man needs a closed place where in he may strike root and, like the seed become. ~Antoine de St. Exupéry

But he also needs the Great Milky Way
above him and the vast sea spaces,
though neither stars nor ocean serve his daily needs.
~Antoine de St. Exupéry


For me, autumn, especially late autumn, is a time for reflection, contemplation, and soul searching–a time for ruminating on the things that move me and make me who and what I am.  And so as I worked out in the yard on this sunny last day of November, the windmills in my mind started churning up memories of the events that led to its door.  Rather than covering every step of the journey, I decided to start when I found my “closed place” in this house with its spacious yards where I began to “strike roots.”  In the beginning, though the home and its conveniences served my physical needs and provided me with creature comforts, relief from old emotional wounds and peaceful contentment remained elusive long afterwards.  Years passed with little change in the status quo until one summer while recalling the beautiful flowers surrounding my childhood home (above) in California, I decided it was time to try growing my own flowers right here in hot old Texas.  Since I wasn’t sure I’d inherited the proverbial “green thumb” of my ancestors, I resolved to begin on a small scale.  So I cleaned off a corner of the patio, bought some bags of potting soil and an assortment of pots and seeds, and thus commenced what I know now to have been a pivotal moment in my life.  From the minute the first seeds germinated, a soul-saving passion for gardening was being birthed in me.  Despite the summer’s miserable heat, I faithfully watered and fussed over my thriving “little flock,” and it was those familiar flowery scents that were the catalysts which sparked my spiritual reawakening.  The next summer with the success of the previous year under my belt and a renewed recognition of Ruach Elohim (the Spirit of God), I decided to branch out and actually sow  seeds in the ground and dig a few holes for bedding plants.  Success came again and with it the quickening in my spirit intensified so much so that I decided to take my recently commissioned mentor’s advice to attend church once more.  This was the first step in righting the derailment of my faith journey that had begun after the early death of my father.

Scripture tells us that Christ is the vine, and we are the branches.  Until those first two growing summers the branch that was Natalie had been withering, not because the Lord had been doing less but because I had been turning a deaf ear and  blaming Him for the loss of my father as well as for painful, emotional wounds and the awful, unrelenting migraines that had started in my mid-twenties.  Since then I have spent season after glorious season planting, replanting, listening, seeking His presence, and marveling at the wonders of heaven and earth.  This pilgrimage that was involved in becoming the Natalie I am today has taught me that He, His Church, and His Creation, which includes the Great Milky Way, the vast sea spaces, and a garden, are the “holy foods” I must have to survive and live in peace and harmony.  Now minute by minute in this place where I have deeply “rooted” myself, the hungering need for “more” has been forever silenced by miracles great and small, blessing upon blessing, and the amazing grace He continues to bestow upon me.

I am the vine, and my Father is the gardener… Remain in me, as I also remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  I am the vine;  you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:1 and 4-5

Rambling Thoughts

This is a reblog from Annette’s Garden at: http://wp.me/p32RMi-cI


In autumn, when the trees cry colourful leaves and the vibrant spirit of summer is only a memory, thoughts go on a ramble. Time for reflection and contemplation. A damp, heavy quietness settles on the garden. The work is done, we can sit back and watch. When I plant bulbs in the autumn, and there seem to be more and more each year, I always wonder how many more springtimes I will live to see. I don’t ask as a result of depression (I’m not a child of sadness!), but because I think of these bulbs that fill me with such happiness. First when I’m planting then later, when in the comfort of my armchair in front of the fire -longing in my eyes- they fill my head with fields of colour and scent and carry me through the season which I never came to love, although it has its beauty too. It must be the bulbs that fill me with wantonness and unreasonable hope. The expression “to be happy like a child” comes to my mind but kids are not happy and innocent like they used to be. If you’re faced with the first murder during breakfast and with Jingle Bells and plastic Santas climbing ridiculously into chimneys from September onwards how could you possibly hold on to that pure and carefree joy? As for myself, I find lots of happiness in the little treasures and secrets nature and garden hold for me. All the same, there’s something morbid about this question, and I admit that I never ask myself at other times of the year. How many summers or autumns will I live to see? No way. But maybe the reason for planting these crazy amounts of promising bulbs and corms lies in my hidden wish that the older I get the more spectacular spring ought to be. Recently I read a quote by Henry David Thoreau which follows me ever since: The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. Thoreau said this in the 19th century but it is still true. The reason for this lies in the continuous remoteness and alienation from nature which in its most dramatic case leads to people perceiving nature as an enemy or danger. Pristine nature has become rare and if it’s really wild, we meet it with fear and suspicion. Seeing and hearing have also become rare skills. We’re constantly exposed to noise, being lulled and deadened. Even the news are hammered into us to the sound of percussions so that there’s no risk of us coming to our senses or to be bored. Tranquility is out. A friend of mine told me about a visitor from Canada who switched on a tape each night at bedtime: She couldn’t bear the quiet, only with the constant noise was she able to sleep. Cathy at http://wordsandherbs.wordpress.com/ did a great post dealing with the subject of hearing a while ago, and I hope she will share the link once she reads this. To hear and I mean TO HEAR is by no means taken for granted anymore. There’s so much to hear when you listen to supposed quiet. Have you ever tried? The silence that makes you feel like you’re deaf has become rare. Where I live, in the middle of the woods, it can still happen. It descends like a comfortable blanket. No fear, no panic just peace. Some shake their heads asking how can you possibly live here? We shake our heads knowing that every explanation would fall into nothingness. The general rush and fear of missing out on something are so widespread that many cannot understand how satisfying it is to fill the basket with firewood to heat the house, to collect eggs from your hens and to tend the garden. To hear nothing and to work in the garden are today’s last luxuries. During our hikes we sometimes meet extreme mountainbikers rushing down steep slopes with fierce expression, or cool guys on rattling motorbikes, modern Marlborough-Cowboys. None of them knows the intriguing scents and sounds of the forest, sees the pink mushroom in the undergrowth, the tree creeper searching the bark for insects or hears the melancholic song of the robin. Kids don’t know anymore that milk comes from cows. A vegetarian friend of mine suggested recently that one could keep milking cows without letting them have calves. Once I watched children beating newly planted fruit trees with sticks until the bark had come off while their mother watched them proudly. Great to see kids fulfilling themselves. Nature is retreating more and more and can only be found where access is hard or impossible or where there’s nothing to exploit. Would we ask men their definition of nature – what would the answer be? I fear the answer a lot more than visitors the solitude of my wood. Why should men protect something they’re not aware of and don’t see, never mind appreciate? When man moves away from nature, he loses his roots, becomes depressed and unhappy. I could never be without my garden and nature, my sanity depends on them. I draw energy, courage and meaning out of them. Okay, some things don’t work out in the garden but I’m never disappointed and depressed. Still nothing fills me with more hope and optimism. A life of quiet desperation? That’ll never be an issue for someone who hasn’t lost touch with his/her roots.