1407. How dear the woods are! You beautiful trees! I love every one of you as a friend. ~Lucy Maud Montgomery

Now we enter the ancient wood.
In what wild forms the gnarled
and mossy boughs are twisted,
what a sensation of sacred repose.
~Henry James Slack

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sanctuary (noun)
1. a place of refuge or safety
2. a nature reserve
3, a holy place; a temple; a church

In ancient cultures, people worshipped the Lord in groves of trees and forests. Is it any wonder? There are churches in this country that were built with glass walls and ceilings in wooded areas. What better sanctuary could there be than under the canopy of trees and the heavens above?

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.” ~Author Unknown

The waters nourished it, deep springs made it grow tall; their streams flowed all around its base and sent their channels to all the trees of the field. ~Ezekiel 31:4 ✝

**All photos taken by Natalie; collage created by Natalie

1155. A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars. ~Victor Hugo

I haven’t much time to be fond of anything…
but when I have a moment’s fondness
to bestow, most times…the roses get it.
I began my life among them
in my father’s nursery garden, and
I shall end my life among them, if I can.
~Wilkie Collins

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The garden is the place I go for refuge and shelter, not the house. In the house are duties and annoyances, servants to exhort and admonish, furniture, and meals; but out there blessings crowd round me at every step — it is there that I am sorry for the unkindness in me, for those selfish thoughts that are so much worse than they feel; it is there that all my sins and silliness are forgiven, there that I feel protected and at home, and every flower and weed is a friend and every tree a lover. When I have been vexed I run to them for comfort, and when I have been angry without just cause, it is there I find absolution. Did ever a woman have so many friends? And always the same, always ready to welcome me and fill me with cheerful thoughts. Happy children of a common Father, why should I, their own sister, be less content and joyous than they? ~Elizabeth von Arnim

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Gardens and chocolate
both have mystical qualities.
~Edward Flaherty

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I would hurry to my place of shelter far from the tempest and the storm. ~Psalm 55:8 ✝

**All flower images taken by me in my yard; lower most chocolate image via Pinterest

1131. The rose is without an explanation; she blooms because she blooms. ~Angelus Silesius

Roses of the field whisper divine poetry,
but you must listen carefully to hear it
because noise from the wheels of progress
drowns out everything that sings.
~Edited poem by Judith Cody

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You love the roses – so do I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses!
Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and red
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!
~Edited poem by George Elliot

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He(the Lord) will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. ~Psalm 91:4  ✝

**Image of my Night Owl roses

939. Silence is the universal refuge… ~Henry David Thoreau

When I am alone I can become invisible.
I can sit on top of a dune as motionless as an
uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned.
I can hear the almost unhearable sound
of the roses singing.
~Mary Oliver

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You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free. Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.
Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
~John O’Donohue

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. ~Matthew 11:15 (ESV)  ✝

811. A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. ~Chinese Proverb

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In order to see birds,
it is necessary to become
part of the silence.
~Robert Lynd

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Birds are a miracle
because they prove to us
there is a finer,
simpler state of being
which we may attain.
~Doug Coupland

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You have to believe in happiness,
or happiness never comes…
Ah, that’s the reason a bird can sing –
On its darkest day he believes in Spring.
~Douglas Malloch

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There is nothing in which the birds
differ more from man than the
way in which they can build and yet
leave a landscape as it was before.
~Robert Lynd

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He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. ~Psalm 91:4   ✝

**Images via Pinterest

678. Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion. ~The Talmud

Besides the noble art of getting things done,
there is the noble art of leaving things undone.
The wisdom of life consists
in the elimination of non-essentials.
~Lin Yutang

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The best things in life are nearest:
Breath in your nostrils,
light in your eyes,
flowers at your feet,
duties at your hand,
the path of right just before you.
Then do not grasp at the stars,
but do life’s plain,
common work as it comes,
certain that daily duties and daily bread
are the sweetest things in life.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” ~Psalm 142:5   ✝

594. The wise still seek Him. ~Author Unknown

The media is increasingly devoted to fear-inducing subject matter: terrorism, serial killers, environmental catastrophes, and so on. And yet, every day the Lord’s grace is made manifest in countless places and situations, and He showers blessings and outright miracles on our planet. ~Edited excerpt from JESUS CALLING by Sarah Young

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Let us remember that He has given us
the sun and the moon and the stars,
and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–
and all that live and move upon them.
He has given us all green things
and everything that blossoms and bears fruit–
and all that we quarrel about
and all that we have misused–
and to save us from our own foolishness,
from all our sins,
He came down to earth and gave us Himself.
~Sigrid Undset,
Nobel prize-winning Norwegian novelist

God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,  though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. ~Psalm 46:1-3   ✝

**Image via Pinterest