771. The flower has opened, has been in the sun, and is unafraid. ~Paula Cole

How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold?
Because the lovely little flower is free
down to its root, and in that freedom bold.
~William Wordsworth

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Today is your day to
paint life in bold colors,

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set today’s rhythm with
your heart-drum,

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walk today’s march
with courage.

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Create today as your
celebration of life.
~Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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Let us therefore come boldly unto God’s throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  ~Hebrews 4:16   ✝

750. The rivers rise and the rains keep coming. ~Philip Levine

Rain now falls from the roof
The staccato of the heavy
Drops on the hard ground below
The world is muffled.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Raymond Foss

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Listening to the timpani
the rhythm of the rain
the rap, the tap,
the ratta-tat-tat,
the staccato of the drumming
on the roof of the house

The storm raging ‘round us
in the stillness of the night
trying to drum the beat
on the window panes and
keeping time with the
randomness of noisy traffic
blocks away on the interstate

Too few drummers for the task
capturing the sound of rain
~Edited and adapted poem
by Raymond Foss

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. ~Matthew 7:25   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

690. The world of Celtic spirituality is completely at home with the rhythm and wisdom of the senses. ~John O’Donohue

When you read Celtic nature poetry,
you see that all the senses are alerted:
You hear the sound of the winds,
you taste the fruits, and above all
you get a wonderful sense of
how nature touches human presence.
~John O’Donohue

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Nature isn’t just around us like the walls of a house or a building; it moves into our space and through our senses to touch us in very discernible ways. We live and breath and move on divine, holy ground and in that realm many of our life experiences come by means of our God-given senses. Even in the reading of Scripture spring’s coming is announced by the mouth in song and the ear in hearing. So this week as we approach Easter, be mindful that one should not only hear about Christ’s resurrection or see images of what happened on the Cross at Calvary, but we should also feel the agony He suffered and in a very real sense “taste” what His sacrifice accomplished.

May your body be blessed.
May your realize that your body is a faithful
and beautiful friend of your soul.
And may you be peaceful and joyful
and recognize that your senses are sacred thresholds.
May you realize that holiness is mindful,
gazing, feeling, hearing, and touching.
May your senses gather you and bring you home.
May your senses always enable you to celebrate
the universe and the mystery and
possibilities in your presence here. . .
~John O’Donohue

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. ~Isaiah 35:1-2   ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage created by Natalie

613. But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? ~William Shakespeare

Here comes the sun
and I say, it’s all right…
Little darlin’, it seems like years
since it’s been clear….
~Excerpted lyrics by John Lennon
George Harrison, and Paul McCartney

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Degree by degree by degree a glow appears on the eastern horizon. Brighter and lighter it grows as inch by inch by inch the sun lifts night’s shades higher and higher revealing a cloudless sky was washed clean of the cold, greys of past days. Up and up and up rises the blaze of the sun, ancient bearer of light and warmth and cheer. In the rising incandescence the busy birds are chirpier, the scampering squirrels are friskier, and the prowling feral cats are bushy-tailed. The sun, the sun, the marvelous sun–now it’s kissing the tips and tops of things before oozing and spreading like melting butter on a warm piece of toast over everything it touches. The morning air, charged with electricity in anticipation of its fullness, is kindling a warmer rhythm for this wintry day, and when the first splinters of the sun’s golden rays finally run across the garden and lawn, the dance of life will pulse strong again in hearts and feet alike. And then, when there is light, glorious, glorious light, we shall rise and greet thee, O Lord, with glad and grateful hearts.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. ~Genesis 1:3-4   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

556. The wild November come at last beneath a veil of rain… ~Richard Henry Stoddard

A fine rain was falling,
and the landscape was
that of autumn.
The sky was hung
with various shades of gray…
~Henri Frédéric Amiel

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No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! –
November!
~Thomas Hood

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Last night in late November’s darkness a “veil of rain” dropped down, and clouds have wept chilling tears this livelong day. In the mists and showers a host of leaves, newly tinged in autumnal hues, have drifted down in silence bereft of all the above-named poet penned. And yet there’s no sadness in fall’s tears, just the rhythm of sacred purpose. Drop by drop by drop November’s rain closes the door to the year’s last ordained arena, but the promise of resurrection is held in every drop that falls. So we thank thee, Lord, for the sweet November rain and the blessing to come brought down in each of its parenting drops.

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But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. ~2 Corinthians 3:16   ✝

537. The wind shows us how close to the edge we are. ~Joan Didion

Although the wind is very powerful
and you can feel its presence,
in and of itself it cannot be seen.
You know it is there by its effect on things.
The great trees, the grasses, and
waves on the sea bend with its force.
If you are aware of your surroundings,
you know it is there long before you feel it.
So it is with the ineffable.
~Author Unknown

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Wind, the holy breath of Ruach, blows through Eden today. In it is a changed rhythm, a brooding rhyme versing odes of finality. As November’s clouded chills sweep across the garden, from where they perch on high the first smatterings of leaves topple to the ground. When downed, they dot the lawn, alliterating the year’s closing stanzas, and as they, the altered remnants of spring’s glory fall, they foretell what blooming color has yet to disclose. For there are flowers, duped by the favorable clime, that continue to open as day by day we slide down, down, down into winter’s ordained “vale of grief.” And so it is that whilst the raucous music and poesy of summer’s feverish days fade from memory, lower and deeper dip the melodies of autumn’s opus and balladry.

The tempest comes our from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds.  ~Job 37:9   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

536. There is music in the meadows…There is rhythm in the woods, and in the fields…
 ~William Stanley Braithwaite

How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.
~Elsie N. Brady

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I imagine the eyes of Jesus
Were harvest brown,
The light of their gazing suffused
With the seasons:

The shadow of winter,
The mind of spring,
The blues of summer,
And amber of harvest.

A gaze that is perfect sister
To the kindness that dwells
In his beautiful hands.

The eyes of Jesus gaze on us,
Stirring in the heart’s clay
The confidence of seasons
That never lose their way to harvest.

This gaze knows the signature
Of our heartbeat, the first glimmer
From the dawn that dreamed our minds,

The crevices where thoughts grow
Long before the longing in the bone
Sends them towards the mind’s eye,

The artistry of the emptiness
That knows to slow the hunger
Of outside things until they weave
Into the twilight side of the heart,

A gaze full of all that is still future
Looking out for us to glimpse
The jeweled light in winter stone,

Quickening the eyes that look at us
To see through to where words
Are blind to say what we would love,

Forever falling softly on our faces,
His gaze plies the soul with light,
Laying down a luminous layer,

Beneath our brief and brittle days
Until the appointed dawn comes
Assured and harvest deft

To unravel the last black knot
And we are back home in the house
That we have never left.
~John O’Donohue

Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen and understand.” ~Matthew 15:10   ✝

* Edited image via Pinterest

520. Some places speak distinctly. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Have you ever looked at a map of the world?
Look at Texas with me just for a second.
That picture, with the Panhandle and the Gulf Coast,
and the Red River and the Rio Grande. . .
As soon as anyone anywhere in the world
looks at it, they know what it is.
It’s Texas.
~Author Unknown

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But knowing that I’m living in God’s world everywhere in Creation is equally as obvious because of the undeniable iconic images of His reality. For example when I encounter people, be they Texans or anyone else, I recognize God’s face because we are all made in His image. In the vitality that shines forth in human faces, I see God’s strength. In the laughter of those I love here or elsewhere I become aware of His grace. In my deepest yearnings, I feel His presence and sense His divine design. In my brokenness and suffering His mercy shines through. In the great lights of the sky, I glimpse the shining of His everlasting faithfulness. In the quiet of the night, the stars and the moon that He flung into space speak His name and tell of His power all around the globe. In the insights of wise ones far and near, I hear His voice and grasp His truths. In my soul searching, His nearness is felt, and in fears that come in the darkness of the night, I encounter His angels. In colors that fill the sky and flowery faces, I see His beauty. In relationships with others, His love is made known. When my flesh is wounded and my body bleeds, the face of His Son who, in a land far, far away, shed His blood for my redemption is revealed. In unforeseen moments of wonder, awe, and passion I feel stirrings of His mighty spirit. And the touch of His hands can be felt in the warmth of the sun, and in the changing seasons of the north, south, east, and west His rhythm of life becomes clear. And today on my birthday, I know that I have been blessed wherever I’ve been and gone all the days of my life.

“O Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? . . .” ~Deuteronomy 3:24   ✝

516. I need the seasons to live to the rhythm of rain and sun. ~Sophie Marceau

The rain began again.
It fell heavily, easily, with no
meaning or intention but the
fulfillment of its own nature…
~Helen Garner

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Late yesterday the wind began pushing hard, very hard against the yard and house. Then rain pelted the roof in the night, and the power went out leaving only the sound of the rain falling in the dark, the utter darkness of deepening night. When day dawned and light at last seeped in, the rain had stopped, but heavy clouds hung low filling heaven’s vast expanse. Outside it was nippy, a nip perhaps chilly enough at last to encourage the changing colors of autumn leaves. Throughout the day as mighty gusts of wind continued to blow and dampness reminiscent of the rain hung in the air, the delicious rhythm of last night’s falling rain lingered in my thoughts. “Listen to the pouring rain, listen to it pour, let it rain all night long…”

Lingering in Happiness

After rain after many days without rain,
it stays cool, private and cleansed, under the trees,
and the dampness there, married now to gravity,
falls branch to branch, leaf to leaf, down to the ground
where it will disappear — but not, of course, vanish
except to our eyes. The roots of the oaks will have their share,
and the white threads of the grasses, and the cushion of moss;
a few drops, round as pearls, will enter the mole’s tunnel;
and soon so many small stones, buried for a thousand years,
will feel themselves being touched.

~Mary Oliver

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. ~James 5:7   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

 

470. The soul can split the sky in two and let the face of God shine through. ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

Christianity sees plants and flowers as created by God
to show forth and share with humans
the divine goodness, beauty and truth – the purpose of all Creation.
In this flowers may be enjoyed simply and directly in themselves
as showing forth God’s goodness and beauty,
or more fully, as archetypes, signatures, symbols,
and bearers of legends, mirroring the revealed articles
of Christian faith – thereby serving as means
for their teaching, recollection, contemplation and celebration.
~John S. Stokes, Jr.

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Mary’s Gold they were called and the “golden gifts” of Calendula were offerings to the Virgin Mary by the poor who had not actual gold to give her. In the late Middle Ages some of the churches started designing actual gardens devoted entirely to Mother Mary. Marigolds and other flowers associated with her were planted in the Marian Gardens. Those flowers represented significant events in Mary’s life as well as her virtues, and the purpose of the gardens was to provide a place for worshippers to meditate and pray. All gardens or any flowery place for that matter seem to me to be an excellent setting for prayer, praise, and contemplation. So with my little photographic collage of summery yellow flowers, I’m offering up a piece of written text by John O’Donohue as a Celt’s food for thought this week.

May you recognize in your life, the presence, power and light of your soul. May you realize that you are never alone, that your soul in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe. May you have respect for your own individuality and difference. May your realize that the shape of your soul is unique, that you have a destiny here, that behind the façade of your life there is something beautiful, good, and eternal happening. May you learn to see yourself with the same delight, pride, and expectation with which God sees you in every moment.

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. ~Psalm 119:15   ✝

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. With all Creation I sing: Praise to the King of Kings. You are my everything, and I will adore you!”(From Revelation Song by Phillips, Craig, and Dean)