688. No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. ~Hal Borland

Let me arise and open the gate,
to breathe the wild warm air…
To let in Life,
and to let out Death.
~Violet Fane, British novelist, poet, and essayist

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Blow, Breath of heaven, blow!  Blow through the land and over the waters.  Carry away death’s dark vapors and let life in.  Let the “wild warm air” of springtime spark life in every nook and cranny.  Let every mountain, plain, and valley break forth in gladness.  Let the ceaseless waves of the seas and the rushing currents of rivers roar with a renewed passion for life.  Let the clouds suckle earth’s waters and then send rain from heaven to moisten the earth and let loose her flowering.  Let life, whole and vibrant, dazzle us into a new awareness of You.

Blow, Breath of heaven, blow!  Blow through us and take us down to the bottom of our souls where You, O God, the Breath of all things, are present “deep within all that has life.”  We who have recently traversed winter’s dark domain yearn to feel your warmth and vitality course through our bodies and all that has life again.  We long for earth and sky’s vast array of bright colors to take away winter’s preponderance of grays and browns.  O Holy One, come; let us see You “in every emanation of Creation’s life.”  We give you glory and thanks for all that You are, for Your ever-lasting goodness and never-ending love, “for creatures stirring forth,” “for plant forms stretching and unfolding,” “for the stable earth and its solid rocks.”  O blessed Breath of heaven, arise and blow life afresh through Eden’s gates!

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.  ~Psalm 33:6   ✝

**Both images via Pinterest

543. Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature. ~C.S. Lewis

Miracles, the sense of phenomena
we cannot explain,
surround us on every hand:
life itself is the miracle of miracles.
~George Bernard Shaw

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WHY! who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the
 water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds–or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down–or of stars shining so quiet
and bright,
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring–yet each distinct, and in its place.
To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the 
same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass–the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women,
and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.
To me the sea is a continual miracle;
The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships,
with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?
~Excerpts from Miracles
by Walt Whitman

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. ~Job 5:9   ✝

On November 9th, 2012, after two clots in my brain threatened my life, You, Lord Jesus, held me in Your precious hands and restored my health and wholeness. I praise and thank You, now and always.  Help me to stay under the mighty wings of Your grace and holiness!

531. Music doth uplift me like a sea… ~Charles Baudelaire, French Poet

Music, oh, how faint, how weak,
Language fades before thy spell!
Why should Feeling ever speak,
When thou canst breathe her soul so well?
~Thomas Moore, Irish Poet

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Music gives a
soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
and life to everything.
~Plato, Greek philosopher and mathematician

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The Bird her punctual music brings
And lays it in its place –
Its place is in the Human Heart
And in the Heavenly Grace –
~Emily Dickinson, American poet

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Music speaks what cannot be expressed,
soothes the mind and gives it rest,
heals the heart and makes it whole,
flows from heaven to the soul.
~Author Unknown

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First was the world as one great cymbal made,
Where jarring winds to infant Nature played.
All music was a solitary sound,
To hollow rocks and murm’ring fountains bound.
~Andrew Marvell, English poet

It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High. ~Psalm 92: 1   ✝

**Images via Pinterest

471. We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. ~Henry Rollins

As in the bread and the wine, so it is with me.
Within all forms is locked a record of the past
and a promise of the future.
~Author Unknown

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During the course of a year, as humanity steps from one reality to another, there are visible ledgers of receipt and discernible promissory notes. So it is that in late August with less than a month to go before summer’s end and fall’s onset, my camera has captured an overlapping of this year’s waning third season and the waxing of its final season. The photos above prove that mortals are never left with an ending minus the birth of a new beginning. There is nothing finite that doesn’t contain signs of the infinite, and when such is seen the “little bird of hope” sings the loudest. So as summer draws to a close, may you realize that the seeds for tomorrow have and are being set, both in Creation and your lives. I know this because in the photo on the left is a fat seed pod I found in my garden this week, and it’s just waiting to spill its jewels of renewal upon the earth. As you dance with the, Lord and Lover of your soul, I pray that you realize you, too, are part of the splendor of the moment and that any discord endured in “dark nights of the soul” can be assuaged by shining new dawns. I pray also that you find a myriad of reasons to sing for joy, today and always.

“Glory be you, O God, for the rising of the sun, for colour filling the skies, and for the whiteness of the daylight. Glory be to you for creatures stirring forth from the night, for plant forms stretching and unfolding, for the stable earth and its solid rocks. . .that in the elements of earth, sea and sky I may see your beauty, that in the wild winds, birdsong and silence I may hear your beauty, that in the body of another and the interminglings of relationships I may touch your beauty, that in the moisture of the earth and its flowering and fruiting I may smell your beauty, that in the flowing waters of springs and streams I may taste your beauty, these things I look for this day, O God, these things I look for.” ~Excerpts from prayers by J. Philip Newell

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy. . . ~Psalm 96:11-12 ✝

454. Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark. ~Rabindranath Tagore

Faith in God is the gift
that takes us beyond our limited self,
with all its incessant demands.
It opens us to a life that stretches us,
enlightens us, and it springs surprise upon us.
Such faith, like love, sees that which
is invisible and lives by it.
~Vincent Nichols

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Holy Life-Giver,

Doctor of the desperate,
Healer of everyone broken past hope,
Medicine for all wounds,
Fire of love,
Joy of hearts,
fragrant Strength,
sparkling Fountain,
Protector,
Penetrator,
in You we contemplate
how God goes looking for those who are lost
and reconciles those who are at odds with Him.

You bring people together.
You curl clouds, whirl winds,
send rain on rocks, sing in creeks,
and the lush earth green.
You teach those who listen,
breathing joy and wisdom into them.

We praise You for these gifts,
Light-giver,
Sound of joy,
Wonder of being alive,
Hope of every person,
and our strongest Good.

~St. Hildegard of Bingen

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? ~Psalm 27:1   ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! May I dwell in Your holy presence and praise Your name for all you have given.

** Image via Pinterest

308. All was silent as before – all silent save the dripping rain. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

One by one great drops are falling
Doubtful and slow,
Down the pane they are crookedly crawling,
And the wind breathes low…
~Excerpt from a poem by James Russell Lowell

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Rain!  Deliciously glorious rain finally came for the first time in many months from the grayness of a late winter’s day, and the drought-ridden soil soaked it up like a sponge.  Thankfully this rain was not the child of violent clashes of hot and cold air which can, this time of year, spawn rushing winds or tornados charged with electricity and loud claps of thunder.  Instead it tapped softly on rooftops and windows beating out long-awaited, haunting harmonies accompanied only by occasional rolls of muffled thunder and flashes of distant lightning.  After the parched ground had drunk in enough, puddles began to form, and from them rain’s captivating smell rose to bless my nose.  Scientists may say the scent in rain is petrichor, which is an oil produced by plants, absorbed by rocks and soil, and then later released into the air during rainfall, but I personally think it’s the alluring scent of the Holy One, Yahweh Himself.

Oh, how I’ve missed the rain!  I adore it; I always have!  And now that I live in a place where rain can be absent for long periods of time, my spirit experiences an aching hunger when it’s gone.  So I envy those who live in areas where it rains regularly.  There’s just something very comforting and inviting about the sound of rain, the sight of it, the feel of it, and the unmistakable fragrance of it.  It  has a way of reassuring me that “God’s in His heaven and all’s right with the world,” and if rainy days bless my soul in such a way, I can’t help but believe the earth feels the same sweet joy.

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In time of silver rain
The earth puts forth new life again,
Green grasses grow
And flowers lift their heads,
And over all the plain
The wonder spreads

Of Life,
Of Life,
Of Life!

In time of silver rain
The butterflies lift silken wings
To catch a rainbow cry,
And trees put forth new leaves to sing
In joy beneath the sky
As down the roadway
Passing boys and girls
Go singing, too,

In time of silver rain
When spring
And life
Are new.
~Poem by Langston Hughes

As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I(God) desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  ~Isaiah 55:9-11   ✝

304. The sun has come out…and the air is vivid with the coming spring’s light. ~Adapted excerpt from Byron Caldwell Smith

Let me arise and open the gate,
to breathe the wild warm air…
To let Life in, and to let out Death.
~Violet Fane

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Blow, Breath of heaven, blow!  Blow through the land and over the waters.  Carry away death’s dark vapors and let life in.  Let every mountain, plain, and valley break forth in gladness.  Let the “wild warm air” of coming spring spark life in every nook and cranny.  Let the ceaseless waves of the seas and the rushing currents of rivers roar with renewed passion for life.  Let the clouds suckle earth’s waters and send rain from heaven to moisten the earth and let loose her flowering.  Let life, whole and vibrant, dazzle us anew.  Blow, sweet Breath of heaven, blow!  Blow through Your children and take us down to the bottom of our souls where You, O God, the Breath of all things, are present “deep within all that has life.”  We who have traversed icy winter’s dark domain yearn to feel your warmth and vitality course in us and all of life again.  We long for earth and sky’s vast array of bright colors to take away winter’s preponderance of grays and browns.  O Holy One, come; let us see You “in every emanation of Creation’s life.”  We give you glory and thanks for all that You are, for Your ever-lasting goodness and never-ending love, “for creatures stirring forth,” “for plant forms stretching and unfolding,” “for the stable earth and its solid rocks.”  O blessed Breath of heaven, arise and blow life afresh through Eden’s gates!  (Quoted phrases from SOUNDS OF THE ETERNAL by J. Philip Newell)

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth.  ~Psalm 33:6   ✝

**photos via Pinterest