682. Which is loveliest in a rose? Its coy beauty when it’s budding, or its splendor when it blooms? ~Edited line by George Barlow

The rose speaks of love silently,
in a language known only to the heart.
~Author Unknown

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Slow buds the pink dawn
like a rose from out
night’s gray and cloudy sheath.
Softly and still it grows and grows.
Petal by petal, leaf by leaf.
~Susan Coolidge

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These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God today.  There is no time for them.  There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.  But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future.  He cannot be happy and strong until he lives with nature in the present, above time. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:4   ✝

**All 3 of these photos above were taken by me of a rose named, Cherry Brandy, which I believe may be my all time favorite.  I sure hope I can find one to plant in my yard.

671. That which God said to the rose and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty, He said to my heart, and made it a hundred times more beautiful. ~Rumi

A rose is the visible result
of an infinitude of complicated
goings on in the bosom of the earth
and in the air above.
~Clive Bell

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Oh most venerable rose of primordial antiquity,
how beautifully you sequester countless, ageless secrets
within the elegance of your perfumed petals sweet!
Again today I find myself wondering
what it is that you might say, could you but relate
all that in your making lay concealed from mortal man.
Would you, could you, speak of God and man and time and place?
Or does such remain cloaked in mystery as does all else,
only to be breathed, merely to be inhaled, and
solely to be hinted at in your divine scent?
~Natalie Scarberry

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. ~Proverbs 27:9   ✝

636. Painters use red like spice. ~Derek Jarman


Has anybody grown curiouser and curiouser about what’s been up with all the red posts as of late.  Well, since February is the month in which we celebrate Valentine’s Day, I thought it might be fun to take a look first at all the shades, meanings, and associations that go along with the color red. And then afterwards launch into the passionate side of the color and the subject of “love, love, love – dut, dudda, da – all you need is love, love, love – dut, dudda, da…” So after this one tonight, get ready for some “luv.”
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Red can be the color of a rising dawn as it glides
across morning skies and through misty white clouds.
It’s fierceness is felt when the hot summer sun
reddens the body with its feverish intensity.
Red is the thorn that pricks the fingers,
But it’s also the rose whose aroma is sweet.
~Edited lines by Sunny Summers
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Red

Fire-cracker, fire-engine
Fire-flicker red –
Red runs through your head
When you’re angry-est.
Red is a big rubber ball.
Red is the giant-est
Colour of all.
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Red is rosy cheeks and lipstick,
Red is a signal; red is a shout,
Ever so loudly it says, “Watch out!”
Red is a show-off,
No doubt about it –
But can you imagine
Living without it?
~Edited verses by Mary O’Neill
These are the offerings (for my Tabernacle) you are to receive from them: …scarlet yarn…ram skins dyed red…spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense… ~Excerpted lines from Exodus 25:3-6 ✝
**Images via Pinterest; collages created by Natalie

633. Red is the great clarifier – bright and revealing. ~Diana Vreeland

 Red is the first color of spring.
It’s the color of rebirth,
Of beginning.
~Ally Condie
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WHAT IS RED?
Red is a sunset
Blazing and bright.
Red is feeling brave
With all your might.
Red is a sunburn
A spot on your nose.
Sometimes red, is a red red rose.
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Red squiggles out
When you cut your hand.
Red is a brick
And the sounds of a band.
Red is a hotness you get inside
When you’re embarrassed
And want to hide.
~Mary O’Neill
He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up; he led them through the depths as through a desert. He saved them from the hand of the foe; from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them. ~Psalm 106:9-10   ✝
**Images via Pinterest and Natalie; the collages were created by Natalie

526. Heat lingers as days are still long; early mornings are cool while autumn is still young. ~Po Chu-i, Chinese poet who lived from 772-864 during the Tang Dynasty

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


~Excerpt from i thank you God for most this amazing… (65)

by e.e. cummings, a poet whose peculiar syntax
and lack of or strange use of punctuation
conjures up as lasting and as memorable
images as this photo

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I think it curious when I read another’s perfect description of my current reality, especially when it is one like Po Chu-i’s that was written so long ago and so far away from where I am. When it happens, I can’t help but wonder what the writer was like, what he was doing when not writing poetry, and what the landscape looked like that inspired his thoughts and rhymes. Was he young like the autumn of which he spoke, or was he like me, one who has weathered many an autumn. I also  wonder if in China today the heat lingers again in Lady Autumn’s infancy. It’s certainly lingering hear in Texas in the 21st century. However, I’m not complaining because for some time now our early morns have been deliciously cool as have been the evenings that draw the days to an end. So cool in fact was it again this morning that after last night’s watering, droplets yet bejeweled the rose in the photo. That in and of itself is cause for thanksgiving since it wasn’t too long ago that all such surface water would have evaporated before dawn’s first light brushed away night’s obscurity. Actually, despite the lingering heat, this fall has been filled with more than a fair measure of splendor, a smattering of its usual intimations of holy mysteries, and now the first expected touches of nature’s autumnal poetry have been penned. Speaking of poetry, some poets like e.e. cummings write lines that challenge easy interpretation, but often poetry which defies easy understanding endures through the ages because the words and thoughts resonate in the deepest chambers of the human heart. Perhaps that’s why today I’m captivated by cumming’s poetic imagination as well as nature’s magical images and the Lord’s amazing genius.

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4   ✝

515. If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales. ~Albert Einstein

Child of the pure, unclouded brow
And dreaming eyes of wonder!
Though time be fleet and I and thou
Are half a life asunder,
Thy loving smile will surely hail
The love-gift of a fairy tale.
~Lewis Carroll

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The Toadstool

THERE ‘s a thing that grows by the fainting flower,
And springs in the shade of the lady’s bower;
The lily shrinks, and the rose turns pale,
When they feel its breath in the summer gale,
And the tulip curls its leaves in pride,
And the blue-eyed violet starts aside;
But the lily may flaunt, and the tulip stare,
For what does the honest toadstool care?
She does not glow in a painted vest,
And she never blooms on the maiden’s breast;
But she comes, as the saintly sisters do,
In a modest suit of a Quaker hue.
And, when the stars in the evening skies
Are weeping dew from their gentle eyes,
The toad comes out from his hermit cell,
The tale of his faithful love to tell.

~Oliver Wendell Holmes

They send forth their children as a flock: their little ones dance about. ~Job 21:11   ✝

**Today is my daughter’s birthday, and although she’s a grown woman with children of her own, I always loved reading her fairy tales when she was young.

514. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell–some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power. ~Northern Advocate

Is not this a true autumn day?
Just the still melancholy that I love–
that makes life and nature harmonize.
~George Eliot

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Autumn Rose

Beaming bright across the galaxies,
Your petals extend through heaven’s gate.
You waited until now to reveal yourself;
For the world it was worth the wait.

Autumn is your awakening,
While the world prepares for winter’s sleep.
Summer has quickly slipped away,
While your colors of coral and pink run deep.



Some think age is upon you,
But truth is you are now fulfilled.
You blossomed into life in maturity,
Before the north wind’s chill.



Soon golden fields will be covered,
In a virgin blanket of snow.
The streams will freeze then re-awaken,
For another, beautiful autumn rose.

~Edited poem by Mark Anderson

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. ~Psalm 103:1   ✝

506. Laughter is a sunbeam of the soul. ~Thomas Mann

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away,
but do not take from me your laughter.

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Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.
~Pablo Neruda

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. ~Job 8:21   ✝

**Images via Pinterest

477. With finger in her solemn lip, night hushed the shadowy earth. ~Margaret Deland

Night is a dead monotonous period under a roof;
but in the open world it passes lightly,
with its stars and dews and perfumes, and the hours
are marked by changes in the face of Nature.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

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A black and white cat has leisurely strolled across our patio for several nights in a row now, and it, like all the other felines who wander by, doesn’t seem to be the least bit interested in or fearful of us as long as we’re on the other side of our patio doors. Actually some nights it’s like a holiday parade out there, only it’s peopled by cats, possums, and raccoons, all of whom are the suspected culprits of destructive mischief such as the broken rose stem I discovered this morning. Then some nights, in addition to all that activity, there are the gecko lizards who like to run up and down our patio doors chasing bugs. So it is that though the enchanting yard and gardens have disappeared into the darkness, even in our absence life and the living prevail in the hush of night.

I call our glass patio doors, our big screen TV because the indoor cats and I have wiled away many an hour just watching what goes on outside. In so doing I’ve witnessed a wide spectrum of good and bad, feast and famine, and life and death over the years. And I’ve always found a comforting harmony and balance in those opposing forces. For example it’s easy to lose a sense of how beautiful a garden or the earth in general is without a picture of the kind of devastation that a storm or a drought or some such can do to it. That’s why I think the beauty of spring is so breathtaking; it comes after the landscape has been ravaged by winter’s often harsh and cruel assaults. In the same way, who among us could ever begin to bear the brutality in the world without having also witnessed life’s abundant goodness.

I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells.  ~Psalm 26:8   ✝

 **Image via Pinterest

458. The summer flower blooms and quickly dies because the sunny glow which brings it forth, soon slays with parching power. ~Edited quote by Dante Alighieri

The serene philosophy of the pink rose is steadying.
Its fragrant, delicate petals burned by the fiery heat
are too soon ready to fall,
with regret or disillusion, after only a day in the sun.
It is so every July and August in my garden.
One can almost hear their pink, fragrant murmur
as they flutter down to die upon the grass:
“Summer, oh summer, will it always be
sultry, feverish summertime.”
~Edited and adapted lines by Rachel Peden

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Although burns have marred her pink petals,
The heat hasn’t utterly robbed the rose of her beauty.
She is yet serene in her fragrant pinkness
And her murmur, albeit faint, speaks of God’s glory.

Nevertheless in Your great mercy You did not utterly consume them nor forsake them; for You are God, gracious and merciful. ~Nehemiah 9:31 ✝

Thank you, Lord 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 that you have given and done.