1424. The West is color. Its colors are animal rather than vegetable, the colors of earth and sunlight and ripeness. ~Jessamyn Westl

The prairie skies can always make you
see more than what you believe.
~Jackson Burnett

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It was still that day, evocatively still and sacredly quiet. The plain’s grasses shone golden in the sunlight and spread out before us like butter on warm toast in and around the craggy terrain. Mountains, hills, buttes, mesas, and plateaus framed these prairies and stood like paternal sentinels over the hallowed ground they had erupted upon eons ago. And although there was barely a breeze blowing on that chilly autumn day when we travelled through northern New Mexico, one could faintly hear, or maybe just imagine, the earth playing her vast array of harmonies, harmonies wrought of whispering grasses, pounding hooves, lapping waters, laughing children on the run, and the call of wild birds in flight. That particular day, however, there was only a lone hawk soaring above in the cloudless expanse of the day’s sapphire blue sky. Nevertheless it it was enough to inspire images in my mind of sun-bronzed bodies riding bareback on painted ponies, wispy curls of smoke rising from tee pees, herds of grazing buffalo, joyful children at play, beautiful black-haired women going about their daily tasks, and perhaps the faint sound of drums and flutes playing a shamanic kind of melody. Despite wanting to get to our home hundreds of miles away from there, with every advancing mile I lamented that we were drawing closer to the end of this peaceful and prepossessing land, and as we neared its end I began to feel a deep sense of sorrow. There was in me a longing and a sense of envy for those who and that which had known the earth in her beautiful infancy, loved the earth for its providence and splendor, worked the land and revered it as well as its Maker..

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. ~Psalm 37:3 ✝

**Image via Pinterest

1298. Out beyond the fear, anger, pain and denial, lies a field of possibility. Beyond this a world of Love. I will meet you there… ~Julie Parker

Love lights our way through the darkness.
Love keeps us safe through the storm.
Love opens us to new beginnings.
Love is the glow of emerging dawn.
~Julie Parker

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Love does not find you, nor do you find love.
Love is and has always been ever present…
When you are willing to open, to risk,
to adventure, to live with authenticity –
then the power of Love flows through you.
~Edited quote by Julie Parker

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. ~1 Corinthians 13:1-3  ✝

**Photo be Elena Shumilova

1278. In the fall each seed is like a child being loosed upon the earth to wait for the blessing of sun and rain to fulfill its destiny. ~Natalie

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression,
it must come completely undone.
The shell cracks, its insides come out,
and everything changes.
To someone who doesn’t understand growth,
it would look like complete destruction.
~Cynthia Occelli

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“Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe of God, nothing seems to me more surprising that the planting of a seed in the blank earth and the result thereof.  Take that Poppy seed, for instance: it lies in your palm, the merest atom of matter, hardly visible, a speck, a pin’s point in bulk, but within it is imprisoned a spirit of beauty ineffable, which will break its bonds and emerge from the dark ground and blossom in a splendor so dazzling as to baffle all powers of description.” ~Celia Thaxter

Where I live winters are mild and so poppies must be sown in the fall. After weeks of making preparations, today was the day to sow not only my poppy seeds, but also the hollyhock, larkspur, and bachelor button seeds. Now in a week or so they will germinate, and I shall squeal with delight once more to find little green babies popping up everywhere. Among the other truly amazing things about the sowing process, is the fact that these small new seedlings will survive some pretty cold days and maybe even some ice and snow. But the leaves of trees, many of which have yet to fall, will eventually blanket the ground and keep my babies warm and safe until the spring’s sun urges them upward and onward. And as for me going out to check on them throughout winter’s often gloomy and forbidding days will keep me thrilled and hopeful!

They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest… ~Psalm 107:37 ✝

**Images of poppy seed pods and seeds found on Pinterest; border and special effects via iPiccy

1097. Red skies in morning, sailors take warning, red skies at night, sailors delight. ~Weather lore rhyme possibly based on a passage in Scripture or a passage in literature by William Shakespeare or a proverb from mediaeval England

A ring around the sun or moon,
means rain or snow is coming soon.
~Old Time Weather Proverb

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People have been using signs from nature to predict the weather since the beginning of time. For example:

Some say if you notice hornets, bees, and wasps building their nests higher than usual, like in the tops of trees rather than closer to the ground, a harsh winter with lots of snowfall may be coming. Or if you notice livestock and wildlife looking more woolly than usual in the fall, they may be gearing up for a particularly harsh winter. Or if rabbits and squirrels look especially fat in the fall, they may be bulking up for a cold winter. Likewise, if you see squirrels burying nuts at a more hurried pace than usual, that may also be a sign of a hard winter. Or if spiders build larger webs than usual, it could be because they are trying to catch more food and fill their bellies for a coming cold snap. Or if apple and other fruit trees produce more fruit than usual, a harsh winter may be in the forecast. Or there’s a story which goes that the thicker the outer shells of nuts, the worse the winter will be. This theory also extends to acorns and the thickness of their shells because it could be nature’s way of protecting the tree species during harsh weather. Or some people believe that the brighter the leaves are in the fall, the snowier and colder the coming winter will be. And here in Texas, I’ve always heard it said that until pecan trees begin to bud out winter’s not over and so there’s still a chance for a freeze. And ever since I’ve watched my neighbor’s pecan tree near my north fence line, it has never failed to be true. Although it has seemed like spring for weeks, until today that tree nor others around our neighborhood had not started to bud out so I’ve worried that a freeze would come and ruin all the pretty “babies” that have been blooming in the area. But now I believe that we should be safe to continue celebrating this early, early spring because the pecan trees have started to leaf out.

He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ ~Matthew 16:2-3  ✝

1083. When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives. ~Louise L. Hay

I am probably exaggerating a little,
but I owe my equilibrium to ink and paper,
flowers and gardening.
~Edited line by Julien Green

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And so I come here tonight to find my equilibrium, my balance, that has been thrown off after days fraught with fears and tears and the unknown. This tiny little corner of the world is my safe harbor, and in it I so often turn to the Lord. In so doing, I find a balm to create at least some measure of peace and harmony and balance in my mind and life. Now that blood has been drawn and MRI’s taken, we shall soon find out what the future holds.

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For Equilibrium, a Blessing
Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of God.
~John O’Donohue

He will be our peace. ~Micah 5:5  ✝

1081. A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words. ~Unknown

Friendship improves
happiness and abates misery,
by the doubling of our joy
and the dividing of our grief.
~Marcus Tullius Cicero

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But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one’s deepest as well as one’s most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort—the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person—having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. ~Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. ~ Proverbs 18:10  ✝

879. You are not too young or too old; it is never too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret. ~Adapted line by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Each one of us has an inner room
where we can visit to be cleansed of
fear-based thoughts and feelings.
This room, the holy of holies,
is a sanctuary of light.
~Marianne Williamson

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Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where
we perform the job of taking care of our soul.
~Christopher Forrest McDowell

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The ache for home lives in all of us,
the safe place where we can go
as we are and not to be questioned.
~Maya Angelou

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A sanctuary is your space,
a safe place in a troubling world,
private and strong for healing wounds
an oasis where you can relax
take off your shoes
enjoy being your true self
feel free, think big, think small
take your time and breathe
savor the moment
open up your heart and
laugh, cry, or be crazy if you like…
“Remember the entrance 
to the sanctuary is inside you.”
~Rumi

You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for Your Word to renew me. ~Psalm 119:114 (MSG)  ✝

**Top photo is a view of my garden, my own personal sanctuary; the other lovely ones are via Pinterest