866. An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

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Questers of the truth, that’s who dogs are;
seekers after the invisible scent
of another being’s authentic core.
~Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

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We can judge the heart of a man
by his treatment of animals.
~Immanuel Kant

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Animals are such agreeable friends-
they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
~George Elliot

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All of the animals except for man know
that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.
~Samuel Butler

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The purity of a person’s heart
can be quickly measured
by how they regard animals.
~Author Unknown

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Love the animals: God has given them
the 
rudiments of thought and joy untroubled.
~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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I love cats because I enjoy my home;
and little by little they become its visible soul.
~Jean Cocteau

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Animals are not property or “things”
but rather living organisms, subjects of a life,
who are worthy of our compassion,
respect, friendship, and support.
~Marc Bekoff

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If all the beasts were gone, men would die
from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens
to the beasts also happens to the man.
All things are connected.
~Chief Seattle of the Suwamish Tribe

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Animals are God’s creatures.
He surrounds them with his providential care.
By their mere existence they bless Him
and give Him glory. Thus men owe them kindness.
~Catholic Church, Catechism

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Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind’s capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don’t; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us. Animals are so easily overlooked, their interests so easily brushed aside. Whenever we humans enter their world, from our farms to the local animal shelter to the African savanna, we enter as lords of the earth bearing strange powers of terror and mercy alike. ~Matthew Scully

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the sky, and they will tell you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hands is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind…” ~Job 12:7-10  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

833. The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it. ~Jacques Yves Cousteau

The careful insect ‘midst his works I view,
Now from the flowers exhaust the fragrant dew,
With golden treasures load his little thighs,
And steer his distant journey through the skies.
~John Gay

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“Veiled in this fragile filigree of wax is the essence of sunshine, golden and limpid, tasting of grassy meadows, mountain wildflowers, lavishly blooming orange trees, or scrubby desert weeds. Honey, even more than wine, is a reflection of place. If the process of grape to glass is alchemy, then the trail from blossom to bottle is one of reflection. The nectar collected by the bee is the spirit and sap of the plant, its sweetest juice. Honey is the flower transmuted, its scent and beauty transformed into aroma and taste.” ~Stephanie Rosenbaum

The bees’ rhythms may be heard only by petaled ears, but the hum of the bee is sweet music to the gardener’s ears for the “wonder at it” divvies up its humming happiness and the honey it makes renders the taste of the fragrant flower’s sweetness.

Eat honey, my child, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. ~Proverbs 24:13  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

734. Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small, simple things like the scent of rain, the taste of our favorite foods, the sound of a loved one’s voice. ~Joseph B. Wirthlin

Sense the blessings of the earth
in the perfect arc of a ripe tangerine,
the taste of warm, fresh bread,
the circling flight of birds,
the lavender color of the sky
shining in a late afternoon puddle…
~Jack Kornfield

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The day has come.
It is already full of beauty
and blessings, good and holy.
Take time to notice them–
Behold the flowers, even
the small and unassuming ones.
Hear the hum of the bees
as they taste the nectar’s sweetness.
Look around for smiling faces,
and listen to the sounds of joy
in childen laughing at play.
Smell the fertile earth and the rain,
and feel the wind upon your face.
Then rejoice in the myriad pleasures
sensory perceptions offer you.
~Natalie Scarberry

You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. ~Psalm 128:2   ✝

681. Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning sun can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – like writing a poem, or saying a prayer. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves. ~Edwin Way Teale

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Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. If you have them, you have to take care of them! ~Peace Pilgrim

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Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice. ~Joseph B. Wirthlin

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Don’t stop yourself from enjoying the now because of an imagined tomorrow or a remembered yesterday. Take a look at how you’re stopping yourself from being happy. ~Marie T. Russell

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There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you. ~Deuteronomy 12:7   ✝

**All images via Pinterest

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   ✝

617. Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. ~Anne Frank

Life is full of beauty.
Notice it.
Notice the bumble bee, the small child,
and the smiling faces.
Smell the rain, and feel the wind.
~Ashley Smith

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Oh, the green, green, green of fresh growing things; the scent, scent, scent of fragrant flowery things; and the buzz, buzz, buzzing of little, busy bees. But wait, wait, wait! Back that “wagon” up and hold on just a minute! It’s still January and therefore wintertime. So what’s up with the green, the flowers, the aromas, and the buzzes? Ah the joyous blessing of a greenhouse filled with thriving, flowering, sweet smelling things! The only downside to such is that the bees seem to think the greenhouse is solely their domain and so object to a human interloper’s pottering visits. But then again, I seem to be developing a history outside the garden of adverse encounters with the wee buzzing folk. In my recent tale about a trip to Paris two years ago, I neglected to mention that on the very first day of our long-longed for visit to that magical city, we got off the metro, walked to the Pont Alexandre, and as we turned to walk on the gorgeously adorned bridge where I would get my first view of some of the city including the Eiffel Tower, I was stung on my face by a bee. But let me assure you that the subsequent outpouring of tears had absolutely nothing to do with the bee’s assault and everything to do with the legendary marvels that now lay before my very own eyes. And ya know, it didn’t stop me from the joy and the journey then and there nor will it keep me from the same in my greenhouse for both were and are filled with unforgettable beauty, fabulous fragrances, breathtaking spectacles, and beguiling allures.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” ~Numbers 6:24-26   ✝

**I took this photo in my greenhouse.  The bee was nectaring on a gorgeous anemone.

567. Fragrance takes you on a journey of time. ~Daphne Guinness

There’s not a wind
but whispers thy name;
not a scent that beneath the moon,
but tells a tale of thee…
~Edited and adapted excerpt
from Bryan Proctor

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As I opened the door to go out and close up the greenhouse, I could smell the scent of a wood burning fire wafting through the garden. All around me the darkness was descending uncommonly quiet and still except for a slow trickle of water falling from one tier to another in the fountain. It had been a cloudy day, but now occasional breaks in the clouds were allowing glimpses of a waxing gibbous moon–the distinctive, ancient moon that was the only nocturnal companion for those who’d once lived a more solitary existence where I now stand. As I stopped to inhale the fragrance of autumn’s ripeness, the aroma of burning oak, and the scent of the damp soil, I was momentarily transfixed as images of pioneers moving west across the land passed before my mind’s eye. They were descendants of immigrants like my great-grandparents who came here in covered wagons from the east, and I reckon that maybe, just maybe, it’s echoes of their voices I yet hear whispering faintly in the winds that blow across the Texas prairies.

I love the aroma of wood smoke and the crunching sound of autumn leaves beneath my feet and the savory scents that fill the space between heaven and earth this time of year. When darkness lowers, the moon, if it’s up there, is a comforting presence in the night sky, and the long nights ahead become cozy times of nestling down in a comfy chair with a cup of hot chocolate or tea for warmth to dream, yes to dream, first that in some soon-to-come felicitous moment I’ll look out the window and witness the wondrous spectacle of snow and secondly that spring will come sooner than usual and be even more glorious than the last. Ah, but how the marvelous old moon makes dreamers out of us all!

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere. ~2 Corinthians 2:14   ✝

** Image via Pinterest