1340. What part of you is dying, in order to just survive? It is this very part you must ignite to really come alive. ~Julie Parker

Go to the limits of your longing.
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

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These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.

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Embody me.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

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Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

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Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand…

~Ranier Maria Rilke

All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. ~Psalm 38:9 ✝

**Images found on Pinterest

1245. The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. ~Eden Phillpotts

One who not merely beholds the outward shows of things,
but catches a glimpse of the soul that looks out of them,
whose garment and revelation they are–if he be such, I say,
he will stand, for more than a moment, speechless with something
akin to that which made the morning stars sing together.
~George MacDonald

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A new day woke to dawn’s sweet song
Winged creatures warbled to rejoice
Sunlight chased the night shadows long

Blue skies bow as day’s colors hoist
Hued symphony of the new dawn’s might
Winged creatures warbled to rejoice

Nature’s perfection in our sight
Creation gives salutations
Hued symphony of new dawn’s might

Rivers and streams sang oblations
Watery praises raised on high
Creation gives salutations

The sun marched across the sky
A glittering parade in stride
Watery praises raised on high

The light grew stronger as the night died
A new day woke to Dawn’s sweet song
A glittering parade in stride
Sunlight chased the night shadows long.
~A terzanelle by Kristen

Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. ~Psalm 57:8  ✝

1095. Every moment of light and dark is a miracle. ~Walt Whitman

In order for the light to shine so brightly,
the darkness must be present.
~Francis Bacon

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Three days from now, we’ll officially leave winter, the season of darkness and death, and enter spring, the season of light and rebirth. So I decided to share some thoughts about light and darkness, and since today is St. Patrick’s day and John O’Donohue was an Irish poet, I chose the following lines because some of what O’Donohue describes herein resembles as well what happens to the earth at times.

Light cannot see inside things.
That is what the dark is for:
Minding the interior,
Nurturing the draw of growth
Through places where death
In its own way turns into life.
In the glare of neon times,
Let our eyes not be worn
By surfaces that shine
With hunger made attractive.
That our thoughts may be true light,
Finding their way into words
Which have the weight of shadow
To hold the layers of truth.
That we never place our trust
In minds claimed by empty light,
Where one-sided certainties
Are driven by false desire.
When we look into the heart,
May our eyes have the kindness
And reverence of candlelight.
That the searching of our minds
Be equal to the oblique
Crevices and corners where
The mystery continues to dwell,
Glimmering in fugitive light.
When we are confined inside
The dark house of suffering
That moonlight might find a window.
When we become false and lost
That the severe noon-light
Would cast our shadow clear.
When we love, that dawn-light
Would lighten our feet
Upon the waters.
As we grow old, that twilight
Would illuminate treasure
In the fields of memory.
And when we come to search for God,
Let us first be robed in night,
Put on the mind of morning
To feel the rush of light
Spread slowly inside
The color and stillness
Of a found world.
~John O’Donohue

He (God) reveals the deep things of darkness and disorder, where even light is like darkness. ~Job 12:22  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

751. What light through yonder window breaks? ~William Shakespeare

A single sunbeam is enough
to drive away many shadows.
~St. Francis of Assisi

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Birds sing after a storm;
why shouldn’t people
feel as free to delight
in whatever sunlight remains
to them.
~Rose Kennedy

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The top picture above was taken a month ago of a river in our area.  The photo beneath it is that same river now, a month later.  But today the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all’s right with the world. Praise the Lord! Thank you for the rain and for the end of this awful drought here; thank you now for the sun that’s blessing this Sabbath.

The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted. ~Isaiah 30:26  ✝

**Top photo via Pinterest; bottom two aerial photos via local news station

746. I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day. ~Vincent Van Gogh

Night, the beloved.
Night, when words fade
and things come alive.
When the destructive analysis of day is done,
and all that is truly important
becomes whole and sound again.
When man reassembles his fragmentary self
and grows with the calm of a tree.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Vespers

The golden sun has gone, the busy day is done.
Twilight has come and with it peace draws near
To dwell an hour within my garden walls, while in
The lambent sky the first pale stars appear.
The wheeling shadows that so slowly marked the hours
Have left no impress on the tender grass,
Nor does the air hold fast the patterns bold and free
That winging birds weave as the warm days pass.
The rued pool is stilled at last, and Lily buds
Prepare to open gently to the night
And to the questing moth whose fragile, gauzy wings
Quiver too rapidly for human sight.
In. this tranquillity, touch, hearing, sight are lulled.
I am as selfless as the scented airs
That wrap me round, while daylight’s drowsy flowers
Send out the fragrance of their vesper prayers.
~Marie Nettleton Carroll

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I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. ~Psalm 16:7   ✝

**Images of Hawk (Hummingbird) Moths via Pinterest

645. And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower then I have been dipped again in God, new created. ~D. H. Lawrence

In slumber we fall into the deep, silent waters of consciousness, and then something, somewhere beneath the surface stirs us back to wakefulness. The same thing is happening now in my slumbering, wintry garden. A divine force or spark is stirring life back into seemingly lifelessness.

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A spark.  A flame.  A fire. A seed.  A plant.  A flower.  An egg.  An embryo.  A life. What is it that stirs matter and spirit?  What is it that stirs us?  What moves us?  What is it that makes life taste bitter or sweet upon the tongue?  What things do we feel that can’t quite be put into words?

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The following poem was written by Wallace Stevens. In it, his is the voice of questioning meant to refute religion/Christianity, and yet his images are the kinds of things that stir me in the opposite direction by rousing and impassioning my faith and belief in Christ. So it seems to me that Stevens, even in his attempt at denial, was himself somehow stirred by things in nature not wholly of this world, And I also have to wonder what exactly he thinks a soul is? Is not the soul that which connects mortal man to the Holy One who made us? Isn’t it the piece of God in us?

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Sunday Morning

What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch,
These are the measures destined for her soul.
~Wallace Stevens

For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. ~Job 33:14-16   ✝

571. There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. ~Charles Dickens

We look at life from the back side of the tapestry.
And most of the time, what we see are
loose threads, tangled knots and the like.
But occasionally, God’s light shines through, and
we get a glimpse of the larger design with God
weaving together the darks and lights of existence.
~John Piper

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No moon, no stars, no sun, no blue of sky… No bees, no butterflies, no adoring, garden paramours… Only a foggy Sabbath steeped in silent, grey stillness as bit by bit by bit color empties out of the landscape leaving in its wake pallid, watercolored remains to blanket the lawn… Autumn has but a fortnight left before she relinquishes her throne to winter’s chilling reign. So I wonder if she’s weeping, if the falling mists are her crestfallen tears. It would certainly seem so as gloomy and grey as her recent days have been. Her palette, once streaked with chestnut and chocolate, maroon and mahogany, mauve and mulberry, orange and ochre, red and russet, is soon to be washed of all but grey and beige and evergreen. Thankfully, however, there are the brightly colored lights of Christmas to brighten the dying year’s ever-increasing, muted days.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~James 1:17  ✝