939. Silence is the universal refuge… ~Henry David Thoreau

When I am alone I can become invisible.
I can sit on top of a dune as motionless as an
uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned.
I can hear the almost unhearable sound
of the roses singing.
~Mary Oliver

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You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free. Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.
Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
~John O’Donohue

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. ~Matthew 11:15 (ESV)  ✝

930. The spirits of the air live on the smells of fruit; and joy, with pinions light, roves round the gardens, or sits singing in the trees. ~William Blake

And November sad,—a psalm
Tender, trustful, full of balm,
Thou must breathe in spirits calm.
~Caroline May

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I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its tone is mellower, its colours are richer, and it is tinged with a little sorrow. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and its content. ~Lin Yutang

I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. ~Leviticus 26:4  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

677. Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love! ~Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa, Lakota holy man and tribal chief

Spring has returned.
The Earth is like a child
that knows poems
by heart.
~Ranier Maria Rilke

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The cycle of nature—the progress from seed to fruition
to dying-off and then renewal in the spring—
was mirrored in the wild fields and the cultivated garden alike,
while the fragility of harvest—the possible interruption of
the cycle by drought, wind, or other natural calamities—
established the pattern of how humans understood
the workings of the cosmos.  The oldest of surviving
sacred stories have their roots in the garden
and reflect how humanity sought to understand
the changeable patterns of their world and, at the same time,
to imagine a world no longer subject to change.
~Peg Streep

See! The winter is past…flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is hear in our land. ~Song of Songs 2:11-12   ✝

**Image via Pinterest, text written by Natalie

669. Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy… ~Line from a song written by Carole King and David Palmer

If I had a tale that I could tell you
I’d tell a tale for sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I’d make a wish for sunshine all the while…
~Excerpted lyrics from the 
above named song
that was
 recorded by John Denver

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It was such a lovely sunshine-day,
The house and the yard couldn’t hold me;
A meadow I found, so on my back I lay,
And sang what my spirit told me.

It was such a lovely sunshine-day,
The house and the yard couldn’t hold me;
I climbed up a tree, oh, what bliss to stay,
Where only could peace enfold me.
~Edited excerpted lines from poem
by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

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Beautiful – beautiful morning outside,
Bright with the sunshine and glows in the sky.
Birdies are singing and dewdrops are falling:
It’s a beautiful morning outside.

Day after day in this wonderful way,
Nature is showing its wonderful face,
With sunshine at mornings, and cheers every where;
It is morning again in this world.
~Excerpted lines from poem
by Parmanand Mahabir

This is what the Lord says to me: “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. ~Isaiah 18:4    ✝

**Both image via Pinterest

586. And so the Shortest Day came and the year died and everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world came people singing, dancing, to drive the dark away. ~Susan Cooper

They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling and
partaking of the wassail.
~Adapted excerpt from Susan Cooper

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Wassailing
~by Unknown Author

The word “wassail” is thought to come from the Anglo-Saxon “wel hal” which means “be healthy.” The Anglo-Saxons used the phrase as an everyday greeting. “Waes” is a form of the verb “to be.” “Hal” is the ancestor of the modern English words whole and hale. Thus, “waes hal” literally meant “Be healthy.”

The Vikings who later settled in Northern England used a variant of the same phrase, “Ves heill.” Since the Anglo-Saxons and Norse shared a custom of welcoming guests by presenting them with a horn of ale, a cup of mead, or a goblet of wine, the greeting evolved into a toast.

The phrase eventually evolved into the single word that we know today as “wassail.” The use of “wassailing” to mean “caroling” very likely descended from the custom of singing songs while drinking from the wassail bowl during the Christmas holidays.

Cranberry Wassail
1 gallon ocean spray cranberry juice
5 cups apple juice
2/3 cup sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp allspice (whole)
1 medium sized orange sliced
20 whole cloves

Combine cranberry juice cocktail, apple juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and allspice in a large pot. Heat to boiling over medium heat; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Strain punch to remove spices. Serve warm in a heat proof punch bowl or chill and serve over ice. Garnish with orange slices studded with cloves. Makes 42 4-ounce servings.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and day and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on earth.” And it was so. ~Genesis 1:13-15   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

530. If you look deep enough you will see music; the heart of nature being everywhere music. ~Thomas Carlyle

There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
there is rapture in the lonely shore,
there is society where none intrudes,
by the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.
~Lord Byron

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Morning has broken
Like the first morning,
Black bird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise for the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the Word!

Sweet the rain’s new fall
Sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dewfall
On the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness
Of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness
Where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight!
Mine is the morning.
Born of the one light
Eden saw play!
Praise with elation,
Praise ev’ry morning,
God’s recreation
Of the new day!

~Hymn written by Eleanor Farjeon

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ~Lamentations 3:22-23   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

528. Behold congenial autumn comes, the Sabbath of the year. ~John Logan

There’s music in the sighing of a reed;
There’s music in the gushing of a rill;
There’s music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.
~Lord Byron

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Year after year I fall in love again with autumn, and this one is no different than all the others. Even though few leaves have changed colors, there are tangible signs of Keats “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” Samples of such manifest themselves daily in the form of ripening seeds, nuts, hips, berries, fruits, and acorns. As well several crisp mornings have filled autumn’s cup with its quintessential sanctity, and some shrouded in foggy mists have revealed squirrels scurrying about with greater urgency while birds, soon to pull out on migratory treks, feast on seeds and berries like the ones in the photo. These are American beautyberries, and they first appeared months ago in shades of pretty, pale greens, but as autumn drew near they deepened into their stunning shade of magenta and began issuing forth tunes in this, the next series of earth’s delightful melodies.

Passages in Scripture indicate that music originated with God and accompanied Creation, and there are those who yet hear the continuing echoes of Yahweh’s “Divine symphony” as made evident in the lines I quoted from Lord Byron. The American evangelist, Beth Moore, says that a song is “the fluent language of the soul,” and I couldn’t agree more because it is my soul that “hears” the myriads of earth’s melodic voices. I think perhaps the hymns of nature are more discernible in spring and autumn after they’ve been weighed down by winter’s oppression or nearly snuffed out by the intensity of summer’s fires, but earth’s music never fails to play on. And whenever the “echo of the spheres” and “the music in all things” of which Baron Byron spoke is heard, it is a privilege to “listen” to the “songs of the morning stars and the angels shout for joy” (Job 38:7). And how blessed are we, the peoples of the earth, that God “takes delight” in us, that “He quiets” us “with His love,” and that “He rejoices” over us “with singing.”

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”   ~Zephaniah 3:17   ✝