1313. In the woods we return to reason and faith. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson  

How beautifully the leaves grow old!
How full of light and color are their last days!
~John Burroughs

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It is not so much for its beauty
that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts,
as for that subtle something, that quality of air,
that emanation from old trees that so wonderfully
changes and renews a weary spirit.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

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The forest is not merely an expression or representation of sacredness, nor a place to invoke the sacred; the forest is sacredness itself.  Nature is not merely created by God, nature is God. Whoever moves within the forest can partake directly of sacredness, experience sacredness with his entire body, breath sacredness and contain it within himself, drink the sacred water as a living communion, bury his feet in sacredness, open his eyes and witness the burning beauty of sacredness. ~Richard Nelson

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The forests are the flags of nature.
They appeal to all and awaken
inspiring universal feelings.
Enter the forest and the boundaries
of nations are forgotten. It may be
that some time an immortal pine
will be the flag of a united peaceful world.
~Enos A. Mills

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When you enter a grove peopled with ancient trees, higher than the ordinary, and shutting out the sky with their thickly inter-twined branches, do not the stately shadows of the wood, the stillness of the place, and the awful gloom of this doomed cavern then strike you with the presence of a deity?  ~Seneca

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Take me to a quiet place
with earth under our backs,
cradled in a soft forest glade.
There we’ll point out and
acknowledge things we see
and things we do not.
In solitude we’ll take in the
wisdom offered in each other
and in the hum of the forest.
~Phoebe Wahl

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Underfoot, leaves of  wondrous autumn colors
crunch beneath my feet as I tread on and upon
earth’s hallowed ground to capture a piece of the
Lord’s reddened glory laid upon a wooden altar!
~Natalie Scarberry

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When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” ~Luke 5:20  ✝

**Notice the lady bug on the leaf in the first photo. I love it when I get an unexpected bonus on a photo. All photos were taken this last week by me.

1302. If any thing is sacred, the human body is sacred. ~Walt Whitman

In order to experience everyday spirituality,
we need to remember that we are spiritual beings
spending some time in a human body.
~Barbara De Angelis

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The human body is am amazing masterpiece. With the senses we see, taste, and touch the world, drawing its mystery inside us. With the mind we probe the eternal structures of things. With the face we present ourselves to the world and recognize one another. But it is the heart that makes us human. The heart is where the beauty of the human spirit comes alive. Without the heart, the human would be sinister. To be able to feel is a great gift. When you feel for someone, you become united with that person in an intimate way; your concern and compassion come alive, drawing some of the other’s persons world and spirit into yours. Feeling is the secret bridge that penetrates solitude and isolation. Without the ability to feel, friendship and love could never be born. All feeling is born in the heart. This makes the human heart the true jewel of the world. ~John O’Donohue

Have joy and peace in the
temple of your senses.
~John O’Donohue

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ~Proverbs 4:23  ✝

**Drawing by Catrin Welz-Stein

1184. I used to visit and revisit it(his garden) a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. ~Edited excerpt by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Now summer is in flower and nature’s hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom
Insects as small as dust are never done…
~Excerpt from a poem by John Clare

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Natalie, oh Nstalie, what can you say
About how it is your garden thrives?
Is it a labor of love that drives you
To keep these pretty flowers alive?

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Yes ‘tis so for despite the torrid heat
And in the face of pesky insect mobs
I daily venture out with tools in hand
To wage war against the weedy hordes.

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 But in return as I mosey back to go inside
I feel blessed to be able to work the soil
Alone  in quiet, solitude on flowery paths
Where nothing’s heard but muted toils.

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In the end my back is bent, my brow wet,
And my stamina all but entirely spent,
But ’tis when the grueling work is done,
That I rest in satisfied accomplishment.

The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. ~Excerpt from Deuteronomy 2:7  ✝

**All photos taken by me in my yard; collages by me

1116. The happiest moments in my childhood were spent on my grandmother’s front porch. ~Andre Leon Talley

There was a quiet solitude
just to sit and look at the landscape,
an inner quietness after dinner sitting on
the back porch and looking at the waning light.
There was no need for talking
or for any other kind of communication.
~Edited excerpt by Lee Krasner

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Sit with me awhile.
We can share our thoughts,
or talk of life and
what’s going on with us,
or maybe we could just sit
and be at peace together while we
soak up the last drop of the day’s light
and breathe in the cool air.
Or perhaps we could just watch the world go by
as we linger, waist deep in thought
or in reverie drenched in vanilla twilight.
~Me and Unknown Aauthors

Suggested and approved activities for porch sitters:
1.) you can read a book,
2.) you can sip on iced tea, hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate, lemonade, or a soft drink
3.) you can enjoy the seasons,
4.) you listen to the birds sing and relax,
5.) you can visit with friends or neighbors and reminisce or share stories
6.) you can watch the sun rise or witness the setting of the sun
7.) you can let your mind wander, shoes optional,
8.) you can take a nap
9.) you can talk or not talk,
10.) you can just sit and do nothing and rock or swing

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. ~Psalm 13:12  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

937. The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind. ~Albert Einstein

If you have a trust in and an expectation of your own solitude,
everything that you need to know will be revealed to you.
~John O’Donohue

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Certain springs are tapped only when we are alone. Women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves; that firm strand which will be the indispensable center of a whole web of human relationships. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

He(Jesus) said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” ~Mark 6:31  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

620. There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you… ~Colette

In solitude
she sifts silence
searching for insights
from a marsh of memories
within each of life’s stages
penning prayers and praise
tucking each thought
word by word
phrase by phrase
onto pages.
~Wendy L. Macdonald at https://greenlightlady.wordpress.com/

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Drip, drip, drip fell the winter rain. Deep, deep, deep grew the morning’s silence. Dark were the clouds that dimmed the light of day. Delicious was the morn’s “marsh of memories” floating through stages of my life. Time and circumstance seemed irrelevant as I basked in the quiet solitude punctuated exclusively by the soft pitter pats of falling rain. There were no fret nor frenzy in the morning’s damp and whispered song, and so I sat sifting the silence in search of nothing more to pen on today’s page than words of praise for the blessing of rain and the gift of life for another day, nothing more than words of gratitude for the peace it had brought and the Holy Presence I felt all around me.

“Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place…” ~2 Chronicles 6:40   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

611. All that is eternal in me welcomes the wonder of this day… ~John O’Donohue

May this be a morning
of innocent beginning…
A morning when you become
a pure vessel for what
wants to ascend from silence…
~Excerpted lines by John O’Donohue

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I arise today

In the name of Silence
Womb of theWord,
In the name of Stillness
Home of Belonging,
In the name of Solitude
Of the Soul and the Earth.

I arise today

Blessed by all things,
Wings of breath,
Delight of eyes,
Wonder of whisper,
Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.
~Excerpted lines by John O’Donohue

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. ~Lamentations 3:22-23  ✝

**Image via Pinterest, text added by Natalie