1101. One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. ~W.E. Johns

How much of the splendor of life is wasted
on us because we plod along half-blind,
half-deaf, with all our senses throttled
and numbed by habituation.
~Brother David Steindl-Rast

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 9.04.47 PM.png

We are born into a magical world of sensory delight,
our beings naturally tuned to our surroundings.
We are part of nature, our senses connecting
us to the whole like an umbilical cord,
allowing us to commune with and be
nurtured by the source
from which we have sprung.
~Lang Elliott, nature author, speaker,
cinematographer, and poet

Well, kiddies, little Natalie Scarberry worked too hard out in her springtime gardens today so her body is saying unkind things to her, and we are under a severe thunderstorm weather alert. Thus, I’m calling it a day and shutting this thing down because storms in this part of the world during the early months can get rough. From my cell phone, I shall try to read on the reader as many of your posts as I can before I completely conk out, and I will reply to comments on my cell phone. Take care. Love, Natalie

Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him… ~Hebrews 5:8-9  ✝

**Image is a new iris of mine that just bloomed for the first time today.

724. Earth, thou great footstool of our God, who reigns on high; thou fruitful source of all our raiment, life, and food; our house, our parent, and our nurse. ~Isaac Watts

So will I build my altar in the fields,
And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be,
And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields
Shall be the incense I will yield to thee.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Screen shot 2015-03-07 at 5.13.38 PM

All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners
or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—
Did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?
This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.
This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.
This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil
of this sacred earth.
So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are
but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world is made,
and the stars that blaze in our bones,
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge we bear.
~Jan Richardson

“Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; and let the fish of the sea declare to you. “Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this… ~Job 12:7-9    ✝

*Image via Pinterest

627. Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all come. ~Michelangelo

The human mind is capable of excitement
without the application of gross and violent stimulants;
and he must have a very faint perception of its
beauty and dignity who does not know this.
~William Wordsworth

Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 4.32.42 PM

I’m so blessed my Lord.
I can see you
In all the lovely things
So fine and true.
I see you in the beauty
Of the flowers and the rain.
I see you between the lines.
I can see you
Even when I’m lonely and in pain.
I see you in the beauty of the stars at night.
I see you Lord
In sorrow and in happiness.
I see you in the glory
Of sweet success.I see you Lord
Every hour, everyday.
I can see you Lord
Whenever I pray.
~Excerpted lyrics from a song
by Aiza Seguerra

The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. ~Psalm 146:8  ✝

** Image via Pinterest, text added by Natalie

507. Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. ~Victor Hugo

E = mc2, WW II, Shakespeare,
Parliament, ABC, Home Ec,
Digital, Olympics, Dewey Decimal,
H2O…

Screen shot 2014-10-04 at 2.16.10 PM

If one desperately needed to laugh, he/she would probably not look first in the “groves of Academe” for that which brings the gift of uproarious laughter, but that’s where I found it yesterday. And the folks around the table at lunch, including me, whose areas of expertise are expressed above the photo, had all long been high school educators. During our time together in those “groves” we formed bonds like hydrogen does with oxygen to make a life-giving source.

We were young then and raising our families, but now decades later we’re retired. The bond we formed while we taught, however, is strong still, as it usually is, with people who share in each other’s tragedies and failures as well as rejoice in each other’s triumphs and joys. Inside and outside classroom walls, we were part of the village it takes to raise a child, ours and those of others, and overtime the village was forged into a fortress that has withstood the test of time.

After my friends and I retired, we decided to meet for lunch once a month. But because I’ve been experiencing more pain than usual this last year, I have not been joining them for a while. Though not life-threatening the arthritis in both of my feet has kept me from being able to stand very long for years.  Now the Restless Leg Syndrome I’ve been experiencing has worsened rendering some nights virtually sleepless, and the problem with my left knee that developed in January has not been resolved which keeps me hobbling around with a cane. Together these issues have lately had me spiraling down into a dark and humorless pit; so I decided last week I needed to and therefore should attend our little gathering this month, and I’m so glad I did. Though we eat in the restaurant where we meet, my friend Liz always makes dessert, and yesterday she brought her “world’s best” cheesecake. So it was that as all headed home our bellies and souls had been richly fed, and we had shared in long, joyous, and spiritually healing laughter.  Winter had been driven from my face, and now I can enjoy autumn even more than ever.

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. ~Psalm 126:2a   ✝

Thank you, Lord, for these and all your “tender mercies.”