979.Let there be spaces in your togetherness. ~Kahlil Gibran

Our time here is magic!
It’s the only space
we have to realize whatever it is
that is beautiful,
whatever is true,
whatever is great,
whatever has potential,
whatever is rare,
whatever is unique.
~Ben Okri

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By the time my widowed mother entered her 90’s, it was becoming apparent that her days of living alone in a large home were drawing quickly to an end. And eventually she came to that awareness on her own. Since she hated the idea of going to a nursing home or one of those places for seniors, James and I offered to build onto our house so she could live with us. Shortly thereafter she put her house up for sale and a private bathroom, laundry room, and bedroom/sitting room was being added to our home. It took all summer to complete the project, and then after she moved into her new quarters, it was only five months later that she passed away. I thought perhaps, James would want to turn the area into a new master bedroom for the two of us, but he said he wanted me to have it as a studio for my craft and photography projects as well as for my computer where I write and edit my photos. So I bought some new furniture, et voilà, “Natalieworld” as I call in came into being. I love it out here as it has two windows that look out onto my garden as well as French doors that open out onto my own little patio and the rest of the yard.

It has been said that we all have a personal space, an area with invisible boundaries surrounding our bodies into which intruders may not come. I also think we have a need for a kind of private personal space–a little time away, a little time out from one another. And for me, my personal space is a sacred space which reflects my passions and treasures. It’s also a refuge where for a time I can turn my back on the world’s madness, and it is a shelter that contains, cuddles, refreshes and stimulates me. It contain elements of beauty, faith, family, friends, serenity, mystery–all the things that “pour moi” possess a timeless, magical quality. I cherish it dearly and believe that even the Lord has a space of His own.

He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. ~Job 26:7   ✝

**the images in the collage are from Natalieworld, my own sacred space. If it had not been another cloudy rainy day, I wouldn’t have had to use the flash on my camera and the photos would have been better. I’m sorry that the biggest one has such a huge and glaring white spot at the top.I tried but I couldn’t edit it out without taking more out of the photo than I wanted.

873. What you are is Gods’ gift to you, what you become is your gift to God. ~Hans Urs von Balthasar

Screen shot 2015-09-16 at 3.21.39 PM He who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth
is generally considered a fortunate person,
but his good fortune is small compared to that
of the happy mortal who enters the world
with a passion for flowers in his soul.
~Celia Thaxter

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Don’t ask yourself what the world needs,
ask yourself what it is that makes you come alive.
And then go do it. Because what the world needs
is people who have come alive.
~Harold Whitman

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They come, I see, they conquer! Beauties like the ones in these photos have left me spellbound for as long as I can remember. So it is that I have been blessed with a fire-fanning renewal of the passion of which Thaxter speaks month after month, season after season, year after year for 7 decades now. And as the yearly succession of earth’s flowers has advanced over the years, something in my soul has in fact felt more alive. As a result in the pregnant pauses of my days, over and over again I’ve heard a voice imploring me to make something good out of that passion. M. C. Entyre said that “singers and musicians know the power of the pause, the rest, the soundless beat,” and I’ve come to realize that the spaces between our thoughts or words are dwelling places where things register and then move inward. When we linger in spaces of quietude, we open ourselves to the possibility of an epiphany–the sudden knowing, the flashes of clarity where Christ enters with revelation. In such moments the veil lifts and we are, as Wordsworth put it, “surprised by joy,” the inexpressible joy of coming alive.

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I love to think of nature as an
unlimited broadcasting station,
through which God speaks
to us every hour,
if we will only tune in.
~George Washington Carver

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The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. ~Psalm 19:8  ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collages created by Natalie

519. Being a cowboy isn’t a job or a hobby that you can just pick up. It’s a life style that you live from the day you are born. ~Author Unknown

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I pull my hat brim down,
and look across this land,
that my daddy gave to me.
Wide open spaces, filled
with trees and hills
as far as the eye can see,
and as the sun rises,
I say a thankful prayer,
before my day comes to a start
cause if you could see what I see,
then you would know that
God must be a cowboy at heart.
~Author Unknown

Trust in the Lord and do good: dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. ~Psalm 37:3   ✝

16. The trees reflected in the river– they are unconscious of a spiritual world so near to them. So are we. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

A Ming vase can be well-designed
and well-made and is beautiful for that reason alone.
I don’t think this can be true for photography.
Unless there’s is something a little
incomplete and a little strange,
it will simply look like a copy of something pretty.
~John Loengard

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The annual beauty in a garden once spent is gone forever, except in memory, if not captured in some way.  A camera is one of the ways we who love nature’s fleeting glory take it captive.  Unlike Loengard, I believe photos can be more than just an uninteresting copy of a beautiful thing.  For example part of what you see in the photograph above started out as that of a single rose.  However, as an experiment with some computer technology, I turned the image into something “a little strange,” as Leongard suggests, and it added another level of interest.  If one looks carefully at the altered image, fragmented pieces of what used to be negative spaces in the original photograph now have merged into engaging patterns, and so what can be seen raises questions about how much one really sees.  “While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see,” claimed documentary photographer and photojournalist, Dorothea Lange. So it is that Hawthorne’s idea could be applied to my rose or his trees or to the reflection of anything, and it would speak a profound truth. We often don’t see what is right under our proverbial noses.  The eternal underlies everything mankind sees, tastes, hears, touches, and smells, so much so that all things seem to quiver from the Divine energy emitted from them.  But it’s only when the Lord’s demure presence is acknowledged that it becomes more and more keenly perceptible.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  ~2 Corinthians 4:18   ✝