1296. I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. ~John Burroughs

The moment that a child can walk,
like that in which it first can talk,
is a precious start of exploration into landscapes of creation.
Walking, walking, walking, walking, walking on the earth.
By sense of touch the feet assess
the nature of the wilderness
of earth beneath;
yet human speech cannot express
what feet can teach.
Walking, walking, walking, walking,
walking on the earth.
~Francis D. Hole

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The ancient Hebrew association of man with soil is echoed in the Latin name for man, homo, derived from humus, the stuff of life in the soil. This powerful metaphor suggests an early realization of a profound truth that humanity has since disregarded to its own detriment. Since the words “humility” and “humble” also derive from humus, it is rather ironic that we should have assigned our species so arrogant a name as Homo sapiens sapiens (“wise wise man”). It occurs to me, as I ponder our past and future relation to the earth, that we might consider changing our name to a more modest Homo sapiens curans, with the word curans denoting caring or caretaking, as in “curator.” (“Teach us to care” was T.S. Eliot’s poetic plea.) Of course, we must work to deserve the new name, even as we have not deserved the old one. ~Daniel Hillel, Out of the Earth: Civilization and the Life of the Soil

My feet have closely followed His(God’s) steps; I have kept to His(God’s) way without turning aside. ~Job 23:11 ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

1088. All the water that will ever be is right now. ~National Geographic

Between earth and earth’s atmosphere,
the amount of water remains constant;
there is never a drop more, never a drop less.
This is a story of circular infinity,
of a planet birthing itself.
~Linda Hogan

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Rain that has fallen here again today is one of several holy water-bearers, water-bearers without which there is no life. They are the “stuff” in which life is formed, and the “stuff” of which life is sustained. Whatever form the wet “stuff” falls in, it is the same moisture that fell on the faces of Adam and Eve for it is of the water that was in the beginning and is forever in a divinely designed cycle to insure Creation’s continuance. And I find it mind-boggling to think how far each drop of moisture must have traveled throughout the eons of time. Since rain, snow, or ice move in a never-ending circle of coming down to kiss the earth and then going up back to the clouds, it is carried on journeys that take it to all corners of the earth as it fulfills its holy purpose. Man would I love to hear the tales the rain could tell if it too had the gift of speech.

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When you look at the natural world, it becomes an icon; it
becomes a holy picture that speaks of the origins of the world.
Almost every mythology sees the origins of life coming
out of water. And, curiously, that’s true.
It’s amusing that the origin of life out of water is in myths and
then again, finally, in science, we find the same thing.
~Joseph Campbell

He (God) provides rain for the earth; He sends water on the countryside. ~Job 5:10  ✝

1050. Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. ~Plutarch

I would define, in brief,
the poetry of words as
the rhythmical creation of beauty.
~Edgar Allan Poe

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Musical Notation: 1 The physicality of the religious poets should not be taken idly. 
He or she, who loves God, will look most deeply into His works. Clouds are not only vapor, but shape, mobility, silky sacks of nourishing rain. The pear orchard is not only profit, but a paradise of light. The luna moth, who lives but a few days, sometimes only a few hours, has a pale green wing whose rim is like a musical notation. Have you noticed?

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We had a dog once that adored flowers; no matter how briskly she went through the fields, she must stop and consider the lilies, tiger lilies, and other blossoming things along her way. Another dog of our household loved sunsets and would run off in the evenings to the most western part of the shore and sit down on his haunches for the whole show, that pink and peach colored swollenness. Then home he would come trotting in the alpenglow, that happy dog. ~Mary Oliver

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. ~Psalm 19:1-4  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collages by Natalie

770. The flowers are nature’s jewels, with whose wealth she decks coming summer’s beauty.
~Edited excerpt by George Croly

“Summer is coming!” the soft breezes whisper;
“Summer is coming!” the glad birdies sing.
Summer is coming – I hear her quick footsteps;
Take your last look at the beautiful Spring.
~Dora Goodale

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And every stone and every star a tongue,
And every gale of wind a curious song.
The Heavens were an oracle,
and spoke
 Divinity: the Earth did undertake
The office of a priest; and I
being dumb all things did come
With voices and instructions…
~Edited excerpt
by Thomas Traherne

See how wide the mouth of this gorgeous asiatic lily opens to declare God’s glory! Have a blessed weekend, my friends.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. ~Psalm 19:1-2  ✝

707. Silence is exhilarating at first – as noise is – but there is a sweetness to silence outlasting exhilaration, akin to the sweetness of listening and the velvet of sleep. ~Edward Hoaglan

Let me silent be,
For silence is the speech of love,
The music of the spheres above.
~Richard Henry Stoddard

Screen shot 2015-04-18 at 8.36.34 AMPoetic Black and White Watercolors 
of Children With Wild Animals 
by Elicia Elidanto

Spring

Somewhere
a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
rising
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
coming
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her —
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.
~Mary Oliver

…a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak… ~Ecclesiastes 3:7   ✝

484. Flowers are those little colorful beacons of the sun from which we get sunshine when dark, somber skies blanket our thoughts. ~Dodinsky

The earth has received the embrace of the sun
and we shall see the result of that love.
~Hunkesni (Sitting Bull)

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The flowers in these photos are the result of another year’s embrace of the sun. It will be the remembrance of them and the haunting songs of their colors, separately and collectively, that will lift my spirits when in the months to come we traverse winter’s “vale of grief.” If my memory of them should grow dim, I’ll have but to look heavenward and watch for them in the rising and the setting of the sun on days when a window in the gloom has been opened. In those moments when they streak the eastern or western horizon in a blaze of glory I’ll remember that as the earth tilts back toward the sun, the sun’s embrace will bring the flowers, their lovely colors, and their songs back to life. When they return and the air is filled with the music of many rhymes, my prayer is. . .

That the morning sun stir us with gladness from ours bed,
That the winds of March move us happily along the new year’s road,
That the rains of April renew our strength,
That the flowers and colors of May captivate our sight,
That the summer inflame our zeal,
That autumn’s colors stimulate our dreams,
That the silver moon make us wiser yet,
That the Lord keep us young at heart so that
we are full of life, laughter, song, and gratitude
for the holiness and goodness in all that the sun and His love embraces.
~Edited and adapted from a blessing by Fr. Andrew Greeley

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. ~Psalm 19:1-5    ✝

** I made the collage of flowers from images found on PInterest.

412. The day has eyes; the night has ears. ~David Fergusson

…in the open world it (night) passes lightly,
with its stars and dews and perfumes,
and the hours marked by changes
in the face of Nature.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

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This evening sweetly scented perfumes and loud night noises filled the space between heaven and earth. Screeching cricket and cicada choruses rose and fell in unison with the droning engines on the nearby Interstate Highway, and splashes of water in the fountains occasionally added their trickling notes to the developing opus. The day’s winds had slowed but there were still little zephyrs carrying flowery fragrances abroad. Thankfully the day’s high temperatures had lowered as the final remnants of light oozed out of the day taming summer’s heat beast until the morrow’s mid morn when he will again stoke his fires. Early fourth of July revelers were lighting fireworks on the street behind ours, and the soft booms and the quick flashes of light were apparently the cue for barking dogs to join this oddly manned orchestra that was playing “music” through June’s rapidly closing door. Soon God’s lanterns, the stars and waxing moon, were flickering through the trees silhouetted against a deepening indigo sky and creatures, great and small, were beginning to roam, fly, or crawl. Porch lights cast shadowy phantoms over the darkened lawn as the raucous concert played on. Before long the towering trees and the sky merged into a blackened oneness and the din fell into a more subdued humming rhythm. When I rose to come in for the night, I spotted a pearly, luminescent moonflower which I knew would reign as nocturnal queen until tomorrow’s light closed her up and opened the first morning glory to reign on her recently abdicated throne.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. ~Psalm 19:1-2  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.