1139. If it’s drama that you sigh for, plant a garden and you’ll get it. ~Edward A. Guest

‘Tis like the birthday of the world,
When earth was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes,
The air is all perfume…
~Excerpt from a poem by Thomas Hood

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One of my favorite poems in all of “poemdom” is this one below by Robert Browning. In fact I recite it to myself at least once every spring.

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn; God’s in his Heaven—
All’s right with the world!

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Spring began very early here, almost a month and a half ago, but this morning was the first one exactly like the quintessential spring morning of which Browning spoke. A heavy dew had blanketed everything that lay before my eyes making grass and flower sparkle, and in the sparkle was the sort of magic that thrills this old gardener’s heart beyond measure. So I sat spellbound forever so long in my chair watching the birds feed and the squirrels play and the breeze ruffle petals and leaves. My little piece of Eden was gloriously alive as well as all of her adoring paramours. What a  magnificent sight to behold it was as light oozed into all the dark corners, not only outside the window but also in the windows of my being! What had been created in the beginning continually points to the Creator, and oh what a Creator He is! My eyes were filled, my ears were filled, my cup of life was filled, and in and of it all was Yahweh, that Holy Presence, who continually fills my soul with His goodness and grace. Oh how I adore Him and His wondrous Eden!!!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. ~Psalm 23: 6  ✝

874. As September advances, the light continues to don a succession of gowns that grow more and more golden, especially in the late afternoons. ~Natalie Scarberry

Nature’s seasons don’t change in one fell swoop. Instead they keep us tottering a while on the edge of that which comes next. And so it is with autumn! Inch by inch and day by day she proffers more signs of her coming. Acorns are dropping from the oaks, the squirrels quickly snap up the nutty little treasures, a random smattering of leaves are changing colors, and the days are growing shorter and shorter.

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The light this time of year,
eclipses summer light by far.

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An eerie feeling is in the air,
as we feel what great artist’s share.

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They go there for the light.
They go there for the color.
They go there for the sight,
of the Sun dancing on the water.

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And we come too, to catch the sight,
of dust floating in the light.

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Slanting beams through cracks and seams,
lazy days in and out of dreams.

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A time for calm and reflection.
A time to study light’s deflection.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Ronald W. Hull

Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. ~Proverbs 15:30  ✝

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625. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. ~Sir Walter Scott

So long sad times
Pull along bad times
You are now a thing of the past.
The skies are clear again.
So let’s sing a song of cheer again!
Happy times,
happy nights,
happy days 
are here again!
~Excerpted lyrics from song 
by Benny Meroff

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The birds are chirping happy tunes. High in the trees the squirrels are happily scampering to and fro. Lengthening sunny days are making those who till the soil happy. And happy little seedling are growing bigger in the warmth. But hold on just a minute! Something’s terribly wrong with this picture. After all it’s still January and therefore winter. So why all the happy dances? Could it be that lies are being spread? As a matter of fact they are, and it happens nearly every year here in north central Texas. In mid to late January the sun begins to speak seductively of springtime, and it tells the fairy tale so well and so long that the land is duped into believing the fallacy. What’s more the unusual warming trend often extends into February making it a partner-in-crime in the treacherous deception. And then wham, bam!!! Winter reclaims its hold on the land. But that’s not the end of the story. Spring will arrive at its ordained “hour upon the stage” for no matter what happens, God is still in control and what He has promised will come to pass.

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future. ~Ecclesiastes 7:14   ✝

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593. It is in the nature of cats to do a certain amount of unescorted roaming. ~Adlai Stevenson

Prowling his own quiet backyard
or asleep by the fire,
he (a cat) is only a whisker
away from the wilds.
~Jean Burden

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Twas three days after Christmas, and all through the yards
Nothing was stirring, not even wind-blown papery discards;
The feeders were hung by the greenhouse with care,
In hopes the red cardinals soon would be there;
And seedlings were nestled snug in leafy beds,
While thoughts of springtime danced in my head;
The squirrels in their nests and I in my chair,
Lay resting ourselves from yesterday’s fare,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash
And raised the bamboo curtain and tied up its sash.
The lowering gray clouds of a cold winter’s day
Had earlier shrouded the land in garments of gray.
Now in the sun what to my wondering eyes did appear
But a feral feline running a path both straight and clear.
With a blue jay held loosely in her clenched jaw awry
The proud huntress lost her grip and away it did fly
Leaving her to wonder
Why her incursion was put asunder.
~A parody of Clement’s
Twas the Night Before Christmas 

…a time to weep and a time to laugh… ~Ecclesiastes 3:4a   ✝

I was laughing so hard after what I’d seen, I couldn’t resist the urge for some playfulness and thus wrote the parody above.  The cat, however, was not amused at all by what had happened.

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577. Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A handful of patience is
worth more than a bushel of brains.
~Dutch Proverb

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A black bird outside pecks slowly at the ground as is his calling, and squirrels steadily dig holes for burying acorns in the flowerbeds as is their timely task. And I, I sit watching and foraging though my mind’s limited storehouse of knowledge to find understanding of a contrasting human frailty. It seems we, humans that is, are forever in a hurry, searching for and wanting something else or something more while still unsure of what to do with who and what we are and already have. Yet, above leaves float down without dissent as they always do in autumn, rain drips unquestioningly off the roof as it does after every storm, and the Lord speaks without fail in the silence about His perfect plan and faithful provision for everything and everyone. Throughout the whole of life, God tries to teach His children to be patient and to yield to His will and timing. He asks that we submit thankfully to and accept with gratitude His provisions and plans for our lives, and He also requests that we develop unfaltering faith in trusting Him to be faithful to His promises and accepting of His timetable for bringing them about.

We have only this moment,
sparkling like a star in our hand –
and melting like a snowflake.
~Marie B. Ray

So, if crows, squirrels, leaves, rain and such do this, isn’t it time for us to quit frantically looking for more, to be accepting of what already is, to be grateful for all that we have and are, and simply to listen as well as comply like all else in the natural world?

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve of what God’s will is–His good, perfect, and pleasing will.” ~Romans 12:2   ✝

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553. As autumn passes one remembers one’s reverence. ~Yoko Ono Lennon

Jack Frost
~By C.E. Pike



Look out! Look out!
Jack Frost is about!
He’s after our fingers and toes;
And all through the night,
The gay little sprite
Is working where nobody knows.

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He’ll climb each tree,
So nimble is he,
His silvery powder he’ll shake.
To windows he’ll creep
And while we’re asleep
Such wonderful pictures he’ll make.

Across the grass
He’ll merrily pass,
And change all its greenness to white.
Then home he will go
And laugh ho, ho ho!
What fun I have had in the night.

Frost performed “its secret ministry” as sleep held us close in the night, and when I awoke it lay twinkling like stardust atop things in the garden and on the lawn. Then as dawn’s early light kissed our few colorful autumn leaves, it turned them into glowing golden nuggets or the color of crystalized, reddish ripe persimmons or the usual, splendid oranges of advancing autumn. And as some of the leaves tumbled to the ground, winds blew them into little swirling eddies that played like happy children upon the lawn and in the street. O Autumn, your magic does indeed bring a sense of spectacular glory even as Spring and Summer’s progeny perish.

There is a playful side of nature, and there is a playful side in us which tells me that the Lord too knows something of playfulness since we are made in His image. Anyone who has seen or heard how breezes play in rustling leaves, how raindrops splatter and play on rooftops, how squirrels chase each other round and round a tree trunk has witnessed God’s sense of playfulness.

“Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew? From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?” ~Job 38:28-30   ✝

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549. The man who is happy is fulfilling the purpose of existence. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

If Heaven made him —
earth can find some use for him.
~Chinese Proverb

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I watched light split the darkness on this chilly November morn, and as the sun rose higher on the horizon, I saw it initially tickle the tops of trees. Then leaf by leaf by leaf it began to lower. In the topmost branches, the squirrels, benefactors of the sun’s first fruits, sat poised in readiness for the day. Below the birds, yet reluctant to lift off, and I were on stand by waiting for the light’s kiss to brush its warmth against us as well. While I sat before the unfolding drama, it occurred to me that such as this, these primal vignettes of earth’s awakening, had played out in the same prevailing silence and expectancy since the dawn of time. It’s as if the light, and only the light, adds the vibrancy and buoyancy of sound and tempo to the day–as if there is a purpose in dim, quiet beginnings, as if first there is a need to obey holy rhythms, a foremost call to offer thanksgiving, a wisdom in opening songs of praise. Verily what I witnessed was the pregnant pause between what was, what is, and what’s yet to be, and standing in those gaps waiting to be greeted was, as always, the Giver of light, of breath, of life. At last when the light touched the ground, birds gave voice to the day’s opus and the dance of life began again! Thus I knew it was time not only to rise but also to celebrate miracles and keep them from becoming ordinary, time to prevent the mundane from stealing joy and a sense of awe and wonder. For it is ordained that we, all of us, have been anointed, have been given skill sets, and somehow, in some way have a purpose to fulfill. And if we are to accomplish that, we must cherish the light, take it with us, open life’s doors, and live in amazement.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28  ✝

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