1356. The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within. ~William C. Bryant

yellow jasmine and
daffodils too have I seen
springtime harbingers

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poppy progeny
grows where seeds fell from dried pods
as summer drew nigh

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tulip foliage
as well as anemones
break ground ‘neath the oak

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new leaves appear on
roses that survived the first
hard, too early freeze

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This is what the Lord says to me: “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat…” ~Excerpted passage from Isaiah 18:4  ✝

**All but two images taken by Natalie; collages created by Natalie; haikus written by Natalie

1346. Perfumes are the feelings of flowers. ~Heinrich Heine

Flowers always make people
better, happier, and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food
and medicine to the mind.
~Luther Burbank

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I mentioned in a post recently that every Sunday when we go to the grocery store to do our shopping, I buy flowers to put on my desk. And this week instead of cut flowers, I found a springtime mini bulb garden that had been planted in a pot. It was filled with tulips, crocus, dutch iris, hyacinth, and the tiniest little golden daffodils. The hyacinth in the photo above was just opening when I bought the potted garden, and for days now as it opened further I’ve enjoyed it’s heavenly perfume.And as the week has progressed, the crocus has opened as have the tulips and the iris. Then this morning, the last thing to push out of its papery sheaths were the daffodils, and that’s when squeals of delight could be heard far and wide. What absolute joy and great fun can come from the simplest of things! I’ve heard it said that simple minds have simple pleasures, and if that implies that I’m a simple-minded simpleton then so be it. For as the temperature outside plummets below the freezing mark again tonight, the fact that springtime is happening right here next to computer is just way, way too much fun, and simple as that may be, it brings me more than enough immeasurable joy to care not what others may think of me.

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Some women feel the need to act
like they’re never scared, needy or hurt;
like they’ve been hardened by the world.
I think that’s dishonest.
It’s ok to feel delicate sometimes.
Real beauty is in the fragility of one’s petals.
A rose that never wilts isn’t a rose at all.
~Edited quote by Crystal Woods

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. ~Proverbs 27:9  ✝

**All photos were taken by me; I took them outside however instead of where they sit by my computer because I don’t like the way a flash alters the colors of flowers.

1277. Then summer fades and passes and October comes. ~Thomas Wolfe

I cannot endure to waste anything
as precious as autumn sunshine
by staying in the house.
So I spend almost all 
the
daylight hours in the open air.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The garden releases its last
radiance, not as something failed,
but as its full reason for being: to give
continually, to its last bit of energetic being.
Its giving is its beauty. It is a smile;
it is the heart of love.

So the birdsong that surrounds me
is given, not away, but into the world.
It is given as rain, as sunlight, as snowfall
and autumn leaves. It falls on our ears
as what it is, with no deception,
the complete truth of being.

Even the smell of decay, drifting from
a deer, dead by the side of the road, says:
“This is what I am and no other. I do not
pretend to be. Even in death I speak
without deceit, even unto my flesh,
my very bones.”

Be tolerant of these songs,
my musings on the way these things are.
For I cannot give up the garden to winter except
by giving myself as well, fully and completely,
into the praise of our mutual beauty,
our total loving of the world.
~Edited and adapted poem
by Richard Wehrman

I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw… ~Proverbs 24:32  ✝

**Image by Natalie; special effects created by my grandson, Joe, and I on my computer and on iPiccy

1242. I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun-not because I can see it, but by it I can see everything else. ~C.S. Lewis

The following is a poem of belief by a Jewish prisoner in a Nazi Concentration Camp. It was written during WW2, on the wall of a cellar, by a Jew in the Cologne concentration camp.

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I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love,
even when there’s no one there.
And I believe in God,
even when he is silent.
I believe through any trial,
there is always a way
But sometimes in this suffering
and hopeless despair
My heart cries for shelter,
to know someone’s there
But a voice rises within me,saying hold on
my child, I’ll give you strength,
I’ll give you hope. Just stay a little while.
I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love
even when there’s no one there
But I believe in God
even when he is silent
I believe through any trial
there is always a way.
May there someday be sunshine
May there someday be happiness
May there someday be love
May there someday be peace…
~Unknown

He(Jesus) came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through Him. ~John 1:7 ✝

1174. Bring me the the sunflower crazed with the love of light. ~Eugenio Montale

Many flowers open to the sun
but only one follows it constantly.
Heart be thou the sunflower, not only
only open to receive God’s blessing
but constant in looking to Him.
~Jean Paul Richter

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The Legend of the Sunflower

A beautiful princess once sought to find a path to the sun.  She traveled the world over but couldn’t seem to find a path that would take her there.  One day as she was searching, she chanced upon a small straggling flower hidden in the shade of a large tree. The princess, believing in the healing powers of the sun, dug up the small flower and placed it in her garden.

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That night as the princess slept, the sun, sensing the princess’s sadness, showered sunbeams down on the little flower. The next morning as the princess looked upon her struggling flower, tears fell from her eyes and when they touched the flower a magical thing happened. The sunbeams came alive and encircled the head of the flower like flames shooting from the sun. Day after day, the flower reached up for the sun until it towered over the princess. At summer’s end, she gathered all the sunflower’s seeds, and scattered them throughout the land, spreading sunshine.

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In the same way, let your light shine before others, they they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. ~Matthew 5:16  ✝

**Images of sunflower taken by me in my yard; bottom image of seeds in the center of a mature sunflower found on the Internet; collages by Natalie

910. Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it. ~Anne “Ninon” de L’Enclos.

There is a harmony in autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
which through the summer is not heard or seen,
as if it could not be, as if it had not been!
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

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I cannot endure to waste anything as precious
as autumn sunshine by staying in the house.
So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Have I told you lately that I love you?
Autumn you fill my heart with gladness,
Take away all my sadness,
Ease my troubles,
That’s what you do.
For the morning sun in all it’s glory
Meets the day with hope and comfort too.
You fill my life with splendor,
And somehow you make it better…
~Excerpted and adapted lyrics
by Van Morrison

The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets. ~Psalm 50:1 ✝

**Images via Pinterest

851. Oh sweet and fragrant lily, from still water…quietly, you find your way to sunshine… ~Excerpt from a poem by Jackie D’Elia

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As I’ve said in previous posts, I love Claude Monet; I love his gardens at Giverny; and I love his paintings, many of which are of water lilies. So I was thrilled to find a few years back that at our city’s Botanical Garden a water lily pond had been created. “Et voilá” here are some that were in full bloom in that pond today–magnificent beauties rooted in “dust” and anchored in water glowing in the bright Texas sun of a late August day.

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Here is a problem, a wonder for all to see.
Look at this marvelous thing I hold in my hand!
This is a magic surprising, a mystery
Strange as a miracle, harder to understand.
What is it? Only a handful of earth: to your touch
A dry rough powder you trample beneath your feet,
Dark and lifeless; but think for a moment, how much
It hides and holds that is beautiful, bitter, or sweet.
Think of the glory of color! The red of the rose,
Green of the myriad leaves and the fields of grass,
Yellow as bright as the sun where the daffodil blows,
Purple where violets nod as the breezes pass.
Think of the manifold form, of the oak and the vine,
Nut, and fruit, and cluster, and ears of corn;
Of the anchored water-lily, a thing divine,
Unfolding its dazzling snow to the kiss of morn.
Who shall compass or fathom God’s thought profound?
We can but praise, for we may not understand;
But there’s no more beautiful riddle the whole world round
Than is hid in this heap of dust I hold in my hand.
~Excerpted lines from Dust, a poem
by Celia Thaxter

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living thing. ~Genesis 2:7  ✝