1293. We strain to renew our capacity to wonder, to shock ourselves into astonishment once again. ~Shana Alexander

Human life is as evanescent as the
morning dew or a flash of lightning.
~Samuel Butler

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The disciples are drawn to the high altars
with magnetic certainty, knowing that a
great Presence hovers over the ranges …
in the primal patterns of nature,
a magical union with beauty.
~Ansel Adams

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Beauty is truth’s smile when she
beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.
~Rabindranath Tagore

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The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.
The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
speaks to me.
The faintness of the stars,
the trail of the sun,
the strength of fire,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me.
And my heart soars.
~Chief Dan George

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He(God) performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. ~Job 5:9 ✝

**Images via Pinterest

1219. The search for meaningful origins for familiar or strange words is far older than the modern understanding of linguistic evolution and the relationships of languages. ~Wikipedia

Where words come from is a fascinating subject, full of folklore and historical lessons. Often, popular tales of a word’s origin arise. Sometimes these are true; more often they are not. While it can be disappointing when a neat little tale turns out to be untrue, almost invariably the true origin is just as interesting. ~Wordorigins.org

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As my level of tolerance for this heat and lack of rain approached critical mass today, I attempted to take my mind off the misery by going to see what was on Pinterest. I came across an image of some words that have come into usage, and although I rather liked them I questioned their validity. So as the mercury rose higher on the thermometer and my grip on sanity loosened another notch or two, I researched them and then created some words of my own. Ex-English teachers can do that, can’t they?! At least, my blood is not boiling now, and I’ve chuckled enough to bring myself back in off the ledge, as it were. So here goes with some etymology, urban and homegrown. And yes, I will concede that the last one of my own making is quite lame!

nyctophile-a person loves or has a preference for night, darkness; pluviophile-a person who loves rain and/or finds comfort or joy or peace of mind during rainy days; selenophile-a person who loves the moon; ceraunophile-a person who loves lightning and thunder; thermophile-an organism that thrives at high temperatures

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antithermophile-an organism(person) that withers in high temperatures; floraphile-a person who loves flowers; aesthetistophile-a person who loves beauty; faunaphile-a person who loves animals; personaphile-a person who loves people; sunnycoolaphile-a person who likes bright days with a nip in the air

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The unfolding of your(God’s) words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. ~Psalm 119:130  ✝

**All images via Pinterest

1020. Come, see the north wind’s masonry… ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Through the sharp air
 a flaky torrent flies…
and hides the gloomy skies;
the fleecy clouds their chilly bosoms bare,
and shed their substances on the floating air.
~George Crabbe

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What a weekend weather wise it has been! We’ve been dealt nearly the full gamut of frequent Texas weather patterns in the last 72 hours–high winds, thunder, lightning, heavy rains, flash floods, hail, tornados. And then as if that were not enough, for good measure Mother Nature also threw in an earthquake and a white-out blizzard in the Panhandle and a few other places. On top of that I woke up here to find a smattering of snow on the ground which given that it didn’t freeze overnight nor was it 32 degrees or below when I awoke is very unusual. About the only thing that got skipped the last few days was the intense heat of summer although on Christmas Day the temperature did climb to almost 80 degrees. So hellooooo Winter! It seems you HAVE arrived ready to go, ready to wash off last year’s grime, and bringing nighttime temps right at freezing or below for the next 10 days. Makes me kind of wonder, and a bit fearfully I might add, what more Mother Nature could have up her perfidious sleeve for truly she’s demonstrated once again that she can be most untrustworthy at times.

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Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. ~Psalm 51:7  ✝

**Weather image found on Facebook; all other images taken by Natalie; collages created by Natalie

864. May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life. ~Apache Blessing

The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass speaks to me.

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The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
the rhythm of the sea speaks to me.

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The strength of the fire,
the taste of the salmon,
the trail of the sun,

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and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me
And my heart soars.
~Chief Dan George

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It is as though the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore. ~Psalm 133:3  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

749. It has been said, “time heals all wounds.” I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind protecting it’s sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone. ~Rose Kennedy

The love of Christ reaches
to the very depths
of earthly misery and woe…
It also reaches to
the throne of the eternal…
~Excerpts from Ellen G. White

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Oh, misery, what’s gonna become of me?
It’s raining,  a-rainin’ in my heart again
‘Cause this awful pain keeps me alone and awake.
The heavy, tearful rain’s a-fallin’ even though
I hear Your voice, Lord, a-callin,’ “It’s all right.”
But this salty, rain of teary sadness mixed
With desperation keeps a-fallin on my pillow
While outside it’s another rainy night in Texas.
And it seems like both rains are never gonna stop.
Lightning bolts a-flashin’, thunder booms a rumblin’
And the distant moanin’ of a train seems to play
A sad, sad refrain on this hard and rainy night.
Oh Lord, it’s such a rainy night in Texas,
It’s like it’s a-rainin’ everywhere in my world.
And no matter how many times I wonder
The story still comes out the same…
Whichever way one looks at it or thinks on it
It’s life and one’s just got to play the game
.
So I tell my pain-filled blues they mustn’t show
But these tears tonight I cannot keep from flowin’
‘Cause it’s rainin’ in my sad, despairin’ heart.
~Edited and adapted lyrics from a song
by Tony Joe White, and another song
by Bouleaux Bryant, and Felice Bryant

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. ~Psalm 31:9   ✝

714. A few minutes ago, every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like in worship. ~John Muir

The little reed,
bending to the force of the wind,
soon stood upright again
when the storm had passed over.
~Aesop

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What was that? Did you see it? There it was again! Late in the day yesterday lightning began flashing high in the eastern sky. Soon we heard distant thunder grumbling west of us as the heavens grew ominously darker and darker. Overhead cold northerly air was colliding with warm southerly currents, and with that always comes the potential for dangerous storms and high winds that spawn tornados. Even the birds who are normally chattering and feeding at that time of day were becoming silent or absent from the yard. The cat inside as well sensed a mounting threat and anxiously headed for shelter under the bed. Before long the winds began picking up, heavy rain started to fall, the lights inside flickered off and on and off, and we scrambled to find candles. And then, wham bam, all hell broke loose! Winds in excess of 70 mph blasted the yard and pushed forcefully against the house testing the fortitude and flexibility of the mightiest of trees and the sturdiest of structures. At first all we could do was stand there staring out the window almost in disbelief at what we were witnessing, but when the warning siren went off, we headed for shelter in the hallway. So it goes sometimes in the spring here in Texas; the usual peaceful hush of twilight evolves into the worrisome madness of turbulent extremes. Fortunately this time around the tornado that was seen about 5 minutes from our house did not touch the ground, the winds that huffed and puffed did not blow our house down, the rains that rushed in brutal, sideways torrents did not wash us away, the power was only off until the next day around 10 AM and then again around 5 for a couple of hours instead of days on end as it has before, and it didn’t take us but about half a day to clear away all the leafy, twiggy, and branchy downed debris. As for all the rose petals that were blown off before their time, they laid a lovely, colorful layer over patches of the green grass. So thank you Lord for these and all your tender mercies.

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. ~Psalm 25:4-6   ✝

**To all my readers: because of the storm and our subsequent power outages, I’m way behind now on reading yours posts and answering comments and/or emails.

698. We might live with the angels that visit us on every sunbeam, and sit with the fairies who wait on every flower. ~Samuel Smiles

Finger-like ancient
flowers dating back to the
reign of Edward III

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Freckled are your tube-
like prettily colored bells
that look like a glove

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And are a lurking
place of the wee folk who clap
the fairy thunder

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Stately foxglove with
the lambs-tongue-leaves you thrill
the eye and heal hearts

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But beware to all
who know not you can kill a
man as well as heal

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Favorite of mine
are you in the garden but
grow you not in heat

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So it is that I
must find you early in the
year to grow in pots

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Where a favorite
of the buzzing bees and
my camera are you

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Because you see
I love your freckly poetry
of apostrophes

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My blogging friend, Bette Stevens, posted this week that April is national poetry month, and so I set out to write a series of haikus about a favorite flower of mine. I’m certainly no poet but I had fun trying to tell some of the lore about this flower in haiku fashion. Along with the verses are photos I’ve taken and others I found on Pinterest.

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. ~Isaiah 40:8   ✝