1235. SPLENDOR of ended day, floating and filling me! ~Walt Whitman

Stranger, if you passing meet me
and desire to speak to me,
why should you not speak to me?
And why should I not speak to you?
~Walt Whitman

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I felt suddenly like Walt Whitman last night
in the parking lot of Rainbow Foods,
still dazzled from a poetry reading I’d attended,
fresh ponds of rain shining between cars.
I smiled at boy pushing shopping cart;
he smiled back, it was wonderful!
Inside, I watched a man with dreadlocks
carefully bag the cookies he bought.
I observed four brown-eyed children unload
a paycheck’s worth of groceries for their mother.
Listen, I know we’re all of us hiding bruises,
but when a veil seems to lift,
it doesn’t always reveal sorrow.
I saw ordinary people holding doors
for each other, saying please, and
the sky, when I left, was incredibly lavender.
~Francine Marie Tolf

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering and come before Him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. ~1 Chronicles 16:29  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

1022. While it robs them of life, it tears away the veil and reveals the golden gem of beauty and sweetness. ~Northern Advocate

The death-glow always beautifies anything
that wears the trace of beauty ere it goes back to nothingness.
We do not understand the secret of this principle,
yet we know that it is some law of the infinite mind.
~Northern Advocate

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Threads, filaments, silken strands holding to the past and yet releasing the future in the air. The amazing looking objects in the photos above and below are seed pods from a milkweed (Asclepias) plant. Asclepias species produce some of the most complex flowers in the plant kingdom, and they are an important nectar source for native bees, wasps, and other nectar-seeking insects. Asclepias species produce their seeds in follicles, and the seeds, which are arranged in overlapping rows, bear a cluster white, silky, filament-like hairs known as the coma (often referred to by other names such as pappus, “floss”, “plume”, or “silk”). The follicles ripen and split open, and the seeds, each carried by its coma, are blown by the wind. Milkweed is an essential larval host plant for the Monarch Butterfly which is why I have grown some in my garden for the last two years. Endangered Monarchs must pass through the “Texas funnel” coming and going on their epic migration to and from Canada to their roosting grounds in Michoacán, Mexico, in the spring and fall, and so Texas has been deemed critically important to the health of these beautiful and unique butterflies, threatened by the loss of habitats. But why should I bring this up now at the end of the year since we won’t see butterflies for months to come? Because it shows that though winter is an ending, it’s important to remember that it is the first season of the new year and so it is a beginning as well. Not only that but when all seems drab and lackluster, one who looks carefully can find great beauty even in the dying of the past.

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We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. ~Romans 6:4  ✝

**Images via Pinterest.

912. No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night. ~Elie Wiesel

Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest,
to be completely present to the moment,
to taste the here and now, to be where we are.
Help us then, Lord, to be patient and
trust that the treasure we look for is hidden
in the holy ground on which we stand
and apparent even in the absence of light.
~Edited and adapted excerpt by
Henri Nouwen

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O, Ancient of Days, as daylight splits the veil of night, I praise Your holy name and wonder if you come to my garden still. If you do, do you come only in the early hours as I sensed at dawn today? Or do you come as well at dusk when light bedecks, with a touch of quicksilver sparkle, only the very tops of things making out of ordinary beauty that which is extraordinary? Is it in praise of your divine glory that the birds linger and chatter before their daytime forays and then again as they return at day’s end to find rest for the night? Are the gentle breezes I feel upon my face your very breath and the flowers I see fallen jewels from your holy crown? Do the bees and butterflies yet nectar in autumn to guarantee Eden’s resurrection after winter’s wrath consumes them. O, God, I want to know more of you and do believe you are here with me always; for if not on the lawn, I find your footprints upon my heart.

Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~Hebrews 4:16  ✝

**Image of titmouse and autumn berries via Pinterest

901. How mysterious you are, Lovely One! ~Mary Lambert

In my garden fair is a trellis
where climbs a fetching Moonflower,
a curious, twining vine whose blossoms
hide in daylight and open only to the night.
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by Troost Avenue

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Oh white blooming moon, you’ve been
Confined in a bud below the day’s bright sun
Shutting yourself in until day is done,
But now dazzling flower that mimics the moon
You’ve unfurled to light up night’s darkness where
Sacred secrets can be told ‘neath a veil of midnight blue
For the light of the moon is the only language
To which you, your majesty, hearken.
~Natalie Scarberry

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? ~Psalm 8:3-4 ✝

**I actually got up and out early enough this brisk morn to capture a moonflower before the light caused it to close completely and perish. As you can see, her edges have started to wrinkle however. Moonflowers are in the same family as morning glories, and you can see a few blue ones over and behind it starting to unfurl as the “moonie” closes.

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

838. Have you ever witnessed the moon in bloom, felt awed by its resplendent beauty lighting up the night sky? ~A Lonely Soul

Moonflower in the pale moon light
You unfurl gently and
Willingly to the night’s delight.

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Cloistered under the bright
Clear sun, you shut yourself in
Until the day is done.

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Your secrets are revealed
Only under the veil of darkness
For the light of the moon
Is the only language
To which you harken.
~Edited poem
by Christi Michaels

Well, friends, I’m sorry but I won’t be able to read your posts tonight as I have had a raging migraine since last night and so barely managed to get this post put together and up. With any luck the migraine should play itself out soon, I hope. In the meantime stay safe and be well until I return. Hugs, Natalie

“May the Lord bless this land with the precious dew from heaven above and with the deep waters that lie below; with the best the sun brings forth and the finest the moon can yield…” ~Deuteronomy 33:13-14  ✝

831. Appearances are often deceiving. ~Aesop

Do not hover always on the surface of things,
nor take up suddenly with mere appearances;
but penetrate into the depth of matters…
~Isaac Watts

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No one knows what makes the soul wake up happy!
Maybe a dawn breeze has blown the veil from the face of God.
~Rumi

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I discovered this passionflower (in the first photo) as it was opening to the morning’s light and thought to myself, “what an gangly, unsightly thing!” Then as I watched, slowly but surely it expanded from its misshapenness into what you see in the second photo–the glorious thing it was meant to be. At that moment, it was if dawn’s breeze had indeed briefly lifted the veil of God, and I could see His face smiling in divine revelation of the importance of the day’s gift. The lesson was not to be blinded by first appearances ever but always to wait for His light to reveal the true nature and beauty of people and things. Like the flower, if we allow God to work in us and through us, our awkward beginnings can evolve into the splendor and purpose He intended, for in all of us, “There is a morning inside waiting to burst open in the light.” ~Rumi

“This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it–the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ ~Jeremiah 33:2-3  ✝