1243. Pay attention. Be astonished. And tell about it. ~Mary Oliver

Leaves and Blossoms Along the Way
by Mary Oliver

If you’re John Muir you want trees
to live among. If you’re Emily
(or Natalie), a garden will do.
Try to find the right place for yourself.
If you can’t find it, at least dream of it.

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When one is alone and lonely, the body
gladly lingers in the wind or the rain,
or splashes into the cold river, or
pushes through the ice-crusted snow.

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Anything that touches.

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God, or the gods, are invisible, quite
understandable. But holiness is visible,
entirely.

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Some words will never leave God’s mouth,
no matter how hard you listen.

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In all the works of Beethoven, you will
not find a single lie.

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All important ideas must include the trees,
the mountains, and the rivers.

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To understand many things you must reach
out of your own condition.

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For how many years did I wander slowly
through the forest. What wonder and
glory I would have missed had I ever been
in a hurry!

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Beauty can both shout and whisper, and still
it explains nothing.

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The point is, you’re you, and that’s for keeps.

Stop and be astonished… ~Excerpt from Isaiah 29: 9 ✝

**All images taken by Natalie; the 3 collages by Natalie

1094. Part 2: Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never been seen. ~Robert Bresson

Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet
sculptor or photographer or musician or dancer
and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale
’til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free.
~Edited and adapted quote by
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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How many of you liked to color when you were a child at least until someone said “you shouldn’t color outside the lines?” Or liked to build things that others knocked down for the fun of it? Or loved to twirl and dance around until someone laughed at you? Or beat out sounds on a little drum or hand made flute until someone implored you to quit making that awful racket? There are so many ways that unthinkingly people stifle the creative urge in us when we are young, and then we tuck the urges away until one day we have the courage to pick up that pen or that brush or that musical instrument or those ballet shoes or that camera or whatever to express that our creativity that has laid dormant within us. Wanna know why that urge is there and why it keeps coming to the surface? Scripture tells us that we are made in the image of God, the Creator of all that is. So that need within us is an inextricable part of who we are and it’s there to serve a sacred purpose. Now before you say, “Oh I’m just not creative.” Yes, you are! You have to be because you are part of the Creator of everything. Everybody is creative in some way. Look at all the ways in which Yahweh created. Some of you may be an imaginative cook, or homemaker, or gardener, or teacher, or statesmen, or preacher, or seamstress, etc. Not every one is designed to make music or write poetry or dance the light fandango. There are thousands of ways to be creative and all of them are valid and come from our inherent ability to be creative. Creativity is not a competition. And no one, simply no one, has the right to criticize or discourage us from fulfilling what we have been anointed to do. In fact, in my way of thinking, it’s sacrilege to try to do so. And it is also not for anyone else to judge the quality or the reason or the necessity of what we create. It’s a God-given right and mandate for all that He has made serves a purpose. So I offer the following things to think on:

1) To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong. ~Joseph Chilton Pearce
2) Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. ~Scott Adams
3) All creative outlets require courage. ~Anne Tucker
4) The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf
5) What creativity offers is space — a certain breathing room for the spirit. ~John Updike
6) Creativity is not a thing; it is a way. ~Elbert Hubbard
7) Creativity is the struggle to understand. ~Terri Guillemets
8) Life beats down and crushes the soul and creative outlets remind one that he/she has one. ~Stella Adler
9) Creativity is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail. ~Theodore Dreiser

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So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~Genesis 1:27  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collages by Natalie

837. Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety. ~René Daumal

I wonder if the mystery
is hidden in Creation. In plain sight.
~JoAnne Silvia
at: https://joannaoftheforest.wordpress.com/about/

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Earth is crammed with heaven, and
every common bush afire with God;
but only he who sees, takes his shoes off.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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When we understand the outside of things, we think we have them.
Yet the Lord puts his things in subdefined, suggestive shapes,
yielding no satisfactory meaning to the mere intellect,
but unfolding themselves to the conscience and heart.
~George MacDonald

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The true mystery of the world is
the visible, not the invisible.
~Oscar Wilde

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JoAnne made her comment above in response to my post yesterday, and I thought it too profoundly provocative not to repeat along with the thoughts of others who have made similar  remarks.

But everything exposed by the light becomes visible–and everything that is illuminated becomes light. ~Ephesians 5:13  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

673. Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

There be delights that will fetch the day about
from sun to sun and rock the tedious year
as in a delightful dream …for a garden is Arcady
(a region of rural simplicity and contentment)
brought home.  It is man’s bit of gaudy
make-believe – his well-disguised fiction
of an unvexed Paradise – a world where
gayety knows no eclipse…
~Edited lines by John D. Sedding

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Shhhhhhh! Do you hear it? Okay, okay, try again. Listen carefully! Did you hear something this time? Did you? If not, did you see anything different? Surely with the vernal equinox only 4 days away, you’ve heard and seen the come-hither voice of springtime and the early signs of it that daily grow more visible and audible. In my yard and elsewhere birds are aflutter and atwitter as they bring nesting materials to birdhouses; colorful crocuses, upright and abloom, chant lovely, little ditties; green perennials whisper quiet anthems as they rise from wombs beneath the soil in search of light and warmth; iris spears that were cut back in the fall now stand tall again offering up gladsome refrains; busy, buzzing bees scurry about in search of nectar and pollen; swelling buds on cherry trees whisper pretty, pink ballads; and on and on go the sights and sounds that make the human heart leap as the faithful promise of Spring materializes once more.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. ~Psalm 6:11   ✝