1178. Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it. Vladimir Nabokov

Smell is a potent wizard that transports you
across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.
~Helen Keller

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Creature comforts! What are they anyway? Okay, lets establish what the term “creature comforts” means. It is thought that the expression was first used in the 1600‘s to describe the simple things that met a person’s needs such as food, a good bed, comfortable shoes, etc. The meaning has evolved a bit over time as it now includes physical ease such as warmth, available hot and cold water, clean laundry, in other words anything that makes life more comfortable and pleasant. Simply put, it can be any small item or detail that makes a person feel at home, which includes not only creature comforts but also heart and soul comforts as well. I think perhaps many of us have similar creature comforts but then time and place may, if asked, change some of our answers to the question. On a side note, before I go on though, I’ve read that interestingly in World War I, creature comforts were cherished even more than comradeship and unit loyalties.

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Nothing is more memorable than a smell.
Smells detonate softly in our memory like
poignant land mines hidden under
the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire
of smell and memories explode all at once.
A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.
~Diane Ackerman

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Okay, so what does all this creature comfort stuff have to do with smell? It all started this morning as I sat looking out at my white lilies and remembered their lovely fragrance. Probably because these particular lilies are so white it hit a tripwire of the unforgettable and delicious scent of linens, sheets and towels and such, from my childhood that had been hung outside to dry on a clothesline. That led to thoughts of homemade quilts and white iron beds and the incredibly luscious night’s sleep that was to be had in, on, and under such things which have always been some of my most favorite creature, heart, and soul comforts. Then as Ackerman put it, poignant land mines of memories began to detonate all over my place, but they were the kinds of memories not too many share these days.

If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? ~1 Corinthians 12:17  ✝

**All images but the white lily found on Pinterest; collages by Natalie

994. Give me the end of the year an’ its fun when most of the plannin’ an’ toilin’ is done… ~Edgar A. Guest

December finds himself again a child
Even as he undergoes his age.
Cold and early darkness now descends,
Embracing sanctuaries of delight.
~Nicholas Gordon

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Why do we feel restored in December
As in a sacramental time and place?
Therein Mystery is artfulness,
And therein too a vision of peace is stored,
So that healing flows from it through our eyes.
~Edited and adapted excerpt
from May Sarton

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As the year draws to an end and winter and Christmas approach, “Shall we liken what has and is coming to pass to the web in a loom?  There have been and still are many weavers, who work into the pattern the experience of their lives. When one generation goes, another comes to take up the weft where it has been dropped. The pattern changes as the mind changes, yet never begins quite anew. At first, we are not sure that we discern the pattern, but at last we see that, unknown to the weavers themselves, something has taken shape before our eyes, and that they have made something very beautiful, something which compels our attempt at understanding.” ~Edited & adapted excerpt  by Earl W. Count

…the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. ~Numbers 6:26   ✝

**Both images via Pinterest

709. We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with sleep. ~William Shakespeare

We live in between the act of awakening
and the act of surrender.
Each morning, we awaken to light,
and the invitation to a new day
in the world of time;
each night, we surrender to the dark
to be taken to play in the world of dreams
where time is no more.
~John O’Donohue

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We become not a melting pot
but a beautiful mosaic.
Different people, different beliefs
different yearnings, different hopes,
different dreams.
~Jimmy Carter
but
God’s gifts put man’s
best dreams to shame.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The name of this wonderful pink rose is Belinda’s Dream, and since she is one of my favorites, I have two of them planted in different places my yard. Her blooms, especially in the spring and the fall, are always and definitely the stuff of which my garden dreams are made. And whenever I photograph her, I always think to myself, “What beautiful dreams, she, whose name this rose bears, must have.”  I wonder who she is!

For God does speak–now one way, now another– though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision in the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds. He may speak in their ears… ~Job 33:14-16a   ✝

645. And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower then I have been dipped again in God, new created. ~D. H. Lawrence

In slumber we fall into the deep, silent waters of consciousness, and then something, somewhere beneath the surface stirs us back to wakefulness. The same thing is happening now in my slumbering, wintry garden. A divine force or spark is stirring life back into seemingly lifelessness.

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A spark.  A flame.  A fire. A seed.  A plant.  A flower.  An egg.  An embryo.  A life. What is it that stirs matter and spirit?  What is it that stirs us?  What moves us?  What is it that makes life taste bitter or sweet upon the tongue?  What things do we feel that can’t quite be put into words?

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The following poem was written by Wallace Stevens. In it, his is the voice of questioning meant to refute religion/Christianity, and yet his images are the kinds of things that stir me in the opposite direction by rousing and impassioning my faith and belief in Christ. So it seems to me that Stevens, even in his attempt at denial, was himself somehow stirred by things in nature not wholly of this world, And I also have to wonder what exactly he thinks a soul is? Is not the soul that which connects mortal man to the Holy One who made us? Isn’t it the piece of God in us?

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Sunday Morning

What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch,
These are the measures destined for her soul.
~Wallace Stevens

For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. ~Job 33:14-16   ✝

596. Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. ~Lord Chesterfield

Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth
that around every circle another can be drawn;
that there is no end in nature,
but every end is a beginning,
and under every deep a lower deep opens.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Look well to this day.
Yesterday is but a dream
and tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived
makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness,
and every tomorrow
a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day.
~Francis Gray

This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. ~Isaiah 43:16, 18-19   ✝

**Image via Pinterest, text added by Natalie

534. The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest. ~William Blake

A year of beauty. A year of plenty.
A year of planting. A year of harvest.
A year of forests. A year of healing.
A year of vision. A year of passion.
A year of rebirth.
~Starhwak

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Irish immigrants fleeing from the Great Famine of the 1840’s brought versions of Halloween to North America. For them the celebration had its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian “All Saints Day” on November 1st. The festivities of the centuries-old holiday began at sunset and ended at midnight on October 31st. Samhain meant roughly “summer’s end,” and it was a celebration of the end of the “lighter half” of the year in which the daylight hours steadily increased and the beginning of the “darker half” of the year in which the daylight hours steadily decreased.

As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.
The days when the veil lifted
And the soul could see delight;
When a quiver caressed the heart
In the sheer exuberance of being here.
Surprises that came awake
In forgotten corners of old fields
Where expectation seemed to have quenched.
~Excerpts from a blessing by
John O’Donohue

The land yields its harvest; God, our God blesses us. ~Psalm 67:6  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

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

The breeze at dawn
has secrets to tell you;
Don’t go back to sleep.
~Rumi

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Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life,
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:

The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendor of beauty,
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn.
~Kalidasa (2500 BC Sanskrit)

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. ~Psalm 65:8    ✝

** Image via Pinterest