486. The windows of my soul I throw wide open to the sun. ~John Greenleaf Whittier

Light gives of itself freely,
filling all available space.
It does not seek anything in return;
it asks not whether you are friend or foe.
It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.
~Michael Strassfeld

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All things in the natural world drink in sunlight, and they are affected by it a number of ways. When the sun’s warmth touches the skin on coolish days like today, it creates a pleasant sensation, and that pleasurable feeling seems to me to sink down into the depths of my being. Flesh and spirit drink in other light too, for they take in “the light of God and energy itself.” That’s why in an often cold, lonely, and dark world the inner flame of humanity’s sacred origin warms us and keeps the glow of the eternal alive.

In the temple of my inner being,
in the temple of my body,
in the temple of earth, sea, and sky,
in the great temple of the universe
I look for the light that was in the beginning,
the mighty fire that blazes still from the heart of life,
glowing in the whiteness of the moon,
glistening in night stars,
hidden in the black earth,
concealed in unknown depths of my soul.
In the darkness of the night,
in the shadow of my being, O God,
let me glimpse the eternal.
In both the light and the shadows of my being
let me glimpse the glow of the eternal.

by J. Philip Newell

For God who said, “ Let light shine out of the darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. ~2 Corinthians 4:6    ✝

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475. To one who has been long in city pent, ‘tis sweet to look into the fair and open face of heaven-to breathe a prayer full in the smile of the blue firmament. ~John Keats

Nature is man’s teacher.
She unfolds her treasures to his search
unseals his eye, illumes his mind, purifies his heart;
an influence breathes from all the sights
and sounds of existence.
~Alfred Billings Street


It is not so much being “city pent” that keeps me from looking long into the “fair and open face” of the heavens in summer. It’s from being “house pent.” However, to keep my heat-driven incarceration inside my air-conditioned home from totally stifling my spiritual breathing, I hungrily emerge out of doors for a while very early and/or very late in the day. Outside and under the heavens I am able at last to breathe long and deep in prayer. According to Howard Pyle, “The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived.” In my childhood nature and her sweet stories left a profound impression in my memory. Because as Pyle suggests that impression was not thrown on “the rubbish heap” and because late in life I reentered nature’s haunts by means of a garden, I was brought back to a reverent and devoted relationship with the Maker of my soul and Creation.

Last night when I was out, I noticed that a pure white Angel’s Trumpet had opened, and it was still there briefly this morning. The brilliance of its whiteness reminded me of the temporal dominion of any kind of darkness and the inevitable return of light. Then when I came inside, I read an email from a friend in which he quoted “Peace is seeing the sunrise and sunset and knowing who to thank.” Though neither he nor I knew whom to credit for the thought, we always know who to thank for everything. So thank you, Lord, for sunrises and sunsets as well as endings and beginnings. For you see the Angel in the Trumpet intimated that the heat beast is on its last legs.

The earth is filled with Your love, Lord; teach me Your decrees. ~Psalm 119:64   ✝

Lord God, Your breath is within me, and I will honor and praise you with every breath that I breathe.

293. I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring.  Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth? ~Edward Giobbi 

The flowers of late winter and spring
occupy places in our hearts
well out of proportion to their size.
~Gertrude S. Wister


Small for sure on earth’s vast stage are the first flowers of late winter and early spring, but large is their scope.  They, like the day’s first sunlight fractures darkness in the physical world, shatter darkness int the spiritual world.  And when any light breaks spiritual darkness, joy and hope can be sparked and subsequently release from any imposed bondage the light of God which is at the heart of all He created.  Thus I believe it is by Divine intent and for sacred purposes that these flowers occupy places of disproportionate size in the human heart.  Humanity lives with dreadful darknesses in this fallen world, and it could be that the Lord purposely built into Creation’s fabric the repetition of such sparks to keep igniting anew the glow of His Light.  J. Philip Newell proclaims that the light of God “dapples through the whole of creation.”  He declares that it can be seen “within the brilliance of the morning sun and the whiteness of the moon at night and that it issues forth in all that grows from the ground and the life that shines from the eyes of any living creature.”  Thus like cracks in a dam weaken the structure so that flood waters at some point may no longer be able to be contained, crack after crack in spiritual darkness eventually lets in more and more of God’s holy light.  Hence when the fullness of His Light breaks through into the world and the human heart, there is the potential for amazing floods of grace and healing as well as salvation.

You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.  Psalm 18:28   ✝

60. That God once loved a garden we learn in Holy writ. And seeing gardens in the Spring I well can credit it. ~Winifred Mary Letts

With the birth of the creatures there is
the emergence of seeing, hearing,
smelling, tasting, and touching.
The light of the sun and the whiteness
of the moon can now be seen.
The wind blowing through the leaves
of the trees and the crashing
of ocean waves can be heard.
The early morning fragrance of
the earth can be smelled.
Its fruits can be tasted and
its textures touched.
~Excerpted lines by J. Philip Newell


Springtime is so much “a showing forth of the mystery of God” that if one wants to know more of the Creator, all he/she needs do is pull up a chair in a garden and watch the year’s first season unfold.  Seeking the goodness of God and what He made by being still therein and listening to the Holy Spirit as well as Creation’s rhythms is a way of bringing the Heavenly Father closer.  In that nearness one is then able to look through eyes that recognize the depth of His and Creation’s  goodness.

And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  ~Exodus 33:19   ✝