1247. September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours… ~Rowland E. Robinson

Suffering invites us to place our hurts in larger hands.
In Christ we see God suffering – for us.
And calling us to share in God’s
suffering love for a hurting world.
The small and even overpowering pains
of our lives are intimately connected
with the greater pains of Christ.
Our daily sorrows are anchored in a
greater sorrow and therefore a larger hope.
~Henri J.M. Nouwen

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As I grapple with summer’s still sweltering heat, I have to remind myself that humanity has observed adverse aberrations of nature millennium after millennium and that out of the chaos order eventually returns.  Author, Peter Saint-Andre, says  nature “can inspire, enlighten, send shivers up the spine, delight, anger, frighten; it can make one think, feel, shake one’s head in astonishment, cry, laugh out loud; it can evoke feelings of triumph, melancholy, light-heartedness, serenity, excitement, boredom, rightness, anxiety, joy, sorrow.”  And I agree with him on all counts but until some level of coolness settles, it is challenging for me to experience much excitement and serenity.  Only now when, in the midst of the feverish misery, the wild purple eryngo blooms does the melancholy begin to lift a little.

Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. ~Lamentations 3:32  ✝

**Image taken by me along a country road in our area. These amethystine beauties can be found blooming  this time of year in fields ravaged by summer’s heat.

1204. Most of us have two lives, the life we live, and an unlived life within us. ~Steven Pressfield

Gypsy
If I were not trapped
by my own making in a well
where light filtered in just enough
for shadows to press against me
in their shaded hush
reminding me perpetually
with their low rhythmic song
of a life I could have lived
if I’d just been strong

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your life by comparison
is in every way as wild
as the silver on the horizon
when the moon slips beneath
violet clouds and cusps
in slow formation and bows
to white flowers beneath ivy
where only moonlight finds
magic in the way you live
every moment to the end
~Poem by Candice Louisa Daquin
from her just released 4th book,
A JAR FOR THE JARRING

You can read more of Candice’s distinctively, unique poetry
at: https://albinophoenix.wordpress.com

One must lament not the prospect of an unlived life, for whilst there is yet breath in the lungs and the beat in a heart Scripture tell us:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

1061. You never enjoy the world aright, till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars. ~Thomas Traherne


The voice of the sea
speaks to the soul.
The touch of the sea is sensuous,
enfolding the body 
in its soft,
close embrace.
~Kate Chopin

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I had to go. I just had to go down to the sea today if only through photographic memories. I haven’t been to the beach in so long, and it appears that I won’t get to go this year either, at least not for months and months. As a child, I was weaned and grew up on the beautiful, blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, and since then sand, shore, and sea have haunted me. Via sensory perceptions even as a young child I heard a voice, a clear voice-a familiar voice-a welcome voice-a sacred voice who reached down into the depths of my soul to touch me in ways that are still not easy to articulate. But here goes. Since the sea is always moving in its ceaselessness, I became aware of its cadenced rhythms early on. Day after day, night after night its undulations never stopped, and I found myself comforted by the sounds they created. Even when it was just along the shore and not out in a boat on the deep water, the songs of the sea continued to poignantly reverberate as they rolled in on the waves to the sandy shore. These were songs as primordial as the days and as ancient as the Holy One Himself who yet hovers over the waters, and when I sat quietly listening, waiting, and watching, I began to feel and internalize the pulsing rhythms of the sea while their songs filled up the space around me, its devout, hearkening witness. “Wild silences,” as haunting as the call of the gulls, were “heard” as well, and the elements of light and darkness affected and enhanced the ocean’s charms, chants, and silences as it enfolded me in its embrace. What’s more a lonely beach, devoid of crowds, also transports of delight to the magical, mystique of the sea. For it was then, and only then, that I was privy to the voices of the ocean’s more wistful “shy presences,” the ones with the subtle, emotive melodies.

If you look at the map in the collage you will see a blue marker where our house at 68 Prospect Avenue in Long Beach, California was. It was only a half a block from Ocean Boulevard, and once I crossed that busy street, all I had to do was take the stairs down from the seawall onto the sand. Between the houses on each street ran an alley way that you can see in one of the photos beneath the map. This passage way was one of my favorite places to travel as it was along those fences  that so many of the cherished, fragrant flowers grew, and in the distance you can actually see the ocean.

The seas have lifted up, Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. ~Psalm 93:3  ✝

**Images via Pinterest and Safari; collage created by Natalie

955. My sun sets to rise again. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The sun does not shine for a few trees and
flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.
~Henry Ward Beecher

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Have you ever seen anything
in your life more wonderful
than the way the sun,
every evening, relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon
and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea, and is gone–
and how it slides again
out of the blackness, every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower streaming upward
on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early light,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt
for anything such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere,
in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure that fills you,
as the sun reaches out,
as it warms you as you stand there,
empty-handed–or have you too
turned from this world–
or have you too gone crazy
for power, for things?
~Mary Oliver

And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. ~Deuteronomy 4:19  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

630. If Heaven made him — earth can find some use for him. ~Chinese Proverb

Truly, I am as a grain of sand in the desert,
Infinitesimal, so very small!
And, yet, I serve a purpose in this wondrous world,
As do the trees, so stately and so tall.
I’m just a tiny atom that God has placed down here—
I do not even know the reason why!
But I’m sure that He, with wisdom, has evolved a plan
To fit me in His pattern ere I die.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham

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According to Scripture, each one of us is made in God’s image, and though we are, as Buckingham declares, merely an infinitesimal “grain of sand in the desert,” we do indeed, as she also purports, serve a purpose “in this wondrous world.” We are also told in Holy Writ, that the Lord with His limitless power is ready, willing, and able to helps us discern what our purpose is. So the question is how does He do that? Well, we are given a brain that has the ability to learn, a heart that is able to love, ears that hear, and eyes that are capable of discerning a wide spectrum of things. Okay, then, how does He, from afar, orchestrate the discharge of His plan. Well, since our mouths can deliver His loving smile, our voices speak comforting words, our hands administer compassionate healing, our legs carry whatever is lacking to places totally bereft of the “wondrous” aspect of life, it would appear our lives are to be spent serving Him with the gifts we’ve been given. The better question is: how can we who bear Yahweh’s image and breathe His holy breath, do anything but make it our primary concern to spend time with Him and ask for revelation about what it is He would have us do with our “one wild and precious life.” Otherwise, what would be the point of being able to give and receive love if there were no place to spend it nor people with whom to share it?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

580. Once more on our morning walk we tread upon carpets of gold and crimson, of brown and bronze, woven by the winds… ~John Burroughs

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

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With every north wind that blows the landscape decomposes more and more, and the air grows a little wilder with falling leaves. After each assault layer upon layer of the leafy insulation blankets the lawn and beds in more warmth to protect them from coming winter’s icy blasts. Above, the branches, if not already bare, are now dotted with only a smattering of leaves. They, the ones too tenacious to let go so far, cannot hold on much longer though because the winter solstice will be upon us in less than a week. These brisk northerly winds have also taken a toll on the once verdant and supple, ornamental grasses. Many of them have begun drying out and taking on a shabby, tattered look, but among the shades of brown, remain a few tinged with glorious color. Autumn may be beset with more gray than sunny days and quelling blows night after night, but some continue to hold a measure of winsome smiles and “honey’d leavings.” And as the lusty song of life plays on, earth yet murmurs, “come play again with me,” a call, way, way too alluring for me to ignore.

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

562. Wild is the music of autumnal winds amongst the faded woods. ~William Wordsworth

Every leaf speaks bliss to me
fluttering from the autumn tree.
~Emily Brontë

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Brisk breezes are moving across the landscape today, and as a result it’s raining confetti-colored leaves. So it is that bone by bone by bone the garden’s structure is reappearing whilst that which was fleshed out in spring and summer withers or falls away. These, the yard’s skeletons, will remain, holding tightly to their promised renewal throughout months steeped in wintry chills. Even though bare and stripped of visible signs of life, they will yet proffer a comforting presence and a kind of beauty to those who watch and wait during cloudy coldness and rarer bouts of the sun’s warmth and mercy. And though they become pale and wan and washed in grays and beige, in the spreading silences, the wind whispers that they and life–that spark, that miracle, that breath–have not been vanquished; all is not lost as down, down, down into coming winter’s “vale of grief” we go.

Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. ~2 Samuel 19:23   ✝

**Image via Pinterest