1296. I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. ~John Burroughs

The moment that a child can walk,
like that in which it first can talk,
is a precious start of exploration into landscapes of creation.
Walking, walking, walking, walking, walking on the earth.
By sense of touch the feet assess
the nature of the wilderness
of earth beneath;
yet human speech cannot express
what feet can teach.
Walking, walking, walking, walking,
walking on the earth.
~Francis D. Hole

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The ancient Hebrew association of man with soil is echoed in the Latin name for man, homo, derived from humus, the stuff of life in the soil. This powerful metaphor suggests an early realization of a profound truth that humanity has since disregarded to its own detriment. Since the words “humility” and “humble” also derive from humus, it is rather ironic that we should have assigned our species so arrogant a name as Homo sapiens sapiens (“wise wise man”). It occurs to me, as I ponder our past and future relation to the earth, that we might consider changing our name to a more modest Homo sapiens curans, with the word curans denoting caring or caretaking, as in “curator.” (“Teach us to care” was T.S. Eliot’s poetic plea.) Of course, we must work to deserve the new name, even as we have not deserved the old one. ~Daniel Hillel, Out of the Earth: Civilization and the Life of the Soil

My feet have closely followed His(God’s) steps; I have kept to His(God’s) way without turning aside. ~Job 23:11 ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

1216. Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from The Eternal. ~Dante Alighieri

The first thing about Texas
that you can’t get away from is the heat.
You’ve got no idea how hot it is in that place.
It’s over 100 degrees Fahrenheit daily,
and with that and the high humidity,
it’s just absolutely ridiculous.
~Edited and adapted quote by Chris Vance

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Hot, hot-hot, hot, hot-hot-hot! Yum, yum-yum, yum, yum-yum-yum! Yeppers, chocolate it turning out to be, at least temporarily, a good balm for the heat weary! What you see in the photo above is no joke. It is our weather forecast for the next seven days, and it is not even fully accurate. For example today it was supposed to hit only 101, but on my thermometer it has already gone up to 103 so far today. And unfortunately, forecasters say there is no end in sight for such misery as this. Why oh why did I even go check it out first thing this morning? Maybe it was because I’d read a few of your blog posts about rainfall in your area and thought on the off chance that soon we might get some too. But that was purely delusional! I know better! I’ve lived here long enough to know August only too well and that rain seldom is ever in the forecast during this wretched month! So I started the day grumbling about the heat. But then we went to lunch and guess what the dessert of the day was? Oh yes, yes, yes, it was chocolaty–beautiful, luscious, homemade, freshly baked, and still warm Chocolate Meringue Pie! Thus once more something rich and chocolaty was served up just in the nick time to abort an emotional, elderly “melt down!”

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I(God) cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of the burning heat. ~Hosea 13:5  ✝

**The upper image was created from the NOAA forecast for our area; the lower pie images are via Pinterest

729. 
Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message. ~Malcolm Muggeridge

Is there a green too green
Is there a wet too wet
In a land that has
suffered long, a drought.

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Is there a heaven too high
Is there a ground too low
In a world that has
suffered much, for a Savior

Is there a Father too loving
Is there a God too merciful
In a heart that has
suffered long, afflictions

Shake not your fists at the heavens
Shake not your fists at the world
Seek instead the One
who came to make a way for all
through the wilderness
through the darkness
through the confusion
through the suffering
~Natalie Scarberry

The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed in gladness. ~Psalms 65:12   ✝

570. It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child Himself. ~Charles Dickens

You’re never too old to be a child at Christmas.
Think back to your own childhood memories of Christmas –
not the gifts and the tinsel, but the joy and wonder
of a time when everything seemed so new
and nothing was impossible.
~William Saroyan, (1908-1981),
Armenian-American dramatist and writer

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Hey, it’s snowing! At least on my blog, little snowflakes are softly cascading. Okay, I’ll admit it; I’m delighted about that and gleefully squealed like a child when the WP support lady told me how to make it happen. And what’s more, if Charles Dickens and William Saroyan think it’s okay to be a child at Christmas, who am I to lack confidence in that stance? I realize Christmas is weeks away, but the snow on my blog was enough to jump start my enthusiasm about it. Christmas always takes me back to the time when I saw the world through the eyes of a child. That’s because my childhood was magical, not perfect nor without hurts, but magical nonetheless. It was the result of a Divinely engineered coming together of extraordinary people in an extraordinary place at an extraordinary time. I say that with a humble heart because I know it was and is a privilege not afforded all people. My childhood was so out of the ordinary in fact that I can recall the exact moment in time it came to an end. It was in the cessation of a beating heart that the reality of it shattered like the pieces of a breaking mirror. Not only was the magic and innocence of it lost forever at that moment, but the devastation left me fragmented and it severed my hold on the handle of anything that nurtured my faith. Then close on the heels of that life-altering experience, I was swept away into the uncharted waters of young womanhood and the inevitable trials that accompany aging and marriage. Those events added to the continuing and inconsolable sorrow of my father’s death left me turning a deaf ear to the Lord’s “still, small voice” as well as a blind eye to His abiding presence in my world. After nearly a decade of watching me, lost and brokenhearted, wander deeper into the “wilderness,” He sent an angel of mercy into my world. Ironically the Divine messenger was a child, my baby girl, who would and did touch my heart in a way no other mortal had been able to. In her smile, in the twinkle of her eyes, and in the beauty of her heart, a heart more loving and gentle than any I’ve ever known, I found my way, step by step, back into the Lord’s keeping. Oh come let us adore the Christ who finds a way to speak to the child in us all!

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. ~Romans 8:17   ✝

**The photo is a composite of my daughter from the age of 8 months to 18 years.

493. It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility. ~Rachel Carson

If facts are seeds that later produce 
knowledge and wisdom,
then the emotions and 
the impressions of the senses
are the fertile soil 
in which the seeds must grow.
~Rachel Carson

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God made the forests, the tiny stars, and the wild winds–
and I think that He has made them partly
as a balance for that kind of civilization that
would choke the spirit of joy out of our hearts.
He made the great open places for people who want to be…
away from the crowds that kill all reverence.
And I think He is glad at times to have us forget
our cares and responsibilities so that we may be nearer Him–
as Jesus was when he crept away into the wilderness to pray.
~Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. ~Mark 1:35   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

473. When summer opens, I see how fast it matures, and I hope it will not be too feverish; but after the heats of July and August, I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to September and the coming of autumn. ~Edited and adapted quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson 

August, with its masses of spent blooms,
August, with its humidity and cloudless skies,
August, with days too hot to relish,
August, torrid and dry in the blazing sun,
August.

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And the locusts in brazen chorus, cry
Like stricken things, and the ring-dove’s note
Sobs on in the distance rim.
~Excerpt from a poem by Hamlin Garland

I(God) cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of the burning heat. ~Hosea 13:5   ✝

Thank you, Lord, that the seasons are ever-changing and that you always care for us!

** Image via Pinterest

441. Bees do have smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers. ~Ray Bradbury

The first week of August
hangs at the top of summer,
the top of the live-long year,
like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel
when it pauses turning.
The weeks that come before
are only a climb from balmy spring,
and those that follow 
a drop to the chill of autumn,
but August is motionless and hot.
~Natalie Babbit

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Months have passed since the jasmine climbed, the wisteria dangled, the snapdragons snapped, the poppies popped, and the birds obeyed spring’s pressing summons to build nests and procreate. Then after the summer solstice came and summer’s fires were stoked, the feverfew grew feverish, the pink loose-strife broke loose, the inland sea oats set sail on an ocean of green along the fence, and Columbine’s dove-like clusters turned brown, split open and spilled their bits of black seed bounty upon the ground. And whilst all this blooming was going on, the divine music of life that reached glorious crescendos in April grew more mellow in May, perkily sassy in June, and feverishly sultry in July. Two days hence from now, it would normally fall into a low, oppressed hum as August opens the doors to the boiler room, but strangely enough we are and will be for the next week experiencing some cooler than usual days. Though curious about the reason for such a blessing, I’ve learned never “to look a gift horse in the mouth.” The bees busily gathering nectar may grumble somewhat at this interloping gardener who sometimes stays too long in their domain or who moves to close in proximity to their pollen-rich environments such as the Texas Star Hibiscus in the photo, but grumble I shall not because normally this time of year we’re looking at the possibility of a record setting number of triple-digit-high days, days way, way too hot to enjoy even briefly being outside.

I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of burning heat. ~Hosea 13:5   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.