620. There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you… ~Colette

In solitude
she sifts silence
searching for insights
from a marsh of memories
within each of life’s stages
penning prayers and praise
tucking each thought
word by word
phrase by phrase
onto pages.
~Wendy L. Macdonald at https://greenlightlady.wordpress.com/

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Drip, drip, drip fell the winter rain. Deep, deep, deep grew the morning’s silence. Dark were the clouds that dimmed the light of day. Delicious was the morn’s “marsh of memories” floating through stages of my life. Time and circumstance seemed irrelevant as I basked in the quiet solitude punctuated exclusively by the soft pitter pats of falling rain. There were no fret nor frenzy in the morning’s damp and whispered song, and so I sat sifting the silence in search of nothing more to pen on today’s page than words of praise for the blessing of rain and the gift of life for another day, nothing more than words of gratitude for the peace it had brought and the Holy Presence I felt all around me.

“Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place…” ~2 Chronicles 6:40   ✝

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607. He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter… ~John Burroughs

The simplicity of winter has a deep moral.
The return of Nature, after such a career of splendor
and prodigality, to habits so simple and austere,
is not lost either upon the head or the heart.
It is the philosopher coming back from the banquet
and the wine to a cup of water and a crust of bread.
~John Burroughs

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At daybreak yesterday winter’s customary leaden skies spread out in brilliant, China blues, and the cold, cold January day issued forth golden streaks of sunlight that ran across the wheat-colored lawn. Blanketed in warmth inside, I sat for some time enjoying an untroubled spectacle and watching the birds fly back and forth from feeders to their sheltering places.  But soon the serenity of the scene was threatened by four feral cats who moved in, crouched down, and inched along the ground in hopes of securing a tasty “catch” for the day. However, as luck would have it, one of the birds spied the predators, sounded the alarm, and off they all flew. When the cats tired of waiting, they wandered off, and the birds returned to their feeding frenzy. Eventually I spotted the one for whom I’d been waiting; he, a bright red cardinal, zoomed in and perched momentarily atop the feeder pole, a throne not wholly unbefitting his majesty. As I lingered watching his bright red flashes flit about here, there, and everywhere, I realized that last night’s blustery north wind had ceased, and now only sporadic zephyrs were ruffling the bamboo’s leaves. And so it was that a splendid morn had unfolded and everything within my frame of vision had been steeped in a heavenly quietude, a “chirpy” kind of beauty, and a soothing calmness. What a healing balm tis such for one, wearied, crestfallen, and grappling with pain! The Lord, in His loving and mysterious ways, had tipped over my cup of despair and once more filled it to overflowing with His loving grace. O Eden, how you yet issue benedictions that fill and thrill the children of your faithful, Master Gardener.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. ~Genesis 2:15   ✝

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471. We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. ~Henry Rollins

As in the bread and the wine, so it is with me.
Within all forms is locked a record of the past
and a promise of the future.
~Author Unknown

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During the course of a year, as humanity steps from one reality to another, there are visible ledgers of receipt and discernible promissory notes. So it is that in late August with less than a month to go before summer’s end and fall’s onset, my camera has captured an overlapping of this year’s waning third season and the waxing of its final season. The photos above prove that mortals are never left with an ending minus the birth of a new beginning. There is nothing finite that doesn’t contain signs of the infinite, and when such is seen the “little bird of hope” sings the loudest. So as summer draws to a close, may you realize that the seeds for tomorrow have and are being set, both in Creation and your lives. I know this because in the photo on the left is a fat seed pod I found in my garden this week, and it’s just waiting to spill its jewels of renewal upon the earth. As you dance with the, Lord and Lover of your soul, I pray that you realize you, too, are part of the splendor of the moment and that any discord endured in “dark nights of the soul” can be assuaged by shining new dawns. I pray also that you find a myriad of reasons to sing for joy, today and always.

“Glory be you, O God, for the rising of the sun, for colour filling the skies, and for the whiteness of the daylight. Glory be to you for creatures stirring forth from the night, for plant forms stretching and unfolding, for the stable earth and its solid rocks. . .that in the elements of earth, sea and sky I may see your beauty, that in the wild winds, birdsong and silence I may hear your beauty, that in the body of another and the interminglings of relationships I may touch your beauty, that in the moisture of the earth and its flowering and fruiting I may smell your beauty, that in the flowing waters of springs and streams I may taste your beauty, these things I look for this day, O God, these things I look for.” ~Excerpts from prayers by J. Philip Newell

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy. . . ~Psalm 96:11-12 ✝

275. Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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This the garden’s magic,
That through the sunny hours
The gardener who tends it,
Himself outgrows his flowers.

He grows by gift of patience,
Since he who sows must know
That only in the Lord’s good time
Does any seedling grow.

He learns from buds unfolding,
From each tight leaf unfurled,
That his own heart, expanding,
Is one with all the world.

He bares his head to sunshine,
His bending back a sign
Of grace, and ev’ry shower becomes
His sacramental wine.

And when at last his labors
Bring forth the very stuff
And substance of all beauty
This is reward enough.
~Marie Nettleton Carroll

Patience, what a difficult thing to master!  At least it has been and still is for me at times.  But as Emerson and Carroll assert, part of a garden’s magic is the gift of patience.   So among other things I am learning that the anticipation of what unfolds from within the bud is almost as sweet as the blossom itself.  Emory Austen said, “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart.  Sing anyway.”  With that in mind I’m gonna be patient this week, be glad my snapdragons are blooming, believe that rain will come, and sing away as I continue to wait for my tulips to unfurl and this decade-long drought to end.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.  ~Romans 8:25  ✝