1080. Come, gentle Spring!  Ethereal Mildness!  Come. ~James Thomson 

O the green things growing, the green things growing,
The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve,
Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing.
~Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

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But, but, but, it’s just way to early for spring’s “ethereal madness” and the green things growing. The day after my knee surgery at the end of February last year, it snowed and then three days later when I came home from the hospital it snowed again. Our last average freeze date isn’t until March 15th, and there have been times when a hard, late freeze or an ice/snow event have occurred even as late as April 1st. So what’s up with this crazy weather? I love springtime and I’m always thrilled when it arrives, but this is just too soon for it to come. Thank goodness I got started earlier than usual on cleaning up and weeding the beds because we virtually had no winter to speak of. Also I’d already gotten the roses pruned and ready to go. But then since roses are supposed to be fed when they are leafed out and most of mine are almost leafed out already, what do I do now? If I go ahead and feed them, they’ll really get going, and a late freeze could kill all the new growth and set them way back. I’m also concerned about the ducks that winter at our neighborhood pond since I noticed last week that they’ve left already. It’s too early for that too. They could end up getting their little derriere’s frozen off by returning too soon to their northern homes because Old Man Winter and Jack Frost may have high-tailed it out of Texas, but that doesn’t mean they’ve closed up shop elsewhere.

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Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly–and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
~Omar Khayyám

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Spring’s cup is indeed being filled regardless of the date and time, and it’s fire has begun to fling off winter’s garments. As well the bird is on the wing. I know this because I’ve been watching them for at least a week or two refurbishing birdhouses or feathering nests. So it looks like I’m going to need to pray for their sake and for sake of all the green things growing that winter doesn’t come back for a last hurrah!

See! The winter is past… ~Excerpt from Song of Songs 2:11  ✝

735. Be empty of worrying…. Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. ~Rumi, as interpreted by Coleman Barks

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid, more accessible,
to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, promise.
I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which came
to me as seed goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as a blossom, goes on as fruit.
~by Dawna Markova

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Grass

~by Mary Oliver

Those who disappointed, betrayed, scarified! Those who would still put their hands upon me! Those who belong to the past!

How many of us have weighted the years with groaning and weeping? How many years have I done it how many nights spent panting hating grieving, oh, merciless, pitiless remembrances?

I walk over the green hillsides, I lie down on the harsh, sun-flavored blades and bundles of grass; the grass cares nothing about me, it doesn’t want anything from me, it rises to its own purpose, and sweetly, following, the single holy dictum: tto be itself, to let the sky be the sky, to let a young girl be a young girl freely–to let a middle-aged woman, be comfortably, a middle-aged woman.

Those bloody sharps and flats–those endless calamities of the personal past. Bah! I disown them from the rest of my life, in which I mean to rest.

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Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ~Psalm 23:4    ✝

**Lord, thank you for this faithful promise above and for the blessed encounter today with someone who, whenever I see her, never fails to put the wind, the holy ruach, back under the frail wings, the torch, and the promise of this aging woman.

**Both images via Pinterest

585. On the first day of winter, the earth awakens to the cold touch of itself. ~Laura Lush

Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
When birds sang out their mellow lay,
And winds were soft, and woods were green,
And the song ceased not with the day!
~Excerpt from poem 
by
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Winter is Awakening
The Solstice Sun is Rising

The Heart of Nature
dreaming
Poems of Earth
now sleeping

The Seasons are
weaving
The journeys
of Creation

The Seeds
are Quickening
in Mother Nature’s
Sacred Wing

~Edited poem by Victoria Pettella

Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. ~1 Corinthians 16:6   ✝
(Paul was speaking here to Christ followers in Corinth, but this could well be a prayer we lift up unto the Lord for safe passage through winter’s dark realm.)

**Image via Pinterest

513. All things on earth point home in old October… ~Thomas Wolfe

…the year’s grown old,
mornings are dark,
and evenings come apace.
~Hilaire Belloc

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Hummingbird, hummingbird
be gone.  Fly, fly, fly away soon.
September’s harvest moon
rose early on, but glory days remain
belying summer’s lingering, warm chant.


Temps too cold for you are on the march
as shorter grow October’s days
lessening sunlight hours
and the food 
a garden can provide.
Likewise, dark clouds bearing
high winds, 
rain, and hail
are on the move
 from northern climes.

Prithee take to wing tiny creature;
do not delay, for you have far to go and
deepening autumn will anon turn to winter and
beneath the soil its pretty flowers send.
~Natalie Scarberry

Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. ~Jeremiah 8:7a    ✝

**Image via Pinterest

353. God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Everything is determined,
the beginning as well as the end,
by forces over which we have no control.
It is determined for insects
as well as for the stars.
Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust,
we all dance to a mysterious tune,
intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.
~Albert Einstein

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As the invisible and creating Piper of all that is stages His springtime drama, He plays His primordial tunes. These harmonies are invitations to the mysterious dance of life He ignited. Between the lines of His holy, ancient melodies are heard His summons for all to partner with Him and dance in His arms o’er fields of grace and glory. In response to these calls bees and butterflies are already bowing and accepting the Lord’s summons to step onto the dance floor. Making ready for the ball as well have been the birds who’ve been courting and preparing nests. Soon their fledglings will take wing and join in the chorus of the spheres and the stars, and together the whole of Creation’s voices will spew forth worship, praise, and glorious odes to joy. The period for rest has passed and the days for celebration and rejoicing have come. It is time to look at what is laid upon earth’s “table” and as invited guests to express gratitude for the banquet. It is not happenstance that we are here, and like the flowers in a garden, perhaps our anointed time to bloom is upon us.

Sing to the LORD, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. -Isaiah 12:5  ✝

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!

341. So pure, so still the starry heaven, so hushed the brooding air, I could hear the sweep of an angel’s wings… ~Edna Dean Proctor

Our Lord has written
the promise of resurrection,
not in books alone,
but in every leaf in springtime.
~Martin Luther

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Creation is a perpetual outpouring of God’s creative and loving selfhood. The sacred isn’t merely above us but forever within the entire body of Creation. The holy sound of God resonates in everything. The earth gives us reason to feel His gracious hand upon us while the forces of heaven sustain us. These realities are meant to stir in humanity a sense of belonging and in turn spark a desire to seek the Lord, but should they not, finding God in Christ is something even the blind can do. Our Creator sent us His son over 2,000 years ago, and He came to be our memory and to remind us of who we are and to whom we belong. Jesus is a revelation of our loving Father and His Kingdom’s intention. Christ offers salvation to the children of the Light who are subjected to temptation by malevolent forces, and He is a leader who directs God’s children into righteous rhythms of life, into a willingness to serve others, and into the dance of life–a dance in which the whole universe partners.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.  ~Ephesians 1:17  ✝

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!

321. Hurt no living thing: ladybird, nor butterfly, nor moth with dusty wing. ~Christina Georgina Rossetti

Winged insect feeding
for eons on nectar or
pollen and aphids

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Wake you at twilight
In the greening of the year
To hunt and lay eggs

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In gardens galore
and parks, meadows, or elsewhere
rid you plants from harm

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Found you I at dusk
sheltered in magnolia’s bloom
resting from a feast

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before the nations. ~Isaiah 61:11 ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us!