1381. May…the month when the foliage of herbs and trees is most freshly green, when buds ripened and blossoms appear in their fragrance and loveliness. ~Sir Thomas Malory

Well, spring sprang.
We’ve had our state of grace 
and
our little gift of sanctioned madness,
courtesy of Mother Nature.
~David Assael

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As oncoming summer’s blast furnace begins to heat up so do the colors in the garden. It has literally become a lively fiesta outside my doors and creatures, great and small, winged or afoot, are partaking of the feasts that have been laid before them on Creation’s table.

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In fact they’ve been so busy of late supping on the produce of May’s “potent blood” that I’ve only been able to capture two recent “critter” images with my camera. But I wouldn’t keep any of them from their tasks even if I could for what they’re doing not only satisfies their hunger but also mine, and it guarantees that this time next year there will be more.

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God’s designs are such ingenious plans! For example these pollinating creatures are so much smaller than we and their lives span such a brief period of time, but what power their tiny wings and feet have in the grand scheme of things! We, mortal humanity that is, think ourselves to be so mighty and yet mankind literally owes its very existence to what comes from the labors of these annual pollinating dances upon earth’s stage.

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And sadly too many lives play out solely in the technological bubbles of modern society and so are completely unaware of the miraculousness of such scenarios and the utter life-supporting significance of what goes on outside myopic, sterile, and godless environments.

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

**All photos taken in her yard by Natalie

1283. A secret freedom opens through a crevice you can barely see. ~Rumi

Every morning, when we wake up,
we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live.
What a precious gift! We have the capacity
to live in a way that these twenty-four hours
will bring peace, joy, and happiness
to ourselves and others.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

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As a bird soars high
In the free holding of the wind,
Clear of the certainty of the ground,
Opening the imagination of wings
Into the grace of emptiness
To fulfill new voyagings,
May your life awaken
To the call of its freedom.
~Excerpt from a blessing
by John O’Donohue

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. ~2 Corinthians 3:17  ✝

**Image taken by Natalie; special effects done on iPiccy

1264. Pleasure is spread through the earth in stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find. ~William Wordsworth

Your legs will get heavy and tired.
Then comes a moment of feeling
the wings you’ve grown, lifting.
~Rumi

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Be still, my soul, and steadfast.
Earth and heaven both are still watching
though time is draining from the clock
and your walk, that was confident and quick,
has become slow.

So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part.
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
know you are grateful.
That the gift has been given.
~ Mary Oliver

I’ve definitely become slow and not as steady as I once was like this poet declares, but my heart still thrills to what I find in the garden. My love for flowers like these morning glories is yet deep and strong and steadfast. As the years move on, I may know that my days grow closer and closer to their end, but though I’m not as quick and fleet of foot as I once was, I remain ever grateful for gifts from God and the garden where I feel wings lifting my soul on high.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. ~1 Corinthians 12:4 ✝

**Photo of these two morning glories taken in my yard this afternoon at dusk.

1251. We strain to renew our capacity to wonder, to shock ourselves into astonishment once again. ~Shana Alexander

What
if you were
a beetle,
and a soft wind

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and a certain allowance of time
had summoned you
out of your wrappings,
and there you were,

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so many legs
hardening,
maybe even
more than one pair of eyes

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and the whole world
in front of you?
And what if you had wings
and flew

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into the garden,
then fell
into the up-tipped
face

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of a white flower,
and what if you had
a sort of mouth,
a lip

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to place close
to the skim
of honey
that kept offering itself –

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what would you think then
of the world
as, night and day,
you were kept there –

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oh happy prisoner –
sighing, humming,
roaming
that deep cup?
~How Everything Adores Being Alive,
by Mary Oliver

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. ~Isaiah 40:29  ✝

**Photos 1, 4, 6, 7, 8 by Mandy Disher; images 2, 3, 5 via Pinterest

1249. The bee’s life is like a magic well: the more you draw from it, the more it fills with water. ~Karl Von Frisch

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

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I could do that.
I could nuzzle into those blossoms,
bury my nose in that corolla,
rub my belly all over with that
succulent pollen.

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I could live in that body
with the requisite pose,
with the honeybee’s reticent
enthusiasm,

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never taking too much from any one blossom,
never quarreling with my fellow foragers,
keeping my pollen-sacs well-balanced,
eyes shined, antennae erect

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I could master the dance steps–
I love to dance.
And I have no qualms about
humming the solar anthem
dawn to dusk,
praising the fire in my wings as the one
and only engine of pure transport.

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Just don’t ask me
to enter the hive. I get anxious
even thinking of that buzzing horde,
packed together in angelic densities. Inside
I can’t tell which are the brood chambers
and which are the tombs, which is the honeycomb
and which are the catacombs.

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To whom do I bow? Where do I spit?
What if the guard bees take me for an interloper?
And what will the queen do
if she catches me alone?

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So maybe
I’m not ready for that life.
Maybe I haven’t even figured out
how to be a human–

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how to walk straight
pay attention,
try to keep my head out of the clouds.
~Honeybeeing by Charles Goodrich

Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. ~Proverbs 24:13 ✝

**Images via Pinterest and Pixabay

1212. Freedom is the oxygen of the soul. ~Moshe Dayan

Freedom has its life in the hearts,
the actions, the spirit of men and
so it must be daily earned and refreshed —
else like a flower cut from its life-
giving roots, it will wither and die.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

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For Freedom
As a bird soars high
In the free holding of the wind,
Clear of the certainty of ground,
Opening the imagination of wings
Into the grace of emptiness
To fulfill new voyagings,
May your life awaken
To the call of its freedom.
As the ocean absolves itself
Of the expectation of land,
Approaching only In the form of waves
That fill and pleat and fall
With such gradual elegance
As to make of the limit
A sonorous threshold
Whose music echoes back among
The give and strain of memory,
Thus may your heart know the patience
That can draw infinity from limitation.
~Excerpted lines
by 
John O’Donohue

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. ~Excerpt from Galatians 5:12  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

1165. Did you hear it, fluting and whistling a shrill dark music – like the rain pelting the trees – like a waterfall knifing down the black ledges. ~Excerpt from the poem, The Swan, by Mary Oliver

Did you too see it, drifting all night on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air –
a perfect commotion of silk and linen
as it leaned into the bondage of its wings…
~Another excerpt from the poem, The Swan,
by Mary Oliver

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Whistling Swans
Do you bow your head when you pray or
do you look up into that blue space?
Take your choice, prayers fly from all directions.
And don’t worry about what language you use,
God no doubt understands them all.
Even when the swans are flying north
and making such a ruckus of noise,
God is surely listening and understanding.
Rumi said, There is no proof of the soul.
But isn’t the return of spring and how
it springs up in our hearts a pretty good hint?
Yes, I know, God’s silence never breaks,
but is that really a problem?
There are thousands of voices, after all.
And furthermore, don’t you imagine
(I just suggest it) that the swans know about
as much as we do about the whole business?
So listen to them and watch them, singing as they fly.
Take from it what you can.
Last night the rain spoke to me slowly,
saying, what joy to come falling out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again in a new way on the earth!
~Mary Oliver

Because You(God) are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. ~Psalm 63:7 ✝

**Singing swan images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie