1357. Late February, and the air’s so balmy snowdrops and crocuses might be fooled into early blooming. ~Gail Mazur

It’s only approaching mid-February rather than late February hereabouts, and there are no crocuses yet nor snowdrops blooming for us, but it is balmy enough for the quinces, daffodils, and saucer magnolias to have been fooled into blooming.

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oft treacherous is
winter when it proffers not
cold nor snow nor ice

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But instead betrays
the garden with lies that spring
has indeed arrived

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So that daffodils
and quince and magnolias
flower too early

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Leaving them in great
peril from a forth coming
late wintry, hard freeze

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So who’s to say that
‘tis the month of love when
deceitfulness lurks

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But as for the Lord: … but I(God) will not take my love from him, not will I ever betray my faithfulness to him. I will not violate my covenant or alter why my lips have uttered. ~Psalm 89:33-34 ✝

**All photos taken by Natalie except for the first one. I found it on Pinterest today.


645. And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower then I have been dipped again in God, new created. ~D. H. Lawrence

In slumber we fall into the deep, silent waters of consciousness, and then something, somewhere beneath the surface stirs us back to wakefulness. The same thing is happening now in my slumbering, wintry garden. A divine force or spark is stirring life back into seemingly lifelessness.


A spark.  A flame.  A fire. A seed.  A plant.  A flower.  An egg.  An embryo.  A life. What is it that stirs matter and spirit?  What is it that stirs us?  What moves us?  What is it that makes life taste bitter or sweet upon the tongue?  What things do we feel that can’t quite be put into words?

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The following poem was written by Wallace Stevens. In it, his is the voice of questioning meant to refute religion/Christianity, and yet his images are the kinds of things that stir me in the opposite direction by rousing and impassioning my faith and belief in Christ. So it seems to me that Stevens, even in his attempt at denial, was himself somehow stirred by things in nature not wholly of this world, And I also have to wonder what exactly he thinks a soul is? Is not the soul that which connects mortal man to the Holy One who made us? Isn’t it the piece of God in us?

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Sunday Morning

What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch,
These are the measures destined for her soul.
~Wallace Stevens

For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. ~Job 33:14-16   ✝

305. Awake, thou wintry earth – Fling off thy sadness! ~Thomas Blackburn

It was one of those March days
when the sun shines hot
and the wind blows cold:
when it is summer in the light,
and winter in the shade.
~Charles Dickens


The vernal equinox, official start of spring, is still 7 days away, but there are signs of its coming.  And with each new green shoot Creation’s heart beats stronger, God’s ancient utterances grow louder, and the potential for lifting humankind’s spirits increases.  As the sanctuary of earth and sky throws open its doors, doors once “frozen” in wintry bondage, the introit to the full ceremonial form of springtime’s metaphorical “high mass” is beginning.  Presiding over the opening ceremonies are their highnesses, the avian cardinals.  With the arrival of the equinox on the 20th, other “clergy” donning different vestments will appear, and they too will perform their holy sacraments upon earth’s hallowed altars.  Currently only chants can be heard echoing close to the ground or reverberating near branch and cane.  However the rest of spring’s holy voices will soon join in, and their loud arias will climb garden walls and charge over hedgerows.  As ever increasing waves of spring’s sweet sounds cross the land, they will be discernible to some extent even in the mighty cement jungles of commerce.  Despite clouds of spiritual pollution, the light that was in the beginning will break forth anew, and sounds of the eternal will be able to be heard above the cacophonous noises of humanity’s hectic busyness.  Earth’s quiet, eternal rhythms still proffer wholeness, harmony, and healing in the maelstrom of madness within today’s “cultural currents.”

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding.  ~Job 37:5   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

254. January opens the box of the year and brings out days that are bright and clear and brings out days that are cold and gray and shouts, “Come see what I brought today!” ~Leland B. Jacobs

Is it winter? Is it not?
Is it cold? Is it hot?
The two-headed Janus knows not.


Where I live unseasonable warming trends often occur in January, and when the month keeps its “box” open-ended long enough, some things in the garden are duped into thinking it’s time to get going.  If the lie that spring is upon us continues on into February, that month as well is made a partner in the deceiving treachery.   Then when the wintry weather falls back into place and worsens, as it nearly always does, the new growth is the innocent victim of the two traitorous libertines.  Such is exactly what happened last year when they were finally exposed as the charlatans they were by a mid-February ice storm.  After weeks of mild weather, frigid rain descended from a whitish cloud cover blown in on arctic winds.  As the temperatures fell from the 70’s and 80’s to well below the freezing mark and everything became encapsulated in tombs of ice, an almost audible death knell sounded.  For days the sun was unable to burn a hole in the clouds, and while the storm’s icy bite endured, the birds who over winter in my yard were, if visible at all, seen only in the mornings.  When they were present, I’d see them huddled close to their birdhouses or in the bay tree or azaleas near the house, but by afternoon they’d have disappeared completely into the day’s dismal gloom.  Neither did I see any of my neighbors nor the squirrels who’d been so busy as of late, and that collective absence of life forms led to a disturbing sense of aloneness that I did not like at all.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by.  Psalm 57:1  ✝

18. The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. ~J. B. Priestley

Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Our area, that had been desperately in need of rain, was the beneficiary of fortuitous events on Christmas Eve.  Could it be that the celebration of the Messiah’s coming the night before was what prompted the blessing of rain as well as the magical, miracle of snow.  So many voices were lifted up in praise and worship of Him that our petitions for rain might have been heard as well. Occasionally on cold, crisp wintry days or nights layers of snow blanket God’s creation even here in north central Texas, but this time we received a strange mixture of “wet” goodness.  At eventide sparkling stars punctuated the ancient moon in heaven’s blackened dome, but during the course of the Messiah’s birthday, clouds laden with moistures moved in, flashes of lightning lit up the sky, a good amount of rain was garnered, hail fell, and finally snow covered the landscape.  If this is not an assortment of  Divine providence mixed with earthly “enchantment,” then as Priestley says, “where is such to be found?”

Praise His Holy Name!