My family has…

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 9.55.10 PM.png
**Painting is “Golden Tears” by Gustav Klimt

My daughter and her family have been in town since last Wednesday. It was the first time we had spent a good amount of time with them in months, and we had a very good time together as always. But it is very sad when they have to leave which they did this afternoon. And so tonight I find myself feeling very sad not only because they have gone back home but again because of the profound affect the assaults he endured have had on my oldest grandson. Though he is making a good come back, he still has grief to manage, hurdles to surmount, and a loss that can never be repaid or undone. And once again I find myself not only sad but angry and struggling with not wishing any ill will or harm  to his predator. So it is that my tears “are words the mouth can’t say nor can the heart bear.”(Joshua Wisenbaker) And regret comes again knowing that “every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ) But I shall sign off and go to bed telling myself that “sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.” (Osho)

1328. It is an old story, this irresistible and ceaseless onflow of life and time… ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.
~William Blake

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 7.11.50 PM.png

Dead and brown is all that once was verdant and full of life. And again today a north wind blew to scatter more of autumn’s splendrous, leafy remains. Willy nilly the leaves whirled about and over the ground as if they were happy children chasing one another. Though a smattering of leaves yet dons a tree or two, for the most part the yard is a graveyard of clattering skeletons, desiccated leaves and withered flowers, bare soil and beige sod. Too, the beating heart of Creation’s life has grown ever so faint, but nonetheless it is discernible to the listening, longing ear. All the while beneath the surface, there’s an entirely different story evolving. For it is there that miraculous, even magical, proceedings are taking place and moving to the rhythm of winter’s muted heartbeat. And as they advance, they gather strength from their sacred sources, mother nature and Father God. So carry on tiny embryos of earth’s womb; I shall wait patiently and not lose heart nor faith while surrounded by this death and decay for I trust and know you will rise in the Spring and once more thrill me beyond the ability to speak so that only squeals of joy will fill the space herein between heaven and earth.

How can those who do not garden,
who have no lot in the great fraternity
of those who watch the changing year
as it affects the earth and its growth,
how can they keep warm their hearts in winter?
~Francis King

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Photos taken by Natalie; collage by Natalie

832. Happiness is the harvest of a quiet eye. ~Austin O’Malley

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life,
for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.
~Bertrand Russell

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 7.26.48 PM

Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is the adequate perception of the world.
~Hans Margolius

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 7.24.12 PM

We hunger for quiet times;
we find in them a womb to renew our strength.
~Virginia Ann Froehle

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 7.56.08 PM

…have a mind so quiet, that you can hear doves whispering
as they rest their wings in the rafters of your silent sanctuary.
~Kate Mullane Robertson

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 7.54.49 PM

With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony,
and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.
~William Wordsworth

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 8.03.55 PM

But I’ll tell you what hermits realize.
If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet,
you’ll understand that you’re connected with everything.
~Alan Watts

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 7.55.14 PM

And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place,
touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of heaven.
~Adlai E. Stevenson

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 8.02.23 PM

Noise, the relentless distraction of noise, surrounds us day after day after day. And it steals from us that which is not its to take. So seek a “silent sanctuary” in which you can “feel the hem of heaven” and renew your strength in that quiet “womb.”

Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. ~1 Peter 3:4  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

715. God will not look you over for medals, degrees, or diplomas, but for scars. ~Elbert Hubbard

Experience is not
what happens to a man.
It is what a man does
with what happens to him.
~Aldous Leonard Huxley

Screen shot 2015-04-26 at 4.39.38 PM

As I become more and more thankful for the constancy of God’s Presence through moments not only “where He maketh me lie down green pastures” or when “He leadeth me beside still waters and refreshes my soul” or during the times He walks with me “through the valley of the shadow of death,” the Lord lays more and more blessings on my table. So it is and has been that the cup of my soul is filled to overflowing and the contents therein have been steeped in a mellow and ripe richness. The fact that God is good and all that He created is good has grown increasingly more apparent even in moments of darkest despair. Such trials have stretched me upward to His saving light where I am able to see the “scarred” Christ who calls me, flawed and scarred, to be more than I dared dream was possible. Much like the embryonic infant who has to push its way agonizingly through the narrow straights of a mother’s womb to be born, gratitude tunnels a way bit by bit through dark and adverse portals where His fruits of the spirit are forged by fire into being. As well, as in the eye of a storm peace can exist in the midst of the turbulence and greater patience can be acquired by relinquishing control to a God who has always dwelt not only within and without Creation but also within and without each of His children.

Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord

I’ve tasted and seen, of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free, and my shame is undone
By Your presence, Lord

Let us become more aware of Your presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness…
~Excerpted lyrics by Bryan Torwalt
**To hear a recording of this song click on this link:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. ~Romans 5:1-4   ✝

611. All that is eternal in me welcomes the wonder of this day… ~John O’Donohue

May this be a morning
of innocent beginning…
A morning when you become
a pure vessel for what
wants to ascend from silence…
~Excerpted lines by John O’Donohue

Screen shot 2015-01-12 at 10.21.31 PM

I arise today

In the name of Silence
Womb of theWord,
In the name of Stillness
Home of Belonging,
In the name of Solitude
Of the Soul and the Earth.

I arise today

Blessed by all things,
Wings of breath,
Delight of eyes,
Wonder of whisper,
Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.
~Excerpted lines by John O’Donohue

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. ~Lamentations 3:22-23  ✝

**Image via Pinterest, text added by Natalie

553. As autumn passes one remembers one’s reverence. ~Yoko Ono Lennon

Jack Frost
~By C.E. Pike



Look out! Look out!
Jack Frost is about!
He’s after our fingers and toes;
And all through the night,
The gay little sprite
Is working where nobody knows.

Screen shot 2014-11-19 at 8.12.56 AM

He’ll climb each tree,
So nimble is he,
His silvery powder he’ll shake.
To windows he’ll creep
And while we’re asleep
Such wonderful pictures he’ll make.

Across the grass
He’ll merrily pass,
And change all its greenness to white.
Then home he will go
And laugh ho, ho ho!
What fun I have had in the night.

Frost performed “its secret ministry” as sleep held us close in the night, and when I awoke it lay twinkling like stardust atop things in the garden and on the lawn. Then as dawn’s early light kissed our few colorful autumn leaves, it turned them into glowing golden nuggets or the color of crystalized, reddish ripe persimmons or the usual, splendid oranges of advancing autumn. And as some of the leaves tumbled to the ground, winds blew them into little swirling eddies that played like happy children upon the lawn and in the street. O Autumn, your magic does indeed bring a sense of spectacular glory even as Spring and Summer’s progeny perish.

There is a playful side of nature, and there is a playful side in us which tells me that the Lord too knows something of playfulness since we are made in His image. Anyone who has seen or heard how breezes play in rustling leaves, how raindrops splatter and play on rooftops, how squirrels chase each other round and round a tree trunk has witnessed God’s sense of playfulness.

“Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew? From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?” ~Job 38:28-30   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

550. I saw old Autumn in the misty morn stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence. ~Thomas Hood

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
And yet the world,
In its distress,
Displays a certain
Loveliness.
~Excerpts from a poem by
John Updike

DSC_0024

In hushed stillness a gloomy, gray shroud has hung over the garden today, and out of the chilling grayness November has weeped drippy tears. Drip, drip, drip started the mist in the night, and ever since the ground has been soaking up the felicitous wealth. On and on it has drizzled as it often does in autumn knowing that, though the garden wanes, earth’s womb has begun mothering spring’s progeny. Roots, strong and deep, need the moisture to grow and gather the vigor they’ll need months from now to push life forth from naked branch and barren soil. And in the muted stillness of the day, I’ve felt is a familiar Presence, a holy Presence, the Overseer of all things great and small. Though it be the Sabbath, God walks His Eden still in the cool of the day for therein lies the heartbeat of Creation, child of His love and light.

Those who sow with tears will reap songs of joy. ~Psalm 126:5  ✝