266. When hope is hungry, everything feeds it. ~Mignon McLaughlin

Though you lose all hope,
there is still hope,
and it loves to surprise.
~Robert Brault



Goodbye January and hello February!  Whew, January is a long month, isn’t it?!  So much so that it makes my hope very hungry indeed.  Dada, dada da da da!  I said hello, February…well hello February…It’s so nice you’ve finally come around again.  You’re lookin’ swell, February…And time will tell February…That spring’s a comin’ February…  Okay, to appreciate my attempt here at “cleverosity” with the previous lines, you have to try to remember a song from a musical by the same name called HELLO DOLLY.  Okay, so maybe it was a lame attempt, but today is just that kind of day, one that puts a song in my heart.  Why?  Why you ask?  Well…

About the time the barrenness of winter starts putting asunder all hope of anything different, February saves the day by bringing forth visible signs of the new spring.  And so it did this year on its very first day.  After I’d watered and waited and watched the bulbs I’d started weeks ago in the greenhouse, I was rewarded today with several emerging buds.  The result: squeals of joy peeled forth inside its walls along with hallelujahs and praise for such glorious surprises amid winter’s gloomy, brown and beige drabness.  But they’re just flowers some might say, but pshaw!  They are pieces in the puzzle of Creation itself, blessed and holy and full of purpose.  They’ve been touched by the very hand of God and then ordained as part of the faithful and reoccurring provision not only for man’s needs but for his pleasure as well.  And if flowers are inconsequential why are so many poems and pieces of literature devoted to them, and why are they considered by many as desirable gifts, and why are their scents revered for use in perfumes, and why have they been worth at times more than gold?

“Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that exist, and make use of the creation to the full as in youth.  Let us take our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no flower of spring pass us by.  Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither…”  ~Wisdom 2:6-8  ✝

233. The day is of infinite length for him who knows how to appreciate and use it. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Take time to think; it is the source of power.
Take time to play; it the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to read; it is the fountain of wisdom.
Take time to pray; it is the greatest power on earth.
Take time to love and be loved; it is a God-given privilege.
Take time to be friendly; it is the road to happiness.
Take time to laugh; it is the music of the soul.
Take time to give; it is too short a day to be selfish.
Take time to be charitable; it is the key to heaven.
~Author Unknown

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; …  ~Ecclesiastes 3:8  ✝

114. Feel the wild imprint of surprise. Free the joy inside the self. Awaken to the wonder of life. ~Edited excerpts by John O’Donohue

 Happy is he who still loves something
he loved in the nursery:
He has not been broken in two by time;
he is not two men, but one,
and he has saved not only his soul but his life.
~G. K. Chesterton


When young children feel “the wild imprint of surprise,” they so easily let go the joy they feel, but by the time they reach adolescence they have usually become reticent to share their feelings and expressions of joyfulness for fear of ridicule by peers.  Then as they grow into adulthood, the playgrounds and backyards of their youth are left as far behind as their ability to experience wonder and awe and unbridled joy.

Off and on throughout my life I’d had glimpses of my childhood and the splendor of its days, but it was only after retirement that I realized “that like a forgotten fire, childhood can flare up again.” First I was elated that at last I owned my own time, had the time to belong to myself again, and was able to spend unlimited amounts of time in my little piece of Eden, taking photographs, and pursuing any other desires of my heart. But oh my, how also thrilling it was to find that my inner child was alive and well and that the middle years of my life in which I traversed valleys of brokenness and spiritual darkness had not robbed me of a joyful and thankful heart nor irrevocably “broken me in two!” God is so very good!

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  ~Isaiah 55:12   ✝