478. If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God. ~Gilbert K. Chesterton

Tonight the sun died like an Emperor…
great scarlet arcs of silk…
and the blaze of Venus to remind one
of the absolute and the infinite…
~John Coldstream

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The busy buzzing of the bees had ceased, and the butterflies had completed the day’s last waltz as gentle breezes began ruffling leaves late yesterday. As the zephyrs moved through the yard, the nodding sea oats looked like jittery lawn dancers in the descending, shadows of darkness. The sunlight, with night, the vanquishing “emperor,” nipping at its heels, had almost oozed out of the day as I went out to watch it yield more and more of its hold on the garden. While I kept an eye on the stunning blaze along the western horizon, I saw the yard birds diving and darting into safe havens for the night and the screeching grackles, much higher in the sky, looking for lodging elsewhere. The hastening darkness added frantic drama to their random forays for nightly asylum but not enough to make me feel even the slightest remorse for making sure they didn’t return to my yard. Then in the distance I heard a train whistle, and from the sound the locomotive seemed to be moving at a fast and frenzied pace for home, and I hoped it, too, would make it before long. As the last shaft of sunlight moved up and off the towering oak, a velvety hush lowered, and the lone sparrow who’d been sitting on the edge of the roof at last vanished. Then, boom, the sun fell off the edge of the world, and the blackness of night was to be denied no longer.

Each part of a day has a feel and reality of its own. Take time to savor the uniqueness in each passing moment and say a prayer of simple praise for comforting patterns and rhythms.

May you go into the night
blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.
~John O’Donohue

By day the Lord directs His love, at night His Son is with me-a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8   ✝

455. For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. ~Albert Camus

People usually consider
walking on water or in thin air a miracle.
But I think the real miracle is not
to walk either on water or in thin air,
but to walk on earth.
Every day we are engaged in a miracle
which we don’t even recognize:
a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves,
the black, curious eyes of a child —
our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
~Thich Nhat Hanh


Did you hear them? There were explosions, lots and lots of big explosions! And yet there were no bombs falling from above, no heat seeking missiles flying through space, no rapid fire from automatic weapons, nor the noisy advance of charging legions. Rather there were the quiet explosions of life that I’m blessed to witness every morning in my yard. In lieu of bombs and missiles and guns, there are the bursts of light at dawn, the fluttering of avian wings, the buzz of nectaring bees, the dancing rhythms of butterflies, the sizzle of the sun, the gentle zephyrs that ruffle leaves, the bursting open of blossoms, the purring of furry felines, the hopping of grasshoppers and toads, the slithering of lizards and snakes and on and on and on it goes…Life, too wondrous and thrilling and miraculous for a mere mortal’s words.

Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? ~Galatians 3:5   ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! May I dwell in Your holy presence and praise Your name for all that you have given and done.

412. The day has eyes; the night has ears. ~David Fergusson

…in the open world it (night) passes lightly,
with its stars and dews and perfumes,
and the hours marked by changes
in the face of Nature.
~Robert Louis Stevenson


This evening sweetly scented perfumes and loud night noises filled the space between heaven and earth. Screeching cricket and cicada choruses rose and fell in unison with the droning engines on the nearby Interstate Highway, and splashes of water in the fountains occasionally added their trickling notes to the developing opus. The day’s winds had slowed but there were still little zephyrs carrying flowery fragrances abroad. Thankfully the day’s high temperatures had lowered as the final remnants of light oozed out of the day taming summer’s heat beast until the morrow’s mid morn when he will again stoke his fires. Early fourth of July revelers were lighting fireworks on the street behind ours, and the soft booms and the quick flashes of light were apparently the cue for barking dogs to join this oddly manned orchestra that was playing “music” through June’s rapidly closing door. Soon God’s lanterns, the stars and waxing moon, were flickering through the trees silhouetted against a deepening indigo sky and creatures, great and small, were beginning to roam, fly, or crawl. Porch lights cast shadowy phantoms over the darkened lawn as the raucous concert played on. Before long the towering trees and the sky merged into a blackened oneness and the din fell into a more subdued humming rhythm. When I rose to come in for the night, I spotted a pearly, luminescent moonflower which I knew would reign as nocturnal queen until tomorrow’s light closed her up and opened the first morning glory to reign on her recently abdicated throne.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. ~Psalm 19:1-2  ✝

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! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

140. All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. ~Maltbie D. Babcock

This is my Father’s world
He shines in all that’s fair,
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.
~Lyrics from This is My Father’s World by Maltbie D. Babcock


What a glorious morning!  When I raised the shade, my eyes were met with a delicious light pouring down on a corner of the garden.  And it was light not born of the intense heat of past months but instead of the crisp coolness of a 59 degree autumnal equinox morn.  Zephyrs were ruffling leaves, and they were shouting hallelujahs in praise of the Lord’s Sabbath and yesterday’s rain.  Ancient Eden’s unmistakable holy voice reverberated in the air, and all of us, creature and man alike, recognized it and rejoiced.  The “special air of melancholy and magic” typical of September’s opus rose louder and louder as the light moved southward across the yard frosting everything in its wake.  Yahweh’s glory breathed new life into wilted leaves, faded blossoms, and weary bones as the light moved as sweetly as a bow across the strings of a Stradivarius in slanted increments across the yard.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”  ~Isaiah 60:1  ✝

*Thanks to Annette Lepple for the great description of September that I quoted above.