Cee Neuner has been educating me on dahlias, literally from the ground up, and if you haven’t already see her exquisite photography of dahlias, you’re in for a treat on her site. Apparently, dahlias grown from tubers differ from those grown from seeds, which are the type I posted yesterday. Here’s one more from the same crop, and take a look at Cee’s FOTD for today, glowing with hidden depths.
A friend’s betrayal. The first crack in the heart. A child’s heart. Swallowing a sob, a gurgle hard against the throat. A nudiustertian heartbeat ago. The storm settles.
That friendship went the way of trains into the sunset, trains with Hercules propellers in a steampunk show, and a suddenly shrunken figure, lean with knowing, stiffening its back against the world.
The heart armored, now slow to trust, still easily betrayed, always anticipates the moment of departure, inexorable in its movement like the ticking of a clock, yet attuned to distant trumpets ushering in the dawn.
Frost-browned blooms Knew caskets of ice Await life.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3: 21-23
This unfurled bud, precursor to a beauty that can now only be imagined, will one day cause our glance to linger on its warmth of color and its uniquely fashioned design. And it will bring us joy that our world contains such bursts of beauty, radiant under the sun’s gaze.
So it is with human souls. Many of us go through each day like unopened buds, self-contained vessels of worry and apprehension, busy with thoughts, chores, the daily pressures of life.
But what if we began each day unfurling our petals? What if our day’s beginning was one of consciously seeking joy, the light of heaven’s gaze upon us, rejoicing in the God who loves us and hears us?
If you’ve ever studied the face of someone who is in the throes of an unadulterated joy that spills out of every pore of their being, what strikes you is how in that instant that person seems to be the very embodiment of what they were created to be. You see them as they “really” are, unique in beauty, uniquely created to enjoy and be enjoyed. Their joy becomes contagious.
Yet such joy has to have a beginning somewhere, a source. That source is God, our Creator. When we like unopened buds, turn our gaze to Him every morning to drink in His love in thanksgiving, our joy in Him floods our hearts. We begin our day fully ourselves, free to praise and adore the God of providence who has blessed us with life and all its beauty, free to confront our worries and our circumstances with courage and fresh joy.
These daily beginnings are monumental. And they give us hope and strength for each new day. More than that, they spread hope in every beholder’s heart. We begin to spread joy and give comfort.
There is nothing more exciting than such a beginning. And any one can do it because it’s simple, priceless, given freely by the God who endowed us with this capacity to rejoice.
Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember
Sonnet 73: That Time of Year (Shakespeare)
That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou see’st the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth take away, Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire, Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by. This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
Deuteronomy 7: 9 — Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.
Ephesians 1: 3-4 — Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
Psalm 27:5 — For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.