Dallying with Dahlias #FOTD

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.

Summer’s Dahlia

It Begins . . . with Joy!

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.

So begin again, begin with joy!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4
For Cee's FOTD. Join in!
Michael's Tale Weaver – #302 – "Beginnings"

A Common-Place Jotting: Rossetti’s “The Rose”

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

I don’t know about you, but I’m hanging on to summer as long as I can! For fellow simpaticos, here’s a late summer bloom and a Christina Rossetti poem to help.

A late summer garden rose
The Rose

The lily has a smooth stalk,
Will never hurt your hand;
But the rose upon her brier
Is lady of the land.

There's sweetness in an apple tree,
And profit in the corn;
But lady of all beauty
Is a rose upon a thorn.

When with moss and honey
She tips her bending brier,
And half unfolds her glowing heart,
She sets the world on fire.

-- Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Portrait of Christina Rosetti by Dante Gabriel Rosetti

For more on Rosetti, see my Common-Place Jottings post on Rossetti Rhymes”

Orchid Changes

Cee’s FOTD Challenge

9-14-2020: Please send prayers and good wishes to Cee, Chris, the girls, and their sweet cat, with hopes that their home will be spared the current wildfires.

These pink-tipped orchid blooms were a bright yellow when they first opened but slowly changed color to what they are now. They’ll lighten some more before they fade altogether.

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

Isaiah 40:8
Photo attribution: BeholdingHimMinistries.org