Our garden’s Johnny Jump Ups (Winter Pansies) thrive and flourish in brilliant autumnal Sonshine.
Withinnan is an Old English word (before 1000 A.D.) referring to a motion “from within”.
The Cause of all things, through the beauty, goodness and profusion of His intense Love for everything, goes out of Himself in His Providential care for the whole creation… He relinquishes His utter transcendence in order to dwell in all things while yet remaining within Himself… ~ St. Maximos the Confessor (The Philokalia)
Fragrant, plumeria blossom falls to rest on neighbouring Heliconia Rostrata leaf (Hanging Lobster Claw Flower) ~ Kauai 2023
Every flower is fragrant through the power of the Holy Spirit, in a delicate flow of aroma and tenderness of colour; the beauty of the Great contained in what is small. ~Akathist Glory to God for All Things, Kontakion 3
Without winter there would be no spring, and without spring there would be no summer. So it is also in the spiritual life: a little consolation, and then a little grief-and thus little by little we work out our salvation. Let us accept everything from the hand of God. ~St. Joseph the Hesychast
Everything that God has created is beautiful!
Even the flowers are full of grace!
Like so many places all over the world that are special to each one of us – to me, Hawaii is the Living Epitome of Heavenly Fragrance. It still contains the Sweet Essence of Eden with: Aromatic maile (MY-lee) leaves from the rainforest… Divinely fragrant, mangoes that hang as luscious, topaz jewels… Delightfully perfumed blooms of pikake, jasmine, lilies, and plumeria…
Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees in Lihu’e-Koloa’a Forest Reserve ~ Kauai 2023
Happy Saint’s Day matushka Nataliya! Congratulations, and may God grant you many years!
Casually, one day, she told us that every morning she was having a “little chat with her young tree”. Another time she said that if we got tired walking, we could stop near a tree and touch its trunk: “It will gladly give you some of the strength God gives it”… ~ Gerontissa Gavrilia
After many years I returned to Kauai, and stood once again in a wondrous, tropical Blisswood grove!
Stunning eucalyptus trees thrive in the Lihu’e Koloa’a Forest Reserve… and here, one may curiously discover how refreshing it is to touch those resplendent rainbow trunks.
Antiphonal Birdsong echoed throughout the forest arboretum. Delicate leaves attached to the trees’ twiggy fingers whispered to each other in the warm trade winds.
Some leaves were loosened, and as if seeming to accept that this was their time, fluttered down trustingly to the ground. A breeze quickly stirred them up again, and with apparent joyful abandon they tumbled away, end-over-end, deeper into the forest… a dance of affirmation and benediction.
I hope to carry this beautiful memory of God’s Creation in my soul, for a long, long, time.
These treesgladdened my heart. They gifted me anew with a peaceful, vibrant jewel of strength, to which I must carefully string yet one more gem of gratitude to the growing strand of a personal, noetic necklace which I sometimes forget to wear… or appreciate.
May we live in more awareness of the Divine Moment and Nature’s Numinous Wisdom – proving His Glorious Presence.
Let all the trees of the forest dance and sing, let all the trees clap their hands. ~ Sunday of the Cross
If you do not shatter and empty your Ego, how will you make room for God?… God’s gifts to us blossom only if watered with the water of Love… Those who love can do only beautiful things. ~ Gerontissa Gavrilia
These feathered creatures seem compelled to serenade the sleeping masses of humanity, sometimes as early as 3 am.
Lying drowsily in the predawn darkness, being treated to incessant crowing, chatty clucking, boisterous cackles, and hiccupping squawks… One (somewhat) amusedly ponders the logic of their little bird brains’ internal chronometers – channelling themainland’s West Coast Time Zone? (3 hours ahead of Island Time)
It’s a blessed relief to fall back asleep to the redeeming white noise of a pre-sunrise tropical rain shower, or the rattle of palm fronds rustling in the warm trade winds.
Without a doubt, chickens rule the roost in Kauai. Their competitive cacophony is heard everywhere… Whether strutting through restaurants, or scooting daringly across the proverbial road to the other side! I must admit though, the mother hens and chicks were darling.They almost broke me.
There was a fascinating book at the vacation home – An Ocean in Mindwith some (fittingly) amazing quotes by Steve Somersen.
There’s a world out here that I didn’t know anything about until forced into it by my choices. Analytic thinking alone cannot bring understanding, and I’m glad of that. We aren’t searching for understanding, but understanding is coming as a result of the search. ~ Steve Somersen (An Ocean in Mind, by Will Kyselka)
I’ve used another of his poignant quotes as texton the feature beach image of my post No Matter Where…
Meanwhile, I’m home again, and have come to the stunning, perplexing conclusion that I actually miss hearing those foulrascally fowl!? Go figure!
God travels our road, and no matter where we go… our angel’s there too!
I’m out of practice with international travelling. It’s been a few years!
Thankfully, we received a trip blessing before departure on our recent and amazing family vacation – which began with a huge hiccup at a connecting airport… with hundreds waiting in line to go through customs, (many apparently) for a Taylor Swift concert.
I accepted the possible inevitability it was God’s Will we might miss our next flight. There was nothing to do but patiently go through the long process. In the near 2 hour line up, I found myself quietly humming Lord Have Mercy a prayer of the heartI’d taught the Youth Choir – who sang it (as recorded below) at concert, during Palm Sunday Liturgy this year.
Lord Have Mercy Hymn – Youth Choir 2023
This serene piece (possibly hummed several hundred times while waiting in line) calmed me, and it seemed I could almost hear the Youth Choir’s precious voices singing along, as if in accompaniment!
In a nutshell… once passed security, we made a desperate, sweaty 10 minute dash (dragging our carry-on), and actually boarded the plane shutting its doors! Whew! Six hours later we arrived safely in beautiful Kauai, Hawaii.
Mahalo ke Akua (thanks be to God)!
Be that as it may, it was still surprising and disconcerting to remember (I’d conveniently forgotten) that no matter where we go, we always manage to pack along our imperfect inner selves. Ack! There’s no escaping this, even on holiday in paradise!
Familiar foibles sneakily surfaced, and (unless constantly playing in the ocean) the high humidity magnified an existing (hard to believe I’m sure, ha-ha!) grump factor.
With my comfort zone challenged, I happily rediscovered that conscious repetition of Thank you Godinspires true appreciation of His Creation.
Sincere gratitude helped me explore and happily embrace more unexpected adventures as they came during our vacation.
All in all, it was a joy to share new and meaningful experiences with loved ones. And, with apologies to my long-suffering Guardian Angel… I learned to embrace higher humidity!
It’s good to go – and good to come home… and very good to gird up one’s loins to resume the Me Battle again!
Mahalo for visiting Blisswood! I hope this finds you well.
Final Encore of one diverse Floral Troupe’s whirling, spinning, Petal Pirouette [Pronounced pee-roo–et]! ~ photo shared by Melania
Christ is Risen!
Celestial Music Out of Eternity Music was heard, And into Infinity Straightaway flowed, All chaos along with it Taking away. In the chasm like a whirlwind The stars began swirling, Their every ray singing Like musical strings, And life, being stirred By this Divine Vibration, Shows only to him Its true inspiration, Who is sometimes attune To this music celestial, Whose mind is wide open, Whose heart is aflame. ~ Y.P. Polonsky
In the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, the godparent holds or follows the newly-illumined (depending on their age) behind the priest, three times around the Baptismal Font, clasping a baptismal candle which symbolizes the Divine Light of Christ. The Procession is like a joyful dance as we embark upon the first few steps of our new life in Christ, while the clergy and choir sing, “As many as have been baptised into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia!”
In the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, the Priest leads the couple in a Procession around the stand on which the Holy Gospel and Blessing Cross have been placed. Here too, the choir sings as the husband and wife take their first steps of holy wedlock together, and the Church (symbolized by the Priest leading the way) will help guide them in the way they should step. This part of the ceremony is sometimes called the Dance of Isaiah or the Dance of Life.
Let all the trees of the forest dance and sing, let all the trees clap their hands. ~ Sunday of the Cross
Whether with people or in nature, there is a Divine Choreography and it’s on us (of free will) to learn the Qualities of Movement to Life’s Dance ofTruth. Through practice, we can move gracefully to any new melody. If we inadvertently have our own toes painfully trod upon during the Great Dance of Life, there is St. Paisios’ dynamic quote: So in every test, let us say: “Thank you, my God, because this was needed for my salvation.” Remembering this helps reset our internal rhythm… it enables us to glide forward… it inspires us to kick up our heels again with joy… attuned anew… to the Divine Vibration!
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. ~ Isaiah 40:8
Detail of parish Creation Mosaic with scenes from Genesis, and the Expulsion From Paradise ~ Genesis 3:23-24
…O ranks of angels, O beauty of Paradise and all the glory of the garden: weep for me, for in my misery I was led astray and rebelled against God. O blessed meadow, trees and flowers planted by God, O sweetness of Paradise: let your leaves, like eyes, shed tears on my behalf, for I am naked and a stranger to God’s glory. No longer do I see thee nor delight in thy joy and splendour, O precious Paradise…. ~ Canticle 4, Sunday of Forgiveness
…O Paradise, share in the sorrow of thy master who is brought to poverty, and with the sound of thy leaves pray to the Creator that He may not keep thy gate closed for ever. I am fallen, in Thy compassion have mercy on me… ~ Ikos, Canticle 6 – Sunday of Forgiveness
Today is the day before Great Lent begins, and we celebrate with making Blini Crepes or Pancakes to use up the last of any dairy. If you’re already a plant-based person, these Vegan Bliniare simply delicious, and easy to make!
Congratulations on your Saint’s DayZoe! (Feb. 26/13) God grant you many years!
All who ask receive, those who seek find, and to those who knock it shall be opened. Therefore, let us knock at the beautiful garden of Scripture. It is fragrant, sweet, and blooming with various sounds of spiritual and divinely inspired birds. They sing all around our ears, capture our hearts, comfort the mourners, pacify the angry, and fill us with everlasting joy. ~ St. John of Damascus
After the ancient feasts of Theophany and the upcoming Meeting of the Lord in the Temple(Candlemas), we notice the days growing longer. Although we know spring is just around the corner, sometimes February tosses us a few surprises. One moment we’re relaxed and relieved to see crocusand snow drop flowersblooming in glorious patches of dappled sunshine, and the next moment – heavy gray overcast skies compete with our weariness of winter and the happiness of blossoming silver catkins. While there’s almost always one last and brief farewell blast of snow or a crisp, cold snap, February has the last laugh! Robins return from their wintery travels to herald hope of the coming spring. Hearing their birdsong comforts and captures my heart anew… making me smile with joy! Thank you dear Lord for creating the saucy robins!
One of my favourite quotes from St. Basil the Great ~ A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.
May we all plant a Perennial Crop of Kindness and Share the Harvest from the Garden of God’s Love!
Sharing our parish choir’s (a cappella) 2014 recording of the Christmastide Carol – We Wish You Good Evening. We sing of the coming 3 feasts! Holy Nativity, St. Basil the Great’s Day, and Holy Theophany.