Dreamily

God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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(foggy effects of a lens transitioning from cool inside to steamy outside / Julie Cook/ 2015)

Lying there idly, somewhere between that place of waking and slumber,
In that misty place of dreams. . .
That place of the miraculous. . .where there is little distinction between
reality and fantasy. . .the actual and the unreal;
It is in that place of Balance that He often, in Spirit yet without form, comes to us.

As a Peace descends the quietude. . .
And a Voice without words begins to break the silence. . .

A Power beyond comprehension fills the void with a massive yet welcoming Presence. . .
Helpless to move, as there is no option given to run nor hide, we are left to wonder
As we wander in the mistiness between Time and Space.

There is Serenity simply in breathing. . .nothing more and nothing less. . .
The rhythmic in and out, up and down of life.
A resting in the Presence of One. . .
Hovering between Heaven and firmament, there are no real thoughts, no worries, no regrets. . .
Just the pleasure of merely Being. . .

The desire to linger, to stay—beckons as Joy mingles with Contentment–
As the Knowledge,
that no harm shall prevail in this surreal Sanctuary grows into a soothing Balm,
A warm touch is sensed where there is no noticeable hand.

Being held firmly and securely washes over all the senses.
There is no desire to let go or break free. . .just the Tranquility of Resting. . .
As both holding and having become the same,
Just as the knowledge of possession tastes of Sweetness.

The dawn’s first light begins to shift the scene
With the lines that were, now blurring and blinded by a rising sun. . .
This as the cognizant perception of what just was
Has now merely become a puzzling ponderance of could It really have been. . .

At peace

“There is no way in which a man can earn a star or deserve a sunset.”
― G.K. Chesterton

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(the sun slips to the horizon / Henderson State Park / Julie Cook / 2015)

We deserve not, nor have we earned the gift of
the glorious,
the beautiful,
the majestic
the splendid
or
even the sublime. . .
Yet we are privy each dawn and dusk to utter wonderment.

A weary sun sinks low, resting heavy on the melting horizon. . .
As a calming hush is pulled gently across the shoulders of the sleepy landscape. . .

Do you have any regrets?

Are you sorry, feeling poorly or badly for how events may have unfolded throughout your day?

Do you stare forlornly out toward the darkening curtain that is slowly
being drawn across the closing day’s stage?

Could things have been better, different, more hopeful, more positive?

Are you now feeling burdened, defeated, regretful, resentful. . .?

Or. . .

Are you at peace. . .
resolved,
resolute
and calmly determined. . .
Finding yourself in a place of no regrets, no remorse, nor restless spirit. . .
Exhaling a blissful release of self as you feel your body giving way to the beautiful display that is offered to you in the evening’s gracious sky by the only One who is truly in control and has offered you a piece of Himself. . .

They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.
Psalm 65:8

Mercy and Grace

I had many friends to help me to fall; but as to rising again, I was so much left to myself, that I wonder now I was not always on the ground. I praise God for His mercy; for it was He only Who stretched out His hand to me.
May He be blessed for ever!
Amen.

Saint Teresa of Avila

“You are so weak. Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know.”

― Rumi

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(a newly blooming white hydrangea / Julie Cook / 2015)

Somewhere each morning,
sandwiched inbetween slumber and waking. . .
Dreaming and living. . .
Grace and Mercy meet,
And within each greeting’s kiss,
they tenderly wake a brand new dawn.

Grace, mercy and peace will be with us,
from God the Father and from Jesus Christ,
the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

2 John 1:3

Obligatory obligations

Our obligation is to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life.
Elie Wiese

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(tufted titmouse / Julie Cook / 2014)

To rise with each new dawn,
with prayer upon my lips. . .

To greet you in my waking hours,
with praise for a brand new morn. . .

To give to you this time,
which you first freely gave to me. . .

Despite the sleepiness and fatigue
Despite the press for time
Despite not being in the mood
Despite the freedom not to pray. . .

There remains my obligation, an obligation to you. . .

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A definition of Obligatory—–
Binding in law or conscience; imposing duty or obligation; requiring performance or forbearance of some act.

Having an obligation means there is a responsibility.
There is a requirement.
A duty is to be done, performed, or to be said— carried out as a specific task.
A responsibility to act on behalf of self or others.

In the book Meditating on the Word, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer with translation by David Mel. Gracie, the word obligatory is applied in the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer as he instructs seminarians, instructions which may be equally directed to us today, regarding the responsibility for prayer, in particular, the importance of the responsibility to morning prayer.. .

Before the heart unlocks itself for the world, God wants to open it for Himself; before the ear takes in the countless voices of the day, it should hear in the early hours, the voice of the Creator and Redeemer. God prepared the stillness of the first morning for himself.
It should remain his.`

The morning must yield an hour of quiet time for prayer and common devotion. How else could we prepare ourselves to face the tasks,cares and temptations of the day? And although we are often “not in the mood” for it, such devotion is an obligatory service to the One who desires our praises and prayers, and who will not other wise bless our day through His word and through our prayers.

Should we, those of the Christian faith, not find it odd that the muslims, who both Jews and Christians look upon with distrust, make time daily as they are called to prayer 5 times during the course of each day? Are we not reminded by the psalmist that we too are called to pray. . .to pray 7 times a day. . .
Can we not carve out time for the communion, conversation, fellowship and relationship with the loving Creator as He has stated we are required to do—to worship, to praise, to petition, to seek, to learn, to grow, to find peace, solace, and ultimately love. . .

I hate and abhor falsehood,
but I love your law.
Seven times a day I praise you
for your righteous ordinances.

Psalm 119:163-164

Red Sky at morning, Sailors take warning. . .

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DAWN! thou hast every possibility of life! What canst thou not reveal to man in thy flaming sky? Enough thou sayest, to recreate a world of men. Blind are we. How many of us read thy words aright? We pass them by, cold letters, divining not the fire of eternal life behind them burning. Dawn, thy opportunity is full! We, alas, know not the meaning of thy gorgeous page. Dazed we watch thy letters pale; cold embers, left upon the sky; Life’s opportunity flickering into naught.
ELISE PUMPELLY CABOT, “Arizona”

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(both images taken from the back deck / Julie Cook / 2013)

A beautiful early morning opportunity is given for the observation of a brilliant sunrise.
Life is busy.
Busier than I prefer. . .
Alas–it is merely the fate of this holiday season.
Time will simply not permit the leisure of reflection nor the joy of the recording of such.
Yet in the advent of time, the gift of a glorious morning sky, full of the expectation and anticipation of the birth of a new day, simply may not overlooked nor ignored.
This is my small gift to you.