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WESTFALL GENEALOGY

My Poetry And Prose-Page 8

Here is a collection of my poetry and prose writings that I have written over the years. Most of my writings were created and composed in my youth.

(380) The Leaves

The leaves in time fall.
The leaves of Spring
I love to see.
The leaves of fall
Some sadness bring,
but beauty
Exists even then.
Life they portray
true to form
Of that of men;
Pass, pass away,
Blown by the storm.

(381) Peace

In His Word do I find
There is peace for my mind.
Dear Lord what would I do
In this life without you?

How could I ever live
Without the hope you give?
You do my life restore.
You are my only door.

I find in you the joy,
The love without alloy.
You are the only One,
You are God's only Son.

In life I know you are there.
Dear Lord I know you care.
There is no one but you
To take my troubles to.

(382) Near To God

Near me there the stream it flowed,
And nearer still the wind it blowed,
And song I heard like never heard,
The gentle song, the song of the bird.

The mountain so tall it stood,
And all about was covered with wood.
so pure and sweet was the air
That swirled and passed round me there.

The woodland friends came to me,
And the forest creatures I could see.
A place so fine I nought would leave.
A place near to God I believe.

(383) Microscopic Worlds

Below the surface view
Into the world of a drop of dew,
Inside a living cell
Of the wonders no person can tell;

Within a speck of light,
Into the realms beyond sight,
The gracious beauty there
In worlds smaller than a hair.

(384) A New Day

Awake! Awake! The songbird does sing.
Arise! Arise! The breeze does blow.
Sweet tidings the sunshine does bring
As my bedroom wall does glow.

Morning and I'm alive this day.
Morning and I may rise again.
Another day to work and play,
Another living day among men,

With all the hope and joy that can come,
All the sights and sounds I may hear.
The gift of a new day comes from
The God I love and revere.

(385) I Love The Lord

My heart does cry aloud,
Gone from me is the cloud,
And freely do I sing,
In my heart the joy does ring.

I am saved from sin
I sing again and again.
Let everyone know
That I love my Lord so;

That in Him I am free,
That in Him is victory.
Dear the love that He has shown,
Dear the peace that I have known.

(386) Teardrops

Jewels sparkling, shining bright,
Blurry visions impair the sight;
Teardrops falling down the cheek,
What the tongue cannot speak:

Nectar from the cup of life
Full to the brim of love or strife,
Which seeps both bitter and sweet,
To crown joy or drown defeat;

In happiness warm and fair,
A blessing to know they are there;
While in sorrow damp and cold,
From agony to unfold;

Beauty through their sparkling sheen
When from joyous eyes they are seen;
From sad eyes all is dreary,
Teardrops making life bleary;

Teardrops of despair and woe
Over the wounds do ebb and flow,
healing the pain in their way,
A balm in their soothing spray;

An essence of life they are,
An almost heavenly shower.
Falling as they ever will
In moments of good and ill.

(387) A Child's Prayer

Childlike she spoke,
Simple enough were her words,
But she through the clouds broke
With sweeter music than birds.

Heaven above
At her words must surely smile,
Her heart so full of love
Dwells with angels for a while.

Wisdom so clear
Comes from her lips so tender.
Unto her God is near,
He all His love does lend her.

(388) With Feeble Words

With feeble words I do speak.
And though my words and I are weak,
Dear God I speak with all my heart
What feeble praise I may impart.

You dwell near and hear me call,
You are my God, my friend, my all;
You hallow my days with your love,
And give what is good from above.

The worst in me You forgive,
And give me new chances while I live.
You know all my thoughts, all I do,
You know what is false, what is true.

You control every hour,
My life, my soul are in Your power.
Mornings, You awake me with light,
And give me peace to sleep at night.

(389) The Cheerful Person

She always wore a smile,
Her eyes were always bright,
She was happy all the while,
She made everything seem all right,
She was cheerful as could be,
A happy person was she.

The sun did always shine
When she would come around.
She made everything fine,
For she no bad things ever found.
Everything that was near
Did give unto her cheer.

To her with each new day
She expected ever
That some good would come her way,
And she was discouraged never,
But hope she carried in her heart,
And it never did depart.

(390) The Compassionate Man

To others belonged his heart,
He gave them every part.
He was not a selfish man,
Not his own willful way ran;

But he saw the need of others,
He had love for his brothers,
He had pity for the poor,
He wished others had more;

He felt the pain the sick did bear,
It was in his heart to care;
For the suffering he did feel,
He understood their ordeal;

He helped whereever he could,
He was always doing good,
He helped everyone,
Was uncaring unto none;

He comforted with Christian love,
Self desire he was above,
He helped all those in need,
The poor and hungry he did feed;

Unto the needy he did go,
Did cry at another's woe,
Ever in his heart did hold
A love for others untold.

(391) Memories Of Our Loved Ones

In thinking on the past
Memories of our loved ones do last,
One forgets enemies,
Embarrassments fade away,
Forgotten are miseries,
But memories of those we love do stay;

Fear one may not recall,
Not remember at all,
Hatred forgotten be,
Sickness may not be thought of,
All thoughts of mistakes may flee,
But one recalls those they love;

One may forget the cold,
forget much growing old,
forget the burning sun,
Forget the storms passed by,
Forget those things left undone,
But memories of those we loved never die;

The mind forgets the bad
Hides away all things sad,
The tears of long ago
Are forgotten in the mind;
Much one may cease to know
But memories of our loved ones ever find.

(392) Some Days We Are A Red Giant

Some days we are a red giant,
Other days a white dwarf are we.
Some days we are a supernovae,
Other days a black hole may be.

Some days we are a meterorite,
Other days we are a burned out ember.
Some days we are an asteroid,
Other days we would rather not remember.

Some days we are a galaxy,
Other days we are a lonely planet.
Some days we are a pulsating star,
Other days we would rather ban it.

Some days we are a solar system,
Other days barely a cosmic ray.
Some days we are a comet,
Other days we would rather just go away.

(393) The Chicken Society

Democracy has never found its way into the chicken society. They are members of the caste system. In each society of chickens there is one chicken who pecks all the other chickens while they are not allowed to peck him or her, for it would be heresy and against all the rules to do so.

Beneath this top chicken there is another chicken who is pecked by the top chicken, but who has the right to peck all the other chickens, and so this system goes on down the line of chickens until we get to the poor little chicken on the bottom who gets pecked by everybody, and it can't peck anybody.

What a miserable life this little unfortunate lives. It spends its life darting in to get a bite of food, then scurring for cover with two or three chickens chasing after it. It lives to itself, and learns to survive outside the group as much as possible, and when it must come among them at feeding and roosting time, does so very warilyand discreetly.

Generally this sad little creature is the smallest chicken, being underfed, and harrassed to the point of despair. If it is given to chickens to worry and be depressed, then no doubt the state of depression and worries of this poor little chicken are quite overwhelming.

(394) Normal

We are all afraid of being called abnormal. We live in absolute fear that someone will say we are not normal. Just to appear normal we devote most of our efforts, and devote the greater part of our life. We could not bear to be thought of as not normal. Life would not be worth living then.

To be deemed odd or strange, eccentric or somewhat crazy, this is what we most fear in life. That somehow our friends or neighbors should ever find out, ever gossip about the fact that we are abnormal, this is the most horrifying thought we can conjecture. This has been true since our childhood on. Especially in school is it important to be thought of asnormal.

Just what is normal? Normal is difficult to define exactly, yet we know that it is what everybody else is, and that normal is what people like, and what they want a person to be. We learn at an early age that being normal consists in doing what is expected of us, in following advice, of conforming to the group, and in being not much different.

Being normal demands that we quench many of our spontaneous actions, and that we stifle our oringinality in favor of conformity and imitation. The pressure to be accepted as normal puts chains around us in our early youth, and all through school and into our adult years in the workplace and other areas of our life. Those chains tighten rather than loosen as we grow older. Our life is not spent for any noble purpose, not for the sake of serving God, or our country, or an ideal, not to developing and finding fulfillment in our work, our family, or a creative endeavor, but for the mere sake of appearing normal.

The creative impulse is often quelled and sometimes completely destroyed at an early age in a child by parents, teachers, and others who pressure the child to be like everyone else, and not to have any identity or originality of their own. Gifted children and adults as well, are often smothered into comformity, and never able to develope their unique gifts and talents, thereby depriving society of their special contributions to the world. The worst result of this is it prevents many people from finding themselves and truly blossoming as human beings, and finding true fulfillment and happiness.

There seems to be a deep seated and almost sinister underlying bias and prejudice, and great fear and hatred of anything or anyone different or not appearing normal in our culture. This more than anything else hampers progress and beneficial discoveries in all areas of society. This more than anything else discourages and stifles originality in the arts, thereby depriving us all, and our world of many works of beauty. It is as if that anything that differs ever soslightly from the so called normal, is viewed as some kind of virus that needs to be wiped out.

On the other hand let me add that I certainly do not condone or advocate an abnormality that would be deemed harmful to an individual or to others, or to animals or the envorinment, or any kind of cruel or evil actions. Everyone must conform to certain laws and standards of conduct of a civilized society for the welfare of us all. And of course any kind of abnormal behavior involving mental illness must be treated, and some form of protection provided for the safety of the individual and others.

(395) Climbing Jacob's Ladder

A ladder reaching beyond the sky,
Reaching unto Heaven so high,
Climbing the ladder to God,
On which His children have ever trod.

Touching each wrung in my trek above,
Lifted on by His redeeming love,
Singing of His mercy to me,
So happy and glad He set me free.

Joyously praising His name so dear,
As pressing my way to Him more near,
Climbing Jacob's Ladder on my way,
From which I shall behold Him someday.

(396) Solitude

Solitude is a state of existence most appealing to me. Being alone can be a joyful experience, a time for repose and reflection, a time to return to our own thoughts and to really notice the world around us. The benefits of solitude are the relaxation of frayed nerves as well as the mental stimulus of being away from our troubles for awhile, and being completely unpressed for time.

Solitude gives us a chance to do what we truly want to do, to be uninhibited, and to rediscover our likes and dislikes, and who we are. It is a great mental lift to get out into the countryside by ourself. It is good just to get away from people and forget about them for a time, and to concentrate on other things such as the trees, the sky, and the land. It is also a good time to enjoy and appreciate nature, to listen to the birds, to notice the flowers and plants, and the wild animals.

Walking alone in the woods, standing alone on a hill, we fill expanded, we feel a part of everything, and our thoughts content themselves in the pleasures of the senses. We seem to almost hear the hum of the universe, and to feel the turning of the earth.

It is a feeling we do not feel when people are around for then we seem to draw into ourself, and worry about our actions and what we are going to say. A freedom of spirit pervades us when alone that we never have when we are around people. We have a sense of lightness and airiness when alone, a kind of tranquillity and peace.

Being alone is also a good time for prayer, and of finding a closer relationship with God. It is a good time to read the Bible and reflect about our faith and how we can best serve God, and to seek guidance about the direction of our life. It can also be a time to find solace and comfort in listening to beautiful hymns and other uplifting and inspiring music.

A person must be alone to fully practice introspection. Thought is conceived best in solitude. It can be very helpful, in regard to problem solving, to find some time away from others in seclusion every so often in order to focus our thoughts.

Because a person enjoys solitude from time to time does not mean that they do not like people and do not enjoy being in the company of people. It merely means that we all have a need at times to get away and refresh our spirit alone, so that we can better deal with life in the future. Then when we do emerge from our solitude and meditation to be with people we are more kind, loving, and understanding.

(397) O Hand of God Uphold Me

O hand of God uphold me
In this land of sorrow and woe,
Let me ever walk with Thee
Unto the land where joy doth flow.

Let me walk and not despair,
Be My friend so near and true,
Take away my every care,
Let me dwell ever close to you.

My strength, my help, my power,
O my God be with me here,
For I need Thee every hour
To deliver my heart from fear.

In the troubles of every day,
Take my part and hold my hand,
Never far from me go away,
But lead me onward in this land.

O hand of God uphold me,
In Thy love and mercy,
And I shall enter the gates of pearl
To dwell forever with Thee.

(398) Adversity

People react in various ways to adversity. Some people are able to face adversity with calm faith and fortitude and others are unable to cope well with it. At times when we are faced with seemingly insurmountable problems and troubles we feel so helpless. Certain situations in life arise that we are powerless to do anything about, and unable to make things better. At such times our faith can sustain us and help us to go on.

Adversity is an obstacle challenging us which either crushes us or elevates us. If we can withstand the storms of adversity we often emerge stronger for it. Sometimes it is not the adversity itself which does us harm, but the way we react to the adversity.

When we have done all we can do, and whatever happens is out of our control, then we must rely upon our faith that God is in control of the situation and that His will will be done, and that whatever happens it will be for the best.

We know that God loves us, and we can feel comforted in the faith that God in His love and mercy will be with us and our loved ones, and protect us and keep us in this life and beyond, even unto eternity.

(399) Trees

The trees beautify our earth. Trees are our silent companions from birth to death. As children we use to climb the trees and sometimes tie swings on their limbs or build treehouses in them. The birds and squirrels build nests in them, and all the animals of the forest depend on trees for shelter and food. The wood they provide is a very valuable product for building homes and many other uses.

Trees are also valuable as a watershed and to prevent erosion. They are also a valuable source of oxygen, and of removing carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air. The deserts and tundras of the world that have no trees are the most forbidding and desolate places on earth. How barren the world would be without trees. Trees fill the empty places, and take the loneliness out of the land. Where trees grow in profusion the land is fertile, and fit for living things.

Being immobile trees are rather vulnerable. They cannot run from their enemies, and those who would do them harm. They are unable to defend themselves. People destroy the trees mercilessly out of greed and ignorance. Someday, if the trend continues, there may no longer be any trees. Once the trees are all gone, I think we will follow soon after.

Trees are sentinels who quietly observe our coming and going. There is about trees a stateliness and a dignified quality. We are inspired by their presence, and are given a loftier view of life. The trees suggest a serene, tranquil state of nature, and we are ever drawn to them seeking harmony beneath their boughs..

Trees blend into their surroundings as they enhance what is beautiful, and yet do their part to shroud and obscure what is ugly and unsightly. The trees announce the seasons with all the glory and magnificence they possess. They take on the season's face and mood, and make each season more beautiful. In spring the trees bud and flower and their leaves begin to grow and turn green, and in autumn their leaves lend beautiful hues of color to the landscape.

We feel close to the trees. They linger in our memories giving their various shapes and colors to our thoughts. We are comforted by the trees as they seem at sympathy with our every mood, and spread their limbs over us in protective fashion with their leaves blown by wind whispering peace.

(400) The Unknown

Our soul is frightened, and yet feels compelled to peer into that which is unknown. We draw back at the edge of the precipice of the unknown. We turn away and seek solace in the familiar and commonplace. Yet some impulse pulls us to that brink again and again.

Infinity, eternity, death, the beginning and the end are all part of the vast and dark unknown that taunt our soul to peer into their abysmal depths. Our soul folds back into itself in fear of dissolution at such thoughts. Therein dwells that beyond which there is comprehension, and beyond the range of our sanity.

We totter between the darkness of the great unknown and the light of the known. We waver between a vast uncertainty and apprehension, and the certainty and security of everyday life. Some part of us will be always be peering there never quite sure or content, and seeing in part a reality of life more astonishing than any fiction or fantasy.

(401) Fishermen of Our Own Souls

We seek to bring to light,
The ever elusive plot of the universe.
By casting our nets,
We hope to catch the prey,
The ever shadowy truth.

We cast off from shore,
Amid the tumult of our thoughts,
In quest of that one all liberating thought,
That will rent the veil,
Light up the night,
And show us the way.

The skies grow clouded,
Our eyes are thunderstruck,
The waters are all troubled,
And yield only darkness,
Until we despair of knowing.

Alone in the billowing sea,
Amidst the clamoring storm,
A poor friendless child of man,
Churning in the unsettled waters
Of his own being,
Each of us are fishermen of our own souls.

(402) Discrimination and Intolerance

Perhaps one of the uglist and most horrific aspects of human nature is a tendency toward discrimnation and intolerance. People seem to have this unwarranted and unreasonable hatred, fear, and prejudice toward anyone of a different religion, culture, race, or some other difference to which they are not accustomed and which is unfamiliar to them.

This most desturbing and troubling human trait of discrimination and intolerance of anyone different has afflicted society for ages, and has destroyed the peace and sanctity of individual lives, homes, communities, and nations since time immemorial.

We are all of one race, the human race. Though our religious faiths may differ somewhat, we are all seekers of truth and of God. We are all searching for answers. We all need love and understanding. We all face adversities and hardships, and need the helping hand of a friend now and then.

When all is said and done we are much more alike than different. We are all in this life together. We all share the same planet. If we hope to survive we are going to have to try to get along with one another.

(403) Magical Is The Forest Air

Magical is the forest air,
With scenes both soft and fair.
Dear is the softest nest,
In which the smallest bird may rest.

I know no finer note,
Than comes from a songbird's throat,
Who sings for nothing more,
Than my just opening my door.

Though small that it may be,
It sings loudly and sweetly.
No musician at any time,
Could sing as a songbird does chime.

Awesome is the forest tree,
And a wonder is the honeybee.
Never did I feel more near,
To these dear forest beings here.

(404) The Grass

The Bible says in Psalms 23:2-"He maketh me to to lie down in green pastures": he leadth me beside the still waters". How blessed it is to be able to lie down in green pastures. How blessed is the green grass. The grass is comforting as it makes us feel cool and contented. Freshness seems to emit from the grass, and we get a sense of peace when viewing the grass.

The grass symbolizes immortality, for it resurrects every spring. In spring those first tender blades of grass so green against the brown of the soil just liberated from the cold and snow, is a source of hope and inspiration for us. The yearly resurrection of the grass fills our heart with new hope and expectations, and with new incentive as it encourages us to new and better things. The grass expresses life's eternal wonder.

The grass finds its way into every little vacant spot however unfavorable. The grass pokes its tiny blades between the rocks, snuggles amid tin cans and paper napkins, and conceals the trash and rubbish with its ever new and fresh green color. The grass is not particular, for it grows in a junkyard as well as in the well manicured lawn of an elegant estate. The grass reveals as bright a face along the highway as it does on the lawn or in a pasture.

Where the grass grows life is teeming, for the grass is a minature forest in which millions of tiny, minute creatures live and die. Any place which does not permit the growth of grass is hardly livable. The grass sustains us, for from the grass's use as a provender for cattle and other domesticated farm animals, it is the original source of much of our nourishment.

A grassy scenes gives to us repose and peace of mind. Instinctively we are drawn to the grass, feeling a need for its presence, and we are distressed when we are subjected to long periods of its absence. The grass is an old friend which comforts us in life and covers us in death.

(405) Profanity

Profanity is not only a perversion of words,
But it perverts the heart and mind,
And tends to corrupt society as a whole,
Making people cruel and unkind.

So many innocent people,
Have been harmed by this perversity,
For this corruption of the language,
Promotes indecency and immorality.

Words should have a higher use,
And not be spued in this vile form,
Words should encourage and inspire,
Not abuse, desecrate, and harm.

(406) The Back of Our Mind

There are many bits and pieces of memories in the back of our mind, faces of people without names, repressed memories, fragments of memories of a lifetime all scattered about just out of our grasp. Sometimes the memories drift into our thoughts when we close our eyes, or as we drift into sleep. Sometimes they appear distorted and tangled in dreams.

The back of our mind holds memories filled with pain that we have pushed as far back and away from our conscious thoughts as possible, but every so often they escape to haunt us like lost spirits. The back of the mind also stores shreds of beautiful memories of spring days, of butterflies, drifting clouds, a mother's kiss, a vase of flowers, the smell of rain in the air.

As we grow older at times all the lost memories come flooding back for brief periods and we become teary eyed, then just as quickly they disappear again and leave us sad and empty.

(407) The Harmony of the Universe

Reason and order, this is the pulse of the universe. All things occur in a natural sequence of events, the seasons, all growth, and all change. Universal order permeates the smallest element, and regulates the largest galaxy. There is a divine accord apparent in every aspect of Creation with everything in existence moving in unison and vibrating in harmony.

All desturbances and discord sooner or later fits in once more with the divine order of things, and the meanest of circumstances in time is forced by a higher power to serve the whole for the good of the universe. This is not a haphazard world, and we do not exist without purpose, but with every breath we breathe and every move we make fulfill some devine destiny.

Every galaxy, star, planet, human being, animal, plant, element, and atom is a part of the plan of the universe. We all proceed relentlessly in the scheme of things, and are one great sea of being propelled in the universe.

I understand that on this earth reason and order seem to abdicate during certain periods of unrest and violence, but this can be compared to the dust which the wind flings forth at times obscuring all around for a moment until it is settled back in place again, then all is serene as before and perhaps even more beautiful.

In truth perhaps these desturbances are a necessary part of the natural process of the universe, just as suns are broken into disarray to create new worlds. The Bible in Genesis 1:1 says "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." God is in control of heaven and earth, and His will shall be done.

(408) The Clouds

There is about clouds a glory. We look at the clouds and somehow we are not as afraid anymore, and our troubles don't seem quite as bad as before. When we look at the clouds drifting through the sky we are no longer tethered to our earthly cares, but feel in our thoughts uplifted into the clouds.

The clouds entrall us, and viewing them seems to help us rise above our problems here on earth, and find peace. Just lifting our eyes to look up at the sky and the clouds has a wonderful positive effect upon us. For a moment at least, we seem to cast off a burdensome world and relax.

It is a good thing to look up once in a while, for our eyes tend to focus down too much in this life, and to take our hopes down too. The world can get to look like a rather dirty and unpleasant place if we do not look up at the clouds once in a while. Sometimes we get caught up in the worry and the hurry of our existence, and forget to take the time to survey the horizon. Even if there are no beautiful clouds up there it is nice to look up at the lovely blue sky, and survey the horizon every so often. To scan the horizon is indeed nourishment for our soul.

How distressing life seems sometimes, and how utterly desturbing and frustrating. It seems as if everything in our life is so inharmonious, and that there is nothing beyond the pain and heartache, but if we lift our eyes and see those clouds drifting free and easy overhead, moving so softly and gently in the breeze, then we feel better and think that maybe, just maybe, life can be that way.

In the Bible Jesus says in Matthew 24:30 "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

(409) The Elements Befriended Me

Gray was the color of the sky.
It was cold and dark and gray.
The ground was frozen,
The sun was hidden behind the clouds,
And I was so sad and alone.

Then blue broke through the clouds,
The sun peeked out its face,
And smiled brightly at me,
And the south wind blew a little warmth my way.
I did not feel so sad and alone anymore,
For the elements befriended me.

(410) The Fog

All around has an eerie aspect when fog enshrouded. We feel as if we are in another world filled with beautiful strange forms, and spirit like beings when the fog is all about. The fog is mysterious, and has an essence of the unknown about it.

Only near objects are visible in the dense fog as all else is wrapped in the gray mist. We look out our window and where there should be hills and trees, we see only the fog. The fog hems us in making us feel confined, and even our breathing seems constricted. Actually the fog is a cloud that has come down to earth, so in sense when the fog descends upon us we are living in a cloud.

The fog truly transforms the landscape so that nothing seems the same. Familiar landmarks disappear or change in appearance so that we are not sure where we are. Particularly hazardous is attempting to drive in dense fog as headlights do not seem to penetrate the fog, and we cannot see more than a few feet down the highway.

A melancholy mood attends us when we venture forth in the fog. Each of us has a foggy side to our nature that is completely contrary to the side of blue skies and bright sunshine. The earth like us has its varying moods.

(411) Shattered Worlds

There are times our whole world seems to be collapsing, and we are unable to find anything solid to cling to as we are being torn apart. Sometimes our world disintegrates from within, while other times it is bombarded from without. Sometimes our world is held in place by other worlds, and the collapse of those worlds cause our destruction.

We must constantly work at keeping our world together, or it falls apart. We believe our world to be safe and secure, and then out of nowhere a puff of wind comes along and topples everything. It does not take much to blow our castles down, and to shake the ground beneath our feet. We are rarely prepared for attacks on our world.

A shattered world is a common occurrence in life. If possible, we must attempt to put the pieces of our world back together, and build again, build a new and better world.

(412) The Chipmunks

It would be good if we were as mentally healthy as chipmunks appear to be. They are always curious and happy it seems to me. Standing on their hind legs and whistling up a storm, they portray a positive attitude.

The chipmunks make their homes under rocks and in hollow logs, and can be seen often standing at their doorways surveying the passerby. With their bright little eyes they exhibit an interest in the world and and a zest for life. There is no apathy among the chipmunks, and no tendency to worry and have doubts I would dare to say.

Troubles encumber and bewilder us, and the atrocities of our world make us to fear and cower. The difficulties of living sometime tyrannize over us, and cause us to forsake our hopes and dreams, but those little chipmunks running about in the pure and fresh woodland air seem to possess a wondrous faith in the magic of life that we have lost.

See how they dart about imbued with such energy. They are ever at frolic and play engaging wholeheartedly in the game of living. Truly chipmunks are creatures in harmony with their existence.

(413) God's Cathedral, The Forest

It seems the presence of God is more near in the forest where curling vines embrace the trees, and forms and shapes which are not the works of men, are all about. Underfoot the luxuriant growth of tender leaves and blades of grass, a living carpet, speak to our heart of heavenly things in their humble way.

The base of the trees are all lichen covered, that green moss which is symbolic of eternity in its evergreen quality, and which evokes to us a sense of life's everlasting promise. Truly a cathedral worthy of the Creator is the woods.

God's breath appears to stir the trees. His presence seems to be instilled in all around, and to permeate each substance, both living and inorganic. There is a beautiful music there also. The music seems to exist within us as well as outside of us in the surrounding forest. It is the music of the spheres. We almost seem to sense it with our being and spirit rather than merely hearing it, and we feel it deep within our soul.

All things in the forest seem to be knit in a common bond and mind, and to pulsate in accord, with each happy with the other and content just to be. If God be not there in the woods amidst His handiwork, then people look in vain for Him in churches. In the woods each sight and sound, be it tree, or bird, or stone, or the wind blowing through the trees speaks of God.

(414) A Family of Raccoons

As I was walking along the edge of a field one summer day, a wooded hillside to my right contained some forest neighbors, a family of raccoons. Several half grown raccoons were scamping up a tree, playing and carefree as only the young are, while their mother watched from nearby.

They were unaware of my presence, so intent were they in their game. It looked to be a game of tag, or perhaps hide and seek. Whatever the game was, they really seemed to be having fun.

They looked like little bandits with their black masks, and their ringed tails were huge even in youth. I was reluctant to move, not wishing to startle and frighten them, and besides it was the best entertainment that I had seen for some time.

They seemed so childlike I could almost imagine I heard them laughing. More than once I turned to go, then stopped to watch again, for it was such a delightful scene. There was no stress there, no enmity, and none of the strife so rampant in our world. It was a scene of jollity, and of complete abandon from worry and trouble.

As the evening shadows lengthened I finally turned and walked away, and journeyed home leaving the little raccoons at their play, and leaving them in their happiness in being young, and in being alive.

(415) Refraining From Anger

Dear Lord, I pray this day,
Take all my malice away,
And give me a kind heart,
That will only love impart.

My prayer I relate,
That I may never hate,
May pangs of conscience come,
To render all my anger numb.

Help me not to harm another,
Let me never hurt my brother,
let there be a heart in me,
Full of kindness and mercy.

May no hurtful words I speak,
But only peace and love I seek,
May I never act with spite,
But always strive to do what's right.

Take away my jealousy and pride,
And give me a caring heart inside,
Which feels compassion, not disdain,
And seeks to heal, not give pain.

If someone to me is unkind,
Help me to put it from my mind,
And rather treat them with love,
Given from my Heavenly Father above.

(416) The Moonlight

The moonlight gives the world an unearthly surrealistic appearance. The silver moonlight transforms our earth into a wonderland. Nothing seems quite real in the moonlight. Everything in the moonlight takes on an eerie dreamlike form, and strange shapes and shadows abound

The moonlight is not harsh like the sunlight can be, but the moon casts a soft, and almost tranquil light. The moon emits the perfect light for reverie as under its gentle light our thoughts turn quite naturally to what is fanciful and lovely. The world appears more fair in the moonlight, and has an aura of wonder and magic about it.

The coming and going of the moon has a great influence upon our earth and perhaps us as well, because of its gravitational pull. The moon regulates the ocean tides, and perhaps in some way we are synchronized with it as well. Though the moon may in reality be a barren, lifeless satellite of earth, nonetheless its soft reflected light is a source of constant wonder and beauty for us.

(417) Insight

I believe that insight is something that all people have, but many people do not choose to trust enough to use or avail themselves. There are things we seem to sense or feel intuitively are true, that may be contrary to the widespread or popular opinion or view. Often we are afraid, or at least constrained from voicing, or otherwise making our differing view of things known.

Many scientific discoveries have been made as a result of insight which was contrary to the widespread view or theory of things at the time. Breakthroughs in every area of life have been the result of insight. Many business successes have resulted from insight, and many inventions that have greatly benefited society have come about from insight.

Often we are given insight in regard to other people. Insight senses things about a person that their words do not reveal. We should learn to listen to what our intuition is trying to tell us. This sixth sense is often more perceptive than we realize.

Sometimes we feel we understand something in which we have no expertise, and which is outside our field of study. It seems almost impossible that we would be able to have this knowledge. I believe this is the result of insight. I do not know whether insight is spiritually endowed, or something we all have within us that we have tapped into, and which could be more fully developed if we understood it more.

(418) The Nursing Home

My tears flow like rain,
When I think of my mother dear,
If only I had her near,
To take away my pain.

When she was in the nursing home,
It was sad to see her there,
Visiting was more than I could bear,
I so wanted her to come back home.

But she was so ill and weak,
She couldn't come home again,
She was so frail and thin,
And in the end unable to speak.

Within the nursing home door,
It was a world apart,
It nearly broke my heart,
I didn't want to go there anymore.

The people there looked so sad,
The suffering it was so great,
They were in an unfortunate state,
And with my mother there I felt so bad.

But the nursing home nurses were kind,
Treating my mother well each day,
Thus during my mother's stay,
Their kindness did ease my mind.

(419) The Robins

I see a robin in the yard. Spring must be coming soon. Even though there is sometimes still cold weather and some snow on the ground the robins often appear in late winter as harbingers of spring. They are always a welcome sight.

It would really be sad if the robins didn't come back to visit our yards and build their nests in the trees near our home. We would truly miss them if they didn't return each year. They are like old friends who visit every spring to cheer us up.

The robins are friendly birds, and really seem to enjoy being around people and near our homes. I enjoy watching them hop around the yard in search of worms. I also enjoy watching them build their nests in the trees and bushes around myhouse, and then watching them feed the little robins after they have hatched. Later on it is also enjoyable to watch the young robin fledglings as they first attempt to leave the nest and fly.

Yes, I would miss the robins very much if they didn't come back to visit my yard every year. The robins make me feel like everything is still okay with the world everytime I see them.

(420) The Sun

The sun provides us with light and warmth, two necessary ingredients for life. Energy beyond imagination emits from the sun, and makes life here on earth possible. Our planet would be barren, cold, and lifeless were it not for the benevolent sun.

Our very existence depends on the warmth of the sun. As we awake in the morning the bright rays from the sun shine through our window. Those rays reach into every corner and make everything brighter and happier.

In the winter the sun seems so distant, and we are appreciative for even the sparse warmth. Wefind ourselves longing for the sun's nearness again. In the summer the sun is in all its glory, and we bask in its warm glow. Fire, this is the sun's gift to us. Fire is a mystery that consumes and yet creates, that wounds and yet it also heals.

The sun light dispels the darkness, and brings warmth to our world. Light from the sun reaches us and our eyes, those priceless senses, give us an awareness of our world. Without the light from the sun our world would be engulfed eternally in one great night, and beyond our comprehension. The sun gives us morning and the light of day. How thankful we should be that God gave us the sun to light and warm our days.

(421) When The Lilacs Bloom

My mother loved the lilacs,
That bloomed in our yard each year.
Several years now she has been gone,
But when the lilacs bloom she seems near.

I remember how my mother each spring
Used to cut off a sprig of the lilac bloom,
And place it with water in a vase,
giving a wonderful fragrance to our living room.

Another spring has come around,
And soon the lilacs will bloom as before.
When the beautiful lilacs bloom,
I seem to feel my mother's presence more.

(422) The Old Mulberry Tree

I remember the old mulberry tree that stood in our yard when I was a boy at home on our farm. Every summer when the mulberries would ripen the tree was filled with all kinds of pretty birds. They sure loved those mulberries. Sometimes the squrrels would come to eat them also, and at night the raccoons and opossums would come to the mulberry tree as well and dine on the delicious mulberries. Our chickens liked to eat the mulberries that fell from the tree off the ground also.

I would pick the mulberries off the tree and eat them too. They had a sweet taste. Sometimes I would pick enough for my mother to make a pie. It was a wonderful tree. A beloved tree can seem almost a member of the family. Especially the trees of our childhood seem to hold fond memories and a special place in our heart.

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