1 (a): to come together in a body; (b): to cluster around a focus of attraction
2 (a): to swell and fill with pus; (b) grow, increase




Gather (v.): Old English gadrian, gædrianunite, agree, assemble; gather, collect, store up” (transitive and intransitive), used of flowers, thoughts, persons; from Proto-Germanic gaduroncome or bring together, unite” (source also of Old English gædfellowship, companionship,” gædelingcompanion;” Middle Low German gadderen; Old Frisian gaderia; Dutch gaderen “to gather,” gadespouse;” German Gattehusband;” Gothic gadiliggs), from Proto-Indo-European ghedh-to unite, join” (related to: good). Change of spelling from -d- to -th- is 1500s, reflecting earlier change in pronunciation (as in mother, weather, father).



“The harder the conflict, the glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem to lightly; it is the dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”

Thomas Paine (1737-1809, journalist, inventor, writer and pamphleteer whose “Common Sense” and other writings influenced the American Revolution, and helped pave the way for the Declaration of Independence)

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“All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you.”

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926, Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, recognized by many as a master of verse)

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“He is happiest who hath power to gather wisdom from a flower.”

Mary Howitt (1799-1888, English poet and author of the famous poem, “The Spider and the Fly”)

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“By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.”

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941, Bengali writer and poet who reshaped Bengali literature, and also recipient of The Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913)

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“To gather with God’s people in united adoration of the Father is as necessary to the Christian life as prayer.”

Martin Luther (1483-1546, German theologian, composer, and monk who changed Christianity when he began the Protestant Reformation in 16th-century Europe)

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“Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the road which lie ahead and those over which we have traveled, and if the future looms ominous or unpromising, and the road back uninviting-inviting, then we need to gather our resolve and carry only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that one as well.”

Maya Angelou (1928-2014, poet and award-winning author, and civil right activist, best known for her acclaimed memoir, “I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings” and her other numerous poetry and essay collections)

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“When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.”

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929, author of novels, children’s books and short stories, mainly in genres of fantasy and science fiction)

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“He is happiest who hath power to gather wisdom from a flower.”

— Mary Howitt


I had taken a friend and her daughter to one of my favorite nature spots and to sit by a lake.  I hadn’t gone for a while and needed to take the time to abide in the peace and beauty of that land and water.

While my friend and I talked about life and our desires to build beautiful lives, I glanced at the water and saw three lily pads nestled near the shore.  They were in the most peculiar spot, barely noticeable.

I love the surprised gifts from nature.  I can never get enough of their messages, like the green gecko that greeted me as I left my house to take walk, the owl that stood in the middle of the road to block my car from passing, the one turkey vulture that stood on my lawn nibbling at her dinner, or the kitten, armadillo, and squirrel who sat quietly together.  I always pay close attention to these messengers, and often consult my different websites or books to look for their meaning.

The lotus is a particularly interesting flower.  Most of us know that they usually grow in the deepest parts of water, blossoming in the muddiest of conditions.  But, when the lotus flower blossoms they are one of the most exquisite flowers in our world.   In the East and according to Buddhism and Hinduism, the lotus flower symbolizes the blossoming of purity, spiritual awakening and enlightenment.  In order to get to the period blossoming the lotus must grow and work its way through the mud and water.

The lotus flower pads I saw did not have flowers, but seemed content in being hidden on the edge of existence.   Once the plant matures, will it deny its flower, capitulating to hide its beauty and existence?  Or, will it be noticed by its example that teaches?

Let us stay awake for and not miss the beauty and bounty that unfolds and blossoms in the world.

Faithfully Yours, Tonya



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