“. . . Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” ~Hosea 6:3 ✝
It is a glorious privilege
to live, to know, to act, to listen, to behold, to love.
To look up at the blue summer sky;
to see the sun sink slowly beyond the line of the horizon;
to watch the worlds come twinkling into view,
first one by one, and the myriads that no man can count,
and lo! the universe is white with them;
and you and I are here.
It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them. ~Proverbs 25:2 ✝
In this sequestered nook how sweet
To sit upon my orchard seat
And birds and flowers once more to greet
Earlier this week I ventured out to the local nursery to buy some potting soil, and when I turned into the nursery’s parking lot, what greeted my eyes nearly took my breath away. Peach trees, pear trees, plum trees–you name the fruit bearer and it was there. And not just a few of them; there must have been hundreds of fruit-bearing trees, and all were in full bloom. In and around the blossoms the hum of the bee was to the ear what their scent was to the nose and what their sight was to the eyes–in short, what I experienced that day was a veritable feast for the senses. Spring’s coming is authenticated not simply by changes in the weather or a repositioning of the sun but by eyes intoxicated with incredible beauty, by noses bewitched by sweet aromas, by mouths tempted by scrumptious delights, by touch fascinated with textures, and by ears mesmerized by arias, grand and glorious.
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. ~Song of Solomon 2:11-12
The year’s at the spring and day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven; the hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing; the snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven – all’s right with the world!
My backyard habitat has no larks, at least none that I know of, but it does sustain quite a few mockingbirds, woodpeckers, cardinals, robins, doves, sparrows and wrens. Some of my birds overwinter here, but the others only begin to show up as spring draws near. It is then, as the numbers increase and nests are being built, that Browning’s poem comes back to play in the foreground of my memory. I’ve always been taken with the striking imagery in his poem and find it fascinating that in less than 50 words he not only painted a portrait of the quintessential spring day but he also acknowledged where God is and what that means for Creation.
While watching my feathered companions go about their busyness I often like to give life to Browning’s verse, but when I do, I have to be careful not to utter the words above the faintest of whispers. In order to keep from being seen as well, I have to remain hidden under the massive leafiness of the rose-covered arch over my back porch. Because it has always been harder to lure the cardinals in close enough for good snapshots, I recently bought a feeder designed especially for them, placed it closer to my porch, and filled it with what the experts said would entice them to come. Naturally I was thrilled when on the first day I saw not only one but two males and their mates eyeing the new feeder. Being the wary creatures they are, however, before dining they perched in nearby trees and waited to see if there were any lurking predators or pesky photographers around. Shhhhh!!! Here they are again!
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?. . .” ~Matthew 6:25-26
To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~John Burroughs
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. . . ~Lamentations 3:22-23 ✝
The land is awakening indeed, and as of today the lusty March winds have yawned half the month awake. The arrival of the vernal equinox is only 5 days away, and what it brings in the following weeks and months will add other levels to the enormous sense of the sacredness in my garden. There are simply no words to explain how the scents and sights of my yard in the springtime nurture my spirit or how palpable the feeling that God is near becomes within its confines. Since recent months have unveiled loss of life and/or illness for dear friends, I desperately need these glimpses of Eden to remind me that God is still on the throne, He does perform miracles, and that now, as always, goodness is at the very core of Creation. Man may have fallen on that fateful day in Eden, but nothing can stop the good in what the Lord declared, made, and ordained.
Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. ~Song of Solomon 4:16