A garden is the mirror of the mind.
It is a place of life, a mystery of green,
moving to the pulse of the year,
and pressing on and pausing the whole
to its own inherent rhythms.
After the autumnal equinox passes sometime in late September the days begin to grow shorter and shorter so that light blesses the soil less and less. Soon with each new cold front that blows in temperatures start dropping more and more from the feverish pitch of their summertime highs. Then as the year’s last child draws near its end, the first freeze comes and the garden starts to wither and unravel. Soon afterwards another freeze arrives, harder than the last, and then another until the stage is set for ice or snow or frost to layer the land. With each onslaught winter’s sting strikes deeper and deeper at the remains of the garden. However, after the winter solstice occurs, the process of “pausing the whole” slowly but surely begins to reverse itself so that day by day there’s a little more sunlight and a little more and a little more until somewhere in all of that movement of the sun and the earth and the stars, the divine mystery and its miracles spark children of the soil into being once more. Faithfully in hidden wombs beneath soil or in bark, embryos have been growing and waiting for the elements to create the right catalytic mixture to push tiny tips upward or outward into the light of day. Following the first emergence of new life, earth’s sacred rhythms, which had been faint as we traversed winter’s veil of grief, become louder again until buds, nurtured by water, warmth, and sunlight, grow large and ripe enough to come into their time of blossoming. So it is that the “pausing” at last comes to an end, and spring’s first comers to press upward, outward and onward burgeoning into flowers and the “mystery of green” that’s a garden. And then in the mirror of my mind I can see clearly the countenance in the Face of all faces because as Robert Brault says, “As a gardener, I’m among those who believe that much of the evidence of God’s existence has been planted.”
Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. ~Psalm 85:11 ✝
This is my wish for you…
That the spirit of beauty may continually hover about you
and fold you close within the tenderness of her wings.
That each beautiful and gracious thing in life
may be unto you as a symbol of good for your soul’s delight.
That sun glories and star glories
leaf glories and bark glories
flower glories and glories
that lurk in the grasses of the field
glories of mountains and oceans
of little streams of running waters
glories of songs of poesy of all the arts
may be to you as sweet, abiding
influences that will illumine
your life and make you glad.
That your soul may be as an alabaster cup,
filled to overflowing with the mystical wine of beauty and love.
That happiness may put her arms around you,
and wisdom make your soul serene.
This is my wish for you.
~Poem by Charles Livingston Snell
Dear friends, since God so loved us we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. ~1 John 4:11-12 ✝
Because they are primeval, because they outlive us,
because they are fixed, trees seem to emanate a sense of permanence.
And though rooted in earth, they seem to touch the sky.
For these reasons it is natural to feel we might learn wisdom from them,
to haunt about them with the idea that if we could only read
their silent riddle rightly we should learn some secret vital
to our real, our lasting and spiritual existence.
Before the sun fell over the edge of the world yesterday, it painted its recently traversed path with reddish-pink and mauve streaks. In between the streaks were smaller golden rays that eventually blended into the pinker bands of light. As these streaks shot up to the sky’s pinnacle, they oozed deliciousness through the open spaces in one of my favorite trees. It’s a sycamore tree directly across the street from our house, and it’s so old that most of its bark has fallen away. When it has, as it has now, lost most of its floppy brown leaves the tree’s strange fruits are more visible as area its long, slender alabaster arms, arms that seem to reach up and caress the heavens’ spacious blue lagoons. Another thing I love about this particular tree is that in winter’s chilling winds its clattering branches seem to whisper prophecies of another spring’s birthing beneath the soil in silent chambers waiting for the prompting of the sun’s warmth on lengthening days and spring rains.
I’m the first one to admit that sometimes I’m hard pressed on difficult days to find reasons to be joyful, but I’m learning to look expectantly as well as long enough to find some measure of God’s glory in the day at hand. When dealing with a run of painful days as I am now, it becomes not only more challenging but also more necessary. The Holy Spirit within is the protector of one’s spiritual flame as well as a guide, and so if one turns inward to look for an appointment of grace, he/she will find what’s needed to press upward and onward. On this day that spark of relief and mercy was found in the beauty of a tree.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~Psalm 118:24 ✝