1278. In the fall each seed is like a child being loosed upon the earth to wait for the blessing of sun and rain to fulfill its destiny. ~Natalie

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression,
it must come completely undone.
The shell cracks, its insides come out,
and everything changes.
To someone who doesn’t understand growth,
it would look like complete destruction.
~Cynthia Occelli

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“Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe of God, nothing seems to me more surprising that the planting of a seed in the blank earth and the result thereof.  Take that Poppy seed, for instance: it lies in your palm, the merest atom of matter, hardly visible, a speck, a pin’s point in bulk, but within it is imprisoned a spirit of beauty ineffable, which will break its bonds and emerge from the dark ground and blossom in a splendor so dazzling as to baffle all powers of description.” ~Celia Thaxter

Where I live winters are mild and so poppies must be sown in the fall. After weeks of making preparations, today was the day to sow not only my poppy seeds, but also the hollyhock, larkspur, and bachelor button seeds. Now in a week or so they will germinate, and I shall squeal with delight once more to find little green babies popping up everywhere. Among the other truly amazing things about the sowing process, is the fact that these small new seedlings will survive some pretty cold days and maybe even some ice and snow. But the leaves of trees, many of which have yet to fall, will eventually blanket the ground and keep my babies warm and safe until the spring’s sun urges them upward and onward. And as for me going out to check on them throughout winter’s often gloomy and forbidding days will keep me thrilled and hopeful!

They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest… ~Psalm 107:37 ✝

**Images of poppy seed pods and seeds found on Pinterest; border and special effects via iPiccy

740. The only noise now was the rain, pattering softly with the magnificent indifference of nature for the tangled passions of humans. ~Sherwood Smith

The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected;
I have always considered the rain to be healing—
a blanket—the comfort of a friend.
Without at least some rain in any given day,
or at least a cloud or two on the horizon,
I feel overwhelmed by the information of sunlight
and yearn for the vital, muffling gift of falling water.
~Douglas Coupland

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Rain, what can I say of  you
that hasn’t already been voiced by others?
But how could I ever remain silent in your presence
since you touch a chord somewhere deep within me?
For in your “magnificent indifference of nature”
you’re the gift that embues everything with life and vitality.
You, a healing elixir, comfort like a friend
as you travel continuously around the globe
falling 
through space between heaven and earth.
You are mercy and grace in liquidity
set in motion in the beginning by Yahweh
who created you as well as all else here below.
Holy, holy, holy are you who refresh and cleanse by
removing dust and ashes 
from earthly strivings.
Would that you, too, could wash away
humanity’s 
hatred and the wanton destruction
of that which you come to bless and save.
~Natalie Scarberry

He(God) provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside. ~Job 5:10   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

603. January is the quietest month in the garden…but just because it looks quiet doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. ~Rosalie Muller Wright

Mother Nature sleeps now,
All the earth is bare;
Deep in the ground
She guards her treasures rare.
~Excerpt from poem
by Margaret Morgan

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My garden is all put to bed for the winter.
Faded and dead are its brightly-colored blossoms,
Its green leaves decayed and fell to the ground.
But deep in the dark soil the dry bulbs
And the delicate rootlets are sleeping;
While the leaves make a blanket above them.
They sleep and they wait for the spring’s
First call to awakening life.
Sometimes when dark days are burdened:
When my hands are wearied with working;
I wish that some kindly gardener
Would cover me warm and leave me to rest
Like the roots and bulbs in my garden–
To sleep and grow strong like the flowers
For another season of blooming.
~Edited and adapted poem
by Dorothy Whitehead Hough

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. ~Proverbs 24:3-5   ✝

** Images via Pinterest

575. The view of the highway was so bad that you could not even see the next exit. The moment it loomed out of the mist it disappeared again, as if the world created itself and was blotted out again. ~Adapted excerpt from Janet Fitch

As on many mornings of late autumn,
there is an ever so sly fog –
water in it’s most mystical incarnation –
slithering over, around, and through,
making everything look ancient and unsolved.
~Edited and adapted excerpt
from Jaimal Yogis

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Foggy Day Haikus

Condensed water
lies low on the road like a
blanket from above

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Foggy dew drops hang
on withered, fading grasses
creating magic

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The cloudlike masses,
layers of minute droplets
make all hard to see

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Everywhere one goes
clouds on the ground insist we
must move slowly
~by Natalie Scarberry

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I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. ~Isaiah 24:2   ✝

** First image via Pinterest, all other photos taken by Natalie

362. But the true lover of rain…. has a deep inner enjoyment of the rain, as rain, and his sense of its beauty drinks it in as thirstily as does the drinking earth. ~John Richard Vernon

http://www.encyclo.co.uk/define/pluviophile

pluviophile (s) (noun), pluviophiles (pl)
1. Anyone or anything that has a fondness for or a desire for rain: “There are many plants that are pluviophiles because they need an abundance of rain in order to survive and to reproduce.
2. Etymology: literally, “a love or fondness for rain” from pluvio-, “rain” + phile, “fondness, love.”

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Okay, I admit it. I am one, a pluviophile, that is! I’ve always loved the rain and now that I’ve spent a half a century in a place that experiences long periods of drought, I value rain even more. It is one of those miracles of life that the Lord built into the fabric of Creation. So today, when we were blessed with a lovely bit of rain I found myself joyfully doing this…

I’m singin’ in the rain
Just singin’ in the rain,
What a glorious feeling,
And I’m happy again.
Let the stormy clouds chase.
Everyone from the place,
Come on with the rain
I have a smile on my face.
I’ll walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin’, singin’ in the rain.
~Excerpts of lyrics by Arthur Freed

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The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected; I have always considered the rain to be healing—a blanket—the comfort of a friend. Without at least some rain in any given day, or at least a cloud or two on the horizon, I feel overwhelmed by the information of sunlight and yearn for the vital, muffling gift of falling water. ~Douglas Coupland

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Have you ever just stopped and listened to rain slap the ground? I think it sounds like thousands of people applauding sometimes, but I like to think it’s God’s creation, applauding and thanking Him for a much needed drink of water.  ~John Stepan

I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! ~Deuteronomy 32:3  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

Rambling Thoughts

This is a reblog from Annette’s Garden at: http://wp.me/p32RMi-cI

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In autumn, when the trees cry colourful leaves and the vibrant spirit of summer is only a memory, thoughts go on a ramble. Time for reflection and contemplation. A damp, heavy quietness settles on the garden. The work is done, we can sit back and watch. When I plant bulbs in the autumn, and there seem to be more and more each year, I always wonder how many more springtimes I will live to see. I don’t ask as a result of depression (I’m not a child of sadness!), but because I think of these bulbs that fill me with such happiness. First when I’m planting then later, when in the comfort of my armchair in front of the fire -longing in my eyes- they fill my head with fields of colour and scent and carry me through the season which I never came to love, although it has its beauty too. It must be the bulbs that fill me with wantonness and unreasonable hope. The expression “to be happy like a child” comes to my mind but kids are not happy and innocent like they used to be. If you’re faced with the first murder during breakfast and with Jingle Bells and plastic Santas climbing ridiculously into chimneys from September onwards how could you possibly hold on to that pure and carefree joy? As for myself, I find lots of happiness in the little treasures and secrets nature and garden hold for me. All the same, there’s something morbid about this question, and I admit that I never ask myself at other times of the year. How many summers or autumns will I live to see? No way. But maybe the reason for planting these crazy amounts of promising bulbs and corms lies in my hidden wish that the older I get the more spectacular spring ought to be. Recently I read a quote by Henry David Thoreau which follows me ever since: The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. Thoreau said this in the 19th century but it is still true. The reason for this lies in the continuous remoteness and alienation from nature which in its most dramatic case leads to people perceiving nature as an enemy or danger. Pristine nature has become rare and if it’s really wild, we meet it with fear and suspicion. Seeing and hearing have also become rare skills. We’re constantly exposed to noise, being lulled and deadened. Even the news are hammered into us to the sound of percussions so that there’s no risk of us coming to our senses or to be bored. Tranquility is out. A friend of mine told me about a visitor from Canada who switched on a tape each night at bedtime: She couldn’t bear the quiet, only with the constant noise was she able to sleep. Cathy at http://wordsandherbs.wordpress.com/ did a great post dealing with the subject of hearing a while ago, and I hope she will share the link once she reads this. To hear and I mean TO HEAR is by no means taken for granted anymore. There’s so much to hear when you listen to supposed quiet. Have you ever tried? The silence that makes you feel like you’re deaf has become rare. Where I live, in the middle of the woods, it can still happen. It descends like a comfortable blanket. No fear, no panic just peace. Some shake their heads asking how can you possibly live here? We shake our heads knowing that every explanation would fall into nothingness. The general rush and fear of missing out on something are so widespread that many cannot understand how satisfying it is to fill the basket with firewood to heat the house, to collect eggs from your hens and to tend the garden. To hear nothing and to work in the garden are today’s last luxuries. During our hikes we sometimes meet extreme mountainbikers rushing down steep slopes with fierce expression, or cool guys on rattling motorbikes, modern Marlborough-Cowboys. None of them knows the intriguing scents and sounds of the forest, sees the pink mushroom in the undergrowth, the tree creeper searching the bark for insects or hears the melancholic song of the robin. Kids don’t know anymore that milk comes from cows. A vegetarian friend of mine suggested recently that one could keep milking cows without letting them have calves. Once I watched children beating newly planted fruit trees with sticks until the bark had come off while their mother watched them proudly. Great to see kids fulfilling themselves. Nature is retreating more and more and can only be found where access is hard or impossible or where there’s nothing to exploit. Would we ask men their definition of nature – what would the answer be? I fear the answer a lot more than visitors the solitude of my wood. Why should men protect something they’re not aware of and don’t see, never mind appreciate? When man moves away from nature, he loses his roots, becomes depressed and unhappy. I could never be without my garden and nature, my sanity depends on them. I draw energy, courage and meaning out of them. Okay, some things don’t work out in the garden but I’m never disappointed and depressed. Still nothing fills me with more hope and optimism. A life of quiet desperation? That’ll never be an issue for someone who hasn’t lost touch with his/her roots.

10. For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. ~Martin Luther

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing,of scattering abroad.
~Edwin Way Teale

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Like Teale I knew that autumn’s winds were scatterers and sowers, but until I did some research, I didn’t realize how much the autumnal shedding of leaves accomplishes.  For the sake of the sod, the fallen leaves cover the ground like a protective blanket.  It’s also easier for leafless trees to conserve much needed moisture in their branches and trunks, and since cold, dry winter winds strip moisture from trees through their leaves, losing their leaves is self-protective mechanism.  It would also be very costly energy wise for trees to keep their little leafy food factories up and running with less light and heat.   Because the transport of water from the ground into the trunk and leaves would be a damaging drain on a trees’ limited resources, the loss of leaves puts trees into a state of dormancy thereby reducing the amount of energy they need to live.  When leaves “come to rest upon the ground,” their work is far from over.  As they lie there, they become food for soil organisms which are vital to the overall health of ecosystems.  In addition the decomposing leaves restock the soil with nutrients and make up a part of the spongy humus that absorbs and holds rainfall.  And finally with the arrival of spring and warmer temps, bacteria, fungi, and insects come into play because the fallen leaves are chewed and rotted which in turn releases nutrients for plant growth.

“For the wisdom that fashioned the universe and can be read in earth’s dark depths and in heaven’s infinity of lights thanks be to you, O God.”  ~John Philip Newell