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

1122. That we find a poppy beautiful means that we are less alone and that we are deeply inserted into existence than the course of a single life would lead us believe. ~Edited quote by John Berger

Flowers could be described as burst of colour,
pattern and infinite grace all governed by sacred geometry.
And so too are they perfectly woven into the fabric
of existence to brighten up our world.
~Cherie Roe Dirksen

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Today I witnessed the actual birth of a poppy. I saw the poppy push itself out of the shell, and then I watched the shell fall to the ground. The stem was trembling as it unfolded, and seeing that, I was reminded of times when I too trembled while attempting to do something courageous. I would be very afraid inside, but like the poppy, I would go ahead and do it anyway. It takes courage sometimes to come out of one’s shell and even more courage to actually bloom. Next I saw the flower begin to open, and watching it gradually unwinding itself was an amazing sight to behold. As I looked on, I thought to myself, “I wonder what it feels like to bloom?” Then a few moments later the poppy had completely opened, and there before my eyes was the most vivid, red-orange-colored flower I had ever seen. Because the poppy was so very beautiful and so radiantly alive, the sight of it brought great joy to my heart which I believe was its purpose. ~Edited excerpt from a passage by Veronica Hay

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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

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How great is God–beyond our understanding! …stop and consider God’s wonders. The heavens are telling of the glory of God…~excerpts from Job 36:26, Job 37:14, and Psalm 19:1  ✝

932. How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli

To forget how to dig the earth and
to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.
~Mahatma Gandhi

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There is something incredibly engaging and comforting about a garden, especially when one is surprised this late in the year by a find as lovely as this Heavenly Blue morning glory. However, even long after she’s gone when winter has plunged us into its “vale of grief,” there will yet be signs that point to primeval and sacred origins, ordained recurring seasons, and our connection to the Holy Breath of the Creator. But today it was the brilliance of the autumn morn, the splendor and blueness of the blossom, and a gentle breeze blowing in my face from time to time that prompted an awareness of the in and out movement of God’s life-giving breath in me as well as cognizance of a sacramental connection to Him. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French philosopher and Jesuit priest, said, “There is a communion with God, and there is a communion with earth, and there is a communion with God through the earth.” Teilhard de Chardin contended that the more he devoted himself in some way to the interests of the earth the more he belonged to God. It is the same for me. Being close to the earth in my garden or taking photographs of its progeny and/or nature in general, is like being attached to an umbilical cord that keeps me forever tethered to the Divine Source of all life, and therefore through it comes the spiritual nourishment that feeds my hungry soul.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. ~Psalm 24:1-2  ✝

904. Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace. ~May Sarton

    Gardening time is time that involves itself in the moment,
that focuses on the soaring stateliness of trees and
the minute scale of the tiniest blossom.

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The time that began in a garden is the kind of time I go to my garden to find again. It’s the time the way God created it: as a servant and not a master.

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This kind of time is a container for worthwhile work, a resource for creating the beautiful and feeding the hungry and growing soul. It is measured in drifting or purposeful hours, in day and then night and then day again, in slowly rolling seasons, each with its special purpose under heaven.

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Garden time required daily attention but does not require that everything be done in a day. I go to my garden to rediscover that kind of time. And I have to take time out from the other kind of time to discover it.

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It’s great to get away from the rat race, the conveyor belt, the traffic jam, to be renewed and refreshed in the company of growing things; it feels like a day in the country. ~All pasages by Emilie Barnes

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The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. ~Genesis 2:15  ✝

**A friend and fellow blogger asked me to post pictures of my garden. And so I spent some time looking through old photos this afternoon. But here’s the thing, my “garden” is actually in flower beds all around the house and along the fences. The largest portion may be in the backyard, but it is separated by other beds and sections of the yard so finding a photo the covered it all quickly became an insurmountable problem. Then I also realized that what might be blooming in some photos is not blooming later in the year. So it really is a moveable feast as it were, and now it is waning rapidly, not so much because the temperatures have lowered all that much but because we haven’t gotten rain in months. So I’ve already started cutting down spent perennials, pruning roses, and pulling down vines that have nearly bloomed out. Sadly right now there is only a smattering of things worth seeing, and it’s hasn’t even gotten cool enough for any leaves to start turning their lovely colors. There are only the dead and brown ones from the heat and lack of rain. However, I did go back and found some pictures that give an idea of the splendor around here at times.  Another thing, look at the white trellis in the third photo; it is now completely covered with spent autumn clematis vines and morning glory vines that are both waning fast. In the last photo, the black round trellis in front of the metal sunflower is also covered in waning morning glories. So the garden really does alter its appearance from month to month and season to season as some things perish and new things are planted. A garden at any given moment is just a work in progress.

894. Surround yourself with people who make you hungry for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul. ~Unknown

Be soft.
Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pleasure that even though the rest of the world 
may disagree,
you still believe it to be a beautiful place.
~Edited excerpt by Kurt Vonnegut

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I am human.
My feelings get hurt.
My heart aches.
I cry.
I pray.
I feel sorry for myself.
I get angry.
I make mistakes.
I love.
I admire.
I adore.
I give.
I give more.
I make mistakes.
I pray.
~Edited Unknown

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And then the day came
when the risk to remain tight
in the bud was more painful than
the risk it took to blossom.
~Edited excerpt by
Anais Nin

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. ~Psalm 42:8  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

885. But these are flowers that fly and all but sing… ~Robert Frost

    The butterfly is a flying flower,
The flower a tethered butterfly.
~Ponce Denis Écouchard Lebrun

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Thou spark of life that wavest wings of gold,
Thou songless wanderer mid the songful birds,
With Nature’s secrets in thy tints unrolled
Through gorgeous cipher, past the reach of words,
Yet dear to every child
In glad pursuit beguiled,
Living his unspoiled days mid flowers and flocks and herds!

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Thou winged blossom, liberated thing,
What secret tie binds thee to other flowers,
Still held within the garden’s fostering?
Will they too soar with the completed hours,
Take flight, and be like thee
Irrevocably free,
Hovering at will o’er their parental bowers?

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Or is thy lustre drawn from heavenly hues,
A sumptuous drifting fragment of the sky,
Caught when the sunset its last glance imbues
With sudden splendor, and the tree-tops high
Grasp that swift blazonry,
Then lend those tints to thee,
On thee to float a few short hours, and die?

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Birds have their nests; they rear their eager young,
And flit on errands all the livelong day;
Each fieldmouse keeps the homestead whence it sprung;
But thou art Nature’s freeman,—free to stray
Unfettered through the wood,
Seeking thine airy food,
The sweetness spiced on every blossomed spray.

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The garden one wide banquet spreads for thee,
O daintiest reveller of the joyous earth!
One drop of honey gives satiety;
A second draught would drug thee past all mirth.
Thy feast no orgy shows;
Thy calm eyes never close,
Thou soberest sprite to which the sun gives birth.
~Thomas Wentworth Higginson

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in i, the world, and all who live in it. ~Psalm 24:1  ✝

**Photos via Pinterest

881. White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. ~G. K. Chesterton

The breeze at dawn has
secrets to tell you. Don’t
go back to sleep.
~Rumi

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Yahweh’s divine light is woven throughout the entirety of Creation’s multicolored tapestry. Among a host of other things, it can be seen in the soft radiance of a chromatic dawn “unveiling the whole face of nature,” in the blazing streaks of a brilliantly hued sunset at day’s end, in the white glow of the moon illuminating the night, and in an exquisite blossom that mimics the luminous lights of the heavenly orbs. But what does all that have to do with the breeze telling secrets at dawn, one might ask? The answer, my friend, is “blowing in the wind” as always. And it’s really no secret at all, for the breeze knows, as do I, that the Ancient of Days yet walks among us and is still in control of all that He has made.

Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is the name of his Son? Surely you know! ~Proverbs 30:4 ✝

**This white moonflower only blooms at night, but when I get up early in the morning I can capture its glory before in perishes in the bright light of day.