To own a bit of ground, to scratch it with a hoe,
to plant seeds, and watch the renewal of life.
This is the commonest delight of the race,
the most satisfactory thing a man can do.
~Charles Dudley Wagner
And I thought I was a giddy squealer yesterday when Oliver’s 4 new poetry books arrived. That is until today, when the 7 new antique roses I ordered were delivered, and then even greater rejoicing erupted. Oh but wait. That would have been more than enough, but it didn’t end there. Next came the new rose catalog with a collection of 4 stunning and deliciously hued roses, roses reminiscent of the admired ones I’d seen in Britain and Europe. Not only were the 4 roses amazing, but the name of the group was The Downton Abbey Collection. So you know what happened next don’t you?! I ordered them of course and then spent the afternoon trying to figure out where I’m going to plant 12 new roses. Twelve? Did I say 12? Yes, I did and I do know that 7 plus 4 equals eleven, but there’s also the other new rose I’d already bought before these purchases. An even dozen really does sound better, don’t you think?! But why so many? Well, last year for whatever reason, maybe from the unusual, huge amounts of rain we got in the spring, or the roots of those existing roses were severed by workers installing the sprinkler system, or they died due to weed killers running downhill off my neighbor’s yard. Whatever the cause, the result was a great and sad loss of “rosy” life in my realm. So, were these recent expenditures extravagant on my part, possibly! Were they entirely necessary for my being, absolutely! Have I got buyer’s remorse about any of them, oh hell no?!
Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat(enjoy) what they produce. ~Edited excerpt from Jeremiah 29:5 ✝
When father takes his spade to dig
then the Robin comes along;
And sits upon a little twig
And sings a little song.
Or, if the trees are rather far
He does not stay alone,
But comes up close to where we are
And bobs upon a stone.
~“The Robin” by Laurence Alma-Tadema
Since the mid 19th century in the UK and in Ireland, the robin has been strongly associated with Christmas; its image has been used on Christmas cards and on postage stamps. Legend has it, according to an old British folk tale, that when Jesus was dying on the cross, the Robin, then a simply brown bird, flew to his side and sang into his ear in order to comfort him in his pain. The blood from his wounds stained the Robin’s breast, and thereafter all Robins have borne the mark of Christ’s blood upon them. More than likely however, the association with the robin and Christmas may have come from the fact that postmen in Victorian Britain wore red jackets and were nicknamed “Robins.”
Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. ~Hebrews 13:19-21 ✝
Natural object themselves
even when they make no claim to beauty,
excite the feelings, and occupy the imagination.
Nature pleases, attracts, delights,
merely because it’s nature.
~Karl Wilhelm Humboldt
The most common attractions of the rose are the prettily colored flowers and the sweet to spicy fragrances. On some roses there are also brightly colored hips that not only decorate bare canes in winter but also provide feasts for overwintering birds. These hips are the pomaceous fruits of the rose, and they vary in size and shape and color. Some of the first rosary beads were fashioned out of dried rose hips, and they have been used as well to make jellies, jam, marmalade, teas, soup, and medicinal compounds. They also played an important role during World War II because they are very rich in Vitamin C. It seems the people of Great Britain were encouraged to gather wild-grown rose hips to make a syrup for their children since German submarines were sinking commercial ships making it very difficult to import citrus fruits from the tropics.
Looking with expectancy for things that excite, I venture out into my gardens almost daily, weather permitting. To that end I am seldom disappointed even on drippy days like this one. Today’s find were some gold-orange-reddiish rose hips, and though they make no claim to great beauty, I was thrilled to see them once again. After photographing them and beginning this post I began pondering what a difference for the better it might make if I greeted every new day’s living with the same attitude. What an impact might it have on those around me if I met them filled with joy and expected the best from the encounter. Once again I see how God’s Eden is not only a great sustainer but also an excellent teacher.
The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. ~Zechariah 8:12 ✝