1155. A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars. ~Victor Hugo

I haven’t much time to be fond of anything…
but when I have a moment’s fondness
to bestow, most times…the roses get it.
I began my life among them
in my father’s nursery garden, and
I shall end my life among them, if I can.
~Wilkie Collins

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The garden is the place I go for refuge and shelter, not the house. In the house are duties and annoyances, servants to exhort and admonish, furniture, and meals; but out there blessings crowd round me at every step — it is there that I am sorry for the unkindness in me, for those selfish thoughts that are so much worse than they feel; it is there that all my sins and silliness are forgiven, there that I feel protected and at home, and every flower and weed is a friend and every tree a lover. When I have been vexed I run to them for comfort, and when I have been angry without just cause, it is there I find absolution. Did ever a woman have so many friends? And always the same, always ready to welcome me and fill me with cheerful thoughts. Happy children of a common Father, why should I, their own sister, be less content and joyous than they? ~Elizabeth von Arnim

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Gardens and chocolate
both have mystical qualities.
~Edward Flaherty

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I would hurry to my place of shelter far from the tempest and the storm. ~Psalm 55:8 ✝

**All flower images taken by me in my yard; lower most chocolate image via Pinterest

634. Bright reds – scarlet, pillar-box red, crimson or cherry – are very cheerful. There is certainly a red for everyone. ~Christian Dior

If one says “Red” – the name of color –
and there are fifty people listening,
it can be expected that
there will be fifty reds in their minds.
And one can be sure that all these
reds will be very different.
~Josef Albers

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Red
Red is a fading sunset on the horizon.
It’s a burst of flame;
A spray of the fire leaping towards us.

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It’s the heat of the warm afternoon.
It’s a flickering flame of a tiny candle.
It’s the spark able to spread the wildfire of love.

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Red is the color of heat.
It’s full of passion.
It’s bold.
~Sunny Summers

For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love. ~Psalm 33:4-5   ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collages by Natalie

548. The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. ~Flora Whittemore

Life is full of beauty.
Notice it.
Notice the bumble bee,
the small child,
and the smiling faces.
Smell the rain,
and feel the wind.
~Ashley Smith

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How Would You Live Then?
What if a hundred rose-breasted grosbeaks
blew in circles around your head? What if
the mockingbird came into the house with you and
became your advisor? What if
the bees filled your walls with honey and all
you needed to do was ask them and they would fill
the bowl? What if the brook slid downhill just
past your bedroom window so you could listen
to its slow prayers as you fell asleep? What if
the stars began to shout their names, or to run
this way and that way above the clouds? What if
you painted a picture of a tree, and the leaves
began to rustle, and a bird cheerful sang
from its painted branches? What if you suddenly saw
that the silver of water was brighter than the silver
of money? What if you finally saw
that the sunflowers, turning toward the sun all day
and every day — who knows how, but they do it — were
more precious, more meaningful than gold?
~Mary Oliver

They have ears, but cannot hear, noses but cannot smell. ~Psalm 115:6   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

250. Stay, little cheerful Robin! stay, and at my easement sing… ~William Wordsworth

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The robin’s song at daybreak
Is a clarion call to me.
Get up and get out in the garden.
For the morning hours flee.

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I cannot resist the summons,
What earnest gardener could?
For the golden hours of morning
Get into the gardener’s blood.

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The magic spell is upon me,
I’m glad that I did not wait;
For life’s at its best in the morning,
As you pass through the garden gate.
~Howard Dolf

In the first photo, a Pinterest posting, is a European robin who according to my English garden bloggers is already singing in their gardens.  The one in the second photo is our American robin who has yet to come, but when he does, we’ll know that spring can’t be too far away.  For he, the stuff of a Messianic legend and spring’s cheery harbinger, will, as the poem says, sing loudly of its coming and our need to get up and out in the garden.  Given my willingness to heed a garden’s summons at any point in time, the robin’s task won’t be too hard to accomplish.  Would that I were as willing to listen to Christ’s calling.  The last photograph I also found on Pinterest.  Although I’ve heard and seen robins feeding their young in my yard, I’ve not yet been able to get a good photograph of the event.

For every wild animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.  I(God) know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine. ~Psalm 50:10-11  ✝

**See post 46 to read the legend of the robin.