732. Poor dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprises! ~Wallace Stevens

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise; whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy, it will open a new place in our hearts… ~Henri Nouwen


Some time back in March, I was standing in line at Lowe’s to check out when I looked over and saw a small packet of Peruvian Daffodil bulbs. Since I’d seen photos of these flowers before, I knew they were amazingly beautiful and was tempted to give them a try. However, never having had much luck with yellow daffodils, I wasn’t sure they would do any better with these especially as late as I was going to get them in the ground. But then I thought, as I often do these days, what the heck and bought them anyway. When I got home I had some Dahlias I was going try in pots and so I threw the Peruvian Daffodils in a pot too and set all 5 pots in places around the yard. After a couple of weeks, foliage began to appear. However, by that time it seems, I’d forgotten what was in that fifth pot. And then last week long stalks holding the blooms shot up from the strappy foliage, which I’d already been intrigued about making me even more curious about what in the world was growing in that pot. Curiouser and curiouser I grew, until…the lengthy “brain burp” ended, a vague memory of the incident at Lowe’s surfaced, and a bloom finally opened up. Oh, how I love surprises!!! And none better than exquisitely gorgeous ones in the garden! But now the surprise is raising conundrums.  For example, I’m wondering if they’ll make it in the pot through the long hot summer and on into autumn and winter? Or should I put them in the ground when they’re finished blooming? And if I do that, will they make it in the ground during summer, autumn, and winter? Or should I take the bulbs out of the pot when they’ve finished blooming, let them dry, and store them until next year when I can repot them? My oh my oh my, perhaps it’s time to look for the yellow brick road so I can go ask the Wizard of Oz or follow the white rabbit down the hole, like Alice did, and see if he has any answers or check to see if Einstein had any ideas about such things or should I just ask the Holy One whose hands made all there is? That’s it! That’s always a good idea, just like Paris is! Oh yes, my friends, our trip to Paris is getting closer and closer!

PS.  The little bug on one of the yellow anthers seems to like the surprise too!

He(God) will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. ~Job 8:21    ✝

166. Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning…. ~Wallace Stegner

The foliage had been losing its freshness through the month of August,
and here and there a yellow leaf showed itself like a first gray hair…
September dressed herself in showy dahlias and
splendid marigolds and starry zinnias.
October, the extravagant sister, ordered an immense amount of
the most gorgeous forest tapestry to make glorious her grand spectacle.
~Edited and adapted excerpt from Oliver Wendell Holmes


The first leafy sign of autumn appeared on the Dogwood today, and it triggered a flood of “color” musings in my mind.  Chestnut and chocolate!  What’s not to love about a season that clears off summer’s calamities, piles delectable hues back on nature’s palette, and calls for a pot of hot chocolate?  Lemon and lime!  Grasses, flowers, fruits, berries, and even a beastie or two weave fabulous garlands in the sacred temple bound by earth and sky.  Maroon and mahogany!  Chilling winds induce chemical changes in leaves that conjure up magic shows on woody altars in earth’s forests.  Mauve and mulberry!  The leaves on maples, oaks, dogwoods, pears, persimmons, and other trees give birth to colorful, parchment-like jewels that will one day snap off, swirl in little eddies, and play like children upon the ground.  Orange and ochre!  Pumpkins made to squat on porches or bales of hay tickle the fancy of mortal tongues anxiously awaiting fall feasts and winter banquets.  Red and russet!  Roses, asters, and Maximilian sunflowers invoke a breath of spring not stifled by summer’s heat to keep the year’s last child in colorful array.  Sable and sapphire!  Skies often shrouded by gauzy, gray clouds are swept clear by northerly winds as cold fronts advance.  On such days a spectacular brilliance can be seen on the brows of morn followed by daylight hours drenched in deep, dreamy shades of blue.  Sterling and pewter!  Plumed grasses shift and sigh in authorship of haunting, autumnal hymns.  Ah, how lovely are the many colors of autumn and the Holy One who made them!

As long as earth endures, seedtime and harvest (spring and autumn), cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.  ~Genesis 8:22  ✝