912. No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night. ~Elie Wiesel

Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest,
to be completely present to the moment,
to taste the here and now, to be where we are.
Help us then, Lord, to be patient and
trust that the treasure we look for is hidden
in the holy ground on which we stand
and apparent even in the absence of light.
~Edited and adapted excerpt by
Henri Nouwen

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O, Ancient of Days, as daylight splits the veil of night, I praise Your holy name and wonder if you come to my garden still. If you do, do you come only in the early hours as I sensed at dawn today? Or do you come as well at dusk when light bedecks, with a touch of quicksilver sparkle, only the very tops of things making out of ordinary beauty that which is extraordinary? Is it in praise of your divine glory that the birds linger and chatter before their daytime forays and then again as they return at day’s end to find rest for the night? Are the gentle breezes I feel upon my face your very breath and the flowers I see fallen jewels from your holy crown? Do the bees and butterflies yet nectar in autumn to guarantee Eden’s resurrection after winter’s wrath consumes them. O, God, I want to know more of you and do believe you are here with me always; for if not on the lawn, I find your footprints upon my heart.

Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~Hebrews 4:16  ✝

**Image of titmouse and autumn berries via Pinterest

901. How mysterious you are, Lovely One! ~Mary Lambert

In my garden fair is a trellis
where climbs a fetching Moonflower,
a curious, twining vine whose blossoms
hide in daylight and open only to the night.
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by Troost Avenue

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Oh white blooming moon, you’ve been
Confined in a bud below the day’s bright sun
Shutting yourself in until day is done,
But now dazzling flower that mimics the moon
You’ve unfurled to light up night’s darkness where
Sacred secrets can be told ‘neath a veil of midnight blue
For the light of the moon is the only language
To which you, your majesty, hearken.
~Natalie Scarberry

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? ~Psalm 8:3-4 ✝

**I actually got up and out early enough this brisk morn to capture a moonflower before the light caused it to close completely and perish. As you can see, her edges have started to wrinkle however. Moonflowers are in the same family as morning glories, and you can see a few blue ones over and behind it starting to unfurl as the “moonie” closes.

534. The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest. ~William Blake

A year of beauty. A year of plenty.
A year of planting. A year of harvest.
A year of forests. A year of healing.
A year of vision. A year of passion.
A year of rebirth.
~Starhwak

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Irish immigrants fleeing from the Great Famine of the 1840’s brought versions of Halloween to North America. For them the celebration had its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian “All Saints Day” on November 1st. The festivities of the centuries-old holiday began at sunset and ended at midnight on October 31st. Samhain meant roughly “summer’s end,” and it was a celebration of the end of the “lighter half” of the year in which the daylight hours steadily increased and the beginning of the “darker half” of the year in which the daylight hours steadily decreased.

As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.
The days when the veil lifted
And the soul could see delight;
When a quiver caressed the heart
In the sheer exuberance of being here.
Surprises that came awake
In forgotten corners of old fields
Where expectation seemed to have quenched.
~Excerpts from a blessing by
John O’Donohue

The land yields its harvest; God, our God blesses us. ~Psalm 67:6  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

505. The moon’s an arrant thief, and her pale fire she snatches from the sun. ~William Shakespeare

The moon is at her full,
and riding high,
floods the calm fields
with light.
~William C. Bryant

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In broad daylight, and at noon,
Yesterday I saw the moon
Sailing high, but faint and white,
As a schoolboy’s paper kite.
In broad daylight, yesterday,
I read a poet’s mystic lay;
And it seemed to me at most
As a phantom, or a ghost.
But at length the feverish day
Like a passion died away,
And the night, serene and still,
Fell on village, vale, and hill.
Then the moon, in all her pride,
Like a spirit glorified,
Filled and overflowed the night
With revelations of her light.
And the Poet’s song again
Passed like music through my brain;
Night interpreted to me
All its grace and mystery.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? ~Psalm 8:3-4    ✝

**Image via Pinterest

471. We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. ~Henry Rollins

As in the bread and the wine, so it is with me.
Within all forms is locked a record of the past
and a promise of the future.
~Author Unknown

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During the course of a year, as humanity steps from one reality to another, there are visible ledgers of receipt and discernible promissory notes. So it is that in late August with less than a month to go before summer’s end and fall’s onset, my camera has captured an overlapping of this year’s waning third season and the waxing of its final season. The photos above prove that mortals are never left with an ending minus the birth of a new beginning. There is nothing finite that doesn’t contain signs of the infinite, and when such is seen the “little bird of hope” sings the loudest. So as summer draws to a close, may you realize that the seeds for tomorrow have and are being set, both in Creation and your lives. I know this because in the photo on the left is a fat seed pod I found in my garden this week, and it’s just waiting to spill its jewels of renewal upon the earth. As you dance with the, Lord and Lover of your soul, I pray that you realize you, too, are part of the splendor of the moment and that any discord endured in “dark nights of the soul” can be assuaged by shining new dawns. I pray also that you find a myriad of reasons to sing for joy, today and always.

“Glory be you, O God, for the rising of the sun, for colour filling the skies, and for the whiteness of the daylight. Glory be to you for creatures stirring forth from the night, for plant forms stretching and unfolding, for the stable earth and its solid rocks. . .that in the elements of earth, sea and sky I may see your beauty, that in the wild winds, birdsong and silence I may hear your beauty, that in the body of another and the interminglings of relationships I may touch your beauty, that in the moisture of the earth and its flowering and fruiting I may smell your beauty, that in the flowing waters of springs and streams I may taste your beauty, these things I look for this day, O God, these things I look for.” ~Excerpts from prayers by J. Philip Newell

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy. . . ~Psalm 96:11-12 ✝

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

Let yourself be silently drawn
by the stronger pull of what you really love.
~Rumi

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Sometimes reaching a height of 9 feet they tower above all else in a garden, and wherever they grow, their flowers are a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies. They are the lovely hollyhocks, flowering plants of such antiquity that they were found at a neanderthal burial site. Long after the neanderthal era the hollyhock was grown in religious gardens around churches and monasteries, and seeds of the hollyhock were included in the cargo on early ships to the Americas. Since then they have stood as silent sentries over many a garden fair, and their chalice-like blossoms, when facing upward, have captured and held countless dollops of daylight while captivating mortals with their winsome ways. Now the tall, showy hollyhock, born of the miraculous, is found in gardens all over the world. Miracles? Yes, the first miracle is that all the data needed to replicate this lovely giant and its flowers is stored in something as small as one of my freckles. The second miracle is that for thousands and thousands and thousands of years its small seeds have not perished nor failed in their purpose. The third miracle is that the Lord ordained pollinators along with the sun, soil, and water, to be faithful guarantors of the hollyhock’s lifeline. How could anything be more amazing than that God not only created all that is and devised ingenious ways for everything He made to be replenished, but that he also valued the importance of beauty as well as purpose.

Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. ~Luke 12:23    ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! May I dwell in Your holy presence and praise Your name for all that you have given and done.

**Images via Pinterest

231. I keep six honest serving-men, they taught me all I knew; their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who. ~Rudyard Kipling

Curiosity has its own reasons for existing.
One cannot help but be in awe
when he contemplates the mysteries
of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.
~Albert Einstein

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Gardening fosters curiosity, and the “curiouser” I get about nature, the more I want to know; the more I learn, the more in awe I am of Creation’s wonders and mysteries.  That’s why in winter when there are fewer daylight hours and less busyness in my days, I try to spend more time lingering and reflecting on the who, the what, the where, the when, and the how of life here on planet earth.  And I believe my musings on such matters are what keep my mind alert and open, my heart softened and quickened, and my soul ever-searching and longing for its eternal home.  Moreover, the more profound the conundrum I encounter the more humbled I am by how small and limited I am in comparison to how big and powerful the universe, and therefore, God is.

Who can measure His majestic power?  And who can fully recount His mercies?  ~Sirach 18:5  ✝