1358. If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden. ~Frances Hodgson Burnett, THE SECRET GARDEN

Gardening about enjoying the smell
of things growing in the soil,
getting dirty without feeling guilty,
and generally taking the time to soak
up a little peace and serenity.
~Lindley Karstens

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However many years she lived, Mary always felt
that ‘she should never forget that first morning
when her garden began to grow’…I am sure there is
Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough
to get hold of it and make it do things for us.
~Excerpted lines from THE SECRET GARDEN
by Frances Hodgson Burnett

One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands out and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun–which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with the millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone’s eyes. ~Frances Hodgson Burnett, THE SECRET GARDEN

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At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done–then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago…Of course there must be lots of Magic in the world,” he said wisely one day, “but people don’t know what it is like or how to make it. Perhaps the beginning is just to say nice things are going to happen until you make them happen. I am going to try and experiment….And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles… Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraging thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable, determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place. ~Excerpted lines from THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. ~Genesis 2:8  ✝

“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce…” ~Jeremiah 29:5  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; text added to the collage by Natalie; collage created by Natalie

1072. Twilight fell: The sky turned to a light, dusky purple littered with tiny silver stars. ~J.K. Rowling

The setting sun had turned the blue sky a brilliant orange,
then soft pink merging to pearl; the plum velvet of night
had come out of the east, spangled with stars.
~Paul Gallico

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I love to watch the fine mist of the night come on,
The windows and the stars illumined, one by one,
The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily,
And the moon rises and turns them silver.
I shall see the springs, the summers,
And the autumns slowly pass;
And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass,
I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight,
And build me stately palaces by candlelight.
~Charles Baudelaire

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The moon went slowly down in loveliness;
she departed into the depth of the horizon,
and long veil-like shadows crept up the sky
through which the stars appeared.
Soon, however, they too began to pale
before a splendour in the east,
and the advent of the dawn declared itself
in the newborn blue of heaven.
~H. Rider Haggard

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years…” ~Genesis 1:14  ✝

Images via Pinterest

1009. Who, what, where, when, and why?

Every single word you read
Has a lot going on, you see?
So read this age-old story,
As it is a blessed advisory.

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The first Noel the angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds as they lay
In fields where they lay a keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

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They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far:
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.

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And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from the country far;
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.

“Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” ~Excerpt from Matthew 2:8  ✝

**All images via Pinterest

1008. Wise men are not always silent, but they know when to be. ~Unknown

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The kings they came from out the south,
All dressed in ermine fine;
They bore Him gold and chrysoprase,
And gifts of precious wine.

The shepherds came from out the north,
Their coats were brown and old;
They brought Him little new-born lambs–
They had not any gold.

The wise men came from out the east,
And they were wrapped in white;
The star that led them all the way
Did glorify the night.

The angels came from heaven high,
And they were clad with wings;
And lo, they brought a joyful song
The host of heaven sings.

The kings they knocked upon the door,
The wise men entered in,
The shepherds followed after them
To hear the song begin.

The angels sang through all the night
Until the rising sun,
But little Jesus fell asleep
Before the song was done.
~Sara Teasdale

For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him. ~Matthew 2:2  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

821. I am following Nature without being able to grasp her. ~Claude Monet

I perhaps owe having
become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet

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For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right,
since its appearance changes at every moment;
but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life –
the light and the air which vary continually.
For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere
which gives subjects their true value.
~Claude Monet

My favorite artist has always been Claude Monet who was the founder of French Impressionist painting. And so while we were in Paris, we took a bus tour to Giverny where in 1890 the artist  bought a house and land. Later he added a greenhouse and a second studio. The artist remained the architect of his massive gardens at Giverny even after he hired seven gardeners to whom he wrote daily instructions, precise designs and layouts for the plantings, and invoices for his floral purchases. Then in 1893, he purchased additional land with a water meadow and began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds and a Japanese bridge, subjects of his best known works. Although, I expected his gardens to be gorgeous, that doesn’t even begin to describe what could well have been a model of the original Garden of Eden or what Heaven might look like. So over the next few days, I want to share with you some of the things I saw that day. Enjoy!

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. ~Genesis 2:8  ✝

704. …What lies beyond the borders of this peaceful place… ~Excerpted lyric by Pyramaze

Outside the window
sits a pot of gerberas
opening the day

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Beyond them bloom some
roses in the kitchen bed
near the patio

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Onward is the rose
covered arch over a small
porch and rocking chair

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Bye, bye for now but
if you come back we will take
other looks beyond
~All haikus by written by
Natalie Scarberry

My first waking move every morning is from my bed to my reclining chair in front of my big glass doors that open onto the patio. From there I have a commanding view of about half of my backyard. And since the back of my house faces due east, I’m privileged to watch daybreak through the towering trees every morning. Even when it’s cloudy, the light slowly and captivatingly increases as the day dawns. This time of year, sunny or cloudy, what’s beyond those windows is the greatest show on earth. Its beauty represents years of clearing and digging and planting most of which was done, I might add, while I was still teaching. Now that I am retired, I am at last able to reap fully the rewards of the Lord’s blessings therein and my years of longing and labor. And I can honestly say that it was worth every bit of the hard work, the set backs, the failures, the tears, the back issues, and the worn-out knee which I just had replaced. For this–this piece of ground with its flowering beds is a holy place, a sacred sanctuary, a little piece of Eden in which my soul is fed by Him whose Presence yet haunts His Creation. It is where I’m reminded every day that I am His and He is mine, and I thank you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for this place and that gift.

You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the Lord–even beyond the borders of Israel!‘ ~Malachi 1:5   ✝

663. Lord, you have set the powers of the four quarters of the earth to cross each other. You have made me cross the good road and road of difficulties, and where they cross, the place is holy. Day in, day out, forevermore, you are the life of things. ~Edited excerpt from Black Elk, Oglala Sioux

To the four winds, that bring us the seasons of Life…

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 To the East
Where the Sun rises bringing to us a new day
A new meaning of life, a light in which to see
The path before us.

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 To the South
Where the warm air comes to us
Bringing heat and warmth, and
The seasons of spring and summer.

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To the West
Where the Sun goes to bring to us darkness,
So as we may see the universe
And search for the answers
Of our life.

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 To the North
Where the cold winds come from
Bringing to us the seasons
Of fall and winter.
~Edited lines of Native American wisdom 
by Larry Kibby

Lord, you are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. ~Isaiah 25: 1   ✝

**All images via Pinterest