1122. That we find a poppy beautiful means that we are less alone and that we are deeply inserted into existence than the course of a single life would lead us believe. ~Edited quote by John Berger

Flowers could be described as burst of colour,
pattern and infinite grace all governed by sacred geometry.
And so too are they perfectly woven into the fabric
of existence to brighten up our world.
~Cherie Roe Dirksen

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Today I witnessed the actual birth of a poppy. I saw the poppy push itself out of the shell, and then I watched the shell fall to the ground. The stem was trembling as it unfolded, and seeing that, I was reminded of times when I too trembled while attempting to do something courageous. I would be very afraid inside, but like the poppy, I would go ahead and do it anyway. It takes courage sometimes to come out of one’s shell and even more courage to actually bloom. Next I saw the flower begin to open, and watching it gradually unwinding itself was an amazing sight to behold. As I looked on, I thought to myself, “I wonder what it feels like to bloom?” Then a few moments later the poppy had completely opened, and there before my eyes was the most vivid, red-orange-colored flower I had ever seen. Because the poppy was so very beautiful and so radiantly alive, the sight of it brought great joy to my heart which I believe was its purpose. ~Edited excerpt from a passage by Veronica Hay

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Take that Poppy seed, for instance: it lies in your palm, the merest atom of matter, hardly visible, a speck, a pin’s point in bulk, but within it is imprisoned a spirit of beauty ineffable, which will break its bonds and emerge from the dark ground and blossom in a splendor so dazzling as to baffle all powers of description. ~Celia Thaxter

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How great is God–beyond our understanding! …stop and consider God’s wonders. The heavens are telling of the glory of God…~excerpts from Job 36:26, Job 37:14, and Psalm 19:1  ✝

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

To forget how to dig the earth and
to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.
~Mahatma Gandhi

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There is something incredibly engaging and comforting about a garden, especially when one is surprised this late in the year by a find as lovely as this Heavenly Blue morning glory. However, even long after she’s gone when winter has plunged us into its “vale of grief,” there will yet be signs that point to primeval and sacred origins, ordained recurring seasons, and our connection to the Holy Breath of the Creator. But today it was the brilliance of the autumn morn, the splendor and blueness of the blossom, and a gentle breeze blowing in my face from time to time that prompted an awareness of the in and out movement of God’s life-giving breath in me as well as cognizance of a sacramental connection to Him. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French philosopher and Jesuit priest, said, “There is a communion with God, and there is a communion with earth, and there is a communion with God through the earth.” Teilhard de Chardin contended that the more he devoted himself in some way to the interests of the earth the more he belonged to God. It is the same for me. Being close to the earth in my garden or taking photographs of its progeny and/or nature in general, is like being attached to an umbilical cord that keeps me forever tethered to the Divine Source of all life, and therefore through it comes the spiritual nourishment that feeds my hungry soul.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. ~Psalm 24:1-2  ✝

682. Which is loveliest in a rose? Its coy beauty when it’s budding, or its splendor when it blooms? ~Edited line by George Barlow

The rose speaks of love silently,
in a language known only to the heart.
~Author Unknown

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Slow buds the pink dawn
like a rose from out
night’s gray and cloudy sheath.
Softly and still it grows and grows.
Petal by petal, leaf by leaf.
~Susan Coolidge

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These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God today.  There is no time for them.  There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.  But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future.  He cannot be happy and strong until he lives with nature in the present, above time. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:4   ✝

**All 3 of these photos above were taken by me of a rose named, Cherry Brandy, which I believe may be my all time favorite.  I sure hope I can find one to plant in my yard.

571. There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. ~Charles Dickens

We look at life from the back side of the tapestry.
And most of the time, what we see are
loose threads, tangled knots and the like.
But occasionally, God’s light shines through, and
we get a glimpse of the larger design with God
weaving together the darks and lights of existence.
~John Piper

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No moon, no stars, no sun, no blue of sky… No bees, no butterflies, no adoring, garden paramours… Only a foggy Sabbath steeped in silent, grey stillness as bit by bit by bit color empties out of the landscape leaving in its wake pallid, watercolored remains to blanket the lawn… Autumn has but a fortnight left before she relinquishes her throne to winter’s chilling reign. So I wonder if she’s weeping, if the falling mists are her crestfallen tears. It would certainly seem so as gloomy and grey as her recent days have been. Her palette, once streaked with chestnut and chocolate, maroon and mahogany, mauve and mulberry, orange and ochre, red and russet, is soon to be washed of all but grey and beige and evergreen. Thankfully, however, there are the brightly colored lights of Christmas to brighten the dying year’s ever-increasing, muted days.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~James 1:17  ✝

549. The man who is happy is fulfilling the purpose of existence. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

If Heaven made him —
earth can find some use for him.
~Chinese Proverb

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I watched light split the darkness on this chilly November morn, and as the sun rose higher on the horizon, I saw it initially tickle the tops of trees. Then leaf by leaf by leaf it began to lower. In the topmost branches, the squirrels, benefactors of the sun’s first fruits, sat poised in readiness for the day. Below the birds, yet reluctant to lift off, and I were on stand by waiting for the light’s kiss to brush its warmth against us as well. While I sat before the unfolding drama, it occurred to me that such as this, these primal vignettes of earth’s awakening, had played out in the same prevailing silence and expectancy since the dawn of time. It’s as if the light, and only the light, adds the vibrancy and buoyancy of sound and tempo to the day–as if there is a purpose in dim, quiet beginnings, as if first there is a need to obey holy rhythms, a foremost call to offer thanksgiving, a wisdom in opening songs of praise. Verily what I witnessed was the pregnant pause between what was, what is, and what’s yet to be, and standing in those gaps waiting to be greeted was, as always, the Giver of light, of breath, of life. At last when the light touched the ground, birds gave voice to the day’s opus and the dance of life began again! Thus I knew it was time not only to rise but also to celebrate miracles and keep them from becoming ordinary, time to prevent the mundane from stealing joy and a sense of awe and wonder. For it is ordained that we, all of us, have been anointed, have been given skill sets, and somehow, in some way have a purpose to fulfill. And if we are to accomplish that, we must cherish the light, take it with us, open life’s doors, and live in amazement.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28  ✝

**Image via Pinterest