728. There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air is softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Poetry is a rich, full bodied whistle,
Cracked ice crunching in pails,
The night that numbs the leaf,
The duel of two nightingales,
The sweat pea that has run wild,
Creation’s tears in shoulder blades.
~Boris Pasternak


Well, perhaps not every child had such a garden in their childhood, but I wish they had. I did, but the enchanted place was actually all the blocks around our house more than just a single garden. Nevertheless, Lawrence’s description fits my childhood perfectly. For, you see, in southern California where my life began, flowers grow everywhere, and many of the houses, like ours, which were perpendicular to the Pacific Ocean had car-width alleyways behind them. While many of the backyards were filled with all kinds flowers, the fences along the alleys were covered oftentimes with sweet pea vines. So strong an imprint did those images and scents make on my mind, heart, and soul that the memory of them hasn’t faded, not even a smidgen, for the fifty years I’ve been gone from there. Had I known 20 years ago that sweet peas would grow here, I would have started sowing their seeds when I first took up gardening. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I stumbled across a packet of sweet pea seeds in a nursery and thought what the heck. Why not give ‘em a try?! And guess what? They have done fairly well the years we’ve gotten a good amount of rain and the temperatures haven’t gotten too warm, too quickly. Et voilà! Today sweet peas are abloom on my back fence again! And the halcyon days of my childhood have been flooding the foreground of my memory the livelong day. My oh my, but those were wondrous and wonder-filled times!

By helpful fingers taught to twine
Around its trellis, grew
A delicate and dainty vine;
The bursting bud, its blossom sign, Inlaid with honeyed-dew.

Oh, some may choose, as gaudy shows,
Those saucy sprigs of pride
The peony, the red, red rose;
But give to me the flower that grows Petite and pansy-eyed.

 Thus, meditation on Sweet Peas
Impels the ardent thought,
Would maidens all were more like these,
With modesty–that true heartsease–
Tying the lover’s knot.
~Excerpted verses from a poem
by Hattie Howard

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. ~Ephesians 5:1-2   ✝

451. Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
~Robert Frost


But wait, there’s yet another that “achieves at ties a very star-like start,” and it began blooming here this week. Though called Sweet Autumn Clematis, this handsome climbing vine displays its billowy masses of fragrant white flowers here in August. And when it does, the twining vine is one alluring diva that makes a very impressive statement. For when it blooms in the garden, it is blessed with an incredible number of small, star-shaped blossoms which form a white fleece-like blanket that drapes beautifully over large rocks, chain-link fences, arbors, pergolas, or even a dangling birdhouse. So as the “lovely stars” blossom in the “infinite meadows of heaven” in August over Texas, they bloom also day and night on her tamed prairies.


Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light. ~Psalm 148:3   ✝

Sweet Jesus, fill us with the mercy you bled on the cross and draw us back unto Yourself! Thank You for the gladness You put in our hearts. Help us to be aware of You in all that we see and hear in Creation’s realm.

335. Here are the sweet peas, on tip-toe for a flight: with wings of gentle flush o’er delicate white, and taper fingers catching at all things, to bind them all about. ~John Keats

By helpful fingers taught to twine
Around its trellis, grew
A delicate and dainty vine;
The bursting bud, its blossom sign,
Inlaid with honeyed-dew.
~Hattie Howard


Between each row of houses in Belmont Shore, California, where I grew up ran an alley which was the way to get in and out of the rear facing garages; it was also a favorite place to ride my bike or skates as well as being a frequented path to the homes of neighboring friends. Besides the garages the alley skirted the back yards of the houses and on many of the fences grew Sweet Pea vines. Not only were the flowers of these vines lovely and fragrant, but for a curious and imaginative child born in and of and wedded to one of the few remaining years of innocence the world would ever know they were the home of enchanted and magical fairy creatures.

Hauntingly unforgettable indeed have been the gardens in my childhood, but it was more than just the colors, the beautiful flowers and the lovely fragrances. Along with being mesmerized by all that splendor, I was courted by the Holy One, Yahweh, whose sole intent was to capture my heart and reveal His own. Though the world and its deceptions fought long and hard to turn me away from Jesus, He would not and did not give up on what had always been His.

The world is very old;
But every Spring
It groweth young again,
And fairies sing.
~Author Unknown


With their richly colored, yet small, delicate flowers, the sweet pea’s history can be traced back to 17th century Italy when a Sicilian monk, Franciscus Cupani, sent its seeds to England. Then Henry Eckford, a Scottish nurseryman, cross-bred the original flower and created the colorful and intensely sweet scented blossom that became the floral sensation of the late Victorian era.


The Song of the “Sweet Pea Fairies”

Here Sweet Peas are climbing,
(Here’s the Sweet Pea rhyme!)
Here are little tendrils,
Helping them to climb.

Here are sweetest colours,
Fragrance very sweet;
Here are silky pods of peas,
None for us to eat!

Here’s a fairy sister,
Trying on with care.
Such a grand new bonnet
For the baby there.

Does it suit you Baby?
Yes, I really think
Nothing’s more becoming
Than this pretty pink!

~Cicely Mary Barker


My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:15-16 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

**My sweet pea vines are climbing but not blooming yet so I’m using images here that I found on Pinterest.

269. Will not a tiny speck very close to our vision blot out the glory of the world and leave only a margin by which we see the blot. ~George Eliot

You shall see them
on a beautiful quarto page,
where a neat rivulet of text shall meander
through a meadow of margin.
~Excerpt from “School for Scandal” by
Richard Brinsley Sheridan



Margins–our lives are lived within all kinds of marginal edges.  In botany and entomology scientists talk of margins when they cite data about borders around leaves or the borders of insect wings.  The earth itself has what I think of as margins.  For example, phenomena like mountains, rivers, forests, or oceans hold things within or without; walled constructs built by the sea are held by nature and man.  Even our written documents and texts are kept inside a border of blank space called a margin.  In literary works poets and novelists speak of garden walls as the margins around growing spaces.  The margins around my backyard gardening spaces as well as the ones in public gardens I visit are fences.  Interestingly, at one time the margins around my yard were solely the fence lines, but now it is contained within its confines in places by an assortment of trees, some planted by human hands, others that sprang up by their own devices.

In the scriptural passage below God is telling the people of Jerusalem that although they are in a city without walls, He will protect them by being the barrier between them and their enemies.  The Lord does that for His children even when they misuse the reins of free will to wander poorly chosen worldly paths. Fortunately for us we never get so far down those potentially dangerous paths that we are out from under the spread of Yahweh’s mighty wings of grace.  When asked, He will pull us into a walled sanctuary where His forgiveness is an ever-standing offer for contrite hearts.  And as a fellow blogger noted, He walls our hearts with His love.

“And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,” declares the Lord, “and I will be its glory within.  ~Zechariah 2:5  ✝