1080. Come, gentle Spring!  Ethereal Mildness!  Come. ~James Thomson 

O the green things growing, the green things growing,
The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve,
Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing.
~Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

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But, but, but, it’s just way to early for spring’s “ethereal madness” and the green things growing. The day after my knee surgery at the end of February last year, it snowed and then three days later when I came home from the hospital it snowed again. Our last average freeze date isn’t until March 15th, and there have been times when a hard, late freeze or an ice/snow event have occurred even as late as April 1st. So what’s up with this crazy weather? I love springtime and I’m always thrilled when it arrives, but this is just too soon for it to come. Thank goodness I got started earlier than usual on cleaning up and weeding the beds because we virtually had no winter to speak of. Also I’d already gotten the roses pruned and ready to go. But then since roses are supposed to be fed when they are leafed out and most of mine are almost leafed out already, what do I do now? If I go ahead and feed them, they’ll really get going, and a late freeze could kill all the new growth and set them way back. I’m also concerned about the ducks that winter at our neighborhood pond since I noticed last week that they’ve left already. It’s too early for that too. They could end up getting their little derriere’s frozen off by returning too soon to their northern homes because Old Man Winter and Jack Frost may have high-tailed it out of Texas, but that doesn’t mean they’ve closed up shop elsewhere.

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Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly–and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
~Omar Khayyám

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Spring’s cup is indeed being filled regardless of the date and time, and it’s fire has begun to fling off winter’s garments. As well the bird is on the wing. I know this because I’ve been watching them for at least a week or two refurbishing birdhouses or feathering nests. So it looks like I’m going to need to pray for their sake and for sake of all the green things growing that winter doesn’t come back for a last hurrah!

See! The winter is past… ~Excerpt from Song of Songs 2:11  ✝

923. Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark. ~Henri-Frédéric Amiel

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs;
ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is
people who have come alive.
~Howard Thurman

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I remember reading an article a while back about Pablo Casals, the world-renowned cellist. He was in his 90’s at the time and still going strong so the reporter asked him to what he attributed his health and longevity. Casals answered that they were the result of his passion for music. When I read that, I was envious because at that time I had never experienced that kind of passion for anything. But the Lord knows the desires of our hearts, and it came to pass that He granted me things to stir up passion in me. It began one summer when I bought some seeds and sowed them in pots on my patio. From the onset seeing new life emerge from those tiny seeds, I was hooked. So with spade in hand, I began pushing it down into the soil and thus began my love of gardening. As my efforts flourished and the birds and bees came, the desire to capture the day to day beauty of it all became the catalyst of my passion for photography. Now not only do I have a great camera and lots of beds with wondrously beautiful flowers but on my blog I’ve also sown, it seems, a “garden” that blooms with amazingly deligtful people.

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4  ✝

**Images via Pinterest, and the music in video is my happy song

476. Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination. ~Mrs. C.W. Earle

Take thy spade,
It is thy pencil;
Take thy seeds, thy plants,
They are your colours.
~William Mason

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The level of sand in summer’s hour glass may be low, but there is still a fair measure of glory remaining in the year. Since earth’s palette has not yet been wiped clean, the “greatest show on earth” is definitely not over  nor will it be until months from now when Jack Frost’s frigid sting puts an end to it. Even now some flowers are abloom, but the coming cooler days and weeks will bring even more blossoming beauties. In addition the squirrels still have nuts to gather, the birds have songs yet unsung, the butterflies and bees have more pollinating rounds to make, and the roses have their second big flush of blooms to proffer. Not to mention that in the not too distant future the year’s pumpkins will make their colorful appearance amid the stunning array of autumn leaves. So the show ain’t over, folks!

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I will wait until after the equinox on the 22nd of September to take up my spade and plant as well as sow seeds, but in the meantime I’ve already started my imaginings about additions and changes in the garden. And what a great place a garden is to let one’s imagination run wild! It can loosed over and over again in plotting the shapes of flower beds and paths, in deciding the kinds of plants to be introduced or removed, in installing new flower supports and garden structures, and so on. One of the best parts is that all this imagining feeds my starving, heat beleaguered inner child and my thirsting would-love-to-have-been an artist selfie.

. . . and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts-to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. ~Exodus 31:3-5 ✝

428. Summer looks out from her brazen tower, through the flashing bars of July. ~Francis Thompson

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.
~Robert Louis Stevenson


The round, golden face of the great sun began flooding our prairie with its wide showers during June’s infancy. The siege steadily intensified until it broke like a fever a few days ago and our temps fell below the century mark. Then with only a fortnight left in July, clouds moved in, thunder rolled, lightning flashed, and blessed rain fell. The showers didn’t last long, but the landscape soaked up what there was of the precious liquid and things seemed discernibly greener within minutes. The next day the thunder grumbled shortly after daybreak, and following close on its heels rain began to fall off and on. For the first time in months the fierce summer sun has been shrouded all day in the soft grayness of this drippy day. There were no high winds nor hard-driving downpours, just moments here and there of a light rain to drizzle.


Peace was prevalent inside the house and out all day long, and rest became the order of the day. Though there were household chores that needed to be done, I found myself guiltlessly sitting and staring at the grass and flower beds out my big patio window. Even the yard cats remained listlessly curled up in a corner of the porch and only meowed twice for food. They were apparently as content as I to do next to nothing. Few birds moved around the yard while it was raining, and the ones that did venture out were much less lively than usual.

DSC_0036Thankfully, after it was all said and done, the temperature climbed only into the high 70’s. That level of coolness won’t last, but as long as it does the “blue and glowing days” of summer will be significantly more tolerable hereabouts. So I praise God “for the wisdom that fashioned the universe” and that our misery has again been tempered by His mercy.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. . . ~2 Corinthians 1:3   ✝

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! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

248. I look back with gladness to the day when I found the path to the land of heart’s desire… ~Mrs. George Cran

Earth, thou great footstool of our God,
who reigns on high;
thou fruitful source of all our
raiment, life, and food;
our house, our parent, our nurse,
and our teacher.
~Edited and adapted excerpt from Isaac Watts


What’s that whisper in the wind?  Do you hear it?  Listen, there it is again!  Oh, I know.  It’s that ancient and seductive call that tempts the gardener to come and play in the dirt?  And it doesn’t take much bidding before this one can do naught but hearken to the bewitching pleas.

For days now I’ve heard the “call” because even though winter is still quite young,  January has obliged the “voice” by bringing some warmer days.  So several days ago I began clearing my flower beds of autumn’s dead, leafy debris, cutting off seed heads to be scattered elsewhere, and pruning weak, leggy growth off shrubs and roses.  Working close to the soil let me, as usual, hear earth’s heartbeat, and that sweet sound in turn spread a soothing balm over the spiritual doldrums.

Ironically, however, it occurred to me as I worked today that I was blessing the warmth of the same sun that only a few months ago I’d been cursing for its relentless waves of miserable heat.  That brought me face to face afresh with the truth that too much of anything spoils even the very best of things, that there is a purpose, if not understanding, in all things, and that gratitude, when in comfort or lack, is the only appropriate response to a day’s gifts.  So, you see, it was more than an ordinary call or faint heartbeat that I’d heard; I’d encountered the Teacher and He, leading me in and out of flesh and spirit, had shown me, again, wisdom growing in the garden’s “soil.”

…and the Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil.  ~Deuteronomy 30:9a  ✝