673. Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

There be delights that will fetch the day about
from sun to sun and rock the tedious year
as in a delightful dream …for a garden is Arcady
(a region of rural simplicity and contentment)
brought home.  It is man’s bit of gaudy
make-believe – his well-disguised fiction
of an unvexed Paradise – a world where
gayety knows no eclipse…
~Edited lines by John D. Sedding

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Shhhhhhh! Do you hear it? Okay, okay, try again. Listen carefully! Did you hear something this time? Did you? If not, did you see anything different? Surely with the vernal equinox only 4 days away, you’ve heard and seen the come-hither voice of springtime and the early signs of it that daily grow more visible and audible. In my yard and elsewhere birds are aflutter and atwitter as they bring nesting materials to birdhouses; colorful crocuses, upright and abloom, chant lovely, little ditties; green perennials whisper quiet anthems as they rise from wombs beneath the soil in search of light and warmth; iris spears that were cut back in the fall now stand tall again offering up gladsome refrains; busy, buzzing bees scurry about in search of nectar and pollen; swelling buds on cherry trees whisper pretty, pink ballads; and on and on go the sights and sounds that make the human heart leap as the faithful promise of Spring materializes once more.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. ~Psalm 6:11   ✝

356. Reflection is a flower of the mind, giving out wholesome fragrance… Desiderius Erasmus

Your writing voice is the
deepest possible reflection of who you are.
The job of your voice is not
to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences.
In your voice, your readers
should be able to hear the contents
of your mind, your heart, and your soul
~Meg Rosoff


A spring morn,
A summer’s eve,
A gladsome spirit…


A soaking rain,
A lawn sprinkler’s whirl,
A well watered garden…


A single rose,
A blazing sunset,
A solitary serenity…


A flower garden,
A lowering hush,
A steeping sanctitude…


A sacred Sabbath,
A timely sermon,
A pastor’s wisdom…


A holy benediction,
A Franciscan prayer,
A forgiving Savior’s love…


A cool, crisp day,
A frost tipped lawn,
An end to summer’s siege…


A chilly, autumn night,
A yellow harvest moon,
A heart full of thanksgiving…


A fallen leaf,
A heavy, wintry frost,
A magical majesty under a sapphire sky…


Years ago in trying to cope with undesired limitations induced by chronic pain, I realized I could keep myself up and out of a downward spiraling gloom by writing down 3 to 5 things each day that charmed or delighted me both outwardly and inwardly. I also found that I could find uplifting joy in photos of objects and colors in the natural world. Finding the goodness in God and His Creation as well as being thankful for His gifts is a light that showed me the way out of moments of dark desperation.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. ~1 Corinthians 13:8-12 ✝

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!

**Some photos via Pinterest

8. the sky has broken and the earth sea-washed is all diamond ~Kenneth White

Grace comes into the soul, as the morning sun into the world;
first a dawning, then a light,
and at last the sun in his full and excellent brightness.
~Thomas Adams


There is a sort of pregnant pause at the exact moment light splits the darkness.  It’s a brief moment in which all creation seems to bow in a great and reverent silence.  It’s as if all those who witness the light’s return praise the Holy Feet on which it comes.  From my window I see this gladsome response as birds lift up and take to wing and as the squirrels leap high in the trees before the deliberate busyness of their respective days begin.  Could it be then that our first response should be to celebrate the gift of the new day and thank its Holy Giver before ere we begin anew.  It was certainly so with the Celts who believed creation was not simply just a gift, but also “a self-giving of God whose image was to be found deep within all living things.”  Why then isn’t that the order of the day in our world?  Perhaps it’s because modern man lives so far away from the natural world that he feels little to no reverence for Creation and therefore has become alienated from God’s living presence.  J. Philip Newell put it this way, “divorced from the brilliance of the first day man lives in a type of exile from his true self and what is deepest in creation.”  He explains further that in this exile, he chooses to ignore the yearning for the light that stirs within himself and chooses instead to follow life’s superficial distractions.

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you. . .  ~Job 12:7   ✝

3. Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. ~Stanley Horowitz

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
~William Blake, English poet


Lusty indeed is the dance of the year’s 4th child; regaled in glory and reigning in majesty, she’s a darling of the gardener.  Because fruitfulness and love run through her “thrilling veins,” those who choose to work the soil know they’ve got one last chance now before year’s end to plant, “to interact with nature, to share, to find sanctuary, to heal, to honor the earth, to leave a mark.”  So it is when autumn’s chariots, with pink and purple banners flying or veiled in a gray fog or torrents of rain, enter the eastern sky at dawn, the gardener’s heart is electrified.  Then when her crisp days are done and her carriage exits on the western horizon in a blaze of red and gold or is swallowed in the wetness of massive dark clouds, the gardener is left with the satisfied feeling that he’s conjured up or added yet another stroke or two to his beloved work of art.   As for what Blake called her “jolly voice,” autumn often sings gladsome odes to joy, but there are days when it belts out threatening, thunderous refrains or croons “mournful melodies.”  Regardless of what autumn vocalizes, it’s not until it plays “the harps of leafless trees” and sings the somber song of deep December that both the garden and gardener rest knowing that it’s time to let the Lord and Creation alone perform their miracles, God from on high and the earth from beneath the soil.

A common feast has been prepared at Creation’s hearty tables.  Food for the soul, spirit, and mind has been prepared and offered up for all of us.  So, come, dine with me there in the coming weeks.