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

1342. Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. ~Michael Strassfeld

Everyday
I see or hear
something
that more or less

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kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for —
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world —
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant —
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these —
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

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~Mindful, a poem
by Mary Oliver

What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways. ~Job 22:28  ✝

**Image via Pixabay; special effects done by me on Pixabay

1127. I consider myself kind of a reporter – one who uses words that are more like music and that have a choreography. I never think of myself as a poet; I just get up and write. ~Mary Oliver

I love the line of Flaubert
about observing things very intensely.
I think our duty as writers
begins not with our own feelings,
but with the powers of observing.
~Mary Oliver

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I worried a lot.
Will the garden grow,
will the rivers flow
in the right direction,
will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not,
how shall I correct it?
Was I right,
was I wrong,
will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing,
even the sparrows
can do it and
I am, well, hopeless.
Is my eyesight fading
or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get
rheumatism, lockjaw, dementia?
Finally I saw that worrying
had come to nothing.
And gave it up.
And took my old body
and went out
into the morning,
and sang.
~Mary Oliver

Cast all your anxiety on him (God) because He cares for you. ~1 Peter 5:7  ✝

884. “I grow old, I grow old,” the garden says. It is nearly October. ~Excerpt from Robert Finch

For summer here, bear in mind,
is a loitering gossip, that only begins to talk
of leaving when September rises to go.
~George Washington Cable

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the air is different today
and the wind sings
with a new tone
sighing of changes coming…
~Rhawk

When September rises to go here, it is then that the amazing spider lily sits upon her scarlet throne. And when bejeweled in water beads from the sprinkler, her exotic, otherworldly charms grace the garden with a magical sort of sparkle and a melody that indeed seem to sigh along with the wind about coming changes.

…the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. ~Psalm 103:16  ✝

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

Down, down, down and drip, drip, drip
falls the gray, gray, grayness of yet another rainy day.
And outside my feet go squish, squish, squish
from the rain and snow and rain and snow and rain,
but oh heavens no, no, no you won’t find me a fussin’
because now, my friends, a grow, grow, growin’
we’ll find the sweet green, green, greening things
of advancing, birthing, sprouting spring.
~Natalie Scarberry

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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.

O the fluttering and the pattering of those green things growing!
How they talk each to each, when none of us are knowing;
In the wonderful white of the weird moonlight
Or the dim dreamy dawn when the cocks are crowing.



I love, I love them so – my green things growing!
And I think that they love me, without false showing;
For by many a tender touch, they comfort me so much,
With the soft mute comfort of green things growing.



And in the rich store of their blossoms glowing
Ten for one I take they’re on me bestowing:
Oh, I should like to see, if God’s will it may be,
Many, many a summer of my green things growing!

But if I must be gathered for the angel’s sowing,
Sleep out of sight awhile, like the green things growing,
Though dust to dust return, I think I’ll scarcely mourn,
If I may change into green things growing.
~Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~Ephesians 5:19b-20   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

431. Let mystery have its place in you; do not be always turning up your whole soil with the ploughshare of self-examination, but have a little fallow corner in your heart ready for any seed the winds may bring… ~Henri-Frédéric Amiel

The morning-glory’s blossoming
Will soon be coming round
We see their rows of heart-shaped leaves
Upspringing from the ground.
~Maria White Lowell

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breathing in and out
I
picture morning glories…
blue, bluer, bluest
~Kirsty Karkow

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I love and am fascinated by the mystery of seeds, the ones that I sow, the ones that nature sows, and the ones the Lord sows. The morning glory vines I’ve had for several years now came not from the work of my own hands. They’ve been self-sown, and each year the vines have come up more numerous and hardier than before. Perhaps, it would be so then that if, as Amiel suggests, we left a little fallow corner in our hearts, the “winds” that blow through our lives might bring hardier beauty and more powerful strengths than ever before.

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. ~Isaiah 61:11   ✝

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.

382. It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet. ~Kojiro Tomita.

I have found, through years of practice, that people garden in order
to make something grow; to interact with nature;
to share, to find sanctuary, to heal, to honor the earth, to leave a mark.
Through gardening, we feel whole as we make
our personal work of art upon our land.
~Julie Moir Messervy

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Blessings For Artists At The Start Of The Day by John O’Donohue

May morning be astir with the harvest of night;
Your mind quickening to the eros of a new question,
Your eyes seduced by some unintended glimpse
That cut right through the surface to a source.

May this be a morning of innocent beginning,
When the gift within you slips clear of the sticky web of the personal
With its hurt and its hauntings, and fixed fortress corners, a morning
When you become a pure vessel for what wants to ascend from silence.

May your imagination know the grace of perfect danger,
To reach beyond imitation, and the wheel of repetition,
Deep into the call of all the unfinished and unsolved.
Until the veil of the unknown yields and something original
Begins to stir toward your senses and grow stronger in your heart
In order to come to birth in a clean line of form, that claims from time
A rhythm not yet heard, that calls space to a different shape.

May it be its own force field and dwell uniquely
Between the heart and the light to surprise the hungry eye…

Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of Your presence. ~Psalm 21:6   ✝

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!