1278. In the fall each seed is like a child being loosed upon the earth to wait for the blessing of sun and rain to fulfill its destiny. ~Natalie

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression,
it must come completely undone.
The shell cracks, its insides come out,
and everything changes.
To someone who doesn’t understand growth,
it would look like complete destruction.
~Cynthia Occelli

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“Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe of God, nothing seems to me more surprising that the planting of a seed in the blank earth and the result thereof.  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

Where I live winters are mild and so poppies must be sown in the fall. After weeks of making preparations, today was the day to sow not only my poppy seeds, but also the hollyhock, larkspur, and bachelor button seeds. Now in a week or so they will germinate, and I shall squeal with delight once more to find little green babies popping up everywhere. Among the other truly amazing things about the sowing process, is the fact that these small new seedlings will survive some pretty cold days and maybe even some ice and snow. But the leaves of trees, many of which have yet to fall, will eventually blanket the ground and keep my babies warm and safe until the spring’s sun urges them upward and onward. And as for me going out to check on them throughout winter’s often gloomy and forbidding days will keep me thrilled and hopeful!

They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest… ~Psalm 107:37 ✝

**Images of poppy seed pods and seeds found on Pinterest; border and special effects via iPiccy

500. Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety. ~René Daumal

The breeze at dawn
has secrets to tell you;
Don’t go back to sleep.
~Rumi

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Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life,
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:

The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendor of beauty,
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn.
~Kalidasa (2500 BC Sanskrit)

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. ~Psalm 65:8    ✝

** Image via Pinterest

235. The camera can photograph thought. ~Dirk Bogarde, English actor and writer

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? for the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. Growth is exciting; growth is dynamic and alarming. Growth of the soul, growth of the mind.  ~Vita Sackville-West

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Ah blessed sight, a function that is considered to be the most complex of the five senses. From the moment we wake until we close our eyes to sleep, our eyes act like a camera recording in memory what is seen.  For many, there is a compulsion to replicate what the eye sees.  Some use an actual camera to capture memorable images, some a paint brush, others the written word, and then there are those who are want to use more than one medium.  So it seems that something more than the optical nerve is touched by sight, does it not?  Perhaps the eye touches the soul as well.

He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen.  ~Deuteronomy 10:21  ✝

215. A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship… ~John Muir

…But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent,
their songs never cease.
Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life,
every fiber thrilling like harp strings…
~John Muir, American naturalist and author

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In this particular writing Muir eventually goes on to say that it’s “no wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples.”  When one thinks about earth’s courts in such a way, he/she realizes that trees, whose roots are three times the size of the tree itself, monopolize large chunks of the planet’s hallowed ground, and so it’s not surprising that throughout the ages trees have been endowed with profound and sacred meanings.  For example, by observing the growth and death of trees, the flexible nature of their branches, the annual reoccurrence of their foliage, many have regarded trees as powerful symbols of growth, decay, and resurrection.  In addition to their aesthetic appeal, trees prevent soil erosion; they provide weather-sheltered ecosystems in and under their leaves; they play a vital role in the production of oxygen and the reduction of carbon dioxide; they moderate ground temperatures; and some even produce sumptuous orchard fruits.  Trees also speak to mortal men of the largeness and power of their Creator, and their lofty heights as well as the views afforded from them are envied by those who dare not climb their towering trunks.

The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground–trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.  ~Genesis 2:9a  ✝

178. All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today and yesterday. ~Chinese Proverb

In the garden the door is always open into the holy –
growth, birth, death.
Every flower holds the whole mystery in its short cycle,
and in the garden we are never far away from death,
fertilizing, good, creative death.
~May Sarton

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Every year the unseen becomes visible as new life explodes from quiet, dark, sustaining wombs.  Beneath the soil roots grow and above the surface tiny leaves yield proof of life.  Enlivening rains come, and the leaves grow.  Daylight hours lengthen, and they grow more.  Amid the leaves emerge buds, and they grow.  Buds burst into flowers, the flowers fade, and their petals fall.  Fruits, seed heads, or pods appear, and they ripen.  Fruits are harvested, seeds are spilled onto the soil, and buds are set inside woody canes or branches.  Then comes the time of rest, the discontinuance of the same, the different new genesis.  The beginnings, the middles, the ends–never an ending without a beginning–never a beginning without an ending, so goes the cyclic constancy of a garden.

The land produced vegetation; plants bearing seed according to its kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.  And God saw that it was good.  ~Genesis 1:12  ✝

10. For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. ~Martin Luther

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing,of scattering abroad.
~Edwin Way Teale

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Like Teale I knew that autumn’s winds were scatterers and sowers, but until I did some research, I didn’t realize how much the autumnal shedding of leaves accomplishes.  For the sake of the sod, the fallen leaves cover the ground like a protective blanket.  It’s also easier for leafless trees to conserve much needed moisture in their branches and trunks, and since cold, dry winter winds strip moisture from trees through their leaves, losing their leaves is self-protective mechanism.  It would also be very costly energy wise for trees to keep their little leafy food factories up and running with less light and heat.   Because the transport of water from the ground into the trunk and leaves would be a damaging drain on a trees’ limited resources, the loss of leaves puts trees into a state of dormancy thereby reducing the amount of energy they need to live.  When leaves “come to rest upon the ground,” their work is far from over.  As they lie there, they become food for soil organisms which are vital to the overall health of ecosystems.  In addition the decomposing leaves restock the soil with nutrients and make up a part of the spongy humus that absorbs and holds rainfall.  And finally with the arrival of spring and warmer temps, bacteria, fungi, and insects come into play because the fallen leaves are chewed and rotted which in turn releases nutrients for plant growth.

“For the wisdom that fashioned the universe and can be read in earth’s dark depths and in heaven’s infinity of lights thanks be to you, O God.”  ~John Philip Newell