1420. The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. ~Henry Miller

Each blade of grass has its spot on earth
whence it draws its life, its strength;
and so man is rooted to the land from which
he draws his faith together with his life.
~Joseph Conrad

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In what I assume was a poetic conversation with the Lord, Edna St. Vincent Millay, an American lyrical poet, said “God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on Thy heart.” In another instance, a Quaker and itinerant preacher named Elias Hicks wrote that “the fullness of the godhead dwelt in every blade of grass.” And Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish satirical writer and teacher rhetorically asked, “To us also, through every star, through every blade of grass, is not God made visible if we will open our minds and our eyes.” Like me, these writers realize that man was meant to be “rooted to the land and therefore to God.” Sadly, however, in today’s world because many no longer live close to the land, the “umbilical cord,” as it were, that used to connect all humanity to the land and God has been severed. In fact there are some who have never even been close enough to the land to reach down into earth’s hallowed ground, and one simply cannot grow roots to connect to concrete and steel or find anything sacred or nurturing in them. Thankfully though, in an effort to reconnect people with the land and to provide healthier food for the residential inner city dwellers of this country there are those who are finding places to build community gardens so that people get involved in caring for the land and reaping harvests from it once again. Equally good is the fact that a fair share of schools across the nation are incorporating habitat gardens into the learning experiences of their students. As a whole we may no longer live in a primarily agrarian society, but as always God helps His children find ways to remain connected to His good earth and to Him. For there is something so very holy in picking the “fruit” of one’s labors in the soil and putting it in the mouth; it is the biblical “manna” that not only feeds the belly but also feeds the soul.

Every blade of grass
 has its angel
that bends over it and
whispers, 
“Grow, grow!”
~The Talmud

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You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing. ~Psalm 65:9-13 ✝

**Images via Pinterest and Pixabay

557. All that we behold is full of blessings. ~William Wordsworth

Wherever I have knocked,
a door has opened.
Wherever I have wandered,
a path has appeared.
~Alice Walker

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Whatever be the depth of woe
Along the path that I must go,
I’ll sing my song—
My song of joy for all the love
That’s lavished on us from above,
And count no loss of treasure-trove
When things go wrong.
I’ll sing the sunlight, and the bright
Soft smiling stars that gem the night;
For gifts of good
That God hath spread along my way,
The lilt of birds in tuneful play,
The harvests full and flowers gay,
The whole day long
I’ll sing my song
Of gratitude!
~John Kendrick Bangs

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~Philippians 4:10   ✝

**Mixed media image via Pinterest

546. God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars. ~Martin Luther

The Fall of the year
is more than three months
bounded by an equinox and a solstice.
It is a summing up without
the finality of year’s end.
~Hal Borland

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As we backed out of the garage not long ago, we saw this, the clearly defined, edge of a line of the thunderstorms. As I took the photograph, it occurred to me that in a much slower progression, that’s the way all of the aberrations of nature pass over the earth during the course of a year. Sunny days come and go, hot and cold periods come and go, flowers come and go, fruitings and harvests come and go–in other words God’s good provisions are always in a never-ending flux of comings and goings. Autumn then, as Borland says, is indeed a summing up of what’s happened throughout a year’s trip around the sun, and thankfully it only takes away what the gardener holds dear a little bit at a time. We may be just steps away from winter, but given earth’s history of unfailing continuance we are not too many steps further away from spring. So to recall a familiar phrase, all’s well that ends well, especially when we’re blessed with the divine promise for more. Is there any way God’s enduring love and goodness could be even the slightest bit more grand!

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.
~Psalm 136:1-9    ✝

496. Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree. ~Emily Brontë

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

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“Summer, barbarous in beauty,” ended yesterday in the autumnal equinox’s circle of equal light and equal night. Now we can, during the course of autumn’s mellow morns and brisk eves, savor long our harvests and go deep into our reflections of what has been accomplished and learned on this year’s trip around the sun. Harsh wintry chills, though soon to be on the horizon, will not set in for quite a while, and so there are yet ample hours before winter’s seclusion is imposed to spend time in nature’s haunts and reminisce about the fruitfulness of all that has come to us this year. So, let us all joyfully enter the autumn courts of Creation with what remains of our annual “time coin” and ponder why we were given this year, what reached in and touched us, and how deep the imprint of our encounters and experiences went. In so doing we shall be able to assess what we began that might endure, what or whom we impacted with goodness, where we allowed ourselves to receive and give love, as well as when and where we made a positive difference in the world.

For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. ~Deuteronomy 16:15b   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

438. God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say “thank you?”  ~William A. Ward

Whatever be the depth of woe
Along the path that I must go,
I’ll sing my song—
My song of joy for all the love
That’s lavished on us from above,
And count no loss of treasure-trove
When things go wrong.
I’ll sing the sunlight, and the bright
Soft smiling stars that gem the night;
For gifts of good
That God hath spread along my way,
The lilt of birds in tuneful play,
The harvests full and flowers gay,
The whole day long
I’ll sing my song
Of gratitude!
~John Kendrick Bangs

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The passage of Scripture below is not a suggestion. It’s a mandate. It’s not meant for only the good times. It’s meant for this day and every day no matter what comes our way. It doesn’t say to hang our heads in defeat or wring our hands in worry or fear when the world is harsh and times are tough. It says to rejoice and be glad in the day. Why? Because life is a gift and it’s holy, every breath is a gift and it’s holy, we are meant to be a gift to the world and we are holy. Being holy means not being defined by what comes against us, but to come into that which is holy and good within us. Joy can be found in every day, not because life is always good but because God is. Lest any who read this think me naive or the survivor of a “charmed” life to believe these things, let me allow that I’ve endured my fair share of “dark nights of the soul,” I’ve been in the black abyss and climbed out, I’ve felt death’s sting in the loss of some I’ve loved, I’ve known heartbreak and tragedy, I’ve known defeat and failure, I’ve experienced chilling betrayal, and I’ve lived with chronic pain for nearly 50 years. But, hear this, the Giver of life has never left me to walk those bitter paths alone, even during the times when I turned my back on Him. So when He asks me to make a joyful noise unto Him, I can and shall do naught but gratefully oblige.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~Psalm 118:24   ✝

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.

273. The man who has planted a garden feels that he has done something for the good of the whole world. ~Vita Sackville-West

The most noteworthy thing about gardeners
is that they are optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied.
They always look forward to doing something better
than they have ever done before.
~Vita Sackville-West

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During World War I and World War II, victory gardens were planted at private residences and public parks in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany.  Vegetables, fruits, and herbs were grown to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war efforts.  Not only did these gardens indirectly aid in the war efforts, but they were also considered civil “morale boosters.”  By planting them, gardeners felt empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce they grew.  As a result victory gardens became a part of daily life on the home front.

Amos Bronson Alcott said, “Who loves a garden still his Eden keeps, perennial pleasures plants, and wholesome harvests reaps.”  Can you imagine what it must have been like to stand in Eden? And to listen for the Lord as He walked in the cool of the day?  There are times when I’m in my garden that I get a sense of the incredible thrill that must have been.  The perennial pleasures of my garden plant a rightness in my days and a comfortable feeling of harmony in my spirit.  And the wholesome harvests I reap are not just the fruits, the flowers, and the beauty all around me but also the peace it brings and the times when the deep sanctity of it touches my soul where the Lord is planting and digging for harvests of His own.

There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in their toil.  This also, I saw, is from the hand of God; for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment.  ~Ecclesiastes 2:24-25  ✝