1133. Where does reverence arise in your life? ~Gratefulness.org

So often and especially this time of year, both reverence and gratefulness come forth from my ability to see. So I put together some words and collages of places, images, and/or ways that never fail to arouse reverence. As I sat looking out my window, I found great joy in finding the holy in the small and the sacred in the ordinary. Enjoy and count the ways reverence arises in your days.

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the sacrosanct lay on spring’s flowery altars

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the hallowed bloomed atop roses, old and new

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the sanctified twined and climbed on sundry vines

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the holy wafted forth from fragant berries and herbs

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the sacred was carried on the wings of pollinators

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the consecrated could be seen in a wide array of colors and hues

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But I, by your(God’s) great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple. ~Psalm 5:7  ✝

**All images were taken in my yard

388. The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion

How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers?
~Andrew Marvell

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Then the heart, the poor jaded heart, that must etherize itself to endure the grimness of city life at all how subtly it begins throbbing again in unison with the great symphony of the natural. The awakened heart can sense in spring in the air when there is no visible suggestion in calendar or frosted earth, and knowing the songful secret, the can cause the feet to dance through a day that would only mean winter to an urbanite.

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The sense of taste can only be restored by a constant diet of unwilted vegetables and freshly picked fruit.

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The delicacy of touch comes back gradually by tending injured birdlings, by the handling of fragile plants, and by the acquaintance with different leaf textures, which finally makes one able to distinguish a plant, even in the dark, by its Irish tweed, silken or fur finish.

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And the foot, how tangibly it becomes sensitized; how instinctively it avoids a plant even when the eye is busy elsewhere. On the darkest night I can traverse the rocky ravine, the thickets, the sinuous paths through overgrown patches, and never stumble, scratch myself or crush a leaf. My foot knows every unevenness of each individual bit of garden, and adjusts itself lovingly without the conscious thought of brain.

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To the ears that have learned to catch the first tentative lute of a marsh frog in spring, orchestras are no longer necessary. To the eyes that have regained their sight, no wonder lies in the craftsmanship of a tiny leaf form of an inconsequential weed, than is to be found in a bombastic arras. To the resuscitated nose is revealed the illimitable secrets of earth and incense, the whole gamut of flower perfume, and other fragrant odors too intangible to be classed, odors which wing the spirit to realms our bodies are as yet too clumsy to inhabit.

~Excerpted paragraphs from Let’s Make a Flower Garden
by Hanna Rion (1912)

For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. ~Job 5:6 ✝

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

** Images via Pinterest

301. Fingers now scented with sage and rosemary, a kneeling gardener is lost in savory memories. ~Dr. Sun Wolf

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I know a garden with a loveliness
Deeper than eye can see or indrawn breath
Can measure rightly. Ancient centuries press
Against its walls till time is gone and death
Is lost in fragrance of the lavender
That grows serenely by a lichened stile.
Basil, rosemary, marjoram are there,
And savory, whose blossoms lift a smile
Beside a dripping pool. There silver sage
And lads-love, that all our mothers knew
And pressed for us in many a yellow-page.
Woodruff is there, mint, caraway, and rue.
Old flowers are lovely, lovelier still are these
Sweet scented herbs near box and cedar trees.
~Catherine Coblentz

Awake, O north wind, and come, O south wind!  Blow upon my garden that is fragrances may be wafted abroad.  Let my beloved come to his garden, and eat its choicest fruits.   ~Song of Solomon 4:16   ✝

 **photos via Pinterest

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  ✝

202. There is a communion with God, and there is a communion with earth, and there is a communion with God through the earth. ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French philosopher and Jesuit priest

Grass is the forgiveness of nature-
her constant benediction.
Forests decay, harvests perish, flowers vanish,
but grass is immortal.
~Brian Ingalls

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Maiden grass, purple fountain grass, blood grass, little bluestem, pink muhly–what’s not to love about such names.  Not only are they alluring monikers for gardeners, but their visual charms provide great cover for  wildlife and their seeds are good food sources for birds.  Few pests bother them, and given a bit of wind their airy, flower panicles, feathery plumes, or striking seed heads resemble fairy wands as they capture and play with available light.  What I like best about them is that in their swishing and swaying the echoes of the eternal and murmurs of sacred benedictions can be heard.  A garden and all its plantings, be they grasses or trees or shrubs or ferns or herbs or mosses, always speak of earth’s primeval and venerable origins as well as man’s connection to the Holy Voice that spoke everything into being.  But it is in the movement of the grasses that I most feel the in and out movement of God’s ruach, His life-giving breath.  Chardin whom I quoted above contended that the more he devoted himself in some way to the interests of the earth the more he belonged to God.  It is the same for me because being close to and working the earth is like being attached to an umbilical cord that keeps me forever connected to and sustained by Him, the loving Source of all life.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.  He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.  ~Psalm 147:7-8  ✝

181. How could such sweet and wholesome hours be reckoned but with herbs and flowers. ~Andrew Marvel

Natural object themselves
even when they make no claim to beauty,
excite the feelings, and occupy the imagination.
Nature pleases, attracts, delights,
merely because it’s nature.
~Karl Wilhelm Humboldt

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The most common attractions of the rose are the prettily colored flowers and the sweet to spicy fragrances.  On some roses there are also brightly colored hips that not only decorate bare canes in winter but also provide feasts for overwintering birds.  These hips are the pomaceous fruits of the rose, and they vary in size and shape and color.  Some of the first rosary beads were fashioned out of dried rose hips, and they have been used as well to make jellies, jam, marmalade, teas, soup, and medicinal compounds.  They also played an important role during World War II because they are very rich in Vitamin C.  It seems the people of Great Britain were encouraged to gather wild-grown rose hips to make a syrup for their children since German submarines were sinking commercial ships making it very difficult to import citrus fruits from the tropics.

Looking with expectancy for things that excite, I venture out into my gardens almost daily, weather permitting.  To that end I am seldom disappointed even on drippy days like this one.  Today’s find were some gold-orange-reddiish rose hips, and though they make no claim to great beauty, I was thrilled to see them once again.  After photographing them and beginning this post I began pondering what a difference for the better it might make if I greeted every new day’s living with the same attitude.  What an impact might it have on those around me if I met them filled with joy and expected the best from the encounter.  Once again I see how God’s Eden is not only a great sustainer but also an excellent teacher.

The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce crops, and the heavens will drop their dew.  ~Zechariah 8:12  ✝

165. Some praise the Lord for Light, the living spark; I thank God for the Night, the healing dark. ~Robert William Service, “Weary”

Night, the beloved.
Night, when words fade and things come alive.
When the destructive analysis of day is done,
and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again.
When man reassembles his fragmentary self
and grows with the calm of a tree.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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The air was crisp and cool; day’s light had just slipped away.  Wet blades of grass sparkled in a kind of diamond-dusted majesty under the glow of a rising harvest moon.  As if to punctuate my scattered thoughts, tiny aircraft lights glided from time to time through the darkening indigo sky.  When I began glancing around the yard, the images that confronted me seemed to be popping up like photos in a slowly advancing slide show.  The first one I saw was of the red turk’s caps underneath the rose arch, then the white moonflowers on the neighbor’s fence, fattening seed pods under the oak, a Celtic cross, a flying moth, an intermittently  shrouded moon.  The spell was broken only for a short while when the fragrance from my potted herbs temporarily seduced my nose.  Then the slide show started up again with a flash of yellow and white lights, followed by a rustling noise, leafy branches hanging low, a sculpted monk, stone rabbits, and a fleeting little lizard.  Music in the distance floated down the alley, and when I turned to follow the sound, I was startled by ghostly shadows dancing on the shed in the deepening darkness.  However the fear was fleeting and not enough to alleviate my growing sleepiness.  It wasn’t until water tapped noisily in the nearly drained fountain and a pair of feral cats came meowing at my feet that I was jolted out of my reverie.  And it had been such a lovely respite for a weary soul, always is when under the holy hosts of heaven that light the night.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and year…   ~Genesis 1:14  ✝