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

1088. All the water that will ever be is right now. ~National Geographic

Between earth and earth’s atmosphere,
the amount of water remains constant;
there is never a drop more, never a drop less.
This is a story of circular infinity,
of a planet birthing itself.
~Linda Hogan

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Rain that has fallen here again today is one of several holy water-bearers, water-bearers without which there is no life. They are the “stuff” in which life is formed, and the “stuff” of which life is sustained. Whatever form the wet “stuff” falls in, it is the same moisture that fell on the faces of Adam and Eve for it is of the water that was in the beginning and is forever in a divinely designed cycle to insure Creation’s continuance. And I find it mind-boggling to think how far each drop of moisture must have traveled throughout the eons of time. Since rain, snow, or ice move in a never-ending circle of coming down to kiss the earth and then going up back to the clouds, it is carried on journeys that take it to all corners of the earth as it fulfills its holy purpose. Man would I love to hear the tales the rain could tell if it too had the gift of speech.

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When you look at the natural world, it becomes an icon; it
becomes a holy picture that speaks of the origins of the world.
Almost every mythology sees the origins of life coming
out of water. And, curiously, that’s true.
It’s amusing that the origin of life out of water is in myths and
then again, finally, in science, we find the same thing.
~Joseph Campbell

He (God) provides rain for the earth; He sends water on the countryside. ~Job 5:10  ✝

1034. Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of mystery. ~Max Planck


Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth. ~Hugh Macmillan

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When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us then salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.
~Edited excerpt from In Praise of Earth
by John O’Donohue


“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

553. As autumn passes one remembers one’s reverence. ~Yoko Ono Lennon

Jack Frost
~By C.E. Pike



Look out! Look out!
Jack Frost is about!
He’s after our fingers and toes;
And all through the night,
The gay little sprite
Is working where nobody knows.

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He’ll climb each tree,
So nimble is he,
His silvery powder he’ll shake.
To windows he’ll creep
And while we’re asleep
Such wonderful pictures he’ll make.

Across the grass
He’ll merrily pass,
And change all its greenness to white.
Then home he will go
And laugh ho, ho ho!
What fun I have had in the night.

Frost performed “its secret ministry” as sleep held us close in the night, and when I awoke it lay twinkling like stardust atop things in the garden and on the lawn. Then as dawn’s early light kissed our few colorful autumn leaves, it turned them into glowing golden nuggets or the color of crystalized, reddish ripe persimmons or the usual, splendid oranges of advancing autumn. And as some of the leaves tumbled to the ground, winds blew them into little swirling eddies that played like happy children upon the lawn and in the street. O Autumn, your magic does indeed bring a sense of spectacular glory even as Spring and Summer’s progeny perish.

There is a playful side of nature, and there is a playful side in us which tells me that the Lord too knows something of playfulness since we are made in His image. Anyone who has seen or heard how breezes play in rustling leaves, how raindrops splatter and play on rooftops, how squirrels chase each other round and round a tree trunk has witnessed God’s sense of playfulness.

“Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew? From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?” ~Job 38:28-30   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

517. Autumn: “The season for enjoying the fullness of life…” ~Denis Waitley

Autumn, the year’s last,
loveliest smile.
~William Cullen Bryant

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And what an absolutely lovely smile it is! Earth is the only planet in the universe that’s just the right distance from the sun to support life as we know it, and by its 23 and a half degree tilt, the seasons are created, seasons that change as the result of wind, rain, fire, and ice. I think autumn smiles because it knows that its predecessors will come again and again to bring days of glory born in their reign back to fall’s domain. At the end of a great, BBC-made Disney movie called EARTH, the narrator, speaking with an appropriate sense of wonder and awe, makes the following statement, “Earth is full of harsh realities, but sometimes it’s just paradise.” And so it is! When our planet is seen in that light, one can’t help but realize the captivating majesty and goodness that Adam saw and that can still be seen today. When seasons are observed closely on a day to day basis or the opening verses of Ecclesiastes’ third chapter are read, mortals understand that everything, even harsh realities, has a season and purpose in God’s Creation. So it is that now the corners of fall’s mouth are already turning up and soon the season will spread into a grand and broad smiling face that brings an end only to the span of a single year.

  There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

395. A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the lover of the gift. ~Thomas à Kempis

God waits to win back his own flowers
as gifts from man’s hands.
~Rabindranath Tagore

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It was late summer when she, my neighbor down the street, called to ask if I wanted a Crinum Lily. She said she had planted one in her yard but that it was in too much shade to bloom. Up front let me just tell you that only because I’d wanted a pink Crinum for years and had not been able to acquire one that I would have even considered saying yes at that time of year, trudge on down to her house on foot with shovel in tow, and dig the thing up out of heavy clay soil under the scorching heat of the Texas sun. However after having been captivated by this lily years before, I endured the blistering heat, dug the bulb up, and brought it back down to my garden. And as soon as I recovered from my near heat stroke, I cut all the long, heat-beleaguered strappy foliage down to almost nothing, found a spot in my garden where I thought it would thrive, and put it in the ground. Soon my prized acquisition began to show new growth, and I was thrilled. Then in early December we had one of the worst ice storms I’ve ever seen here and for days the frozen remains blanketed the ground. During that time I kept hoping against hope that when I could get out to check on it, the new “baby” would have survived the ice-bound onslaught. But sadly what I found days later was foliage that had turned to brown mush. Since it had been so newly planted before the early, brute force of the icy assault, I gave up hope that it would make a come back. But sure enough after the start of the new year, it did, and again I was thrilled. Then in early March we had the hardest, late freeze on record, and again in the aftermath I found nothing but a stub of brown mush where my hope had so recently be restored. Surely I thought to myself, it won’t make it back this time, but as spring warmed the land, I started seeing new growth where twice my hope had been dashed, and I was thrilled. At long last June came, and I had lots of lovely green foliage. As late as it was, however, I put away hope for flowers this time around thinking that it had suffered too much, too soon to bloom. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I went out two days ago to find a tall stalk with buds on it had shot up almost overnight. Despite recent rains, I have been able, however, to capture the beauty of that which had previously been only a memory of something incredibly lovely I’d stumbled upon long ago in another’s garden. Isn’t it amazingly loving how without asking the Lord often grants us a thing of our heart’s desire out of the blue! I am thrilled. I am blessed. I am grateful.

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A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great. ~Proverbs 18:16  ✝

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.

296. March is a month of considerable frustration – it is so near spring and yet…the weather still so violent and changeable… ~Thalassa Cruso

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Let there never be forgot,
that once there was a spot,
for one brief, shining moment
that was known as Camelot.
~Lerner and Lowe, 1960

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The line above from the Broadway musical makes a statement that in fact there was a Camelot, and many people, including President John F. Kennedy, seemed to believe that it was a real time and place in history.  Real or not so real, it was the legendary, marvelously magical time and place of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. For me it’s magical moments in time when things ever so extraordinary and good are happening in the awakening landscape.  Then sadly when they get nipped in the bud by a bitter, cold snap, it’s a betrayal of sorts not unlike what brought an end to the glory of Camelot.  Such is what happened night before last to the pretty babies in the photographs.  But I shall not curse late February for telling the traitorous lies that led to their demise; instead I rejoice that they came at all.  Even if only for a few days their “brief, shining moment” in the garden’s “kingdom of Camelot” was stunningly beautiful.

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By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast.  ~Job 37:10  ✝