1068. Gardening is 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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A garden is a grand teacher.
It teaches patience and careful watchfulness;
it teaches industry and thrift;
above all it teaches entire trust.
~Gertrude Jekyll

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Garden Magic

This is the garden’s magic,
That through the sunny hours
The gardener who tends it,
Himself outgrows his flowers.

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He grows by gift of patience,
Since he who sows must know
That only in the Lord’s good time
Does any seedling grow.

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He learns from buds unfolding,
From each tight leaf unfurled,
That his own heart, expanding,
Is one with all the world.

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He bares his head to sunshine,
His bending back a sign
Of grace, and ev’ry shower becomes
His sacramental wine.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.35.06 PM.pngAnd when at last his labors
Bring forth the very stuff
And substance of all beauty
This is reward enough.
~Marie Nettleton Carroll

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The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. ~Genesis 1:15  ✝

**All images via my garden in 2015

718. The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others. ~Saint John Chrysostom

The honey-bee’s great ambition
is to be rich, to lay up great stores,
to possess the sweet 
of every flower that blooms.
She is more than provident.
Enough will not satisfy her,
she must have all
she can get by hook or crook.
~John Burroughs

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How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!

How skillfully she builds her cell!
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labors hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.
~Excerpted verses from a poem
by Isaac Watts

Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. ~Proverbs 24:13   ✝

**Texas Hill Country image via Facebook

681. Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning sun can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – like writing a poem, or saying a prayer. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves. ~Edwin Way Teale

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Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. If you have them, you have to take care of them! ~Peace Pilgrim

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Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice. ~Joseph B. Wirthlin

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Don’t stop yourself from enjoying the now because of an imagined tomorrow or a remembered yesterday. Take a look at how you’re stopping yourself from being happy. ~Marie T. Russell

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There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you. ~Deuteronomy 12:7   ✝

**All images via Pinterest

509. How we treat the vulnerable is how we define ourselves as a species. ~Russell Brand

What is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The lustre of the eye?
Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?
Yes, but not for this alone.

Is it to feel our strength –
Not our bloom only, but our strength -decay?
Is it to feel each limb
Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
Each nerve more weakly strung?

Yes, this, and more!

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It is to spend long days
And not once feel that we were ever young.
It is to add, immured
In the hot prison of the present, month
To month with weary pain.

It is to suffer this,
And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel:
Deep in our hidden heart
Festers the dull remembrance of a change,
But no emotion -none.

It is -last stage of all –
When we are frozen up within, and quite
The phantom of ourselves…
~Excerpted lines from a poem by Matthew Arnold

Echoes, echoes of the past–voices, so many familiar voices gone, now silenced by the closing of their life’s doors–memories, memories mingling with the present, all bringing the dark clouds that move in across her brain where the fury of raging storms begin on unfamiliar shores. The echoes, the voices, and the memories become scrambled in her dementia so that things and people once cherished create anxiety, anguish, and at times torment. Her mind, once sharp and clear, is now befuddled as she becomes more and more lost inside herself and her fears. Her family raised, her labors done, there is nothing left now but the lonely silence of her worsening deafness and the rapid waning of her vision. Soon she will be ever so far away from me, the one in whose womb my life began. Will she then still know my face and the feel of my touch? Will the skies ever again clear in her head and cast her weary, but back on familiar shores? Or has she begun the final journey of her dreaded aloneness? Please Lord, be with my mother as she struggles to navigate these dark passages of uncharted waters. Bring her comfort and peace, and if not mine, then let her recognize Your touch and know Your face. Let the child she has again become blindly trust as she once did that all is well with her soul and that You will care for her always. And let Your sweet benedictions steal into her senescent heart and fragile mind that’s becoming so profoundly confused, wounded, and betrayed by her aged, earthly body.

One of my followers commented yesterday on my memory post about the sadness of dealing with an aging parent who has Alzheimer’s, and I know that others of you are caring for elderly parents whose memories are failing. In those situations there are two or more people affected by the circumstances; both the aged and their caregiver(s) are profoundly impacted by this passage. So I decided to share the above with all of you.  It is something I wrote in my journal during a long, hard night when I was caring for my 92-year-old mother before she passed away.

 

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. ~Isaiah 46:4   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. ~Isaiah 46:4 ✝