1358. If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden. ~Frances Hodgson Burnett, THE SECRET GARDEN

Gardening 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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However many years she lived, Mary always felt
that ‘she should never forget that first morning
when her garden began to grow’…I am sure there is
Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough
to get hold of it and make it do things for us.
~Excerpted lines from THE SECRET GARDEN
by Frances Hodgson Burnett

One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands out and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun–which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with the millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone’s eyes. ~Frances Hodgson Burnett, THE SECRET GARDEN

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At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done–then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago…Of course there must be lots of Magic in the world,” he said wisely one day, “but people don’t know what it is like or how to make it. Perhaps the beginning is just to say nice things are going to happen until you make them happen. I am going to try and experiment….And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles… Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraging thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable, determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place. ~Excerpted lines from THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. ~Genesis 2:8  ✝

“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce…” ~Jeremiah 29:5  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; text added to the collage by Natalie; collage created by Natalie

1297. There are no sounds that can stir the sublime emotions of men’s souls like the sighs and whispers of nature. ~James Lendall Basford

Magic is really only the utilization
of the entire spectrum of the senses.
Humans have cut themselves off
from their senses. Now they see only
a tiny portion of the visible spectrum,
hear only the loudest of sounds;
their sense of smell is shockingly poor,
and they can only distinguish
the sweetest and sourest of tastes.
~Michael Scott

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I know the thrill of the grasses
when the rain pours over them.
I know the trembling of the leaves
when the winds sweep through them.
I know what the white clover
felt as it held a drop of dew
pressed close in its beauteousness.
I know the quivering of the fragrant petals
at the touch of the pollen-legged bees.
I know what the stream said
to the dipping willows, and what
the moon said to the sweet lavender.
I know what the stars said when
they came stealthily down and crept
fondly into the tops of the trees.
~Muriel Strode

…there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord… ~Excerpt fro Jeremiah 33:10 and 11  ✝

1249. The bee’s life is like a magic well: the more you draw from it, the more it fills with water. ~Karl Von Frisch

Bees do have a smell, you know,
and if they don’t they should,
for their feet are dusted with
spices from a million flowers.
~Ray Bradbury

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I could do that.
I could nuzzle into those blossoms,
bury my nose in that corolla,
rub my belly all over with that
succulent pollen.

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I could live in that body
with the requisite pose,
with the honeybee’s reticent
enthusiasm,

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never taking too much from any one blossom,
never quarreling with my fellow foragers,
keeping my pollen-sacs well-balanced,
eyes shined, antennae erect

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I could master the dance steps–
I love to dance.
And I have no qualms about
humming the solar anthem
dawn to dusk,
praising the fire in my wings as the one
and only engine of pure transport.

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Just don’t ask me
to enter the hive. I get anxious
even thinking of that buzzing horde,
packed together in angelic densities. Inside
I can’t tell which are the brood chambers
and which are the tombs, which is the honeycomb
and which are the catacombs.

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To whom do I bow? Where do I spit?
What if the guard bees take me for an interloper?
And what will the queen do
if she catches me alone?

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So maybe
I’m not ready for that life.
Maybe I haven’t even figured out
how to be a human–

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how to walk straight
pay attention,
try to keep my head out of the clouds.
~Honeybeeing by Charles Goodrich

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

**Images via Pinterest and Pixabay

1201. The bee’s life is like a magic well: the more you draw from it, the more it fills with water. ~Karl Von Frisch

Collaboration is the essence of life.
The wind, bees and flowers work together,
to spread the pollen. Mindfulness gives us 
the
opportunity to work with the cosmic collaboration.
~Amit Ray

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Bee Prayer
Winged spirit of sweetness
I call on you.
Teach me the ways of
Transformation and fertilization,
The path from pollen to sweetest honey.
Teach me to taste the essence
Of each place I alight,
Carrying that essence with me
To continue Creation’s cycle.
Teach me the ways of hope,
Reminding me that what seems impossible
May yet be achieved.
Flitting tears of the heavens,
Draw me ever closer to the wisdom
Hidden within beauty.
Give me flight and sunlight,
Passion and productivity,
Cooperation with those around me
And sharpened strength to defend my home.
May I spiral out from my heart
Searching for what I need
And return there once again
To turn those lessons into nourishment.
~Author Unknown

Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. ~Proverbs 24:14  ✝

**Bee images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

1168. To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle. ~Walt Whitman

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day,
a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic
waiting somewhere behind the morning.
~J. B. Priestley

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I have a recliner opposite my patio doors, and the doors are wide enough to afford a great view of a sizable portion of our yard and its flower beds. When I first get up in the morning, I enjoy sitting for a while in my chair watching the sun come up and the birds begin their daily activities. In the top photo above you can see a portion of a patio chair, part of the flower bed near the patio, part of another flower bed by Natalieworld, and about a third of the island bed that’s between me and the back fence. It was started decades ago before the removal of a large stand of bamboo that was behind it and the subsequent development of a new flower bed that now runs along the fence. Thus that back bed has become a sort of secret garden since you can’t see much of it until you walk around the island bed along the path near my neighbor’s fence on the north or the path that runs along the north side of the greenhouse. So it’s always fun to see what I’ll find when I finally get up and out to go look for what’s new back there on any given day. That back bed, anchored by a purple red bud tree that I’ve watched come up from a volunteer seedling, is where I threw out lots and lots of different kinds of seeds last fall. As spring advanced first came the poppies, the larkspur, the cornflowers, and the ragged ladies, and now the coneflowers, monarda, hollyhock, allium, daylilies, and a few sunflowers are blooming there currently. Also I have several kinds of vines beginning to climb on the chain link fence back there, and so soon I’ll have a host of morning glories, moonflowers, and coral vine flowers. So it is that a garden is more of a moveable feast than a static thing and when people ask what I have growing, it really depends on the week or the month. And I think that’s what I love most about it. But then there are the transitional times when not too much of anything at all is blooming.

If you really want to draw close to your garden,
you must remember first of all that you are
dealing with a being that lives and dies;
like the human body, with its poor flesh.
One cannot always see it dressed up
for a ball, manicured and immaculate.
~Fernand Lequenne

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God. People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.~Psalm 36:7-8  ✝

1164. Drip, drip, drip in cadenced rhythm fall the rain’s dotted silver threads from heaven above. ~Natalie Scarberry

I looked out the window at the falling rain
and gave myself over to the compelling urge to put
myself entirely in the keeping of this rainy day.
~Edited lines from a poem
by Raymond Carver

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Drip, drip, dripping from on high it falls
Not in torrents this time, but in a tender grayness.
Fall, fall, falling through space it comes
Traveling from who knows where and what source
Yet it brings familiar scents and thoughts of yore.
Would I, could I, unravel such things!

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Puddles, puddles, puddling everywhere
Making pools of water like bits of glassy mirrors.
Hang, hang, hanging are leaves and flowery faces
Weighed down by the heaviness of daylong showers
Born of lowering gray clouds leaden with water
Yet there is loveliness in their blurry, drooping poses.
Would I, could I, paint such things.

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Memories, memories, making their way through the rain
With smacks of this fragrance and that, places and people,
Joys and pain, good things and bad things all tied up
In “raindrops on roses” and more of my favorite things
That sparkle and forever accompany rainy days and quiet ways.
Yet there’s gladness in it all for it’s the sum and magic of a life.
Would I, could I, understand such things.
~Natalie Scarberry

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Last night the rain spoke to me
slowly, saying, what joy to come falling
out of the brisk cloud, to be happy again
in a new way on the earth!
~Excerpt from a poem
by Mary Oliver

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“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” ~Job 11:7  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yard today while holding an umbrella in one hand and trying to manage the camera with the other one.

1139. If it’s drama that you sigh for, plant a garden and you’ll get it. ~Edward A. Guest

‘Tis like the birthday of the world,
When earth was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes,
The air is all perfume…
~Excerpt from a poem by Thomas Hood

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One of my favorite poems in all of “poemdom” is this one below by Robert Browning. In fact I recite it to myself at least once every spring.

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn; God’s in his Heaven—
All’s right with the world!

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Spring began very early here, almost a month and a half ago, but this morning was the first one exactly like the quintessential spring morning of which Browning spoke. A heavy dew had blanketed everything that lay before my eyes making grass and flower sparkle, and in the sparkle was the sort of magic that thrills this old gardener’s heart beyond measure. So I sat spellbound forever so long in my chair watching the birds feed and the squirrels play and the breeze ruffle petals and leaves. My little piece of Eden was gloriously alive as well as all of her adoring paramours. What a  magnificent sight to behold it was as light oozed into all the dark corners, not only outside the window but also in the windows of my being! What had been created in the beginning continually points to the Creator, and oh what a Creator He is! My eyes were filled, my ears were filled, my cup of life was filled, and in and of it all was Yahweh, that Holy Presence, who continually fills my soul with His goodness and grace. Oh how I adore Him and His wondrous Eden!!!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. ~Psalm 23: 6  ✝