1410. Color is a power which directly influences the soul. ~Wassily Kandinsky

Of all God’s gifts to the sighted man,
color is the holiest,
the most divine, the most solemn.
-John Ruskin

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To the sighted man color is undeniably holy, but the sanctity of it goes deeper than the eye. Deep within the human soul I believe color is recognized as tidings from the Father of our world. There is also a holy melody meant for the ears. Pablo Picasso once asked, “Why do two colors, one put next to the other, sing?” He couldn’t explain it nor can I, but there are color combinations that compose the sweetest of tunes. Pink and blue is one of those duos, and together they sing a divine harmony reminiscent of sapphire skies filled with pink ribbons of light. And Richter, a soviet pianist, said, “Music is the poetry of the air,” and I couldn’t agree more because these colorful rhyming couplets fill the breath of my garden with prayer-like chants as well as with the holiness of their hues.

Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. ~Psalm 148:13  ✝

**Photos taken by Natalie; collage by Natalie

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

1348. Man is his own most vexing problem. ~Reinhold Niebuhr

To allow oneself to be carried away by
a multitude of conflicting concerns,
to surrender to too many demands,
to commit to too many projects,
to want to help everyone in everything
is itself to succumb to the violence of our times.
Frenzy destroys our inner capacity for peace.
It destroys the fruitfulness of our work,
because it kills the root of inner wisdom
which makes work fruitful.
~Thomas Merton

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My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. ~Thomas Merton

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters, He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake. ~Psalm 23:1-3  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest; special effects created by me on iPiccy

1087. I can hear you making small holes in the silence rain… ~Excerpted line from a poem by Jerry Hughes

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby…
~Excerpt from a poem by Langston Hughes

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Listen to the rain! Each drop whispers secrets as it falls in many notes. All in tune the pitter pattering of their rich elemental sounds reveal a holy, life-giving melody written by the hand of God. Yahweh’s songs tell of filling lakes and streams to quench the thirst of earth and man and of replenishing gardens so as to provide food for the bodies and beauty for the souls of His children. There too are songs that like tears which empty the heart of sorrow fall like mercy from above to bless and heal in their quiet persistence.

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!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,

smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches

and the grass below.
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
of the rain.
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by Mary Oliver

I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. ~Leviticus 26:4 ✝

**Images found on Pinterest

925. The earth has music for those who listen. ~William Shakespeare

Inside the silence between
your 
heartbeats hides a summons.
Do you hear it?
Listen.
Quiet the voices and noise around you.
Honor the Holy One calling you!
~Author Unknown

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I perceive the universe as a cosmic temple and planet earth as a sanctuary in that temple. Although not given the power of speech as such therein, rain and other weather-related phenomena exhibit distinctive voices in and under the heavens. And as these things fall from earth’s chaotic atmosphere, they often blend their unique voices with other holy sounds in the natural world. In that sacred chorus is a call for humanity to seek the Maker of the temple because God not only hardwired man with a desire to connect with other human beings but also with a  longing to seek and connect with Him. Thus to that end man was given eyes to witness the sacraments of heaven and earth, ears to hear the chants of their hallowed voices, intellect to question and understand to some extent what is seen and heard, and a heart that in due time turns from irreverence to deep longing.  Tecumseh, a leader of the Shawnee, said, “Nature is so powerful, so strong.  Capturing the essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the rain in its weather.  It takes you to a place within yourself.” And so after the 11 inches of magical, mystical rain that we’ve had in the last week, I’m a’listenin’ and doin’ little jigs all over the place.

…let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— ~Proverbs 1:5  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

923. Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark. ~Henri-Frédéric Amiel

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs;
ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is
people who have come alive.
~Howard Thurman

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I remember reading an article a while back about Pablo Casals, the world-renowned cellist. He was in his 90’s at the time and still going strong so the reporter asked him to what he attributed his health and longevity. Casals answered that they were the result of his passion for music. When I read that, I was envious because at that time I had never experienced that kind of passion for anything. But the Lord knows the desires of our hearts, and it came to pass that He granted me things to stir up passion in me. It began one summer when I bought some seeds and sowed them in pots on my patio. From the onset seeing new life emerge from those tiny seeds, I was hooked. So with spade in hand, I began pushing it down into the soil and thus began my love of gardening. As my efforts flourished and the birds and bees came, the desire to capture the day to day beauty of it all became the catalyst of my passion for photography. Now not only do I have a great camera and lots of beds with wondrously beautiful flowers but on my blog I’ve also sown, it seems, a “garden” that blooms with amazingly deligtful people.

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4  ✝

**Images via Pinterest, and the music in video is my happy song

904. Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace. ~May Sarton

    Gardening time is time that involves itself in the moment,
that focuses on the soaring stateliness of trees and
the minute scale of the tiniest blossom.

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The time that began in a garden is the kind of time I go to my garden to find again. It’s the time the way God created it: as a servant and not a master.

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This kind of time is a container for worthwhile work, a resource for creating the beautiful and feeding the hungry and growing soul. It is measured in drifting or purposeful hours, in day and then night and then day again, in slowly rolling seasons, each with its special purpose under heaven.

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Garden time required daily attention but does not require that everything be done in a day. I go to my garden to rediscover that kind of time. And I have to take time out from the other kind of time to discover it.

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It’s great to get away from the rat race, the conveyor belt, the traffic jam, to be renewed and refreshed in the company of growing things; it feels like a day in the country. ~All pasages by Emilie Barnes

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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 2:15  ✝

**A friend and fellow blogger asked me to post pictures of my garden. And so I spent some time looking through old photos this afternoon. But here’s the thing, my “garden” is actually in flower beds all around the house and along the fences. The largest portion may be in the backyard, but it is separated by other beds and sections of the yard so finding a photo the covered it all quickly became an insurmountable problem. Then I also realized that what might be blooming in some photos is not blooming later in the year. So it really is a moveable feast as it were, and now it is waning rapidly, not so much because the temperatures have lowered all that much but because we haven’t gotten rain in months. So I’ve already started cutting down spent perennials, pruning roses, and pulling down vines that have nearly bloomed out. Sadly right now there is only a smattering of things worth seeing, and it’s hasn’t even gotten cool enough for any leaves to start turning their lovely colors. There are only the dead and brown ones from the heat and lack of rain. However, I did go back and found some pictures that give an idea of the splendor around here at times.  Another thing, look at the white trellis in the third photo; it is now completely covered with spent autumn clematis vines and morning glory vines that are both waning fast. In the last photo, the black round trellis in front of the metal sunflower is also covered in waning morning glories. So the garden really does alter its appearance from month to month and season to season as some things perish and new things are planted. A garden at any given moment is just a work in progress.