1337. Of winter’s lifeless world each tree now seems a perfect part; yet each one holds spring’s secret deep down within its heart. ~Edited quote by Charles G. Stater

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers…
~Thomas Campion

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Gray, foggy dreariness
ushered in the day;
A mist, a cold, frigid drizzle,
fell from on high;
Bare, starkly austere, lay everything
I could see; and
Silence, a stilled quietude, blanketed
my wintry garden.
Bleakly naked, towered tall trees that
stood above all else,
But underneath them from the secret place
murmured a voice,
The sacred, almost indistinguishable, faint
whisper emerged amid
The fog and fine rain to go forward undetected
past the woody sentinels
To allow its utterances to break into morn’s reverie
to tell of signs, longed for signs
Of tiny sparks of life that are preparing to push up
despite the gloominess
And ‘twas this message that stirred embers in my spirit
to keep their glimmer from
Becoming far too dim to continue sustaining my hope,
expectations, and “joie de vie.”

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Don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter.
It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.
~Rumi

The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. ~Job 37:9 ✝

**Both photos taken by Natalie

1253. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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She,
In the dark,
Found light
Brighter than many ever see.
She,
Within herself,
Found loveliness,
Through the soul’s own mastery.
And now the world receives
From her dower:
The message of the strength
Of inner power.
~Helen Keller, a poem
by Langston Hughes

My son, pay attention to what I (God) say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. ~Proverbs 4:20-22  ✝

**Helen Keller was born with the ability to see and hear. At 19 months of age, she contracted an illness described by doctors as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain,” which might have been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness left her both deaf and blind.

729. 
Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message. ~Malcolm Muggeridge

Is there a green too green
Is there a wet too wet
In a land that has
suffered long, a drought.

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Is there a heaven too high
Is there a ground too low
In a world that has
suffered much, for a Savior

Is there a Father too loving
Is there a God too merciful
In a heart that has
suffered long, afflictions

Shake not your fists at the heavens
Shake not your fists at the world
Seek instead the One
who came to make a way for all
through the wilderness
through the darkness
through the confusion
through the suffering
~Natalie Scarberry

The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed in gladness. ~Psalms 65:12   ✝

683. Whatever we are waiting for – springtime, peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart. ~Edited line by Sarah Ban Breathnach

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields
has power to move you, if the simple things
of nature have a message that you understand,
rejoice, for your soul is alive.
~Eleonora Duse

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Spring is teeming. Even in areas where snow still covers the ground, much is happening in the hidden realms at this time of year; tight buds get looser, nutrients begin to nourish roots in the sunny corners of the earth, and the hibernating creatures among us start to awaken. ~Excerpted and edited lines from Gratefulness.org

Out of His (Jesus Christ’s) fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. ~John 1:16   ✝

**Image of Pink Ranunculus via Pinterest

300. Gardens are a form of autobiography. ~Sydney Eddison

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My Garden is a pleasant place
Of sun glory and leaf grace.
My lilac trees are old and tall;
They send their perfume over trees
And roofs and streets, to find the bees.

I wish some power would touch my ear
With magic touch, and make me hear
What all the blossoms say, and so
I might know what the winged things know.
And I would sing them all for you!

My garden is a pleasant place
Of moon glory and wind grace.
O friend, wherever you may be,
Will you not come to visit me?

Over fields and streams and hills,
I’ll pipe like yellow daffodils,
And every little wind that blows
Shall take my message as it goes.

A heart may travel very far
To come where its desires are,
Oh, may some power touch my ear,
And grant me grace, and make you hear!

~Excerpts from a poem by Louise Driscoll

I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees.  ~Ecclesiastes 2:5   ✝

**photo via Pinterest

228. Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves. ~Eric Sevareid, CBS new journalist

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Every happening, great and small,
is a parable whereby God speaks to us,
and the art of life is to get the message.
~Malcolm Muggeridge,
English journalist, author, media personality, and satirist

Purporting that life is “a tale told by an idiot signifying nothing” or that it’s merely the result of events that can be explained through science or reason falls short of compelling realities to the contrary.  If mortals were simply intellectual beings, they’d not emote, express feelings, or commit loving acts that are seemingly inspired in some inscrutable place within their physical being.  These things, like all happenings in Creation, are symbolic narratives designed to teach or illustrate truths about the Ancient of Days who not only created us but also wired humans with the capacity to feel, to express emotions, and to extend kindnesses to one another.  So the sacred isn’t merely above us but forever within the entire body of Creation, and discovering the sacrosanct in it can’t help but stir in the descendants of Adam a sense of connection and belonging to a higher Power.  The resources and bounty of planet earth alone give us plenteous reasons to sense the presence of a Holy Benefactor and feel His gracious, creative, and loving hands at work in our lives.  But for me what sparks an even stronger desire within my human heart to seek the Creator is that God expanded the narrative and clearly revealed Himself when He sent His Son to be our Savior; Jesus is our memory, and in coming to offer us salvation, He reminds us of who we are and to whom we belong.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  ~Ephesians 1:17   ✝