1313. In the woods we return to reason and faith. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson  

How beautifully the leaves grow old!
How full of light and color are their last days!
~John Burroughs

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It is not so much for its beauty
that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts,
as for that subtle something, that quality of air,
that emanation from old trees that so wonderfully
changes and renews a weary spirit.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

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The forest is not merely an expression or representation of sacredness, nor a place to invoke the sacred; the forest is sacredness itself.  Nature is not merely created by God, nature is God. Whoever moves within the forest can partake directly of sacredness, experience sacredness with his entire body, breath sacredness and contain it within himself, drink the sacred water as a living communion, bury his feet in sacredness, open his eyes and witness the burning beauty of sacredness. ~Richard Nelson

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The forests are the flags of nature.
They appeal to all and awaken
inspiring universal feelings.
Enter the forest and the boundaries
of nations are forgotten. It may be
that some time an immortal pine
will be the flag of a united peaceful world.
~Enos A. Mills

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When you enter a grove peopled with ancient trees, higher than the ordinary, and shutting out the sky with their thickly inter-twined branches, do not the stately shadows of the wood, the stillness of the place, and the awful gloom of this doomed cavern then strike you with the presence of a deity?  ~Seneca

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Take me to a quiet place
with earth under our backs,
cradled in a soft forest glade.
There we’ll point out and
acknowledge things we see
and things we do not.
In solitude we’ll take in the
wisdom offered in each other
and in the hum of the forest.
~Phoebe Wahl

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Underfoot, leaves of  wondrous autumn colors
crunch beneath my feet as I tread on and upon
earth’s hallowed ground to capture a piece of the
Lord’s reddened glory laid upon a wooden altar!
~Natalie Scarberry

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When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” ~Luke 5:20  ✝

**Notice the lady bug on the leaf in the first photo. I love it when I get an unexpected bonus on a photo. All photos were taken this last week by me.

1208. Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar. ~William Wordsworth

We plant seeds that will flower
as results in our lives, so best
to remove the weeds of anger,
avarice, envy and doubt,
that peace and abundance
may manifest for all.
~Dorothy Day

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Weeder’s Thoughts
I have raked the soil and planted the seeds
Now I’ve joined the army that fights the weeds.
For me no flashing saber and sword,
To battle the swiftly marching horde;
With a valiant heart I fight the foe,
My only weapon a trusty hoe.
No martial music to swing me along,
I march to the robin redbreast song.
No stirring anthem of bugle and drum
But the cricket’s chirp and the honey bee’s hum.
No anti-aircraft or siren yell
But there’s Trumpet-creeper and Lily-bell.
With a loving heart and a sturdy hand,
I defend the borders of flower-land;
While high over Larkspur and Leopardsbane,
A butterfly pilots his tiny plane;
But I shall not fear his skillful hand,
My enemy charges only by land.
Would those who lead nations in war and hate
But lay down their guns at some garden gate,
There, bury-their bombs and their bloody deeds,
And join the grand army that’s fighting the weeds.
~Alma B. Eymann

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding. ~Proverbs 3:13  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

673. Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

There be delights that will fetch the day about
from sun to sun and rock the tedious year
as in a delightful dream …for a garden is Arcady
(a region of rural simplicity and contentment)
brought home.  It is man’s bit of gaudy
make-believe – his well-disguised fiction
of an unvexed Paradise – a world where
gayety knows no eclipse…
~Edited lines by John D. Sedding

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Shhhhhhh! Do you hear it? Okay, okay, try again. Listen carefully! Did you hear something this time? Did you? If not, did you see anything different? Surely with the vernal equinox only 4 days away, you’ve heard and seen the come-hither voice of springtime and the early signs of it that daily grow more visible and audible. In my yard and elsewhere birds are aflutter and atwitter as they bring nesting materials to birdhouses; colorful crocuses, upright and abloom, chant lovely, little ditties; green perennials whisper quiet anthems as they rise from wombs beneath the soil in search of light and warmth; iris spears that were cut back in the fall now stand tall again offering up gladsome refrains; busy, buzzing bees scurry about in search of nectar and pollen; swelling buds on cherry trees whisper pretty, pink ballads; and on and on go the sights and sounds that make the human heart leap as the faithful promise of Spring materializes once more.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. ~Psalm 6:11   ✝

321. Hurt no living thing: ladybird, nor butterfly, nor moth with dusty wing. ~Christina Georgina Rossetti

Winged insect feeding
for eons on nectar or
pollen and aphids

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Wake you at twilight
In the greening of the year
To hunt and lay eggs

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In gardens galore
and parks, meadows, or elsewhere
rid you plants from harm

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Found you I at dusk
sheltered in magnolia’s bloom
resting from a feast

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before the nations. ~Isaiah 61:11 ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us!

76. Through the dancing poppies stole a breeze most softly lulling to my soul. ~John Keats

Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe of God,
nothing seems to me more surprising than the planting of a seed
in the blank earth and the result thereof.
Take the 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

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I love poppies, not just the flowers but also the lovely, fat pods that contain the future of the species.  The plants that put on silky, paper-thin blossoms can grow to be 3 or 4 feet tall here if the “hardly visible” seeds are sown in the fall.  So it is that in late October I toss out seeds from the ones I harvested from last’s years pods, and then all winter long I wait for the beauties which “baffle description” to make their appearance in my garden.  As winter moves along, I keep myself reassured by going out to check on them after especially frigid days or after occasional snowfalls to make sure the burgeoning “babies” have not succumbed to the elements.  And each time I go out, I almost squeal with delight when I discover that most of them, if not all, are still slowly but surely growing bigger and stronger.  Then sometime in the early spring the day comes when the waiting is over and standing before me are the first fruits of my labors and watchfulness.  Like dainty chalices, the cup-like flowers open up and drink in the day’s light while penning God’s autograph on the “scenes” of yet another springtime.  Day by day after each individual flower’s petals fall to the ground, the intriguing seed pods take their place, and as temperatures climb, they begin to ripen.  Some of these I eventually let fall to the ground to self sow; the remainder I gather and keep safe and dry until autumn comes and it is again time for me to partner with Creation and scatter abroad the “merest atoms” of such beautiful matter.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.  ~Isaiah 61:11