858. Faith sees a beautiful blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed, and a giant oak in an acorn. ~William Arthur Ward

Faith is that tiny beautiful songbird in
one’s heart that sings wonderful melodies
even during the darkest moments
because it feels and sees the divine light
that is yet to arrive with the dawn.

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Faith enables us to believe in something,
something that may be beyond 
any
rationale, reasoning or logic.
And faith is also our inner strength that
empowers us to bring our dreams and vision
to fruition, with the Grace of God.
So take a leap in the unknown with
full faith in God and yourself.
~Author Unknown

The earth is filled with your love, Lord: teach me your decrees. ~Psalm 119:64  ✝

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629. One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.
~W. E. Johns 

The greatest achievement was at first
and for a time a dream.
The oak sleeps in the acorn,
the bird waits in the egg,
and in the highest vision of the soul
a waking angel stirs.
Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
~James Allen

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Part of the genius of God’s grand design is that we awaken every day to a fresh flowing of His energy and vitality that has been stored in the seeds of our being, seeds that possess the same strength as that of the rising sun, earth’s swelling seas, and its fertile plains. An excellent time to look for the shining of His everlasting light in the “sanctuary of the soul” is in the first waking moments of each new day. That inward realm is where doors open to the germination of new life because inside each one of us the Lord has planted His “seeds of greatness.” There’s never a moment in life when either in and of ourselves or in the people around us that there are not yet unopened gifts of promise. Simply put, “heaven’s creativity on earth” is born in our bodies, and therein the Master’s “sacred hopes” are hidden.

From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth-He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. ~Psalm 33:13-15   ✝

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582. Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open. ~John Barrymore

Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.
~William Wordsworth

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Lingering in Happiness

After rain after many days without rain,
it stays cool, private and cleansed, under the trees,
and the dampness there, married now to gravity,
falls branch to branch, leaf to leaf, down to the ground

where it will disappear – but not, of course, vanish
except to our eyes. The roots of the oaks will have their share,
and the white threads of the grasses, and the cushion of moss;
a few drops, round as pearls, will enter the mole’s tunnel;

and soon so many small stones, buried for a thousand years,
will feel themselves being touched.

~Mary Oliver

To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness… ~Excerpt from Ecclesiastes 2:26   ✝

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572. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

When the oak is felled
the whole forest echoes with its fall,
but a hundred acorns are sown
in silence by an unnoticed breeze.
~Thomas Carlyle

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A tiny acorn falls from a towering tree. An even tinier seed drops from a flowering plant. Deciduous trees and shrubs lose their sheltering leaves. Perennials die down to the shivering ground when the first hard freeze comes, and the flourishing grass withers and turns brown. At a glance there is no telling proof of life as the sun and moon pass over barren fields throughout the short, cold days and the long colder nights of late autumn and wintertime. Yet the world doesn’t pass into nothingness. What the Lord spoke into the void remains alive in dark, inner chambers where it lies in wait, waiting patiently with expectancy for moments in time when a spark will activate the memory of what Yahweh spoke, and once again life emerges from sacred, secret places. Then sunlight and rain, filled with the same kind of holiness, nurtures the new growth and urges it on to another round of completion. For in the faithful and ongoing rites of passage in springtime under the multitudinous orbs of heaven, life goes on directed by the ancient and engulfing rhyme and reason of the Maker of Heaven and Earth who is as omnipresent now as He has ever and always been.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:18   ✝

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567. Fragrance takes you on a journey of time. ~Daphne Guinness

There’s not a wind
but whispers thy name;
not a scent that beneath the moon,
but tells a tale of thee…
~Edited and adapted excerpt
from Bryan Proctor

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As I opened the door to go out and close up the greenhouse, I could smell the scent of a wood burning fire wafting through the garden. All around me the darkness was descending uncommonly quiet and still except for a slow trickle of water falling from one tier to another in the fountain. It had been a cloudy day, but now occasional breaks in the clouds were allowing glimpses of a waxing gibbous moon–the distinctive, ancient moon that was the only nocturnal companion for those who’d once lived a more solitary existence where I now stand. As I stopped to inhale the fragrance of autumn’s ripeness, the aroma of burning oak, and the scent of the damp soil, I was momentarily transfixed as images of pioneers moving west across the land passed before my mind’s eye. They were descendants of immigrants like my great-grandparents who came here in covered wagons from the east, and I reckon that maybe, just maybe, it’s echoes of their voices I yet hear whispering faintly in the winds that blow across the Texas prairies.

I love the aroma of wood smoke and the crunching sound of autumn leaves beneath my feet and the savory scents that fill the space between heaven and earth this time of year. When darkness lowers, the moon, if it’s up there, is a comforting presence in the night sky, and the long nights ahead become cozy times of nestling down in a comfy chair with a cup of hot chocolate or tea for warmth to dream, yes to dream, first that in some soon-to-come felicitous moment I’ll look out the window and witness the wondrous spectacle of snow and secondly that spring will come sooner than usual and be even more glorious than the last. Ah, but how the marvelous old moon makes dreamers out of us all!

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere. ~2 Corinthians 2:14   ✝

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478. If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God. ~Gilbert K. Chesterton

Tonight the sun died like an Emperor…
great scarlet arcs of silk…
saffron…green…crimson…
and the blaze of Venus to remind one
of the absolute and the infinite…
~John Coldstream

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The busy buzzing of the bees had ceased, and the butterflies had completed the day’s last waltz as gentle breezes began ruffling leaves late yesterday. As the zephyrs moved through the yard, the nodding sea oats looked like jittery lawn dancers in the descending, shadows of darkness. The sunlight, with night, the vanquishing “emperor,” nipping at its heels, had almost oozed out of the day as I went out to watch it yield more and more of its hold on the garden. While I kept an eye on the stunning blaze along the western horizon, I saw the yard birds diving and darting into safe havens for the night and the screeching grackles, much higher in the sky, looking for lodging elsewhere. The hastening darkness added frantic drama to their random forays for nightly asylum but not enough to make me feel even the slightest remorse for making sure they didn’t return to my yard. Then in the distance I heard a train whistle, and from the sound the locomotive seemed to be moving at a fast and frenzied pace for home, and I hoped it, too, would make it before long. As the last shaft of sunlight moved up and off the towering oak, a velvety hush lowered, and the lone sparrow who’d been sitting on the edge of the roof at last vanished. Then, boom, the sun fell off the edge of the world, and the blackness of night was to be denied no longer.

Each part of a day has a feel and reality of its own. Take time to savor the uniqueness in each passing moment and say a prayer of simple praise for comforting patterns and rhythms.

May you go into the night
blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.
~John O’Donohue

By day the Lord directs His love, at night His Son is with me-a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8   ✝

244. The sky puts on the darkening blue coat held for it by a row of ancient trees… ~Ranier Maria Rilke

It is a good idea to be alone in a garden
at dawn or dark so that
all its shy presences may haunt you and
possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.
~James Douglas

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Reverence rises, a hush falls, and a lone bird sings on in the silence of twilight until there is no more cloud cover, no more noise, no more light.  A waxing gibbous moon climbs higher and higher in an azure sky that’s quickly deepening to dark indigo.  Silhouetted trees stand like giant sentinels over the winter-ravaged garden.  The darkness around me now is steeped in calmness beneath the ancient moon that’s casting its glow through the branches of the huge oak as it heads up to cross over heaven’s dome.  Although there’s an element of fear in the dark of night, something sacred draws me into it.  Whenever possible, I linger and, in being haunted by all its shy presences, I feel the wonder of Creation beneath the stars.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established…O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  Psalm 8:3,9  ✝