1327. I must have flowers, always, and always. ~Claude Monet

Flowers seem intended for the
solace of ordinary humanity.
~John Ruskin

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Last weekend one of my grandsons went with me to do our grocery shopping. When I told him to stop a minute at the floral department, he asked if I bought flowers every week, and I replied with a boisterous “yes.” That made him chuckle at first; then he became curious and asked me why. I replied with Monet’s exact declaration above. Since then I’ve been contemplating why I have that compelling need but have been able to come up little more than that they are beautiful, they cheer me up, and they are fun to replicate with a camera or on a canvas. Since I’m not much of an artist however, a camera and editing programs are much more able to help me create good images than those I try to achieve with paints or pens. Not only that, because I’m one of those people who has a persistent and irresistible urge to find beauty and be creative, even the tiniest of flowers can satisfy both those needs.

Passions, who can say from whence they come
or why, but I for one am glad there’s solace,
comfort, and joy to be found in them, for ‘tis they
that bringeth the light needed to make it through
the dark nights of my soul, and it’s evident that the
Lord of heaven and earth whom I adore and seek
finds them to be so as well for one learns much of
Him and His heart in the Genesis account of Creation.

There is no atom in earth but is alive and astir in the all-penetrating splendor of God. From the infinitesimal to the infinite, everything is striving to express the thought of His Presence with which it overflows. ~Lucy Larcom

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. ~Romans 1:20  ✝

**Photo taken by Natalie and the special effects and border were done by her on iPiccy

1177. The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just to the body, but the soul. ~Alfred Austin

I look back with gladness to the day when I found the path to the land of heart’s desire, and thank fate ceaselessly with a loud voice that it did not permit town to sap all the years away while the heart was turning to wind-voices and flower-faces and the hands of kindly earth. ~Mrs. George Cran

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There are times when I cannot believe I am separate from this earth, when I could swear the wind blows through me as it does the woven needles of the pine tree by the creek, when I feel my feet planted deep in the earth with the roots of trees and wildflowers, drawing essence. ~Cathy Johnson

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The love of dirt is among the earliest of passions, as it is the latest.  Mud-pies gratify one of our first and best instincts.  So long as we are dirty, we are pure.  Fondness for the ground comes back to a man after he has run the round of pleasure and business, eaten dirt, and sown wild oats, drifted about the world, and taken the wind of all its moods.  The love of digging in the ground (or of looking on while he pays another to dig) is as sure to come back to him, as he is sure, at last, to go under the ground, and stay there. ~Charles Dudley Warner

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Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. ~Genesis 2:8-9  ✝

**All images but one found on Pinterest; all collages created by Natalie

1153. He who reigns within himself and rules passions, desires, and fears is more than a king. ~John Milton

I follow three rules:
Do the right thing,
do the best you can, and
always show people you care.
~Lou Holtz

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**Watercolor image found on Pinterest; text box added by Natalie

The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. ~Psalm 103:19  ✝

932. How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli

To forget how to dig the earth and
to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.
~Mahatma Gandhi

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There is something incredibly engaging and comforting about a garden, especially when one is surprised this late in the year by a find as lovely as this Heavenly Blue morning glory. However, even long after she’s gone when winter has plunged us into its “vale of grief,” there will yet be signs that point to primeval and sacred origins, ordained recurring seasons, and our connection to the Holy Breath of the Creator. But today it was the brilliance of the autumn morn, the splendor and blueness of the blossom, and a gentle breeze blowing in my face from time to time that prompted an awareness of the in and out movement of God’s life-giving breath in me as well as cognizance of a sacramental connection to Him. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French philosopher and Jesuit priest, said, “There is a communion with God, and there is a communion with earth, and there is a communion with God through the earth.” Teilhard de Chardin contended that the more he devoted himself in some way to the interests of the earth the more he belonged to God. It is the same for me. Being close to the earth in my garden or taking photographs of its progeny and/or nature in general, is like being attached to an umbilical cord that keeps me forever tethered to the Divine Source of all life, and therefore through it comes the spiritual nourishment that feeds my hungry soul.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. ~Psalm 24:1-2  ✝

740. The only noise now was the rain, pattering softly with the magnificent indifference of nature for the tangled passions of humans. ~Sherwood Smith

The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected;
I have always considered the rain to be healing—
a blanket—the comfort of a friend.
Without at least some rain in any given day,
or at least a cloud or two on the horizon,
I feel overwhelmed by the information of sunlight
and yearn for the vital, muffling gift of falling water.
~Douglas Coupland

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Rain, what can I say of  you
that hasn’t already been voiced by others?
But how could I ever remain silent in your presence
since you touch a chord somewhere deep within me?
For in your “magnificent indifference of nature”
you’re the gift that embues everything with life and vitality.
You, a healing elixir, comfort like a friend
as you travel continuously around the globe
falling 
through space between heaven and earth.
You are mercy and grace in liquidity
set in motion in the beginning by Yahweh
who created you as well as all else here below.
Holy, holy, holy are you who refresh and cleanse by
removing dust and ashes 
from earthly strivings.
Would that you, too, could wash away
humanity’s 
hatred and the wanton destruction
of that which you come to bless and save.
~Natalie Scarberry

He(God) provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside. ~Job 5:10   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

645. And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower then I have been dipped again in God, new created. ~D. H. Lawrence

In slumber we fall into the deep, silent waters of consciousness, and then something, somewhere beneath the surface stirs us back to wakefulness. The same thing is happening now in my slumbering, wintry garden. A divine force or spark is stirring life back into seemingly lifelessness.

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A spark.  A flame.  A fire. A seed.  A plant.  A flower.  An egg.  An embryo.  A life. What is it that stirs matter and spirit?  What is it that stirs us?  What moves us?  What is it that makes life taste bitter or sweet upon the tongue?  What things do we feel that can’t quite be put into words?

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The following poem was written by Wallace Stevens. In it, his is the voice of questioning meant to refute religion/Christianity, and yet his images are the kinds of things that stir me in the opposite direction by rousing and impassioning my faith and belief in Christ. So it seems to me that Stevens, even in his attempt at denial, was himself somehow stirred by things in nature not wholly of this world, And I also have to wonder what exactly he thinks a soul is? Is not the soul that which connects mortal man to the Holy One who made us? Isn’t it the piece of God in us?

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Sunday Morning

What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch,
These are the measures destined for her soul.
~Wallace Stevens

For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. ~Job 33:14-16   ✝

464. How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli

Let yourself be silently drawn
by the stronger pull of what you really love.
~Rumi

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Sometimes reaching a height of 9 feet they tower above all else in a garden, and wherever they grow, their flowers are a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies. They are the lovely hollyhocks, flowering plants of such antiquity that they were found at a neanderthal burial site. Long after the neanderthal era the hollyhock was grown in religious gardens around churches and monasteries, and seeds of the hollyhock were included in the cargo on early ships to the Americas. Since then they have stood as silent sentries over many a garden fair, and their chalice-like blossoms, when facing upward, have captured and held countless dollops of daylight while captivating mortals with their winsome ways. Now the tall, showy hollyhock, born of the miraculous, is found in gardens all over the world. Miracles? Yes, the first miracle is that all the data needed to replicate this lovely giant and its flowers is stored in something as small as one of my freckles. The second miracle is that for thousands and thousands and thousands of years its small seeds have not perished nor failed in their purpose. The third miracle is that the Lord ordained pollinators along with the sun, soil, and water, to be faithful guarantors of the hollyhock’s lifeline. How could anything be more amazing than that God not only created all that is and devised ingenious ways for everything He made to be replenished, but that he also valued the importance of beauty as well as purpose.

Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. ~Luke 12:23    ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! May I dwell in Your holy presence and praise Your name for all that you have given and done.

**Images via Pinterest