727. All things seem possible in May. ~Edwin Way Teale

If it’s drama that you sigh for, plant a garden and you’ll get it.
You will know the thrill of battle fighting foes that will beset it.
If you long for entertainment and for pageantry most glowing,
plant a garden and this summer spend your time
with green things growing.
~Edward A. Guest

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O such a commotion under the ground,
When March called, “Ho there! Ho!”
Such spreading of rootlets far and wide,
Such whisperings to and fro!

“Are you ready?” the Snowdrop asked,
“Tis time to start, you know.”
“Almost, my dear,” the Scilla replied,
“I’ll follow as soon as you go.”

Then “Ha! Ha! Ha!” a chorus came
Of laughter sweet and slow
From millions of flowers under the ground,
Yes, millions beginning to grow.

“I’ll promise my blossoms,” the Crocus said,
“When I hear the blackbird sing.”
And straight thereafter Narcissus cried,
“My silver and gold I’ll bring.” “

And ‘ere they are dulled,” another spoke,
“The hyacinth bells shall ring.”
But the violet only murmured, “I’m here,”
And sweet grew the air of spring.

Then “Ha! Ha! Ha!” a chorus came
Of laughter sweet and low
From millions of flowers under the ground,
Yes, millions beginning to grow.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

574. No child but must remember laying his head in the grass, staring into the infinitesimal forest and seeing it grow populous with fairy armies. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
~William Butler Yeats

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The Song of the Acorn Fairy


To English Folk the mighty oak
Is England’s noblest tree;
Its hard-grained wood is strong and good
As English hearts can be.
And would you know how oak-trees grow,
The secret may be told:
You do not need to plant for seed
One acorn in the mould;
For even so, long years ago,
Were born the oaks of old.
~Cicely Mary Barker

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Fairies are invisible and inaudible like angels, but their magic sparkles in nature. ~Lynn Holland

In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire. ~Hebrews 1:7    ✝

** Images via Pinterest

535. The word “miracle” aptly describes a seed. ~Jack Kramer

When I see that first, minuscule, curled pale green wisp of a sprout
poking up between a couple of grains of vermiculite, I hear God speaking.
~June Santon

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Babies, little green babies, miracles of soil and seed are bursting forth from earth’s womb even as winter approaches. And as always I find the potential for life that exists in something as small and seemingly lifeless as a seed mind boggling. Equally astounding is the fact that stored within each tiny seed are enough nutrients to spark life in the seedling that will ultimately grow from the embryo, an embryo which has two points of growth. From one end of a particle sometimes as small as a speck of dust emerges a stem and from the other emerge roots. As if all this is not enough to inspire complete and utter amazement, the process of germination certainly does. Germination is a reactivation of metabolic pathways that depends on the right temperatures, the right amount of oxygen and water, and sometimes the right amount of darkness and light. But wait all this is not really the best part! The most impressive thing is that the entire process of seed to plant to seed, from beginning to end, can and frequently does occur without a human hand ever entering the process.

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Jesus made clear that the Kingdom of God is organic and not organizational. It grows like a seed and it works like leaven: secretly, invisibly, surprisingly, and irresistibly. ~Os Guinness

Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of earth. You have made heaven and earth. ~Isaiah 37:16   ✝

** Images via Pinterest

491. Every vine climbing and blossoming tells of love and joy. ~Robert G. Ingersoll

That is faith, cleaving to Christ,
twining around Him
with all the tendrils of our heart,
as the vine does round its support.
~Alexander Maclaren

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Like all else in Creation, vines remind me of the nearness of God perhaps because they reflect the way He wraps His arms around His children and keeps them close to Himself. In that way we go together like a hat and glove as they say for we are to the Lord as the branch is to the vine, as sheep are to the shepherd, as the flower is to the stem, as the bride is to her groom, as the bird is to air, as the fish is to water, as the star is to the sky, as the sun is to the moon, as the plant is to the seed, as the grass is to the dew, and as the babe is to its mother. Simply put, we are inextricably linked to Yahweh, the Maker of heaven and earth, and it is from our loving Source that we gather strength and energy. His supporting and sustaining provisions draw us into His holy web of life and subsequently move us closer and closer to the Light. In the Gospel of John are the “I am” sayings of Jesus which give us wonderful descriptions of the way Christ connects with us:

“I am the bread of life.”
“I am the light of the world.”
“I am the gate for the sheep.”
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.”
“I am the resurrection, and the life.”
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
“I am the true vine.”

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Return to us, O God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine, the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself. ~Psalm 80:14-15   ✝

**Three images above Scripture via Pinterest

424. Holy Spirit–You’re the Live in being alive, the Be in every creature’s being, the Breathe in every breath on earth. ~St. Hildegard von Bingen

We praise You for these gifts,
Light-giver,
Sound of joy,
Wonder of being alive,
Hope of every person,
and our strongest Good.
~St. Hildegard von Bingen

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purpleliciousness
color of robe given Christ
in passion’s demand
~Natalie Scarberry

The flower in my photograph is a passion flower (passiflora incarnata.) Besides being breathtakingly beautiful there was a time long ago when Catholic missionaries connected certain aspects of the passion flower with Christian beliefs. To them the ten petals of the flower represented the ten apostles in Christianity excluding St. Peter and Judas. The vines of the plant symbolized the whips that were used during the flagellation of Christ. One of the major characteristics is the hundreds of filaments on the flower that symbolized the Crown of Thorns. The five anthers were associated with the five sacred wounds of Christ. The flower contains three stigmas that reflected the three nails that were used for Christ’s hands and feet during his Crucifixion. There is a floral component that resembles a chalice-like ovary that has been supposed to symbolize the Holy Grail. The religious symbolism and associations that had been brought to attention once gave the missionaries faith and comfort for their efforts in spreading Christianity to the indigenous cultures of South America. The Jesuit Missionaries transported color drawings and dried versions of the plant back to their country where a Spanish herbalist named Nicolas Monardes was the first to document the plant and write about the qualities of the flower, indicating that it was a powerful plant and that it carried a symbolic relationship with Christianity.

The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe. ~John 19:2   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

 

417. The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others. St. John Chrysostom

Today the summer has come at my window with its sighs and murmurs; and the bees are plying their minstrelsy at the court of the flowering grove.  Now it is time to sit quite, face to face with thee, and to sing dedication of life in this silent and overflowing leisure.  ~Rabindranath Tagore

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Veiled in this fragile filigree of wax is the essence of sunshine, golden and limpid, tasting of grassy meadows, mountain wildflowers, lavishly blooming orange trees, or scrubby desert weeds. Honey, even more than wine, is a reflection of place. If the process of grape to glass is alchemy, then the trail from blossom to bottle is one of reflection. The nectar collected by the bee is the spirit and sap of the plant, its sweetest juice. Honey is the flower transmuted, its scent and beauty transformed into aroma and taste. 
 ~Stephanie Rosenbaum

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The careful insect ‘midst his works I view,
Now from the flowers exhaust the fragrant dew,
With golden treasures load his little thighs,
And steer his distant journey through the skies.
~John Gay

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His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for the bee’s experience
Of clovers, and of noon.
~Emily Dickinson

Eat honey, my child, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. ~Proverbs 24:13  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

**Images via Pinterest

405. As the garden grows, so does the gardener. ~Nora Jarbou

Where you have a plot of land,
however small, plant a garden.
Staying close to the soil is good for the soul.
~Spencer W. Kimball

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On a lesser scale what John O’Donohue said of the farmer that was quoted in my last post could also be said of a gardener. It may not have been fields that I chose to cut and create, but the labor to put flower beds around this piece of land was equally tough and punishing. The soil here is heavy clay laid over bedrock that in some places is a foot or less below the surface. That and the fact that bamboo and its extremely hard to dig up rhizomes were consuming the back of the lot may have been the reason only a few trees, the grass, and one small flower bed were here when we bought the place. Whatever the reason for the lack of little else I had to do a lot of digging, cutting, uprooting, and amending the soil to create the many “clearances” where I now plant and sow. And like the farmer’s fields, each bed has become a presence in my life, a unique and sacred presence that has not only tempered my heart and greened my thought but has also brought me back into the Lord’s keeping. The earth and its wildlife indeed seem now to trust the intention of my hands, and what has happened over the years in my “fields” has changed my heart and spirit for both had grown cold and hard and dark from living so long away from earth’s engaging and compelling ways.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot. . . ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.