525. The garden one wide banquet spreads for thee, O daintiest reveler of the joyous earth! ~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Edmund Clarence Stedman

Thou spark of life that wavest wings of gold,
Thou songless wanderer mid the songful birds,
With Nature’s secrets in thy tints unrolled
Through gorgeous cipher, past the reach of words,
Yet dear to every child 
in glad pursuit beguiled
Living his unspoiled days mid flowers and flocks and herds!
Excerpt from Ode to a Butterfly by
~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Edmund Clarence Stedman

Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 4.08.55 PM

A butterfly is one of the pollinating insects that carries and moves a flower’s grains of pollen around, and its labors enable fertilization and subsequent sexual reproduction. Given that, the butterfly is owed a debt of gratitude by us and the flower because its dance seems to be not only an act of celebratory reverence but also an act of jubilant purpose.  And who among us mortals, either young or old, finds not joy in the butterfly’s gleeful and beguiling dance.

Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 4.27.31 PM

I often wonder why people who are easily wowed by the technology wrought of human hands fail to realize that without a dance, a marvel of Divine technology as seemingly insignificant as that of the bee and butterfly, that which supports our very existence would first be in great peril and then cease to exist. Neither do these individuals acknowledge that their ability to create technology is a gift, one not earned or designed by their own limited ability. The simple truth is that flowers cannot continue to exist without the help of a gracious and generous “pollinating” benefactor and neither can mankind. Each mortal’s life then should be a dance, an offering of reverent and joyful thankfulness to the Creator whose technology it is that creates life, enables the continuance of it, and gives us the intellect we need to create man-made technology.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~Psalm 139:13-14   ✝

**Images via Pinterest

476. Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination. ~Mrs. C.W. Earle

Take thy spade,
It is thy pencil;
Take thy seeds, thy plants,
They are your colours.
~William Mason

Screen shot 2014-09-03 at 2.13.44 PM

The level of sand in summer’s hour glass may be low, but there is still a fair measure of glory remaining in the year. Since earth’s palette has not yet been wiped clean, the “greatest show on earth” is definitely not over  nor will it be until months from now when Jack Frost’s frigid sting puts an end to it. Even now some flowers are abloom, but the coming cooler days and weeks will bring even more blossoming beauties. In addition the squirrels still have nuts to gather, the birds have songs yet unsung, the butterflies and bees have more pollinating rounds to make, and the roses have their second big flush of blooms to proffer. Not to mention that in the not too distant future the year’s pumpkins will make their colorful appearance amid the stunning array of autumn leaves. So the show ain’t over, folks!

Screen shot 2014-09-03 at 2.38.02 PM

I will wait until after the equinox on the 22nd of September to take up my spade and plant as well as sow seeds, but in the meantime I’ve already started my imaginings about additions and changes in the garden. And what a great place a garden is to let one’s imagination run wild! It can loosed over and over again in plotting the shapes of flower beds and paths, in deciding the kinds of plants to be introduced or removed, in installing new flower supports and garden structures, and so on. One of the best parts is that all this imagining feeds my starving, heat beleaguered inner child and my thirsting would-love-to-have-been an artist selfie.

. . . and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts-to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. ~Exodus 31:3-5 ✝

40. Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world. ~Virgil Kraft

Awake, thou wintry earth –
fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth –
your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn


Leaf by leaf, bud by bud, and blossom by blossom the spring of the year advances.   On warmish days, earth casts off its wintry gloom, and breezes broadcast sweetly-scented aromas.  The first butterflies then dare to soar and the hungry bees hum amid the glad laughter issuing forth from flowering bulbs and trees.  As a result the year’s initial poetry of rebirth is penned by the pollinating, aerial whirring of dainty wings.  In the meantime as I hurry about trying to taking photos of the blossoming narratives and their paramours, I often find myself asking the same question Walt Whitman once did.  “Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?”  The answer I’ve decided is that the arms of trees reach towards the heavens to gather sacred messages meant to draw mankind near to “the living Word of God in nature” as well as what is read in Scripture.

In our area the first verses of  “tree” poetry come from Saucer Magnolias.  Their big, goblet-shaped flowers pen exquisite couplets in pink and white.  Soon to follow are the brilliant white blossoms of Star Magnolias.  Though not quite enough lines to form a fourteen-lined sonnet, their twelve exquisite, “petal-poesy” lines form rhyming schemes as lovely as any Shakespearean sonnet.  Next and in perfect rhyming sequences come the double samaras.  Samaras, the scarlet, dual winged fruits of the Red Maple, look like long, slender fairy wings as they dance choric rhymes writ by the winds.  Then come the Eastern Redbuds and Bradford Pears that compose stunning free-verse stanzas in purple and white, each resplendent branch, a psalm written in praise of its Maker.  For a pollinator now there’s no quandary about where sweet nectaries are to be found for stanza after stanza they and I are lead in springtime to earth’s most festive and delicious banquets.

He has taken me to the banquet hall, and His banner over me is love.  ~Song of Songs 2:4