360. …Monet portrayed the changeability and flux of every moment. “The Water Lilies” give you a jittery, amorphous sense of a world seen at the speed of light. ~Jerry Saltz

I gathered them–the lilies pure and pale,
The golden-hearted lilies, virgin fair,
And in a vase of crystal, placed them where
Their perfumes might unceasingly exhale.
High in my lonely tent above the swale,
Above the shimmering mere and blossoms there,
I solaced with their sweetness my despair,
And fed with dews their beauteous petals frail.
~Florence Earle Coates

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Wow! Don’t ya just love to be wowed?! According to the dictionary “wow” as an expression of excitement was first recorded in Scots in the early 16th century. But the dictionary doesn’t tell us what it was that generated enough excitement to inspire the “wow” in Scots, and I for one would really like to know. I love to be wowed; Creation and the Lord wow me over and over again in ways like no other. Okay, okay, I know; so what is the connection between water lilies and a word that expresses astonishment or admiration. Well…yesterday, we drove through our local Botanical Gardens and I noticed they had put some water lilies in one of their ponds and was thrilled to find something new to “feed” my camera and thus my soul, but wait, that is not what created the “wow” factor although water lilies are “wowish” enough in their own right. It was something I read about them when I got home that prompted the really animated “wows.” According to an encyclopedia, “the Fragrant Water Lily has a unique pollination strategy. On the first day that the flower blooms, its pollen is not yet released. Instead, a fluid fills the centre of the flower covering the female parts. Should an insect visit the flower, the design of the petals causes it to fall into the fluid. If the insect is covered in pollen, the pollen dissolves in the fluid and fertilizes the flower. The next day, no fluid is produced, and pollen is released instead. The insect that falls into the fluid usually emerges unharmed; although a few unlucky ones may be trapped and drown.” Is that amazing or what?! This is exactly why I garden and love gardens and God as much as I do. He is in the goodness and “wow” business, and He does both like nothing else! The world may be in flux at every moment, but the Lord is true and faithful to all His promises and His inherent goodness.

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he browses among the lilies. ~Song of Songs 6:3 ✝

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!

240. …everyone wants to be excited by something magical and wondrous – to be reminded of how they once saw the world… ~John Geddes

“I watched bulls bred to cows, watched mares foal, I saw life come from the egg and the multiplicative wonders of mudholes and ponds, the jell and slime of life shimmering in gravid expectation. Everywhere I looked, life sprang from something not life, insects unfolded from sacs on the surface of still waters and were instantly on prowl for their dinner, everything that came into being knew at once what to do and did it, unastonished that it was what it was, unimpressed by where it was, the great earth heaving up bloodied newborns from every pore, every cell, bearing the variousness of itself from every conceivable substance which it contained in itself, sprouting life that flew or waved in the wind or blew from the mountains or stuck to the damp black underside of rocks, or swam or suckled or bellowed or silently separated in two.”  ~E. L. Doctorow

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Life!  Life I say!  Life-sacred and mysterious–I’ve had a hand in creating life again!  And as usual, it is ever so magical and wondrous!  Since early last week I’ve been setting bulbs in containers in the greenhouse, and even as cold as it has been today, I made my daily visit out there to see if anything had started happening.   And as tiny a start as it was, life had indeed begun!  Actor Mike Dolan once said, you should “anticipate the day as if it were your birthday and you were turning six.”  I did and it was and I responded like any normal 6 year old, with a dropping of my jaw and squeals of joy.  The photos aren’t great but you can see where roots have started forming on the bottom of a hyacinth bulb and the tiny green emergence of a ranunculus bulb.

You garden because you need
to make a profound connection with the Earth.
It’s your birthright.
A primordial longing to experience
and participate in the magic of nature.
The deep knowing that ultimately nature is your teacher.
Your guide.
You’re a participant. A cog in the wheel. Not in charge.
~Fran Sorin, Gardening Gone Wild,  http://www.gardeninggonewild.com/

My garden and my greenhouse are my classrooms, and the Lord is my teacher and facilitator.  “See, God exalted in His power; who is a teacher like Him?”  ~Job 36:22