1401. Beauty…is the shadow of God on the universe. ~Gabriela Mistral

A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health,
and quiet breathing.
~John Keats

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Yeh, yeh, I know it’s almost autumn, but I bought some more tulip bulbs to buy and plant this year. And I also bought a handy dandy little bulb bopper that’s driven by a drill to dig the holes for them. Not only that but it’s time to buy poppy seeds, larkspur, and holyhock seeds as fall is the time to sow them here in Texas. So in the next few weeks and months, I’ll be setting the stage, in my yard at least, for next year’s springtime. And my friends, that is such exciting stuff for this old girl. Despite all the rumors of Armageddon, the second coming of Christ and the rapture, and wars that will bring about the end of the world, I’m relying on God’s Word that says the end will come like a thief in the night and we will never know when that is. So life is yet for living joyfully and enjoying each and every day as the gifts they are instead of wringing our hands with worry and hanging our heads in despair. As they say here in Texas “it ain’t over til it’s over!”

God made the forests, the tiny stars, and the wild winds–
and I think that He has made them partly
as a balance for that kind of civilization that
would choke the spirit of joy out of our hearts.
He made the great open places for people who want to be…
away from the crowds that kill all reverence.
And I think He is glad at times to have us forget
our cares and responsibilities so that we may be nearer Him–
as Jesus was when he crept away into the wilderness to pray.
~Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

…for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. ~1 Thessalonians 5:2-4 ✝

**Mixed photos from my archives and Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

1132.I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of beauty. ~Edgar Allan Poe

grass greening again
spring began early advance
air too warm for me

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poppies and larkspur
bloom from seed sown in autumn
no sign of rainfall

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high winds diminished
zephyrs blow dandelions
blue springtime skies

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spider spins a web
backdrop of purply flowers
glory leaps from soil

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day’s end yields pink peace
springtime sunlight waxed and waned
aromas waft forth

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In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord make me dwell in safety. ~Psalm 4:8  ✝

**Poppy image from my yard; all others from Pinterest or Pixabay

1117. To rise above tree line is to go above thought, and after, the descent back into birdsong, bog orchids, willows, and firs is to sink into the preliterate parts of ourselves. ~Gretel Ehrlich

I was left alone there in the company of the orchids,
roses and violets, which, like people waiting beside you
who do not know you, preserved a silence which
their individuality as living things made all the more striking…
~Marcel Proust

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A Wild Orchid
We are all flowers in the garden of the world.
Some of us are daisies dainty and bright.
Some of us are poppies,with sweet contagious laughter.
If there was a flower for you,
You’d be a wild orchid,
So full of life, colors alive,
Sprinkled with scarlet and purple,
Explosions of colors racing through your petals.
~Lanie Costea

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Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely… ~Excerpt from Song of Songs 4:3  ✝

**Images found on Pinterest

1062. A gardening I did go, a gardening I did go, hi-ho the derry-o, a gardening I did go. ~Natalie

The smell of garden soil
Is in the air.
With patient toil
The musk of earth is freed
From winter’s cell.
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by Alice Prokasky

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What is a garden?
Goodness knows!
You’ve got a garden, I suppose:
To one it is a piece of ground
For which some gravel must be found.
To some, those seeds that must be sown,
To some a lawn that must be mown.
To some a ton of “Cheddar rocks;”
To some it means a window-box;
To some, it is a silly jest
About the latest garden pest;
To some, a haven where they find
Forgetfulness and peace of mind…
What is a garden?
Large or small,
‘Tis just a garden,
After all.
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by Reginald Arkell

Yes, indeed, today was warmish enough and a gardening I did go. For time is running out for getting the flower beds ready for spring. So sit down on the ground, get hands in the dirt, and pull those weeds from around the baby seedlings did I. Then I carefully put some of their sheltering, autumn leaf litter back in place. And from what I’ve seen, the good news is I’m going to have a bumper crop of poppies and larkspur. Yay team!!!! And by the way, ‘tis not just a garden, these toils yield glimpses into the “deeply private moments between the Creator and creation.”

*Cheddar rocks: Limestone found in a gorge in the Mendip Hills, near the village of Cheddar, Somerset, England

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. ~Excerpt from Hebrews 4:13  ✝

742. As for marigolds, poppies, hollyhocks, and valorous sunflowers, we shall never have a garden without them… ~Henry Ward Beecher

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That we find a crystal or a poppy beautiful
means that we are less alone, that we are
more deeply inserted into existence
than the course of a single life
would lead us to believe.
~John Berger, English Painter

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POPPIES
by Mary Oliver
The poppies send up their
orange flares; swaying
in the wind, their congregations
are a levitation

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of bright dust, of thin
and lacy leaves.
There isn’t a place
in this world that doesn’t

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sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,
but now, for a while,
the roughage

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shines like a miracle
as it floats above everything
with its yellow hair.
Of course nothing stops the cold,

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black, curved blade
from hooking forward—
of course
loss is the great lesson.

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But I also say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

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when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
Inside the bright fields,

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touched by their rough and spongy gold,
I am washed and washed
in the river
of earthly delight—

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and what are you going to do—
what can you do
about it—
deep, blue night?

~ from New and Selected Poems, Vol. I (Beacon Press, 1993)

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Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4   ✝

**These are all poppies grown in my yard from seed I sowed last fall, and as Beecher said, I shall never have a garden without them because they wash me in a river of earthly delight as Oliver puts it.

651. The real voyage of discovery comes not in the seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ~Marcel Proust

What sunshine is to flowers,
smiles are to humanity.
These are not trifles, to be sure;
but scattered along life’s pathway,
the good they do is inconceivable.
~Joseph Addison

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The poppies send up their
orange flares; swaying
in the wind, their congregations
are a levitation

of bright dust, of thin
and lacy leaves.
There isn’t a place
in this world that doesn’t

sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,
but now, for a while,
the roughage

shines like a miracle
as it floats above everything
with its yellow hair.
Of course nothing stops the cold,

black, curved blade
from hooking forward—
of course
loss is the great lesson.

But I also say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
~Mary Oliver

You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways. ~Job 22:28   ✝

**Photograph of Iceland Poppy taken by Natalie

524. Gardening: the fine art of soul to soil. ~Jan Bills

But each spring. . .a gardening instinct,
sure as the sap rising in the trees,
stirs within us.
We look about and decide to tame
another little bit of ground.
~Lewis Gantt

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Life! Life has materialized again! On a cool, misty morn of late October, little green slivers of life have emerged into visible existence, life anew made manifest from tiny black seeds scratched into barren soil and sprinkled with water, the very elixir of life itself! And it has come where two losses occurred unexpectedly in my yard last June. When it happened, “the gardening instinct” Gantt mentions kicked in immediately even though it was long after the last rising of sap and well before the next. Sadly, at that time however, the fires of summer were already growing intense, and it was too hot to start “taming” bits of ground. But when temperatures at last lowered in late September, my son-in-law tilled and tamed the new bits of ground for me. It may seem odd to sow this late in the year, but given the mild winters and early to warm up springtimes of north central Texas, the seeds of poppies, larkspur, bluebonnets, bee balm, and sweet peas must be sown in the fall so that the roots of the seedlings have enough time to grow strong and hardy. Such indeed is “the stuff of which dreams are made” for those of us who need flowers for the soul to thrive, who seek revelation of God in a garden, who live close to and find intrigue in the soil from which we came, and who dig the ground seeking His presence in earth’s depths.

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Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. ~James 5:7  ✝

**Images via Pinterest