1337. Of winter’s lifeless world each tree now seems a perfect part; yet each one holds spring’s secret deep down within its heart. ~Edited quote by Charles G. Stater

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers…
~Thomas Campion

Screen Shot 2017-01-14 at 5.45.42 PM.png

Gray, foggy dreariness
ushered in the day;
A mist, a cold, frigid drizzle,
fell from on high;
Bare, starkly austere, lay everything
I could see; and
Silence, a stilled quietude, blanketed
my wintry garden.
Bleakly naked, towered tall trees that
stood above all else,
But underneath them from the secret place
murmured a voice,
The sacred, almost indistinguishable, faint
whisper emerged amid
The fog and fine rain to go forward undetected
past the woody sentinels
To allow its utterances to break into morn’s reverie
to tell of signs, longed for signs
Of tiny sparks of life that are preparing to push up
despite the gloominess
And ‘twas this message that stirred embers in my spirit
to keep their glimmer from
Becoming far too dim to continue sustaining my hope,
expectations, and “joie de vie.”

Screen Shot 2017-01-14 at 5.43.51 PM.png

Don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter.
It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.
~Rumi

The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. ~Job 37:9 ✝

**Both photos taken by Natalie

1331. I live someplace where snow is rare, you know? It’s rareness makes it so special. ~Edited quote by Stephanie Perkins

Snow is diamonds for a faery’s feet;
Blithely and bonnily she trips along,
Her lips a-carol with a merry song,
And in her eyes the meaning…
Life is sweet!
~Poem by Ruby Archer

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 8.06.58 PM.png

A 20% chance! Just 20%, that was all we had, and since that is almost next to nothing, we never expected to see snow here today. But snow it did for just a little while. It wasn’t a heavy snow, but it was enough to work its magic in places.

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 5.55.41 PM.png

The first fall of snow is not only
an event, it is a magical event.
~ J. B. Priestley

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 5.54.05 PM.png

A few feathery flakes are scattered
widely through the air, and hover downward
with uncertain flight, now almost alighting on the earth,
now whirled again aloft into remote regions of the atmosphere.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 8.06.43 PM.png

Snow flurries began to fall and
they swirled around people’s legs
like
like house cats…It was magical.
~Sarah Addison Allen

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 8.00.49 PM.png

The wind crooned softly 
as it
dusted the snow 
against the window…
~Soheir Khashoggi

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 6.04.22 PM.png

Snow…blots and softens the top of
every object like ice on a plum pudding.
~Mark Haddon

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 7.57.26 PM.png

Snow was the most beautiful thing
Amitola had ever seen. It fell so gracefully
and drizzled like a cold whisper.
~Edited quote by Aishabella Sheikh

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 7.58.52 PM.png

Snow is falling outside and
all is peaceful and still. In such
moments it is possible to believe
that the world can still be good.
~Richard Paul Evans

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 8.07.16 PM.png

Snowflakes fall from high.
Flurries lift and twirl below.
The world has turned white.
~Richelle E. Goodrich

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 6.04.48 PM.png

Will had loved the snow,
the cleanness of it, the quiet,
the sense of peace it brought…
~Sandra Dallas

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 6.01.31 PM.png

I love snow…especially snow that happens
when you least expect it and it just sprinkles…
It feels like a secret. ~Edited quote
by Kate Messner

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 8.02.33 PM.png

Two things, love and snow, make
the world look fresh again…
~Edited quote by ~Charles Finch

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 8.04.08 PM.png

Winter invites white;
white invites silence;
silence invites peace.
You see, there is so
much peace in snow!
~Edited quote
by Mehmet Murat ildan

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater… ~Isaiah 55:10  ✝

**All photos taken in her yard by Natalie

1305. [L]et us linger awhile in the wonderful old Lilac walk. It is a glory of tender green and shaded amethyst and grateful hum of bees. ~Alice Morse Earle

There are a thousand ways
to kneel and kiss the earth.
~Rumi

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 9.38.17 PM.png

Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness.  One of the doors
into the temple.
~Mary Oliver

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker… ~Psalm 95:6  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

1290. Though suffering and chaos befall us, they can never quench the inner light of providence. ~John O’Donohue

Each life is clothed in raiment of spirit
that secretly links it to everything else.
~John O’Donohue

Screen Shot 2016-11-04 at 6.50.10 PM.png

There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. It draws no attention to itself though it is always secretly there. It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility and our hearts to love life. Without this subtle quickening our days would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. Our passion for life is quietly sustained from somewhere in us that is wedded to the energy and excitement of life. This shy inner light is what enables us to recognize and receive our very presence here as blessing. ~John O’Donohue

You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. ~Psalm 128:2  ✝

**All quotes via TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US, A Book of Blessings, by John O’Donohue; photo of Moonflower taken by Natalie

1240. And in her secret garden, reptiles raised their faces high, and blessed the cooling water that came pouring from the sky. ~Excerpt from a poem by Danielle White

Walking the Garden After the Storm

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 9.39.30 PM.png

Such delicate green tatters,
the hail-shredded leaves of chard.
I am not surprised,
beneath my disappointment,
to find them beautiful,
not surprised that the heart
should recognize itself here
in the lace. The storms
come, come again.
Beauty is not what
has not been battered.
All around us, resilience,
new life emerges
out of its own destruction.
Already, only two days
after the hail,
a dark wrinkle of new green
forms in the center
of the chard.
I pull away the old leaves.
It doesn’t matter
if the heart asks for a second chance.
There is no limit to the chances,
though they may
not look like anything
we ever thought we wanted
and most of the time
we don’t notice them.
Beauty is the willingness
to offer our attention,
to wander the world
forgetting to want
something more
than what we find.
~Rosemary Wahtola Trommer

Instead, beauty should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes. ~1 Peter 3:4  ✝

1238. The man who says his evening prayer is a captain posting his sentinels so he can sleep. ~Edited except from Charles Baudelaire

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 5.24.31 PM.png

In the quiet curve of evening,
in the sinking of the days,
in the silky void of darkness,
You are there.
In the lapses of my breathing,
in the space between my ways,
in the crater carved by sadness,
You are there.
You are there, You are there, You are there.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 5.28.18 PM.png

In the rests between the phrases,
in the cracks between the stars,
in the gaps between the meaning,
You are there.
In the melting down of endings,
in the cooling of the sun,
in the solstice of the winter,
You are there.
You are there, You are there, You are there.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 3.24.12 PM.png

In the mystery of my hungers,
in the silence of my rooms,
in the cloud of my unknowing,
You are there.
In the empty cave of grieving,
in the desert of my dreams,
in the tunnel of my sorrow,
You are there.
You are there. You are there. You are there.
~Julie Howard

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 5.23.20 PM.png

May my prayer be set before you(God) like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. ~Psalm 141: 2  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

1184. I used to visit and revisit it(his garden) a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. ~Edited excerpt by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Now summer is in flower and nature’s hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom
Insects as small as dust are never done…
~Excerpt from a poem by John Clare

Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 10.14.49 PM.png

Natalie, oh Nstalie, what can you say
About how it is your garden thrives?
Is it a labor of love that drives you
To keep these pretty flowers alive?

Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 10.04.42 PM.png

Yes ‘tis so for despite the torrid heat
And in the face of pesky insect mobs
I daily venture out with tools in hand
To wage war against the weedy hordes.

Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 10.10.19 PM.png

 But in return as I mosey back to go inside
I feel blessed to be able to work the soil
Alone  in quiet, solitude on flowery paths
Where nothing’s heard but muted toils.

Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 10.05.17 PM.png

In the end my back is bent, my brow wet,
And my stamina all but entirely spent,
But ’tis when the grueling work is done,
That I rest in satisfied accomplishment.

The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. ~Excerpt from Deuteronomy 2:7  ✝

**All photos taken by me in my yard; collages by me