1445. It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of “wonder and humility.” ~Rachel Carson

Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen,
among the beauties and mysteries of the earth,
are never alone or weary of life.
~Rachel Carson

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What is that I hear? What is it I see? What’s that smell floating along on the breeze? Are they things returning once again to remind me that just like that with a sound, a sight, and a scent winter falls slowly but surely into spring, glorious, glorious spring? Could it be that time of year has come when the greens are greener, the colors are fresher, the fragrances sweeter? Have we at last traversed winter’s domain of quietness, of drabness, of blandness to find once more that hope is tangible, love is in the air, and the “beauties and mysteries” of the earth yet have a way of filling old and young alike with wonder and humility? If so, which of these photographic delights might be the “proof in the pudding?”

Is it the forsythia I saw above?

Or is it this that was right behind it?

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Or is it these side by side hellebores?

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Or perhaps it is the glowing whiteness of this Magnolia Stellata?

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Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. ~Psalm 85:11 ✝

**All photos taken by Natalie

1159. Words are such small things, like confetti in the brain, and yet they are color and clarify everything; they stain the mind or warp the feelings. ~Diane Ackerman

Ecstasy is what everyone craves —
not love or sex, but hot-blooded, soaring intensity,
in which being alive is a joy and a thrill.
That enravishment doesn’t give meaning to life,
and yet without it life seems meaningless.
~Diane Ackerman

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In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,
In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,
I will honor all life —
wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.
~Excerpted verses from a poem
by Diane Ackerman

Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor. ~Proverbs 21:21  ✝

**All images (my enravishments) were taken by me in my yard.

1045. No matter how much we try to run away from this thirst for the answer to life, for the meaning of life, the intensity only gets stronger and stronger. We cannot escape these spiritual hungers. ~Ravi Zacharias

Imagine, for example, birds.
When they look out at the world,
they have a sense that they are alive.
If they are in pain, they can do something about it.
If they have hunger or thirst, they can satisfy that.
It’s this basic feeling that there is
life ticking away inside of you.
~Antonio Damasio,
Professor of Neuroscience at UCLA

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I had such a longing for virtue, for company.
I wanted Christ to be as close as the cross I wear.
I wanted to read and serve, to touch the altar linen.
Instead I went back to the woods where
not a single tree turns its face away.

Instead I prayed, oh Lord, let me be
something useful and unpretentious.
Even the chimney swift sings.
Even the cobblestones have a task to do, and do it well.
Lord, let me be a flower, even a tare; or a sparrow.
Or the smallest bright stone in a ring worn by someone
brave and kind, whose name I will never know.
~Mary Oliver

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. ~Matthew 5:6  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

659. March is a month of considerable frustration – it is so near spring and yet across a great deal of the country the weather is still so violent and changeable that outdoor activity in our yards seems light years away. ~Thalassa Cruso

Winds of March, we welcome you,
There is work for you to do.
Work and play and blow all day,
Blow the Winter wind away.
~Author Unknown

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March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in.
~Susan Reiner

Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. ~Psalm 85:11   ✝

431. Let mystery have its place in you; do not be always turning up your whole soil with the ploughshare of self-examination, but have a little fallow corner in your heart ready for any seed the winds may bring… ~Henri-Frédéric Amiel

The morning-glory’s blossoming
Will soon be coming round
We see their rows of heart-shaped leaves
Upspringing from the ground.
~Maria White Lowell

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breathing in and out
I
picture morning glories…
blue, bluer, bluest
~Kirsty Karkow

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I love and am fascinated by the mystery of seeds, the ones that I sow, the ones that nature sows, and the ones the Lord sows. The morning glory vines I’ve had for several years now came not from the work of my own hands. They’ve been self-sown, and each year the vines have come up more numerous and hardier than before. Perhaps, it would be so then that if, as Amiel suggests, we left a little fallow corner in our hearts, the “winds” that blow through our lives might bring hardier beauty and more powerful strengths than ever before.

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   ✝

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.

387. And her flowers reward her work by their magnificence. ~Donald Hall

We have a little garden,
A garden of our own,
And every day we water there
The seeds that we have sown.

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We love our little garden,
And tend it with such care,
You will not find a faded leaf
Or blighted blossom there.

~Anonymous nursery rhyme, as quoted in

Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes by Beatrix Potter

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 ✝

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 good news of the gospel abroad.

** Image via Pinterest

371. With rake and seeds and sower, and hoe and line and reel, when meadows shrill with “peeping” and the old world wakes from sleeping, who wouldn’t be a grower that has a heart to feel? ~Frederick Frye Rockwell

It was the busy hour
When from the city hardware store
Emerged a gentleman, who bore
One hoe, one spade, one wheelbarrow.

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From there our hero promptly went
Into a seed establishment,
And for these things his money spent:
One peck of bulbs, one job-lot-shrub,
and one quart of assorted seeds.

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He has a garden under way
And if he’s fairly lucky, say,
He’ll have, about the end of May
One one squash vine, one eggplant, one budding flower.
~Author Unknown

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Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 2 Corinthians 9:10 ✝

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!

 ** Images via Pinterest.