237. Within the seed’s case a secret is held. Its fertile whisper shapes a song. ~Joan Halifax

I have great faith in a seed.
Convince me that you have a seed there,
and I am prepared to expect wonders.
~Henry David Thoreau

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Shhh!  Can you hear it?  Look at the photos.  This is the hope; this is winter’s promise; this is the fertile whisper!   But wait, everything in the photographs is dried up and brown.  And dead!

Oh do not be deceived by appearances, my friends, for these seed cases are ripe and what they hold is ever so viable!  Their wealth may now be kept inside in secrecy but trust me these cases are vigilant and waiting–waiting for that wondrous moment in time when enough warmth and light and moisture will enliven their songs of fertility.  And then they will split wide open, spill their sacred secrets upon the soil, and spark new life.

David Walters said, “God’s promises are like the stars, the darker the night, the brighter they shine.”  For me seed cases are like God’s promises as well because the deeper and darker winter becomes, the more the expectation of what they hold brightens winter’s cold and forbidding days.  As their sweet melodies take shape, they keep the hopeful dream of spring alive when what I see conveys a story of death and decay.

God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.”  ~Genesis 1:29  ✝

200. For flowers that bloom about our feet; for tender grass, so fresh, so sweet; for song of bird, and hum of bee; for all things fair we hear or see, Father in heaven, we thank Thee! ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace,
the celebration of work and the simple life. . .
a true folk-festival that speaks
the poetry of the turn of the seasons,
the beauty of seedtime and harvest,
the ripe product of the year –
and the deep, deep connection
of all these things to God.
~Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)

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At the beginning of time the Lord set the wheels in motion for the making of continual banquets for man and creature alike.  And so in light of His abundant provisions and as the Canticle of Creation plays on, it is time to pause and give thanks to our gracious Benefactor.  The year is drawing to its appointed end and before it sinks into winter, the Sabbath of the year, we must look around and take stock of the Lord’s never-ending activity in Creation and be thankful for the constancy of His love and beneficent involvement in each of our lives.  W. J. Cameron said, “. . .a thankful heart hath a continual feast,” and so with beholden hearts, let us give praise and thanks for our Heavenly Father, His Grace, and His goodness.  I pray that this be a blessed time of thanksgiving for all of you and those you love; may all the roads you travel be, now and forever, filled with grace and peace and love.

If I have enjoyed
the hospitality of the Host of the universe,
Who daily spreads a table in my sight,
surely I cannot do less
than acknowledge my dependence.
~G. A. Johnston Ross

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.  ~Psalm 100:4  ✝

199. Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering down from the autumn tree… ~Emily Brontë

How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.
~Elsie N. Brady

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Pat.  Pat, pat.  Pat, pat, pat.  Pat.  Pat, pat.  Pat.  Pat, pat, pat.  “Listen to the falling rain; listen to it fall.”  A remembered lyric from an old José Feliciano song ran through my mind.  But wait, I didn’t feel anything wet and the afternoon sun was shining in a cloudless sky.  So if it wasn’t rain, what on earth had I heard behind me.  As I turned to investigate, I saw that it was indeed raining, but not in the way I expected.  November’s gusting winds were letting loose hundreds of colored leaves from their woody perches.  The ones not already brought down by the rains of recent days were not tumbling down silently as Brady suggests; they were pelting the shed, the greenhouse, the birdbaths, and the ground so forcefully that they sounded like huge raindrops.  So it was pouring all right; it was raining leaf after leaf after leaf, pretty autumn tinted leaves, and the air in which they were dancing was made gold and red and ripe.

For You make me glad by Your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what Your hands have done.  ~Psalm 92:4  ✝