76. Through the dancing poppies stole a breeze most softly lulling to my soul. ~John Keats

Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe of God,
nothing seems to me more surprising than the planting of a seed
in the blank earth and the result thereof.
Take the Poppy seed, for instance: it lies in your palm,
the merest atom of matter, hardly visible, a speck, a pin’s point in bulk,
but within it is imprisoned a spirit of beauty ineffable,
which will break its bonds and emerge from the dark ground
and blossom in a splendor so dazzling as to baffle all powers of description.
~Celia Thaxter

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I love poppies, not just the flowers but also the lovely, fat pods that contain the future of the species.  The plants that put on silky, paper-thin blossoms can grow to be 3 or 4 feet tall here if the “hardly visible” seeds are sown in the fall.  So it is that in late October I toss out seeds from the ones I harvested from last’s years pods, and then all winter long I wait for the beauties which “baffle description” to make their appearance in my garden.  As winter moves along, I keep myself reassured by going out to check on them after especially frigid days or after occasional snowfalls to make sure the burgeoning “babies” have not succumbed to the elements.  And each time I go out, I almost squeal with delight when I discover that most of them, if not all, are still slowly but surely growing bigger and stronger.  Then sometime in the early spring the day comes when the waiting is over and standing before me are the first fruits of my labors and watchfulness.  Like dainty chalices, the cup-like flowers open up and drink in the day’s light while penning God’s autograph on the “scenes” of yet another springtime.  Day by day after each individual flower’s petals fall to the ground, the intriguing seed pods take their place, and as temperatures climb, they begin to ripen.  Some of these I eventually let fall to the ground to self sow; the remainder I gather and keep safe and dry until autumn comes and it is again time for me to partner with Creation and scatter abroad the “merest atoms” of such beautiful matter.

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

6. There is pleasure in the pathless woods. There is rapture in the lonely shore. There is society where none intrudes. ~Lord Byron

She sat down in a weed patch, her elbows on her knees,
and kept her eyes on the small mysterious world of the ground.
In the shade and sun of grass blade forests,
small living things had their metropolis.
~Nancy Price

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In and around blossoming things there is another mysterious metropolis.  This one is above the soil, and therein airborne things move around yearning to “possess the sweet of every flower that blooms.”  In that realm two simple equations are in place:  a) if there are no flowers there are no pollinators;  b)  if there are no pollinators there are no flowers, no fruits, no crops.  The hum or buzz of a pollinating agent and a flower’s blooming go hand in hand; together they commit reproductive acts of love as they dance the sacred dance of life orchestrated by the Lord.  In so doing they “remind us that there are other voices, other rhythms, other strivings, and other fulfillments. . .” in God’s grand plan.

Recently in a National Geographic snippet on the internet, the narrator remarked that present-day humanity is the recipient of a 400,000,000 year old legacy bequeathed by earth. Imagine that!  For all those years the sun has not failed to rise and set at its appointed time, fruits and crops have not failed to burst forth and ripen, and the earth has not failed to make its trip around the sun.  One season has followed another repeating the Genesis story over and over again as per the Lord’s plan.  Like the fruits and flowers and pollinators, our time here is very brief, and we who are fashioned by the same holy Hands as the sun and earth are no less adored and significant in our loving Father’s eyes.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. . .  ~Ecclesiastes 3:1   ✝