1390. The truer you are to yourself, the greater your gifts will manifest themselves. ~Tiffany L. Jackson

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For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10  ✝

**First image of a crow was taken in Scotland by Natalie; all other images found on Pinterest;

 

721. What a benediction is this fragrance of the early morning! The vernal grass fills the whole atmosphere as with a shower of sweetness. ~Sarah Smiley

The moment when you first wake up 
i
n the morning is the most wonderful
of the twenty-four hours.
No matter how weary or dreary you may feel,
you possess the certainty that,
during the day that lies before you,
absolutely anything may happen.
~Monica Baldwin
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The Gardener’s Morning
The robin’s song at daybreak
Is a clarion call to me.
Get up and get out in the garden,
For the morning hours flee.
I cannot resist the summons,
What earnest gardener could?
For the golden hours of morning
Get into the gardener’s blood.
The magic spell is upon me,
I’m glad that I did not wait;
For life’s at its best in the morning,
As you pass through the garden gate.
~Howard Dolf
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~Lamentations 3:22-23   ✝
**Robin image via Pinterest

696. Welcome, wild harbinger of spring! To this small nook of earth… ~Bernard Barton

Listen, can you hear it?
Spring’s sweet cantata.
The strains of grass pushing up.
The song of buds swelling on the vine.
The tender timpani of a baby robin’s heart.
Spring!
~Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider

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In the glow of the dawn,
Welcome a new day,
Greet the golden sunlight or rain,
Nature in all its subtlety.
Whip of the wind,
Earth unfolds,
Softly falling rain,
Growing plants and buds blossoming.
Visions of the earth, with glories of nature,
Beauty of the daffodils,
Sunshine and rain from a rainbow,
Awe! Nature in full bloom.
~Blanche Black

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. ~Isaiah 35:1-2 ✝

And so spring begins in my small nook of earth with a smattering of roses and a new piece of yard art.  I took this photo early this morning of a portion of the north quadrant of my back yard.

689. The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it. ~Christopher Columbus

There is no glory or blossom
till looked upon by loving eye;
There is no fragrance in April breezes
till breathed with joy as they wander by.
~William C. Bryant

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Hark, I hear a robin calling!
List, the wind is from the south!
And the orchard-bloom is falling
Sweet as kisses on the mouth.



In the dreamy vale of beeches
Fair and faint is woven mist,
And the river’s orient reaches
Are the palest amethyst.

Every limpid brook is singing
Of the lure of April days;
Every piney glen is ringing
With the maddest roundelays.

Come and let us seek together
Springtime lore of daffodils,
Giving to the golden weather
Greeting on the sun-warm hills.
~Lucy Maud Montgomery

Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. ~Zechariah 10:1   ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

654. The North wind did blow and now we have some sleet and snow, so what then will poor robin do, poor thing? ~Edited and adapted line from an old Nursery Rhyme

Picture 99

Mistress Mary quite contrary,
Why doesn’t your garden grow?
Is it because the sleet and snow
Have left the pretty maids unduly cold?
~Adapted verse from 
an old Nursery Rhyme

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Yesterday an itsy bitsy spider climbed up the garden spout, but it wasn’t long before the rain came down and washed the spunky little spider out.

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Then this morning with a hickory dickory dock, the clock struck early on, and the mouse ran out to find that the temps had, as they predicted, dropped below freezing and would stay that way all the livelong day.  So with a hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle began to shed a host of woebegone tears and the dog refused to laugh when the spoon slid silently away on its ice-laden dish.

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Undaunted by such things, however, Humpty Dumpty set out to sit upon the garden wall, but a slip here and a slide there whilst on the way convinced him not to take a chance for he could plainly see that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men wouldn’t be able to put him or the frost covered flowers he might land upon back together again. Now as the day draws to an end, Polly has put the kettle on so that all can have a spot of tea and while safe and warm inside dream of better days.

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He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. ~Job 8:21   ✝

**Iimages via Pinterest

259. If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden. ~From THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett

At that moment a very good thing was happening to her. Four good things had happened to her, in fact, since she came to Misselthwaite Manor. She had felt as if she had understood a robin and that he had understood her; she had run in the wind until her blood had grown warm; she had been healthily hungry for the first time in her life; and she had found out what it was to be sorry for someone.  ~Excerpted from THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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My first move of the day is from the bed to my recliner so I can sit a while and enjoy whatever is going on out in the yard.  I’ve still not seen any robins, but as I kept watching the Cardinals come today to my feeders, their flashes of red were enough to bring thoughts of Burnett’s novel, The SECRET GARDEN. Her inspirational tale of transformation and empowerment for two children with very dim outlooks and prospects touches my heart on several different levels.  When Mary finds the key to the secret garden, the “magical” powers of transformation come within her reach, and eventually she and Colin are “saved” and offered the prospects of present and future goodness and happiness.  I didn’t begin gardening until much later in life than they, but my discovery of the healing power inherent in all living things and God’s abiding presence in Creation was a pivotal moment of transformation in my life as well.  So I decided to post some lines from the novel tonight along with photographs (via Pinterest) in hopes of relaying the Divine’s “magic” that captured Mary, Colin, and me.

“Nothing in the world is quite as adorably lovely as a robin when he shows off and they are nearly always doing it.”

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“…the immense, tender, terrible, heart-breaking beauty and solemnity of Eggs.”

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“Never thee stop believin’ in th’ Big Good Thing an’ knowin’ th’ world’s full of it – and call it what tha’ likes. Tha’ wert singin’ to it when I come into t’ garden.”

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“There’s naught as nice as th’ smell o’ good clean earth, except th’ smell o’ fresh growin’ things when th’ rain falls on ’em.”

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“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.”

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“However many years she lived, Mary always felt that ‘she should never forget that first morning when her garden began to grow.”

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The Lord is my strength and my might, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.  ~Exodus 15:2  ✝

250. Stay, little cheerful Robin! stay, and at my easement sing… ~William Wordsworth

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The robin’s song at daybreak
Is a clarion call to me.
Get up and get out in the garden.
For the morning hours flee.

Image

I cannot resist the summons,
What earnest gardener could?
For the golden hours of morning
Get into the gardener’s blood.

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The magic spell is upon me,
I’m glad that I did not wait;
For life’s at its best in the morning,
As you pass through the garden gate.
~Howard Dolf

In the first photo, a Pinterest posting, is a European robin who according to my English garden bloggers is already singing in their gardens.  The one in the second photo is our American robin who has yet to come, but when he does, we’ll know that spring can’t be too far away.  For he, the stuff of a Messianic legend and spring’s cheery harbinger, will, as the poem says, sing loudly of its coming and our need to get up and out in the garden.  Given my willingness to heed a garden’s summons at any point in time, the robin’s task won’t be too hard to accomplish.  Would that I were as willing to listen to Christ’s calling.  The last photograph I also found on Pinterest.  Although I’ve heard and seen robins feeding their young in my yard, I’ve not yet been able to get a good photograph of the event.

For every wild animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.  I(God) know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine. ~Psalm 50:10-11  ✝

**See post 46 to read the legend of the robin.