1128. One of the healthiest ways to gamble is with a spade and a package of garden seeds. ~Dan Bennett

Gardeners are artists,
 their brushes a tiny seed,
an ever changing picture emerges from their deed.
~Author Unknown

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Watching hands transplanting,
Turning and tamping,
Lifting the young plants with two fingers,
Sifting in a palm-full of fresh loam,–
One swift movement,–
Then plumping in the bunched roots,
A single twist of the thumbs, a tamping and turning,
All in one, quick on the wooden bench,
A shaking down, while the stem stays straight,
Once, twice, and a faint third thump,–
Into the flat-box it goes,
Ready for the long days under the sloped glass:
The sun warming the fine loam,
The young horns winding and unwinding,
Creaking their thin spines,
The underleaves, the smallest buds
Breaking into nakedness,
The blossoms extending
Out into the sweet air,
The whole flower extending outward,
Stretching and reaching.
~Theodore Roethke

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. ~Colossians 2  ✝

1104. All you ever longed for is before you in this moment if you dare draw in a breath and a whisper “Yes.” ~Danna Faulds

Despite doubt or hopeless turns of mind, you are not broken.
Spirit surrounds, embraces, fills you from the inside out.
Release everything that isn’t your true nature.
What’s left, the fullness, light and shadow,
claim all that as your birthright.
~Danna Faulds

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A door opens. Maybe I’ve been standing here shuffling my weight from foot to foot for decades, or maybe I only knocked once. In truth, it doesn’t matter. A door opens and I walk through without a backward glance. This is it, then, one moment of truth in a lifetime of truth; a choice made, a path taken, the gravitational pull of Spirit too compelling to ignore any longer. I am received by something far too vast to see. It has roots in antiquity but speaks clearly in the present tense. “Be,” the vastness says. “Be without adverbs, descriptors, or qualities. Be so alive that awareness bares itself uncloaked and unadorned. Then go forth to give what you alone can give, awake to love and suffering, unburdened by the weight of expectations. Go forth to see and be seen, blossoming, always blossoming into your magnificence. ~Danna Faulds

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. ~Job 33:4  ✝

**Image found on the Internet

 

1065. Let God’s promises shine on your problems. ~Corrie Ten Boom

February is a quiet month in the garden…
But just because it looks quiet
doesn’t mean that nothing is happening.
~Edited and adapted quote from
Rosalie Muller Wright

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The dictionary defines a promise as: (1. a declaration that something will or will not be done or given, or (2. an express assurance on which expectation is to be based. Isn’t is amazing that something as tiny as seeds declare what the Lord has promised, done, and given, and what we as His children can expect from His covenants. Special mention of seeds and their guarantee is made on the 3rd day in the Scriptural Genesis story. And the plants and trees God created have never failed to produce profuse manifestations of this “seed force” which has been been emerging for millions of years and comes forth yet from earth’s vegetation. The roots of this holy “seed force” reach down into the darkness of the earth’s “concealed depths.” Therein they are sustained by water, and in the Celtic tradition the moisture in earth’s soil was seen as a “symbol of the waters of God that enfolded and infused all things.” God’s goodness, which is deeper than any evil, can be seen then at the very inception of and at the heart of all life. J. Philip Newell puts it this way: “Everything that is born in the great matrix of life is sustained by roots that reach into the deep mystery of God’s life.” And I love the imagery these words paint of the seed and humanity’s roots reaching deep into our Maker’s life. What a comforting and safe place is the sheltering heart of Yahweh!

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, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. ~Isaiah 55:10-11 ✝

**In the collage are a collection of seed pods I found in my winter garden.

963. Autumn’s the mellow time. ~William Allingham

I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
stand 
shadowless like silence, listening to silence.
~Thomas Hood

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Fall Song
Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,
the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back
from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere
except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle
of unobservable mysteries – – -roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This
I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn
flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay – – – how everything lives, shifting
from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.
~Mary Oliver

All the kings of the earth sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, and robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules. ~2 Chronicles 9:23-24   ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

819. My garden is a balancing act between weeds and wonders. ~Carol Stocker

Roots of the weed sucked first
life from the genesis of earth
and hold the essence of it still.
Always the weed returns; and
the cultured plant retreats before it.
~Beryl Markham

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They know, they just know where to grow,
how to dupe you, and how to camouflage themselves
among the perfectly respectable plants,
they just know, and therefore, I’ve concluded
weeds must have brains.
~Dianne Benson

Man oh man am I up to my “derrière” in weeds. After the huge amount of rain we had last spring, more weeds than ever sprang up, and they are EVERYWHERE. I was already losing the battle with them when we left for Europe on the 22nd of June; then after we got home nearly three weeks later, they had grown exponentially denser and bigger.

Sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste. ~William Shakespeare

So in this awful heat I’ve been going out when I can to save my flowers from being overcome by their immensity and girth. However, since many have already dropped seeds that will lie dormant until next year, I’ve essentially already lost next year’s battle too. Oh well, if one wants beds and beds of pretty flowers and/or veggies, a weeding one must go, right?! But, ya know, it’s not so much the backbreaking work of pulling or digging them up that’s a problem; it’s this relentless, searing heat that sends me grumbling back in the house dripping with sweat from head to toe and in clothes that are wet down to my underwear.

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust are you and to dust you will return. ~Genesis 3:19  ✝

775. I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation, a sunset – tears are words waiting to be written. ~Paulo Coelho

Embrace sorrowful thoughts
for they sweep the house of your heart clean,
scatter the withered leaves,
and pull out the twisted roots,
preparing the ground for 
the
new shoots of joy.
~Rumi

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Listen to your heart.
It knows all things,
because it comes from
the Soul of the World,
and it will one day return there.
~Paulo Coelho

Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. ~Isaiah 60:20  ✝

**Image by French artist, Anne Marie Zilberman, found on Pinterest

683. Whatever we are waiting for – springtime, peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart. ~Edited line by Sarah Ban Breathnach

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields
has power to move you, if the simple things
of nature have a message that you understand,
rejoice, for your soul is alive.
~Eleonora Duse

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Spring is teeming. Even in areas where snow still covers the ground, much is happening in the hidden realms at this time of year; tight buds get looser, nutrients begin to nourish roots in the sunny corners of the earth, and the hibernating creatures among us start to awaken. ~Excerpted and edited lines from Gratefulness.org

Out of His (Jesus Christ’s) fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. ~John 1:16   ✝

**Image of Pink Ranunculus via Pinterest

677. Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love! ~Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa, Lakota holy man and tribal chief

Spring has returned.
The Earth is like a child
that knows poems
by heart.
~Ranier Maria Rilke

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The cycle of nature—the progress from seed to fruition
to dying-off and then renewal in the spring—
was mirrored in the wild fields and the cultivated garden alike,
while the fragility of harvest—the possible interruption of
the cycle by drought, wind, or other natural calamities—
established the pattern of how humans understood
the workings of the cosmos.  The oldest of surviving
sacred stories have their roots in the garden
and reflect how humanity sought to understand
the changeable patterns of their world and, at the same time,
to imagine a world no longer subject to change.
~Peg Streep

See! The winter is past…flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is hear in our land. ~Song of Songs 2:11-12   ✝

**Image via Pinterest, text written by Natalie

582. Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open. ~John Barrymore

Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.
~William Wordsworth

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Lingering in Happiness

After rain after many days without rain,
it stays cool, private and cleansed, under the trees,
and the dampness there, married now to gravity,
falls branch to branch, leaf to leaf, down to the ground

where it will disappear – but not, of course, vanish
except to our eyes. The roots of the oaks will have their share,
and the white threads of the grasses, and the cushion of moss;
a few drops, round as pearls, will enter the mole’s tunnel;

and soon so many small stones, buried for a thousand years,
will feel themselves being touched.

~Mary Oliver

To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness… ~Excerpt from Ecclesiastes 2:26   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

573. Listen to the trees as they sway in the wind. Their leaves are telling secrets. ~Vera Nazarian

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
~J.R.R. Tolkien

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Deep in the ground
Far beneath my feet

My mother’s lifetime ago
A seed, a root, a tree began to grow.

Buried in the soil
It once lay alone,

Till the seeds, the root, the tree began to show.
Deep in the ground

Far beneath my feet.
A root became a tree.

~Caitlynn Rose

Every tree in the forest has a story to tell. ~Israelmore Ayivor

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Life rises in the roots, and leaves. ~John Piller

It was majestic in beauty, with its spreading boughs, for its roots went down to abundant waters. ~Ezekiel 31:7   ✝

** Images via Pinterest