671. That which God said to the rose and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty, He said to my heart, and made it a hundred times more beautiful. ~Rumi

A rose is the visible result
of an infinitude of complicated
goings on in the bosom of the earth
and in the air above.
~Clive Bell

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Oh most venerable rose of primordial antiquity,
how beautifully you sequester countless, ageless secrets
within the elegance of your perfumed petals sweet!
Again today I find myself wondering
what it is that you might say, could you but relate
all that in your making lay concealed from mortal man.
Would you, could you, speak of God and man and time and place?
Or does such remain cloaked in mystery as does all else,
only to be breathed, merely to be inhaled, and
solely to be hinted at in your divine scent?
~Natalie Scarberry

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. ~Proverbs 27:9   ✝

576. Time-honored, beautiful, solemn and wise – noble, sacred and ancient – trees reach the highest heavens and penetrate the deepest secrets of the earth. ~Author Unknown

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt,
finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks,
sermons in stones, and good in everything.
~William Shakespeare

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Owl in the Black Oaks

If a lynx, that plush fellow,
climbed down a
tree and left behind
his face, his thick neck,

and, most of all, the lamps of his eyes,
there you would have it—
the owl,
the very owl

who haunts these trees,
choosing from the swash of branches
the slight perches and ledges
of his acrobatics.

Almost every day
I spy him out
among the knots and the burls,
looking down

at his huge feet,
at the path curving through the trees,
at whatever is coming up the hill
toward him,

and, though I’m never ready—
though something unspeakably cold
always drops through my heart—
it is a moment

as lavish as is fearful—
there is such pomp
in the gown of feathers
and the lit silk of the eyes—

surely he is one of the mighty kings
of this world.
Sometimes, as I keep coming,
he simply flies away—

and sometimes the whole body
tilts forward, and the beak opens,
clean and wonderful,
like a cup of gold.

~by Mary Oliver

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. ~Psalm 19:7   ✝

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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   ✝

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566. The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart. ~St. Jerome

The best and most beautiful things
in the world cannot be seen or even touched –
they must be felt with the heart.
~Helen Keller

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On the edge of dreaming when the brain lets go, when it stops its scheming, our blood runs slow… Then the heart speaks clearly of the things it knows, things it brought so dearly at the evening’s glow… And a misty sunset fills the west with yellow, gold and scarlet red. The bowl of space at dawn sheds light upon our silky bed. For you, I send refreshing rain to wash the past away. A quiet breeze drifts warmly across your tired face. It brings the scents from flowery climbs, and leaves without a trace. With vines and newborn stars in our hair…undressed, bronzed platinum we are as summer in your golden church… Like whispers lost at sea…we soar beyond the sky of fire…in harmony within the clash of elements… Together lost and free to claim our each desire. Like leaves we float to earth, once more…forbidden passion, romantic eyes, and heated lips…two burning amber hearts released and drinking slowly mysterious champagne of heaven’s sweetest rest… ~Oksana Rus

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:5   ✝

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525. The garden one wide banquet spreads for thee, O daintiest reveler of the joyous earth! ~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Edmund Clarence Stedman

Thou spark of life that wavest wings of gold,
Thou songless wanderer mid the songful birds,
With Nature’s secrets in thy tints unrolled
Through gorgeous cipher, past the reach of words,
Yet dear to every child 
in glad pursuit beguiled
Living his unspoiled days mid flowers and flocks and herds!
Excerpt from Ode to a Butterfly by
~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Edmund Clarence Stedman

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A butterfly is one of the pollinating insects that carries and moves a flower’s grains of pollen around, and its labors enable fertilization and subsequent sexual reproduction. Given that, the butterfly is owed a debt of gratitude by us and the flower because its dance seems to be not only an act of celebratory reverence but also an act of jubilant purpose.  And who among us mortals, either young or old, finds not joy in the butterfly’s gleeful and beguiling dance.

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I often wonder why people who are easily wowed by the technology wrought of human hands fail to realize that without a dance, a marvel of Divine technology as seemingly insignificant as that of the bee and butterfly, that which supports our very existence would first be in great peril and then cease to exist. Neither do these individuals acknowledge that their ability to create technology is a gift, one not earned or designed by their own limited ability. The simple truth is that flowers cannot continue to exist without the help of a gracious and generous “pollinating” benefactor and neither can mankind. Each mortal’s life then should be a dance, an offering of reverent and joyful thankfulness to the Creator whose technology it is that creates life, enables the continuance of it, and gives us the intellect we need to create man-made technology.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~Psalm 139:13-14   ✝

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500. Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety. ~René Daumal

The breeze at dawn
has secrets to tell you;
Don’t go back to sleep.
~Rumi

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Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life,
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:

The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendor of beauty,
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn.
~Kalidasa (2500 BC Sanskrit)

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. ~Psalm 65:8    ✝

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334. There is a place in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

In the garden I tend to drop my thoughts here and there.
To the flowers I whisper the secrets I keep and the hopes I breathe.
I know they are there to eavesdrop for the angels.
~Dodinsky

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A fellow blogger recently wrote about the garden of her childhood and at the end her post she asked her readers if they, too, remembered a garden from their childhood. And though I do, mine wasn’t just a single garden, it was garden after garden after garden because I grew up in Southern California which is a garden in and of itself. Simply put I remember flowers at every turn, colors at every turn, and fragrances everywhere; so amazing were they that more than half a century later, they are as vivid and fragrant as ever. Also my grandmother and my mother’s sister who lived in Texas where we visited almost every summer loved flowers and had lovely gardens of their own. So for me the answer to Annette’s question is a resounding yes, yes, yes.

Today while I was at the nursery buying fertilizer for the lawn, the first plant I saw (the bougainvillea below) was one that grows all over Southern California and sometimes so wild and unrestrained that it covers rooftops. So I decided to make photos from the nursery along with some of my favorite garden quotes as an answer to her question and an offering to you.

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The garden is a long son, a duet between a human being and Mother Nature.
~Jeff Cox

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To this day, I cannot see a bright daffodil,
a proud gladiola, or a smooth egglant
without thinking of Papa.
Like his plants and trees,
I grew up as a part of his garden.
~Leo Buscaglia

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As a gardener, I’m among those who believe
that much of the evidence of God’s existence has been planted.
~Robert Brault

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A garden really lives  only insofar as it is an
expression of faith, the embodiment of hope, and a song of praise.
~Russell Page

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Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 ✝

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!

313. And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower then I have dipped again in God, and new-created. ~Excerpt from a poem by D. H. Lawrence

The last fling of winter is over…
The earth, the soil itself,
has a dreaming quality about it.
It is warm now to the touch;
it has come alive;
it hides secrets that in a moment,
in a little while, it will tell.
~Donald Culross Peattie

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In winter the earth sleeps peacefully and sinks “in good oblivion” as it readies itself for another spring.  Then morning after morning upon arrival of the vernal equinox, the “new-opened flowers dipped again in God, ” as it were, appear.  It seems to me to be the same for us in the changing seasons of our lives for we, too, are dipped again in God whenever we are “new-created” for the next phase of our lives.

“…then I must know that still I am in the hands of the unknown God,
He is breaking me down to His own oblivion
to send me forth on a new morning, a new man.”
~Excerpt from same poem by D. H. Lawrence

In early civilizations the fact that food supplies were soon to be restored was one of the reasons spring’s coming was especially revered.  Later on it became significant with the spread of Christianity because Easter falls on the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the vernal equinox.  Thus springtime reveals the hidden secrets of the soil, and the risen Christ reveals the secrets hidden in our souls if we but follow Him and listen.

The secret things belong to the Lord, our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.  ~Deuteronomy 29:29   ✝

247. The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. ~Rumi

Every morning is a fresh beginning.
Every day is the world made new.
Today is a new day.
Today is my world made new.
I have lived all my life up to this moment,
to come to this day.
This moment–this day–is as good as any moment in all eternity.
I shall make of this day–a heaven on earth.
This is my day of opportunity.
~Dan Custer

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Welcome the new day; it is a new creation.  Greet it with gratitude.  It is a  nonrepeatable gift; it is a promise of resurrection.  Miss not the day’s beauty.  Miss not the joy.  Miss not the wonder.  Miss not chances to make the world a better place.  Miss not opportunities to praise God!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  ~Lamentations 3:22-23  ✝

214. Angels descending, bring from above, echoes of mercy, whispers of love. ~Fanny J. Crosby

Ever felt an angel’s breath
in the gentle breeze?
A teardrop in the falling rain?
Hear a whisper among the rustle of leaves?
Or been kissed by a lone snowflake?
Nature is an angel’s favorite hiding place.
~Carrie Latet

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Standing amid the remains of a dying year and clothed in a dress splattered with mud this garden angel retains every bit of her vibrant elegance.  Even in the high winds of last week’s arctic storm she held her ground, waiting and watching, as quietly as the trees and dormant roses around her.  And the angel will keep on watching over this garden while my friend, inside the house, continues to busy herself attempting to heal hurting, human hearts; for you see, my friend, like an angel, is a also guardian.  She guards the secrets of her clients who entrust the painful realities of their pasts to her keeping.  Both she and her garden angel then are reminders of the Lord’s love and watchfulness over Creation and His children.  The fruits of the Holy Spirit with which my friend is gifted are what she draws upon to sustain her clients while she speaks words of wholeness in their wounded spirits.  Why is speaking the tool of her trade?  The Lord spoke the world and all that live in it into being; therefore, the spoken word in all of us who are created in His image has great power, power for good and for evil.  When any of us choose to speak loving, affirming words they fall on mortal ears like the sweet breath of an angel whispering incantations of healing benedictions.  So it is that my friend’s loving words of understanding and compassion and wisdom can be to the soul of her clients what water, in this dry and arid land, is to her garden.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.  ~Genesis 1:26  ✝