1393. Just like the lotus we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness, and radiate light into the world. ~Author Unknown

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Do you remember the last time you squealed with joy about something? Or do you at least remember seeing a young child squeal with delight? How about an almost 75 year old? Well it’s true; I did, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. In fact I’m elated that just months away from my 75th birthday, there are things in this world that still can make me squeal with joy and amazement. I’ve long admired photographs of lotus flowers and knew a little of their history, but it never dawned on me that I would actually ever find one here in Texas. And yet just last week as my husband and I made our periodic run through our local Botanic Gardens that to my amazement I spotted from the car what I thought were the pods of a Lotus plant. And so camera in hand, I screeched for him to stop and jumped out of the car to go take a closer look. Not only were there the remaining pods of previous lotus blooms, but I actually spotted a bud. That’s when I squealed because it was almost like standing in the Garden of Eden at the beginning of time, so much so that I half expected to see Adam and Eve eventually stroll by. So for days I went back to photograph the bud as it slowly opened. At long last it appeared that it would fully open last Wednesday, the day my sister and I had chosen for our weekly quilting get-to-together. But rather than cancel at the last minute I went on to her house since we both look forward to our quilting days and time spent together. Sadly it did fully bloom that day and by the following day when I went back most of the petals had already begun to fall away. But I had seen enough to remain fully thrilled and enthralled by the experience. And I know that where there once was one there will soon enough be more. The opening photo is a collage of lotus photos I found on Pinterest, but below as I reveal some of the fascinating information about the Lotus Flower here are the photos I took last week. They are not the best photos, but it was very hot so I was shooting fast, and I couldn’t get very close to them.

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The Lotus Flower is one of the earliest and most spiritually meaningful symbols in our world ever. It spans various thousand-year-old Eastern cultures and to this day holds enormous symbolic weight.

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So what is it about this mysterious blossom that people find so enrapturing? Its colorful bloom is an obvious suspect, but the lotus also has a life cycle unlike any other.

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Late in the evening the petals close and withdraw beneath the surface, then at daybreak, the flower again lifts up to the sky and unfolds its majestic crown. With its roots based in mud, it submerges every night into murky river water, and—undeterred by its dirty environment—it miraculously re-blooms the next morning without residue on its petals.

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Although cultures have their own interpretations of this daily process, there is a general consensus among ancient texts that the lotus symbolizes spiritual enlightenment and rebirth.

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The lotus stunned people with its ability to dip into the grime and revive itself unscathed—an incredible daily cycle of life, death, and a sudden immaculate rebirth that can only be described as spiritual. But the flower also has a fascinating will to live. A lotus seed can withstand thousands of years without water, able to germinate over two centuries later.

“O Lord, by these things men live, And in all these is the life of my spirit; O restore me to health and let me live! ~Isaiah 38:16  ✝

1299. Writing is a process, a journey into memory and the soul. ~Isabel Allende

The mind I love most must have wild places,
a tangled orchard where dark damsons
drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood,
the chance of a snake or two, a pool that
nobody fathomed the depth of, and paths
threaded with flowers planted by the mind.
~Katherine Mansfield

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I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have, they find out as it grows. And I’m much more a gardener than an architect. ~George R.R. Martin

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…my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. ~Excerpt from Psalm 45:1  ✝

**Images found on Pinterest

1278. In the fall each seed is like a child being loosed upon the earth to wait for the blessing of sun and rain to fulfill its destiny. ~Natalie

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression,
it must come completely undone.
The shell cracks, its insides come out,
and everything changes.
To someone who doesn’t understand growth,
it would look like complete destruction.
~Cynthia Occelli

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“Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe of God, nothing seems to me more surprising that the planting of a seed in the blank earth and the result thereof.  Take that 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

Where I live winters are mild and so poppies must be sown in the fall. After weeks of making preparations, today was the day to sow not only my poppy seeds, but also the hollyhock, larkspur, and bachelor button seeds. Now in a week or so they will germinate, and I shall squeal with delight once more to find little green babies popping up everywhere. Among the other truly amazing things about the sowing process, is the fact that these small new seedlings will survive some pretty cold days and maybe even some ice and snow. But the leaves of trees, many of which have yet to fall, will eventually blanket the ground and keep my babies warm and safe until the spring’s sun urges them upward and onward. And as for me going out to check on them throughout winter’s often gloomy and forbidding days will keep me thrilled and hopeful!

They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest… ~Psalm 107:37 ✝

**Images of poppy seed pods and seeds found on Pinterest; border and special effects via iPiccy

1255. 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

The anthropologists are busy, indeed,
and ready to transport us back into the
savage forest where all human things…
have their beginnings; but the seed
never explains the flower.
~Edith Hamilton

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Okay, here I go to try to convince old Mr. Thoreau that I have a seed there so he can be prepared to expect wonders. In the collage on the left one can see two kinds of rain lilies. Once these lilies finished blooming each flower was replaced by a green, 3 faceted seed pod like the one next to the upper group of lilies. Then below that he or she can see that the pod eventually began to show touches of brown. Moving on, if one looks at the upper right photo he/she can see that the seed casing continued to turn more and more brown until eventually, as in the next photo, the brown facets, one by one, split open to expose the “black gold” hiding inside. Finally in the very last photo the seed pod can be seen split wide open, ready to spill its wonders onto the soil below. And what do I have to do in all this process so that I have more rain lilies to show for it. Nothing, nada, zip, zilch! With absolutely no help from me those seeds will sprout up right where they fall! In fact if I don’t want anymore rain lilies in that area, it behooves me to capture them before they fall so I can take them to work their “black” magic elsewhere. Pretty darned cool, huh?! Downright miraculous, if you ask me!

Two years ago, I was saying as I planted seeds
in the garden, “I must believe in these seeds,
that they’ll fall onto the earth and grow into
flowers and radishes and beans.” It is a miracle
to me because I do not understand it. And
the fact that they use glib technical phrases to
explain it does doesn’t make it any less a miracle.
Then why shouldn’t we accept God’s miracles?
~Edited quote by Dorothy Day

He(God) performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. ~Job 5:9 ✝

**All photos taken by me in my yard; collage created by me

1217. There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve. ~Malcolm X

At last, you will not be remembered for
roaming the earth as a non-entity,
but by every word, and every miracle,
and every love, and every seed that ever came
from the innermost part of your heart.
~Michael Bassey Johnson

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Every day I read blog post after blog post filled with litanies of “somebody done me wrong” songs, and I know that pain and loss are real and deep, unwarranted and regrettable, heartbreaking and devastating. And although I can’t walk that proverbial mile in the shoes of these bloggers, they need to know that we’ve all been there and done that. But ya know, there comes a time when one must let the past go and move on. My guess is if I handed any of them a burning hot potato that I’d just taken out of the oven, they would put the darn thing down before it did any serious damage to their hand. And so why is it that any of them or us hold on to toxic, past suffering, letting it “burn” us over and over again, day in and day out! Why do we give hateful, hurtful people that kind of power over our lives? Isn’t it like dragging dead bodies around with us wherever we go-weighty, stinking, rotting corpses with no life left in them? Why do we do that? Is it because we think nothing good or anyone loving will ever come along again? Oh my gosh, if nature were like that, life on planet earth would have ended eons ago. Like everything else God created we are full of seeds and possibilities, but the seeds must first be sown and then nurtured before the possibilities become evident, not unlike those minuscule green shoots that push up from the darkness of the soil to the light. And that sowing process can’t be done by whining and wallowing around in the stench of those carcasses we’re hanging on to. It can only be done when disappointments and heartbreaks are finally thrown onto a compost heap to become fodder for new growth and the seeds are thrown out to germinate! And no, it’s not that I’ve lived a sheltered, privileged life devoid of heartache that I can say these things for I’ve known bitter loss; I live with chronic pain; I’ve dealt with defeat; and I’ve experienced utter despair; but I’ve also known enough of joy and happiness and miracles not to let that which has tried to break me define who and what I am and/or steal another millisecond of what life is left in these old bones. Walking away is a choice; letting go is a choice; setting ourselves free from harmful people and things is a choice, and only we can make those choices. So grieve a while, sing your sad songs, write your sad stories and poems, and then pick yourself up, dust your fanny off from the fall, stand bravely tall, and declare to life and the world that you cannot, will not be subdued or diminished by others or the past. Then walk away with songs of hope in your words, and never, ever look back.

He(the Lord) heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~Psalm 147:3  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; text box added to altered and edited images I created; collage by Natalie too

1180. Light-enchanted sunflower, thou who gazest ever true and tender on the sun’s revolving splendour. ~Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Ah, sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime…
~William Blake

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An errant seed was she left to lie
not by I but unknown circumstance
throughout winter, dark and deep,
and there it was she marked the time
until days lengthened and they warmed.
But who knows the when or how soon of
an ordained and sacred thing which must
come together at an exacting moment in time
to spark a miracle in and of earth’s soil
wherein roots shoot down and a stem
with a pair of leaves rises unto the light.
However that it did as spring rains came.
Up and up advanced the thickening,
woody stem with more and more of the
sunflower’s green, heart-shaped leaves
until one day a bud appeared on top
with frilly green whorls of bracts that
cradled the flower’s golden splendor inside.
Soon the time was right for the bud to
turn and face the sun so that petal by petal
its heart of emerald green could exposed.
And then surrounded by a yellowy halo
the gaudy sunflower reigned on high for days
and days above the garden fair but alas time
that in the end swallows up all things has
bowed her noble head in fading glory.

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. ~Psalm 113:3  ✝

**This is the same sunflower that I’ve be showing as she went from bud to flower and now to fading glory.

1172. The word “miracle” aptly describes a seed. ~Jack Kramer

From one seed a whole handful:
that was what it meant to say
the bounty of the earth.”
~J. M. Coetzee

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What do you see in this photo? Obviously it’s a plant of some kind, but that’s not what I see when I look at it nor is it the true import of the image. Okay, so what more, you might ask, is there to see? Well, first I see a miracle, then I see God’s grace, next I see beauteous splendor, and finally I see a divine promise. Really, all that, in a nondescript, green cup-like object? Indeed I do! This large sunflower obviously has yet to open; nevertheless and even though the flower is not visible, I see great beauty in the fringed “cup” that’s holding what I know to be a stunning yellow sunflower. I also see great promise in it for I know that when the sunflower does emerge and mature, it will proffer an enormous amount of seeds which will not only guarantee ever-lasting continuance but also provide food to sustain living beings. The miracle in it is three-fold: 1.) it came forth from a small black particle buried beneath dirt, pain old, ordinary dirt, 2.) it’s growing in my garden although I did not sow it there, and 3.) it has not only survived neglect and lack but it has also thrived and grown to a height of six feet. As for grace, God’s amazing grace was promised us countless eons ago and this plant is just one more wondrous proof of life that He was and is still the faithful Steward of all that He has made.

Not all things are blest, but
the seeds of all things are blest.
The blessing is in the seed.
~Muriel Rukeyser

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. ~Genesis 9:11  ✝