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

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 7.41.40 PM.png

“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

1062. A gardening I did go, a gardening I did go, hi-ho the derry-o, a gardening I did go. ~Natalie

The smell of garden soil
Is in the air.
With patient toil
The musk of earth is freed
From winter’s cell.
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by Alice Prokasky

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 8.51.37 PM.png

What is a garden?
Goodness knows!
You’ve got a garden, I suppose:
To one it is a piece of ground
For which some gravel must be found.
To some, those seeds that must be sown,
To some a lawn that must be mown.
To some a ton of “Cheddar rocks;”
To some it means a window-box;
To some, it is a silly jest
About the latest garden pest;
To some, a haven where they find
Forgetfulness and peace of mind…
What is a garden?
Large or small,
‘Tis just a garden,
After all.
~Edited excerpt from a poem
by Reginald Arkell

Yes, indeed, today was warmish enough and a gardening I did go. For time is running out for getting the flower beds ready for spring. So sit down on the ground, get hands in the dirt, and pull those weeds from around the baby seedlings did I. Then I carefully put some of their sheltering, autumn leaf litter back in place. And from what I’ve seen, the good news is I’m going to have a bumper crop of poppies and larkspur. Yay team!!!! And by the way, ‘tis not just a garden, these toils yield glimpses into the “deeply private moments between the Creator and creation.”

*Cheddar rocks: Limestone found in a gorge in the Mendip Hills, near the village of Cheddar, Somerset, England

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. ~Excerpt from Hebrews 4:13  ✝

1053. Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle….a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream. ~Barbara Winkler

The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream.
The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg,
and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs.
Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
~James Allen

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 2.21.25 PM.png

Part of the genius of God’s grand design is that we awaken every day to a fresh flowing of His energy and vitality that has been stored in the seeds of our being, seeds that possess the same strength as that of the rising sun, earth’s swelling seas, and its fertile plains. An excellent time to look for the shining of His everlasting light in the “sanctuary of the soul” is in the first waking moments of each new day. That inward realm is where doors open to the germination of new life because inside each one of us the Lord has planted His “seeds of greatness.” There’s never a moment in life when either in and of ourselves or in the people around us that there are not yet unopened gifts of promise. Simply put, “heaven’s creativity on earth” is born in our bodies, and therein the Master’s “sacred hopes” are hidden. And His hopes come to fruition through the germination of our gifts and through the catalyst of prayer when we lift up “the agonies of life in the world” and ask for grace where “the human soul has grown hard” and lost sight of God’s light. May the “soil” of this week be such that the precious, holy seeds of the uniqueness that is you fully come to fruition.

Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? ~1 Corinthians 3:16  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

629. One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.
~W. E. Johns 

The greatest achievement was at first
and for a time a dream.
The oak sleeps in the acorn,
the bird waits in the egg,
and in the highest vision of the soul
a waking angel stirs.
Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
~James Allen

Screen shot 2015-01-31 at 6.45.15 PM

Part of the genius of God’s grand design is that we awaken every day to a fresh flowing of His energy and vitality that has been stored in the seeds of our being, seeds that possess the same strength as that of the rising sun, earth’s swelling seas, and its fertile plains. An excellent time to look for the shining of His everlasting light in the “sanctuary of the soul” is in the first waking moments of each new day. That inward realm is where doors open to the germination of new life because inside each one of us the Lord has planted His “seeds of greatness.” There’s never a moment in life when either in and of ourselves or in the people around us that there are not yet unopened gifts of promise. Simply put, “heaven’s creativity on earth” is born in our bodies, and therein the Master’s “sacred hopes” are hidden.

From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth-He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. ~Psalm 33:13-15   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

625. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. ~Sir Walter Scott

So long sad times
Pull along bad times
You are now a thing of the past.
The skies are clear again.
So let’s sing a song of cheer again!
Happy times,
happy nights,
happy days 
are here again!
~Excerpted lyrics from song 
by Benny Meroff

Screen shot 2015-01-27 at 9.40.22 AM

The birds are chirping happy tunes. High in the trees the squirrels are happily scampering to and fro. Lengthening sunny days are making those who till the soil happy. And happy little seedling are growing bigger in the warmth. But hold on just a minute! Something’s terribly wrong with this picture. After all it’s still January and therefore winter. So why all the happy dances? Could it be that lies are being spread? As a matter of fact they are, and it happens nearly every year here in north central Texas. In mid to late January the sun begins to speak seductively of springtime, and it tells the fairy tale so well and so long that the land is duped into believing the fallacy. What’s more the unusual warming trend often extends into February making it a partner-in-crime in the treacherous deception. And then wham, bam!!! Winter reclaims its hold on the land. But that’s not the end of the story. Spring will arrive at its ordained “hour upon the stage” for no matter what happens, God is still in control and what He has promised will come to pass.

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future. ~Ecclesiastes 7:14   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

593. It is in the nature of cats to do a certain amount of unescorted roaming. ~Adlai Stevenson

Prowling his own quiet backyard
or asleep by the fire,
he (a cat) is only a whisker
away from the wilds.
~Jean Burden

Screen shot 2014-12-28 at 4.09.13 PM

Twas three days after Christmas, and all through the yards
Nothing was stirring, not even wind-blown papery discards;
The feeders were hung by the greenhouse with care,
In hopes the red cardinals soon would be there;
And seedlings were nestled snug in leafy beds,
While thoughts of springtime danced in my head;
The squirrels in their nests and I in my chair,
Lay resting ourselves from yesterday’s fare,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash
And raised the bamboo curtain and tied up its sash.
The lowering gray clouds of a cold winter’s day
Had earlier shrouded the land in garments of gray.
Now in the sun what to my wondering eyes did appear
But a feral feline running a path both straight and clear.
With a blue jay held loosely in her clenched jaw awry
The proud huntress lost her grip and away it did fly
Leaving her to wonder
Why her incursion was put asunder.
~A parody of Clement’s
Twas the Night Before Christmas 

…a time to weep and a time to laugh… ~Ecclesiastes 3:4a   ✝

I was laughing so hard after what I’d seen, I couldn’t resist the urge for some playfulness and thus wrote the parody above.  The cat, however, was not amused at all by what had happened.

**Image via Pinterest

524. Gardening: the fine art of soul to soil. ~Jan Bills

But each spring. . .a gardening instinct,
sure as the sap rising in the trees,
stirs within us.
We look about and decide to tame
another little bit of ground.
~Lewis Gantt

Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 9.46.08 AM

Life! Life has materialized again! On a cool, misty morn of late October, little green slivers of life have emerged into visible existence, life anew made manifest from tiny black seeds scratched into barren soil and sprinkled with water, the very elixir of life itself! And it has come where two losses occurred unexpectedly in my yard last June. When it happened, “the gardening instinct” Gantt mentions kicked in immediately even though it was long after the last rising of sap and well before the next. Sadly, at that time however, the fires of summer were already growing intense, and it was too hot to start “taming” bits of ground. But when temperatures at last lowered in late September, my son-in-law tilled and tamed the new bits of ground for me. It may seem odd to sow this late in the year, but given the mild winters and early to warm up springtimes of north central Texas, the seeds of poppies, larkspur, bluebonnets, bee balm, and sweet peas must be sown in the fall so that the roots of the seedlings have enough time to grow strong and hardy. Such indeed is “the stuff of which dreams are made” for those of us who need flowers for the soul to thrive, who seek revelation of God in a garden, who live close to and find intrigue in the soil from which we came, and who dig the ground seeking His presence in earth’s depths.

Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 9.28.06 AM

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. ~James 5:7  ✝

**Images via Pinterest