1231. We are in midsummer; the sun is in full power, and at noon all nature is silent under his spell… ~Excerpt from Eliza Cook’s Journal

Summer is the time when one sheds
one’s tensions with one’s clothes,
and the right kind of day is
jeweled balm for the battered spirit.
A few of those days and you
can become drunk with the belief
that all’s right with the world.
~Ada Louise Huxtable

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Yay! Hooray! Woo Hoo! We’ve been having some of those jeweled balm days! I can’t exactly say that summer’s coming to an end because at times it can last well into late September or even October where we live. However, there’s a smattering of things at the moment that are foreshadowing Autumn’s coming. Not only that but we’ve gotten some much needed rain lately, and that has brought with it somewhat lower temperatures. And although I know these anomalies will end soon, it has been a welcome and rejuvenating respite from the dastardly dog days of Texas in July and August. One of the forerunners I’ve seen is a few blooming spikes on my physostegia virginiana, a plant commonly called False Dragonhead because of the flower’s resemblance to snapdragons. And it is their pinkish lavender blooms that are adding beauty to the bedraggled remains in the garden. They also bring hope that summer’s siege will in fact come to an end a some point in time, something that some of us begin to doubt after weeks and weeks of triple-digit or near triple-digit temperatures.

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Large image in background via Pinterest; the side by side images on top of it were taken in my yard today.

447. The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. ~Gertrude Jekyll

We cannot conceive of matter being
formed from nothing,
since things require a seed to start from…
Therefore there is not anything
which returns to nothing,
but all things return dissolved
into their elements.
~William Shakespeare

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Photo taken by Mike Bizeau at: http://naturehasnoboss.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/sunday-brunch/

May God bless the soil and may it forever be wholesome and fruitful…
May there always be sufficient water, warmth, and light for earth’s crops…
May God bless all seed-bearing plants for their bounty of food and flower…
May seeds never fail to burst into the fullness of their kind…
May God bless the farmer’s labors and the gardener’s work…
May all the world’s crops be plentiful and good…
May God bless us all, great and small…
May earth’s peoples be good stewards of God’s Creation…
And may summer perpetually reveal God’s wondrous ways…

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” ~Genesis 8:22   ✝

Sweet Jesus, fill us with the mercy you bled and draw us back unto Yourself!

200. For flowers that bloom about our feet; for tender grass, so fresh, so sweet; for song of bird, and hum of bee; for all things fair we hear or see, Father in heaven, we thank Thee! ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace,
the celebration of work and the simple life. . .
a true folk-festival that speaks
the poetry of the turn of the seasons,
the beauty of seedtime and harvest,
the ripe product of the year –
and the deep, deep connection
of all these things to God.
~Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)

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At the beginning of time the Lord set the wheels in motion for the making of continual banquets for man and creature alike.  And so in light of His abundant provisions and as the Canticle of Creation plays on, it is time to pause and give thanks to our gracious Benefactor.  The year is drawing to its appointed end and before it sinks into winter, the Sabbath of the year, we must look around and take stock of the Lord’s never-ending activity in Creation and be thankful for the constancy of His love and beneficent involvement in each of our lives.  W. J. Cameron said, “. . .a thankful heart hath a continual feast,” and so with beholden hearts, let us give praise and thanks for our Heavenly Father, His Grace, and His goodness.  I pray that this be a blessed time of thanksgiving for all of you and those you love; may all the roads you travel be, now and forever, filled with grace and peace and love.

If I have enjoyed
the hospitality of the Host of the universe,
Who daily spreads a table in my sight,
surely I cannot do less
than acknowledge my dependence.
~G. A. Johnston Ross

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.  ~Psalm 100:4  ✝

72. Come, fill the Cup, . . . the Bird of time has but a little way to fly–and Lo! the Bird is on the wing. ~Omar Khayyám

The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
~Rubaiyat, Omar Khayyám, 11th century Persian poet

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In my twenties, I came face to face with the reality of what this Persian poet articulated in the Rubaiyat, but thankfully in my thirties I also realized that every spring all that God created begins again.  So even though I have no a chance to do anything about the past, in the season of restoration and rebirth God built into the fabric of Creation, I can forge on with writing new stories and/or penning different endings to ones not yet finished.  However, lest I get too comfortable in dalliances a long the way and to show how quickly what the poem’s author revealed can come about, I must remember that a new year’s garden progeny and its days come and go quickly, and when done they are never, as Khayyám said, to be lured back nor washed away by tears.  So with every spending of my time coins, I must seize opportunities opening to blushes of newness.  Scripture may tell the world that the “birthing and restoring” of new years will go on “as long as earth endures,” but last November’s brush with death taught me to make the most of each day and not rely on what I, myself, may not be given.

The best things in life are nearest:
Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet,
duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.
Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes,
certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.
~Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish poet

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”  ~Genesis 8:22   ✝