1358. If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden. ~Frances Hodgson Burnett, THE SECRET GARDEN

Gardening about enjoying the smell
of things growing in the soil,
getting dirty without feeling guilty,
and generally taking the time to soak
up a little peace and serenity.
~Lindley Karstens

Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 7.45.36 PM.png

However many years she lived, Mary always felt
that ‘she should never forget that first morning
when her garden began to grow’…I am sure there is
Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough
to get hold of it and make it do things for us.
~Excerpted lines from THE SECRET GARDEN
by Frances Hodgson Burnett

One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands out and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun–which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with the millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone’s eyes. ~Frances Hodgson Burnett, THE SECRET GARDEN

Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 8.02.36 PM.png

At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done–then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago…Of course there must be lots of Magic in the world,” he said wisely one day, “but people don’t know what it is like or how to make it. Perhaps the beginning is just to say nice things are going to happen until you make them happen. I am going to try and experiment….And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles… Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraging thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable, determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place. ~Excerpted lines from THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. ~Genesis 2:8  ✝

“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce…” ~Jeremiah 29:5  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; text added to the collage by Natalie; collage created by Natalie

1247. September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours… ~Rowland E. Robinson

Suffering invites us to place our hurts in larger hands.
In Christ we see God suffering – for us.
And calling us to share in God’s
suffering love for a hurting world.
The small and even overpowering pains
of our lives are intimately connected
with the greater pains of Christ.
Our daily sorrows are anchored in a
greater sorrow and therefore a larger hope.
~Henri J.M. Nouwen

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 8.35.20 PM.png

As I grapple with summer’s still sweltering heat, I have to remind myself that humanity has observed adverse aberrations of nature millennium after millennium and that out of the chaos order eventually returns.  Author, Peter Saint-Andre, says  nature “can inspire, enlighten, send shivers up the spine, delight, anger, frighten; it can make one think, feel, shake one’s head in astonishment, cry, laugh out loud; it can evoke feelings of triumph, melancholy, light-heartedness, serenity, excitement, boredom, rightness, anxiety, joy, sorrow.”  And I agree with him on all counts but until some level of coolness settles, it is challenging for me to experience much excitement and serenity.  Only now when, in the midst of the feverish misery, the wild purple eryngo blooms does the melancholy begin to lift a little.

Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. ~Lamentations 3:32  ✝

**Image taken by me along a country road in our area. These amethystine beauties can be found blooming  this time of year in fields ravaged by summer’s heat.

1106. Everything in heaven and earth breathes. Breath is the thread that ties creation together. ~Morihei Ueshiba

Every breath we take,
every step we make,
can be filled with peace,
joy and serenity.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 8.09.19 PM.png

Breath
Breath, the mindful breath,
the rhythm, out and in,
the wave that washes
through our days,
creating space for stillness,
sorrow, joy, or exaltation.
Full, then empty,
ebb and flow,
breath accompanies
each step into the unknown.
In the breath, the soul
finds an opportunity to speak.
Images or intuition,
poetry or wordless wisdom
come and go — no effort but
to breathe and listen.
~Danna Faulds

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. ~Psalm 33:6  ✝

**Image found on Pixabay; text added by Natalie

1099. To write as one should of a garden one must not write outside it or merely somewhere near it, but in the garden. ~Frances Hodgson Burnett

Gardening is about enjoying
the smell of things growing in the soil,
getting dirty without feeling guilty,
and generally taking the time
to soak up a little peace and serenity.
~Lindley Karstens

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 6.05.20 PM.png

Spring
I lift my face to the
pale flowers of the rain.
They’re soft as linen,
clean as holy water.
Meanwhile my dog runs off,
noses down packed leaves
into damp, mysterious tunnels.
He says the smells are
rising now stiff and lively;
he says the beasts are waking up now
full of oil, sleep sweat, tag-ends of dreams.
The rain rubs its shining hands all over me.
My dog returns and barks fiercely,
he says each secret body is
is the richest advisor,
deep in the black earth
such fuming nuggets of joy!
~Mary Oliver

Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” ~Hosea 6:3  ✝

**Images of rain splattered Crocus and Mary Oliver with one of her dogs via Pinterest

1068. Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. ~Lindley Karstens

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 7.03.47 PM.png

A garden is a grand teacher.
It teaches patience and careful watchfulness;
it teaches industry and thrift;
above all it teaches entire trust.
~Gertrude Jekyll

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.37.07 PM.png

Garden Magic

This is the garden’s magic,
That through the sunny hours
The gardener who tends it,
Himself outgrows his flowers.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.42.51 PM.png

He grows by gift of patience,
Since he who sows must know
That only in the Lord’s good time
Does any seedling grow.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.44.31 PM.png

He learns from buds unfolding,
From each tight leaf unfurled,
That his own heart, expanding,
Is one with all the world.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.37.50 PM.png

He bares his head to sunshine,
His bending back a sign
Of grace, and ev’ry shower becomes
His sacramental wine.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.35.06 PM.pngAnd when at last his labors
Bring forth the very stuff
And substance of all beauty
This is reward enough.
~Marie Nettleton Carroll

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.41.28 PM.png

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. ~Genesis 1:15  ✝

**All images via my garden in 2015

979.Let there be spaces in your togetherness. ~Kahlil Gibran

Our time here is magic!
It’s the only space
we have to realize whatever it is
that is beautiful,
whatever is true,
whatever is great,
whatever has potential,
whatever is rare,
whatever is unique.
~Ben Okri

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 5.49.22 PM.png

By the time my widowed mother entered her 90’s, it was becoming apparent that her days of living alone in a large home were drawing quickly to an end. And eventually she came to that awareness on her own. Since she hated the idea of going to a nursing home or one of those places for seniors, James and I offered to build onto our house so she could live with us. Shortly thereafter she put her house up for sale and a private bathroom, laundry room, and bedroom/sitting room was being added to our home. It took all summer to complete the project, and then after she moved into her new quarters, it was only five months later that she passed away. I thought perhaps, James would want to turn the area into a new master bedroom for the two of us, but he said he wanted me to have it as a studio for my craft and photography projects as well as for my computer where I write and edit my photos. So I bought some new furniture, et voilà, “Natalieworld” as I call in came into being. I love it out here as it has two windows that look out onto my garden as well as French doors that open out onto my own little patio and the rest of the yard.

It has been said that we all have a personal space, an area with invisible boundaries surrounding our bodies into which intruders may not come. I also think we have a need for a kind of private personal space–a little time away, a little time out from one another. And for me, my personal space is a sacred space which reflects my passions and treasures. It’s also a refuge where for a time I can turn my back on the world’s madness, and it is a shelter that contains, cuddles, refreshes and stimulates me. It contain elements of beauty, faith, family, friends, serenity, mystery–all the things that “pour moi” possess a timeless, magical quality. I cherish it dearly and believe that even the Lord has a space of His own.

He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. ~Job 26:7   ✝

**the images in the collage are from Natalieworld, my own sacred space. If it had not been another cloudy rainy day, I wouldn’t have had to use the flash on my camera and the photos would have been better. I’m sorry that the biggest one has such a huge and glaring white spot at the top.I tried but I couldn’t edit it out without taking more out of the photo than I wanted.

832. Happiness is the harvest of a quiet eye. ~Austin O’Malley

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life,
for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.
~Bertrand Russell

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 7.26.48 PM

Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is the adequate perception of the world.
~Hans Margolius

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 7.24.12 PM

We hunger for quiet times;
we find in them a womb to renew our strength.
~Virginia Ann Froehle

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 7.56.08 PM

…have a mind so quiet, that you can hear doves whispering
as they rest their wings in the rafters of your silent sanctuary.
~Kate Mullane Robertson

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 7.54.49 PM

With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony,
and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.
~William Wordsworth

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 8.03.55 PM

But I’ll tell you what hermits realize.
If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet,
you’ll understand that you’re connected with everything.
~Alan Watts

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 7.55.14 PM

And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place,
touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of heaven.
~Adlai E. Stevenson

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 8.02.23 PM

Noise, the relentless distraction of noise, surrounds us day after day after day. And it steals from us that which is not its to take. So seek a “silent sanctuary” in which you can “feel the hem of heaven” and renew your strength in that quiet “womb.”

Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. ~1 Peter 3:4  ✝

**Images via Pinterest