1005. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power. ~Northern Advocate

In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year,
bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil.
~Rose G. Kingsley

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Leaf by leaf and petal by petal, the garden unravels more and more each day. And with every wind that blows, be it from the north, the south, the east, or the west, little eddies of leaf litter now blow about dancing like bits of confetti. Too can be seen the first skeletons of trees and shrubs laid bare by the blustery winds and recent downpours. Yet the temperatures have remained mildish and so amid the decay are, even as the sands in late autumn’s hourglass run out, “honey’d leavings” and faint renditions of fall’s “lusty song.” However, soon and like all things, the last season of the year will come to its Sabbath and therefore have to rest until its next appointed hours.

What prodigious phenomenons are the seasons of the year! How carefully planned! What attention to detail they are given! Even in places where there are no robust seasonal changes, one is able to discern the Divine’s purpose. No matter when or where one is, there is a discernible rhythm to the seasonal harmonies in the cosmic book of days. And in the rhythms are a sacred and perceptible heartbeat, a heartbeat that if sought and listened to is as recognizable as that of a mother’s to her infant. For it is the beating heart of God, and His comforting eternal echo of the spheres can be heard in every corner of the universe. Like gravity the sound of it holds hearers in its grasp, and in the hearing comes the longing to see the face of the Holy One whose heart holds us, His children, with a love bigger than the universe itself.

Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. ~Except from Jeremiah 8:7  ✝

**I love this capture I got of the red oak leaf that became wedged in the latch on my greenhouse door during yesterday’s high winds.

248. I look back with gladness to the day when I found the path to the land of heart’s desire… ~Mrs. George Cran

Earth, thou great footstool of our God,
who reigns on high;
thou fruitful source of all our
raiment, life, and food;
our house, our parent, our nurse,
and our teacher.
~Edited and adapted excerpt from Isaac Watts


What’s that whisper in the wind?  Do you hear it?  Listen, there it is again!  Oh, I know.  It’s that ancient and seductive call that tempts the gardener to come and play in the dirt?  And it doesn’t take much bidding before this one can do naught but hearken to the bewitching pleas.

For days now I’ve heard the “call” because even though winter is still quite young,  January has obliged the “voice” by bringing some warmer days.  So several days ago I began clearing my flower beds of autumn’s dead, leafy debris, cutting off seed heads to be scattered elsewhere, and pruning weak, leggy growth off shrubs and roses.  Working close to the soil let me, as usual, hear earth’s heartbeat, and that sweet sound in turn spread a soothing balm over the spiritual doldrums.

Ironically, however, it occurred to me as I worked today that I was blessing the warmth of the same sun that only a few months ago I’d been cursing for its relentless waves of miserable heat.  That brought me face to face afresh with the truth that too much of anything spoils even the very best of things, that there is a purpose, if not understanding, in all things, and that gratitude, when in comfort or lack, is the only appropriate response to a day’s gifts.  So, you see, it was more than an ordinary call or faint heartbeat that I’d heard; I’d encountered the Teacher and He, leading me in and out of flesh and spirit, had shown me, again, wisdom growing in the garden’s “soil.”

…and the Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil.  ~Deuteronomy 30:9a  ✝

202. There is a communion with God, and there is a communion with earth, and there is a communion with God through the earth. ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French philosopher and Jesuit priest

Grass is the forgiveness of nature-
her constant benediction.
Forests decay, harvests perish, flowers vanish,
but grass is immortal.
~Brian Ingalls


Maiden grass, purple fountain grass, blood grass, little bluestem, pink muhly–what’s not to love about such names.  Not only are they alluring monikers for gardeners, but their visual charms provide great cover for  wildlife and their seeds are good food sources for birds.  Few pests bother them, and given a bit of wind their airy, flower panicles, feathery plumes, or striking seed heads resemble fairy wands as they capture and play with available light.  What I like best about them is that in their swishing and swaying the echoes of the eternal and murmurs of sacred benedictions can be heard.  A garden and all its plantings, be they grasses or trees or shrubs or ferns or herbs or mosses, always speak of earth’s primeval and venerable origins as well as man’s connection to the Holy Voice that spoke everything into being.  But it is in the movement of the grasses that I most feel the in and out movement of God’s ruach, His life-giving breath.  Chardin whom I quoted above contended that the more he devoted himself in some way to the interests of the earth the more he belonged to God.  It is the same for me because being close to and working the earth is like being attached to an umbilical cord that keeps me forever connected to and sustained by Him, the loving Source of all life.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.  He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.  ~Psalm 147:7-8  ✝