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

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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

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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

1297. There are no sounds that can stir the sublime emotions of men’s souls like the sighs and whispers of nature. ~James Lendall Basford

Magic is really only the utilization
of the entire spectrum of the senses.
Humans have cut themselves off
from their senses. Now they see only
a tiny portion of the visible spectrum,
hear only the loudest of sounds;
their sense of smell is shockingly poor,
and they can only distinguish
the sweetest and sourest of tastes.
~Michael Scott

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I know the thrill of the grasses
when the rain pours over them.
I know the trembling of the leaves
when the winds sweep through them.
I know what the white clover
felt as it held a drop of dew
pressed close in its beauteousness.
I know the quivering of the fragrant petals
at the touch of the pollen-legged bees.
I know what the stream said
to the dipping willows, and what
the moon said to the sweet lavender.
I know what the stars said when
they came stealthily down and crept
fondly into the tops of the trees.
~Muriel Strode

…there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord… ~Excerpt fro Jeremiah 33:10 and 11  ✝

1277. Then summer fades and passes and October comes. ~Thomas Wolfe

I cannot endure to waste anything
as precious as autumn sunshine
by staying in the house.
So I spend almost all 
the
daylight hours in the open air.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The garden releases its last
radiance, not as something failed,
but as its full reason for being: to give
continually, to its last bit of energetic being.
Its giving is its beauty. It is a smile;
it is the heart of love.

So the birdsong that surrounds me
is given, not away, but into the world.
It is given as rain, as sunlight, as snowfall
and autumn leaves. It falls on our ears
as what it is, with no deception,
the complete truth of being.

Even the smell of decay, drifting from
a deer, dead by the side of the road, says:
“This is what I am and no other. I do not
pretend to be. Even in death I speak
without deceit, even unto my flesh,
my very bones.”

Be tolerant of these songs,
my musings on the way these things are.
For I cannot give up the garden to winter except
by giving myself as well, fully and completely,
into the praise of our mutual beauty,
our total loving of the world.
~Edited and adapted poem
by Richard Wehrman

I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw… ~Proverbs 24:32  ✝

**Image by Natalie; special effects created by my grandson, Joe, and I on my computer and on iPiccy

1261. The color blue is everlastingly appointed by the Deity to be a source of delight. ~John Ruskin

blue, the color of sea and sky
blue, a constant color in our lives
blue, the collective color of the spirit
blue, the only color which maintains
its own character in all of its tones
blue, the color of peace and calm

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indigo, the deeper blue of the
mystical borderland of wisdom
indigo, the color that turns blue
inward to increase personal
thought or profound insights
or instant understandings
white blue, the color of
communication with others
blue, blue green, and green
sacred colors for some peoples

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blue, dynamic and dramatic
blue, engaging and exhilarating
blue, that in some places is
a symbol of mourning or
sacrifice or warding off evil
blue, that in other places is
thought to correspond with
the 4 seasons, the 5 primary
elements, the directions,
blue, the color often associated
with feeling sad or unhappy
blue, a soothing element
in gardens everywhere

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And we even experience
the color blue in all our senses:
Blue is the look of a cool spring day.
Blue smells like a freshly bloomed flower.
Blue feels like a cool breeze on a hot day.
Blue tastes like tasty, sweet blueberries.
Blue sounds like gentle, falling rain.
Blue is the wonder in our minds.

…the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. ~Excerpt from Exodus 24:9-10  ✝

**Blue, as in these wondrous, tie-dye morning glories in my yard

1225. I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. ~John Burroughs

We live on the leash of our senses.
There is no way in which to understand
the world without first detecting it
through the radar-net of our senses.
~Diane Ackerman

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Listen-Do you see that you can’t hear beauty? But you can hear beautiful birdsongs.

Look-Do you see that you can’t smell love? But you can smell the fragrance of a rose when it comes into view.

Touch-Do you see that you can’t see the soul? But you can touch the hand of another and look into his/her eyes, the windows to his/her soul.

Taste-Do you see that you can’t taste color? But you can taste the purplicious flavor of a grape.

Smell-Do you see that you can’t touch the intellect? But you can smell food prepared intelligently for our health.

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Look at the opening sunflower and passionflower above: I can see their beauty; I can hear the buzz of the bees around them; I can touch their petals and leaves; I can taste their edible seeds and fruit; I can smell the earth in which I planted them; and in my garden which puts my senses in order I am soothed and healed by their presence.

Ears that hear and eyes that see—the Lord has made them both. ~Proverbs 20:12  ✝
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. ~Psalm 34:8  ✝
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. ~Matthew 8:3  ✝
For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:15  ✝

**I took both these photos in my yard today.

1178. Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it. Vladimir Nabokov

Smell is a potent wizard that transports you
across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.
~Helen Keller

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Creature comforts! What are they anyway? Okay, lets establish what the term “creature comforts” means. It is thought that the expression was first used in the 1600‘s to describe the simple things that met a person’s needs such as food, a good bed, comfortable shoes, etc. The meaning has evolved a bit over time as it now includes physical ease such as warmth, available hot and cold water, clean laundry, in other words anything that makes life more comfortable and pleasant. Simply put, it can be any small item or detail that makes a person feel at home, which includes not only creature comforts but also heart and soul comforts as well. I think perhaps many of us have similar creature comforts but then time and place may, if asked, change some of our answers to the question. On a side note, before I go on though, I’ve read that interestingly in World War I, creature comforts were cherished even more than comradeship and unit loyalties.

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Nothing is more memorable than a smell.
Smells detonate softly in our memory like
poignant land mines hidden under
the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire
of smell and memories explode all at once.
A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.
~Diane Ackerman

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Okay, so what does all this creature comfort stuff have to do with smell? It all started this morning as I sat looking out at my white lilies and remembered their lovely fragrance. Probably because these particular lilies are so white it hit a tripwire of the unforgettable and delicious scent of linens, sheets and towels and such, from my childhood that had been hung outside to dry on a clothesline. That led to thoughts of homemade quilts and white iron beds and the incredibly luscious night’s sleep that was to be had in, on, and under such things which have always been some of my most favorite creature, heart, and soul comforts. Then as Ackerman put it, poignant land mines of memories began to detonate all over my place, but they were the kinds of memories not too many share these days.

If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? ~1 Corinthians 12:17  ✝

**All images but the white lily found on Pinterest; collages by Natalie

1156. I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. ~John Burroughs

May the touch of your skin
Register the beauty
Of the otherness
That surrounds you.

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May your listening be attuned
To the deeper silence
Where sound is honed
To bring distance home.
May the fragrance
Of a breathing meadow
Refresh your heart
And remind you you are
A child of the earth.
And when you partake
Of food and drink,
May your taste quicken
To the gift and sweetness
That flows from the earth.
May your inner eye
See through the surfaces
And glean the real presence
Of everything that meets you.
May your soul beautify
The desire of your eyes
That you might glimpse
The infinity that hides
In the simple sights
That seem worn
To your usual eyes.
~John O’Donohue

Ears that hear and eyes that see—the Lord has made them both. ~Proverbs 20: 12  ✝

**Watercolor images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie