623. To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves. ~Mahatma Gandhi

With rake and seeds and sower,
And hoe and line and reel,
When the meadows shrill with “peeping”
And the old world wakes from sleeping,
Who wouldn’t be a grower
That has any heart to feel?
~Frederick Frye Rockwell

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The gardener in his old brown hands
Turns over the brown earth,
As if he loves and understands
The flowers before their birth,
The fragile childish little strands
He buries in the earth.
Like pious children one by one
He sets them head by head,
And draws the clothes when all is done,
Closely about each head.
And leaves his children to sleep on
In the one quiet bed.
~Arthur Symons

When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil? When he has leveled the surface, does he no sow caraway and scatter cumin? Does he not plant wheat in its place, barley in its plot, and spelt in the field? His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. ~Isaiah 28:24-26 ✝

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371. With rake and seeds and sower, and hoe and line and reel, when meadows shrill with “peeping” and the old world wakes from sleeping, who wouldn’t be a grower that has a heart to feel? ~Frederick Frye Rockwell

It was the busy hour
When from the city hardware store
Emerged a gentleman, who bore
One hoe, one spade, one wheelbarrow.

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From there our hero promptly went
Into a seed establishment,
And for these things his money spent:
One peck of bulbs, one job-lot-shrub,
and one quart of assorted seeds.

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He has a garden under way
And if he’s fairly lucky, say,
He’ll have, about the end of May
One one squash vine, one eggplant, one budding flower.
~Author Unknown

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Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 2 Corinthians 9:10 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

 ** Images via Pinterest.

184. The day I see a leaf is a marvel of a day. ~Kenneth Patton

For man, autumn is a time of harvest,
of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing,
of scattering abroad.
~Edwin Way Teale

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Most of us know that autumn’s winds are scatterers and sowers designed to achieve part of nature’s plans, but until I read Teale’s lines and did some research I wasn’t aware of the full and vital extent of what the winds scatter far and wide.  It’s fairly obvious that the presence of autumn leaves on the ground protects things from damage that comes as a result of fewer hours of light and bitterly cold temperatures.  What I didn’t know until now is that because cold, dry winter winds strip moisture from trees through their leaves, trees lose their leaves as a means of protecting themselves.  In that way leafless trees can conserve the much needed moisture in their branches and trunks so they don’t dry out and die.  Another consideration is that energetically it would be very costly for trees to keep their little leafy food factories up and running in winter because the fewer hours of sunlight and freezing temperatures are less efficient and make the transport of water from the ground into the trunk and leaves a damaging drain on the trees’ resources.  The loss of leaves then is designed to put trees into a state of dormancy thereby reducing the amount of energy they need to stay alive; essentially the process sends leafless trees into a life-preserving hibernation during the winter months.  What a grand plan!  How can a day not be a marvel when confronted with such grand plans?  The older I get the more constant a state of marvel I live in, and the more I adore Creation’s Maker.

I will proclaim the name of the Lord.  Oh, praise the greatness of our God.  ~Deuteronomy 32:3  ✝

129. To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand. ~José Ortega y Gasset

But the sower going forth
to sow seeds sets foot in time to come,
the seeds, falling on his own place.
He has prepared a way for his life
to come to him, if it will.
~Wendell Berry

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Like master gardener and writer, June Santon, “When I see that first, minuscule, curled, pale green wisp of a sprout poking up between a couple of grains of vermiculite, I hear God speaking.”  But then again, it’s really more than just hearing Him speak.  It is connecting with Him in a way unlike anything else because when sowing a seed, like Him, it is creating life.  After all we are made in the image of our Creator God, and so we too have the ability to create.  My particular palette is made up of photographs and words and seeds and plants whereas someone else’s may be notes of music, globs of paint, utensils in a kitchen, pieces of metal, blocks of wood.  The possibilities go on and on because we are not only capable of creating with objects but also with the very essence of who and what we are, as with teachers and ministers and parents.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  ~Psalm 139:13-15  ✝

24. Within the seed’s case a secret is held. Its fertile whisper shapes a song. ~Joan Halifax

When I see that first, miniscule, curled, pale
green wisp of a sprout poking up between a couple of
grains of vermiculite, I hear God speaking.
~June Santon

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Seed plants date back about 365 million years ago to the Paleozoic era.  These wondrous pieces of antiquity vary greatly in size: the smallest being the dust-like seed of orchids and the largest, weighing as much at times as 50 pounds, being the fruit of the coco de mer, the double coconut palm.  A typical seed is composed of 3 basic parts: 1. an embryo, 2. a supply of nutrients for the embryo, and 3. a seed coat that protects the embryo from injury or from drying out.  Seeds have two points of growth, one which forms the stem of the plant and the other where the roots of the plant form.  Some seeds have wings or hairs and are dispersed by the wind.  Others are buoyant and float in rivers to the oceans and wash up on beaches; then there are those that are dispersed in various ways by animals.   Given the fascinating science of seeds, how they work and how tiny some of them are, how could one not hear fertile whispers from God in them.

Each seed, regardless of its size, is a sacred promise.  The dictionary defines a promise as: 1. a declaration that something will or will not be done or given, or as   2. an express assurance on which expectation is to be based, and seeds definitely declare what the Lord has done and given and what we as His children can expect.  Special mention of seeds and their promise is made on the 3rd day of the Genesis story where we can see that plants and trees are profuse manifestations of “this seed force.”  Plants and trees have been coming forth for millions of years and come forth yet.  During the unseen holy hours of nurturing, the “seed force” reaches down into the darkness of the earth’s “concealed depths” therein to be sustained by water.  In the Celtic tradition the moisture in earth’s soil is a “symbol of the waters of God that enfold and infuse all things.”  God’s goodness, deeper than any evil, then can be seen at the inception and very heart of life.  J. Philip Newell says that “everything that is born in the great matrix of life is sustained by roots that reach into the deep mystery of God’s life.”  The image which Newell’s words paint of all life reaching deep into God’s life is what, for many of us, shapes songs of joy and praise, for there is no more comforting, good, or safe place in the world than the heart of God!

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without  watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  ~Isaiah 55:10-11   ✝