617. Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. ~Anne Frank

Life is full of beauty.
Notice it.
Notice the bumble bee, the small child,
and the smiling faces.
Smell the rain, and feel the wind.
~Ashley Smith

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Oh, the green, green, green of fresh growing things; the scent, scent, scent of fragrant flowery things; and the buzz, buzz, buzzing of little, busy bees. But wait, wait, wait! Back that “wagon” up and hold on just a minute! It’s still January and therefore wintertime. So what’s up with the green, the flowers, the aromas, and the buzzes? Ah the joyous blessing of a greenhouse filled with thriving, flowering, sweet smelling things! The only downside to such is that the bees seem to think the greenhouse is solely their domain and so object to a human interloper’s pottering visits. But then again, I seem to be developing a history outside the garden of adverse encounters with the wee buzzing folk. In my recent tale about a trip to Paris two years ago, I neglected to mention that on the very first day of our long-longed for visit to that magical city, we got off the metro, walked to the Pont Alexandre, and as we turned to walk on the gorgeously adorned bridge where I would get my first view of some of the city including the Eiffel Tower, I was stung on my face by a bee. But let me assure you that the subsequent outpouring of tears had absolutely nothing to do with the bee’s assault and everything to do with the legendary marvels that now lay before my very own eyes. And ya know, it didn’t stop me from the joy and the journey then and there nor will it keep me from the same in my greenhouse for both were and are filled with unforgettable beauty, fabulous fragrances, breathtaking spectacles, and beguiling allures.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” ~Numbers 6:24-26   ✝

**I took this photo in my greenhouse.  The bee was nectaring on a gorgeous anemone.

229. So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us. ~Gaston Bachelard

To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature.
Most persons do not see the sun.
At least they have a very superficial way of seeing.
The sun illuminates only the eye of the man
but shines into the eye and heart of the child.
The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses
are still truly adjusted to each other;
who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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God sometimes reaches out at the most unexpected times to capture our hearts and attention, and not infrequently does He do that by using one of Creation’s eye-catching spectacles.  When a moment like that happens, it’s much like when a lover surprises his beloved by pulling a handful of flowers from behind his back.   And every time I’m delighted by the Holy One in such a way, I fall in love with Him all over again.  A friend of mine recently shared a moment like that with me, and as I read her description, I realized that understanding God’s parables can occur when the innocence of childhood floats up back up in our present realities.

On this cool, crisp morning, I arose before the sun and
went out my front door to look for the newspaper.
But that’s not what caused me to stop in my driveway, paper forgotten.
Overhead, Ursa Major and other stars twinkled brightly,
framed only by a few thin, wind-shaped clouds.
And at a time of the year when children take center stage,
I thought of the innocence in all of us.
For it was not my intellect that held me spellbound
but my own innocence, untarnished by age.
In that moment, caught by the wonder of nature,
blessed with its beauty, I felt magical.
~Emily Seate

Who is this that appears like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars in procession?  ~Song of Solomon 6:10  ✝