1160. Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment. ~Ellis Peters

If you’ve never been thrilled
to the very edges of your soul
by a flower in spring bloom, maybe
your soul has never been in bloom.
~Audra Foveo

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Come as they do in May are
the sweet morning-glory morns
that herald brilliant daylily days
with rosy high noons and
the busiest of busy bee hours
on the hosts of purple coneflowers.
And all the while the butterflies
waltz by the big, yellow sunflowers that
wilt not on the hot, sultry afternoons
when often I find grasshoppers perched
atop the strangest of flowery places.
But come dusk when the day is almost done
all these must relinquish the stage to the
pearly iridescent glow of white moonflowers
unfurling ‘neath heaven’s twinkling stars.
‘Tis all this that a gardener’s hope-filled
dreams and schemes are made of.
~Natalie Scarberry

Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits. ~Psalm 103:2  ✝

**Flower images taken by me; collage created by me too.

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

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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

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Garden Magic

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

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

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

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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

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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

548. The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. ~Flora Whittemore

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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How Would You Live Then?
What if a hundred rose-breasted grosbeaks
blew in circles around your head? What if
the mockingbird came into the house with you and
became your advisor? What if
the bees filled your walls with honey and all
you needed to do was ask them and they would fill
the bowl? What if the brook slid downhill just
past your bedroom window so you could listen
to its slow prayers as you fell asleep? What if
the stars began to shout their names, or to run
this way and that way above the clouds? What if
you painted a picture of a tree, and the leaves
began to rustle, and a bird cheerful sang
from its painted branches? What if you suddenly saw
that the silver of water was brighter than the silver
of money? What if you finally saw
that the sunflowers, turning toward the sun all day
and every day — who knows how, but they do it — were
more precious, more meaningful than gold?
~Mary Oliver

They have ears, but cannot hear, noses but cannot smell. ~Psalm 115:6   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

502. The morrow was a bright September morn; the earth was beautiful as if newborn; 
there was nameless splendor everywhere, that wild exhilaration in the air… ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Did you hear them? Of maybe see them?! Did you? I didn’t either, but I know autumn fairies played upon the lawn last night; dew from their pixie dust was shining like diamonds upon the grass this morning. They must have worn themselves out in their playfulness, however, and vanished with the dawn because now where once they romped all I see are avian wings crisscrossing the yard.

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Fall has come but her red leaf and her gold have not. And so though the year is growing long in the tooth, the sparkle of life’s spark continues to pulse audibly to the beat of Yahweh’s heart. His Eden is still very much alive; spring and summer’s glory have not been vanquished. I know because I can hear it and see it bursting forth in the red of rosy faces, the yellow that sits atop the Maximillian sunflowers, the white that calls out from the Angel’s trumpets, the pink that plays on in phloxy mounds, the blue that paints the sky and the morning glories, the orange that echoes from the echinacea, the purple that mounts the ruella, and the green that continues to flesh out in grass and fern.

Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place. ~1 Chronicles 16:27   ✝

Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of this amazing day as well as the power and strength that fills this aging, ailing body with enough oomph to praise you and rejoice in another day!

** Image via Pinterest

419. Let your love be like the misty rains, coming softly, but flooding the river. ~Malagasy Proverb

Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving. ~Khalil Gibran

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My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.


Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,


which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth
and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam…

~Mary Oliver

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:5  ✝

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! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

166. Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning…. ~Wallace Stegner

The foliage had been losing its freshness through the month of August,
and here and there a yellow leaf showed itself like a first gray hair…
September dressed herself in showy dahlias and
splendid marigolds and starry zinnias.
October, the extravagant sister, ordered an immense amount of
the most gorgeous forest tapestry to make glorious her grand spectacle.
~Edited and adapted excerpt from Oliver Wendell Holmes

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The first leafy sign of autumn appeared on the Dogwood today, and it triggered a flood of “color” musings in my mind.  Chestnut and chocolate!  What’s not to love about a season that clears off summer’s calamities, piles delectable hues back on nature’s palette, and calls for a pot of hot chocolate?  Lemon and lime!  Grasses, flowers, fruits, berries, and even a beastie or two weave fabulous garlands in the sacred temple bound by earth and sky.  Maroon and mahogany!  Chilling winds induce chemical changes in leaves that conjure up magic shows on woody altars in earth’s forests.  Mauve and mulberry!  The leaves on maples, oaks, dogwoods, pears, persimmons, and other trees give birth to colorful, parchment-like jewels that will one day snap off, swirl in little eddies, and play like children upon the ground.  Orange and ochre!  Pumpkins made to squat on porches or bales of hay tickle the fancy of mortal tongues anxiously awaiting fall feasts and winter banquets.  Red and russet!  Roses, asters, and Maximilian sunflowers invoke a breath of spring not stifled by summer’s heat to keep the year’s last child in colorful array.  Sable and sapphire!  Skies often shrouded by gauzy, gray clouds are swept clear by northerly winds as cold fronts advance.  On such days a spectacular brilliance can be seen on the brows of morn followed by daylight hours drenched in deep, dreamy shades of blue.  Sterling and pewter!  Plumed grasses shift and sigh in authorship of haunting, autumnal hymns.  Ah, how lovely are the many colors of autumn and the Holy One who made them!

As long as earth endures, seedtime and harvest (spring and autumn), cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.  ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

157. September days had the warmth of summer in their briefer hours, but in their lengthening evenings was a prophetic breath of autumn. ~Rowland E. Robinson

the air is different today
the wind sings with a new tone
sighing of changes coming. .  .
~Rhawk, Alban Elfed

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“Summer, barbarous in beauty,” came to a welcomed end here sooner than usual after the circle of equal light and night of the equinox.  Now autumn’s harbingers, the Maximilian sunflowers, the Spider lilies, and the Oxblood lilies have all fulfilled their prophesies.  So as I tear October’s days off the calendar, I’m starting to reflect on what I’ve accomplished and learned on my most recent trip around the sun even though the annual time coin of life is not yet completely spent.  With the feverish fret of summer’s torrid temperatures gone at last, the milder weather of the year’s last child is such that I can enjoy that endeavor by rocking and ruminating on my porch, sauntering and snappingto pics in the yard, or by finding a “perch” upon which to sit where I can take in and enjoy fall’s burgeoning spectacle.  For it is in the hushed glory of the year’s waning days, the comforting peace born of its inherent mellowness, and the enthrallment of the Lord’s abiding grace that my cup is filled to overflowing again and again.

For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.  ~Deuteronomy 16:15b  ✝