683. Whatever we are waiting for – springtime, peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart. ~Edited line by Sarah Ban Breathnach

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields
has power to move you, if the simple things
of nature have a message that you understand,
rejoice, for your soul is alive.
~Eleonora Duse

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Spring is teeming. Even in areas where snow still covers the ground, much is happening in the hidden realms at this time of year; tight buds get looser, nutrients begin to nourish roots in the sunny corners of the earth, and the hibernating creatures among us start to awaken. ~Excerpted and edited lines from Gratefulness.org

Out of His (Jesus Christ’s) fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. ~John 1:16   ✝

**Image of Pink Ranunculus via Pinterest

580. Once more on our morning walk we tread upon carpets of gold and crimson, of brown and bronze, woven by the winds… ~John Burroughs

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

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With every north wind that blows the landscape decomposes more and more, and the air grows a little wilder with falling leaves. After each assault layer upon layer of the leafy insulation blankets the lawn and beds in more warmth to protect them from coming winter’s icy blasts. Above, the branches, if not already bare, are now dotted with only a smattering of leaves. They, the ones too tenacious to let go so far, cannot hold on much longer though because the winter solstice will be upon us in less than a week. These brisk northerly winds have also taken a toll on the once verdant and supple, ornamental grasses. Many of them have begun drying out and taking on a shabby, tattered look, but among the shades of brown, remain a few tinged with glorious color. Autumn may be beset with more gray than sunny days and quelling blows night after night, but some continue to hold a measure of winsome smiles and “honey’d leavings.” And as the lusty song of life plays on, earth yet murmurs, “come play again with me,” a call, way, way too alluring for me to ignore.

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. ~Isaiah 40:8   ✝

518. It is necessary to find the infinitely large in the infinitely small, to feel the presence of God. ~Pythagoras

Winter is an etching,
spring a watercolor,
summer an oil painting,
and autumn a mosaic of them all.
-Stanley Horowitz

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Before one season passes into another, some of what has been comes along with the new blessings and before long the coming one begins easing its gifts into place. For example ripening rose hips are a part of winter’s etching, roses are a continuing bestowal of springtime’s watercolor epic, the now sighing-in-the-wind ornamental grasses appeared on summer’s brush-stroked canvas, and little purple asters aswarm with bees are securing their place in autumn’s developing mosaic, a mosaic not too different from the section of a pieced quilt like the one in the photo.

…the discipline of blessings is to taste
each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet
and the salty, and be glad for what does not
hurt. The art is in compressing attention
to each little and big blossom of the tree
of life, to let the tongue sing each fruit,
its savor, its aroma and its use.
~Marge Piercy

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. ~Ephesians 1:3   ✝

** Image is a piece of a Barbara Olson quilt pinned on Pinterest

458. The summer flower blooms and quickly dies because the sunny glow which brings it forth, soon slays with parching power. ~Edited quote by Dante Alighieri

The serene philosophy of the pink rose is steadying.
Its fragrant, delicate petals burned by the fiery heat
are too soon ready to fall,
with regret or disillusion, after only a day in the sun.
It is so every July and August in my garden.
One can almost hear their pink, fragrant murmur
as they flutter down to die upon the grass:
“Summer, oh summer, will it always be
sultry, feverish summertime.”
~Edited and adapted lines by Rachel Peden

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Although burns have marred her pink petals,
The heat hasn’t utterly robbed the rose of her beauty.
She is yet serene in her fragrant pinkness
And her murmur, albeit faint, speaks of God’s glory.

Nevertheless in Your great mercy You did not utterly consume them nor forsake them; for You are God, gracious and merciful. ~Nehemiah 9:31 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! May I dwell in Your holy presence and praise Your name for all that you have given and done.

378. The miracles of nature do not seem miracles because they are so common. If no one had ever seen a flower, even a dandelion would be the most startling event in the world. ~Author Unknown

It gives one a sudden start
in going down a barren, stony street
to see upon a narrow strip of grass,
just within the iron fence, the radiant dandelion,
shining in the grass, like a spark dropped from the sun.
~Henry Ward Beecher

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The First Dandelion

Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close emerging
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, has ever been,
Forth from its sunny nook o shelter’d grass–
Innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,
The spring’s first dandelion shows its trustful face.
~Walt Whitman

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A dandelion gone to seed, photographed with a macro lens. Photo by: Kristhian Castro (Cali, Colombia)

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. ~Psalm 77:14 ✝

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!

377. Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man. ~Vladimir Nabokov

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable,
butterflies lead to the sunny side of life.
And everyone deserves a little sunshine.
~Jeffrey Glassberg

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A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
and for a brief moment, its glory and beauty
belong to our world.
But then it flies again,
And though we wish it could have stayed…
We feel lucky to have seen it at all.
~Author Unknown

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” ~Hans Christian Anderson

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. ~1 Chronicles 16:29 ✝

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!

299. Last weekend, there came a bitter cold snap, which did great damage to my garden…It is sad that Nature plays such tricks on us poor mortals, inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her, and then, when we are entirely within her power, striking us to the heart. ~Edited and adapted excerpt from Nathaniel Hawthorne

Who loves a garden
Finds within his soul
Life’s whole,
He hears the anthem of the soil
While ingrates toil;
And sees beyond his little sphere
The waving fronds of heaven, clear.
~Louise Seymour Jones

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I’ve been trying to figure out today what it is about a garden that is so seductive and irresistible for me, but I’m still no closer to an answer than when I’ve pondered it before.  I just know that something in nature calls to me and touches me on a deep level, brings glad music to my heart, and feeds “life’s whole” within my soul.  That’s why the losses due to last weekend’s dirty “trick” have struck a grievous blow to my heart which in turn has sent me sinking down, down, down into what one writer has called winter’s “vale of grief.”  Normally I can shake things off pretty quickly, but in addition to that casualty the arthritis in my left knee and left foot have me hobbling around on a cane, unable to get outside and do things that need to be done in the garden, and that’s creating a bluer than blue, bluish “funk.”  Now after spending way too much time inside, stationary and feeling a bit sorry for myself, I’m STARVED!!!  Like a junkie, I need my “fix.”  I need to hear the “anthem of the soil.”  Moreover, I need to touch the earth and dig in the dirt.  I need to feel Eden’s beating heart, her rhythms.  I need to hear the birds singing over my head.  I need color.  I need to see things growing and to look upon flowery faces, even a wretched dandelion would do.  I need to feel the sun’s warmth on my back.  And as much as anything else I need to feel God’s palpable presence in my tiny corner of His sanctum sanctorum.

Alas, sadly, I’m afraid it will be sometime before all those needs are met.  So I dug around on Pinterest board’s trying to find the kinds of images that typically draw me into a garden’s web of magic and glory.  Since I have no way of knowing when Old Man Winter will return to his arctic cave nor when my body will stop betraying me, they and a a little garden poetry will have to suffice.

From there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul.  ~Deuteronomy 4:29   ✝