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

1164. Drip, drip, drip in cadenced rhythm fall the rain’s dotted silver threads from heaven above. ~Natalie Scarberry

I looked out the window at the falling rain
and gave myself over to the compelling urge to put
myself entirely in the keeping of this rainy day.
~Edited lines from a poem
by Raymond Carver

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Drip, drip, dripping from on high it falls
Not in torrents this time, but in a tender grayness.
Fall, fall, falling through space it comes
Traveling from who knows where and what source
Yet it brings familiar scents and thoughts of yore.
Would I, could I, unravel such things!

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Puddles, puddles, puddling everywhere
Making pools of water like bits of glassy mirrors.
Hang, hang, hanging are leaves and flowery faces
Weighed down by the heaviness of daylong showers
Born of lowering gray clouds leaden with water
Yet there is loveliness in their blurry, drooping poses.
Would I, could I, paint such things.

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Memories, memories, making their way through the rain
With smacks of this fragrance and that, places and people,
Joys and pain, good things and bad things all tied up
In “raindrops on roses” and more of my favorite things
That sparkle and forever accompany rainy days and quiet ways.
Yet there’s gladness in it all for it’s the sum and magic of a life.
Would I, could I, understand such things.
~Natalie Scarberry

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Last night the rain spoke to me
slowly, saying, what joy to come falling
out of the brisk cloud, to be happy again
in a new way on the earth!
~Excerpt from a poem
by Mary Oliver

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“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” ~Job 11:7  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yard today while holding an umbrella in one hand and trying to manage the camera with the other one.

1102. Fate shall yield to fickle chance, and chaos judge the strife. ~John Milton

Bright and true and tender
can Mother Nature be albeit 
dark, fierce, fickle and disastrous
oft too is she.
~Natalie Scarberry

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It is sad that nature will play
such tricks with us poor mortals,
inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her,
and then, when we are entirely
within her power, tricking us to the heart.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Every year it seems to me
I hear complaints about spring.
It is either “late” or “unusually cold,”
“abnormally dry” or “fantastically wet,”
for no one is ever willing to admit
that there is no such thing as a normal spring.
~Thalassa Crusso

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This year had been shaping up to be the best spring ever in my gardens, and then as so often happens over the Texas prairies this time of year, blustery high winds caused cold air from the north to collide with the existing warm air making Mother Nature more foe than friend as night fell. I must have had some kind of sixth-sense inclination of the impending doom, however, because I took the three photographs above before I called it a day and came inside for good. Sadly what you see in them is gone now. The reason for their demise can be seen in the picture below of the huge amount of pea-size to quarter-size hail that fell with the two-inch downpour of rain. I know that it could have been worse because tornados can and do sometimes accompany such weather events; so I’m grateful this time wasn’t one of them and that no one was hurt or experienced loss of life, limb, or property. But it was still sad, very sad today, to see masses of green “carnage” as well as the remains of flowery life and beauty scattered everywhere. Yet I will always praise the Lord for the rain.

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Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. ~Zechariah 10:1  ✝

957. It is November. The noons are more laconic and the sundowns sterner. ~Emily Dickinson

And November sad,—a psalm
Tender, trustful, full of balm…
~Caroline May

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November is usually such a disagreeable month…as if the year had suddenly found out that she was growing old and could do nothing but weep and fret over it. This year it is growing old gracefully…just like a stately old lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles. We’ve had lovely days and delicious twilights. ~Lucy Maud Montgomery

The glory of the young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old. ~Proverbs 20:29   ✝

**Collage created  by Natalie

930. The spirits of the air live on the smells of fruit; and joy, with pinions light, roves round the gardens, or sits singing in the trees. ~William Blake

And November sad,—a psalm
Tender, trustful, full of balm,
Thou must breathe in spirits calm.
~Caroline May

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I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its tone is mellower, its colours are richer, and it is tinged with a little sorrow. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and its content. ~Lin Yutang

I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. ~Leviticus 26:4  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

665. Come, gentle Spring! Ethereal Mildness! Come! ~James Thomson

Down, down, down and drip, drip, drip
falls the gray, gray, grayness of yet another rainy day.
And outside my feet go squish, squish, squish
from the rain and snow and rain and snow and rain,
but oh heavens no, no, no you won’t find me a fussin’
because now, my friends, a grow, grow, growin’
we’ll find the sweet green, green, greening things
of advancing, birthing, sprouting spring.
~Natalie Scarberry

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O the green things growing, the green things growing,
The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve,
Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing.

O the fluttering and the pattering of those green things growing!
How they talk each to each, when none of us are knowing;
In the wonderful white of the weird moonlight
Or the dim dreamy dawn when the cocks are crowing.



I love, I love them so – my green things growing!
And I think that they love me, without false showing;
For by many a tender touch, they comfort me so much,
With the soft mute comfort of green things growing.



And in the rich store of their blossoms glowing
Ten for one I take they’re on me bestowing:
Oh, I should like to see, if God’s will it may be,
Many, many a summer of my green things growing!

But if I must be gathered for the angel’s sowing,
Sleep out of sight awhile, like the green things growing,
Though dust to dust return, I think I’ll scarcely mourn,
If I may change into green things growing.
~Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~Ephesians 5:19b-20   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

648. Make friends with the angels, who though invisible, are always with you. ~St. Francis de Sales

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us,
and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to
visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.
~George Eliot

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Kind words, considerate actions, comforting wisdom, encouraging praise–all or some borne on the breath of warmhearted, consoling voices–are no less than the sweet sound of Grace falling on the ears of those in need of reassurance or salvation or deliverance. And what a blessing are they are, these angels chosen to deliver God’s grace for their tender voices and caring kindnesses penetrate all manner of despair. And these divinely appointed “earth angels,” often come from the ranks of ordinary people, but in rising to a divine calling they are lifted up to the realm of the extraordinary. And how they honor the Christ by answering His call to serve!

The human heart is an altar upon which one can and does lay a multitude of things. But, it is not meant to be a personal shrine for self-centered collections of worldliness. Nor should it be defiled with traces of anger, jealousy, or hatred. The altar of the heart should be blanketed with empathy, compassion, kindness, gentleness, non-violence, and love. Only then will it be a place that Holy God can find the fruits befitting angels and use the bearers of such as instruments of His grace and mercy. It’s not always an easy task to prepare the heart’s altar in such a way, but what an honor it is to realize that on the altar of one’s heart there is something worthy of being used by the Lord God Almighty.

Here’s to all the “earth angels” out there in the blogosphere who share their hearts and gifts with those in need.  I recognize your grace-filled hearts and I adore you…Natalie

May God grant you always…
a sunbeam to warm you,
a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you,
laughter to cheer you,
faithful friends near and far,
and whenever you pray, His ear to hear you.
~Irish Blessing

Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. ~Psalm 103:20   ✝

**Image via Pinterest