1328. It is an old story, this irresistible and ceaseless onflow of life and time… ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.
~William Blake

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Dead and brown is all that once was verdant and full of life. And again today a north wind blew to scatter more of autumn’s splendrous, leafy remains. Willy nilly the leaves whirled about and over the ground as if they were happy children chasing one another. Though a smattering of leaves yet dons a tree or two, for the most part the yard is a graveyard of clattering skeletons, desiccated leaves and withered flowers, bare soil and beige sod. Too, the beating heart of Creation’s life has grown ever so faint, but nonetheless it is discernible to the listening, longing ear. All the while beneath the surface, there’s an entirely different story evolving. For it is there that miraculous, even magical, proceedings are taking place and moving to the rhythm of winter’s muted heartbeat. And as they advance, they gather strength from their sacred sources, mother nature and Father God. So carry on tiny embryos of earth’s womb; I shall wait patiently and not lose heart nor faith while surrounded by this death and decay for I trust and know you will rise in the Spring and once more thrill me beyond the ability to speak so that only squeals of joy will fill the space herein between heaven and earth.

How can those who do not garden,
who have no lot in the great fraternity
of those who watch the changing year
as it affects the earth and its growth,
how can they keep warm their hearts in winter?
~Francis King

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Photos taken by Natalie; collage by Natalie

1278. In the fall each seed is like a child being loosed upon the earth to wait for the blessing of sun and rain to fulfill its destiny. ~Natalie

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression,
it must come completely undone.
The shell cracks, its insides come out,
and everything changes.
To someone who doesn’t understand growth,
it would look like complete destruction.
~Cynthia Occelli

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“Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe of God, nothing seems to me more surprising that the planting of a seed in the blank earth and the result thereof.  Take that Poppy seed, for instance: it lies in your palm, the merest atom of matter, hardly visible, a speck, a pin’s point in bulk, but within it is imprisoned a spirit of beauty ineffable, which will break its bonds and emerge from the dark ground and blossom in a splendor so dazzling as to baffle all powers of description.” ~Celia Thaxter

Where I live winters are mild and so poppies must be sown in the fall. After weeks of making preparations, today was the day to sow not only my poppy seeds, but also the hollyhock, larkspur, and bachelor button seeds. Now in a week or so they will germinate, and I shall squeal with delight once more to find little green babies popping up everywhere. Among the other truly amazing things about the sowing process, is the fact that these small new seedlings will survive some pretty cold days and maybe even some ice and snow. But the leaves of trees, many of which have yet to fall, will eventually blanket the ground and keep my babies warm and safe until the spring’s sun urges them upward and onward. And as for me going out to check on them throughout winter’s often gloomy and forbidding days will keep me thrilled and hopeful!

They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest… ~Psalm 107:37 ✝

**Images of poppy seed pods and seeds found on Pinterest; border and special effects via iPiccy

1091. Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. ~Desmond Tutu

We must accept finite disappointment,
but never lose infinite hope.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
~Emily Dickinson

It has been my privilege to meet some incredible people through my blog. They are people I never knew to ask God for, but He has given them to me anyway. When I asked Him why He blessed me with their presence in my life, He let me know that it’s because they can fill my life in ways that no one else can. And it’s true. From places all over the globe they are the candles in my darknesses and the birds of hope that perch atop my soul when my days grow dark and I find myself in the “chillest” of lands and on the “strangest” of seas.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. ~Psalm 62:5  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

1027. Everyone can identify with a fragrant garden, with beauty of sunset, with the quiet of nature, with a warm and cozy cottage. ~Thomas Kincade

Many miles away there’s a shadow
on the door of a cottage
on the Shore of a dark Scottish lake.
~Sir Walter Scott

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Let there be a cottage….a real cottage…a white cottage, embowered with flowering shrubs, so chosen as to unfold a succession of flowers upon the walls, and clustering round the windows through all the months of spring, summer, and autumn—beginning, in fact, with May roses, and ending with jasmine. Let it, however, not be spring, nor summer, nor autumn—but winter, in his sternest shape. This is a most important point in the science of happiness. And I am surprised to see people overlook it, and think it matter of congratulation that winter is going; or, if coming, is not likely to be a severe one. On the contrary, I put up a petition annually, for as much snow, hail, frost, or storm, of one kind or other, as the skies can possibly afford us. Surely every body is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a winter fire-side: candles at four o’clock, warm hearth-rugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies on the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without… ~Thomas De Quincey

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Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars… ~Psalm 148:7-9   ✝

**Images via Pinterest

959. Come said the wind to the leaves one day, come o’er the meadows and we will play. ~Excerpt from a children’s song of the 1880’s

Ah! the year is slowly dying,
And the wind in tree-top sighing,
Chants a requiem.
~Mary Weston Fordham

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In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those
with mossy, warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come —
six, a dozen — to sleep inside their bodies?
And don’t you hear the goldenrod
whispering goodbye… And
the wind pumping its bellows.
~Excerpted lines from
a poem by Mary Oliver

The tempest comes out of its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. ~Job 37:9   ✝

**Edited autumn photo via Pinterest

888. We know that in September we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. ~Henry Rollins

The lawn is pressed by unseen feet as
summer’s ghost surreptitiously returns at
dawn and retreats again at twilight…
~Edited and adapted quote
by T.S. Eliot

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Bye, bye summertime, hello cooler spells
I think I’m gonna sm-ile
Bye bye scorching days, hello chilliness
I feel like could celebrate
Bye bye September goodby-eye
Bye bye September goodby-eye
~Adapted lines from the song,
Bye Bye Love, recorded by the Everly Brothers in 1957

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Image via Pinterest; text by Natalie

705. I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.
~Ruth Stout 

Spring has again returned.
The Earth is like a child that knows many poems.
Many, O so many.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

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The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.
~Julian Grenfell

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Spring was moving in the air above
and in the earth below…
~Kenneth Grahame

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The promise of these fragrant flowers,
The fruit that ‘neath these blossoms lies
Once hung, they say,
in Eden’s bowers…
~Walter Learned

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All that is sweet, delightful, and amiable in this world, in the serenity of the air, the fineness of seasons, the joy of light, the melody of sounds, the beauty of colors, the fragrance of smells, the splendor our precious stones, is nothing else but Heaven breaking through the veil of this world, manifesting itself in such a degree and darting forth in such variety so much of its own nature. ~William Law

To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. ~Deuteronomy 10:14   ✝

**Again I was trying with each shot to move further away and incorporate more of the whole yard beyond the foxglove on the pation near the window.