1252. The first act of awe, when man was struck with the beauty or wonder of Nature, was the first spiritual experience. ~Henryk Skolimowski 

O Marvelous!
What new configuration will come next?
I am bewildered with multiplicity.
~William Carlos Williams

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Soil . . . scoop up a handful of the magic stuff.   Look at it closely. What wonders it holds as it lies there in your palm.  Tiny sharp grains of sand, little faggots of wood and leaf fiber, infinitely small round pieces of marble, fragments of shell, specks of black carbon, a section of vertebrae from some minute creature. And mingling with it all the dust of countless generations of plants and flowers, trees, animals and – yes – our own, age-long forgotten forebears, gardeners of long ago. Can this incredible composition be the common soil? ~Stuart Maddox Masters

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I went out first thing this morning to see if I might find something picture worthy and came across some rather extraordinary things. A garden is not just about flowers or vegetables or fruits or trees. It’s about the soil and creatures as well. Some might think what I found is strange, bordering on ugly or scary, but they are essential to the life of a garden.

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First I came upon the sedum at top starting to show color followed by a mystical passionflower not yet fully open. Then I found the two fruitings, above and below, of fungi in the soil. Fungi perform an essential role in the decomposition of organic matter. In fact they are the principal decomposers in ecological systems, and interestingly fungi are genetically more closely related to animals than plants. These two are strangely beautiful in a way, don’t your think?

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If you want to live and thrive,
let the spider run alive.
~American Quaker saying

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Next I found this huge spider, and although I’m not a fan of spiders, it was an awesome specimen sitting in the middle of an amazing web. I’d seen this same kind of spider in almost the same exact place two years ago, but this one is much bigger than the previous one. So I snapped my photos quickly and gave it a wide berth as I moved on. I was willing to let him run alive as the saying goes, just not after or on me.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. ~Isaiah 61:11  ✝

1188. Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. ~Chief Seattle

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across
the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
~Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator

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Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
~A Ute Prayer

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Oh Lord, whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath I feel moving in and out of me,
the very breath that gives life to me and all living things.
I come before you, as one of your children to ask that
You continue to reveal Yourself through Creation’s beauty.
May my hands always respect the things you’ve created;
May my ears be ever sharp to hear your voice; and
May I be wise enough to perceive the lessons
hidden in all things made of Your hands.
~My prayer based on one by
Chief Yellow Lark of the Lakota Sioux

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. ~Job 33:4  ✝

**Three images via Pinterest; the bottom picture of the granite boulders taken by me on what were once First Nation’s lands at Medicine Park, Oklahoma

1132.I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of beauty. ~Edgar Allan Poe

grass greening again
spring began early advance
air too warm for me

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poppies and larkspur
bloom from seed sown in autumn
no sign of rainfall

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high winds diminished
zephyrs blow dandelions
blue springtime skies

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spider spins a web
backdrop of purply flowers
glory leaps from soil

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day’s end yields pink peace
springtime sunlight waxed and waned
aromas waft forth

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In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord make me dwell in safety. ~Psalm 4:8  ✝

**Poppy image from my yard; all others from Pinterest or Pixabay

994. Give me the end of the year an’ its fun when most of the plannin’ an’ toilin’ is done… ~Edgar A. Guest

December finds himself again a child
Even as he undergoes his age.
Cold and early darkness now descends,
Embracing sanctuaries of delight.
~Nicholas Gordon

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Why do we feel restored in December
As in a sacramental time and place?
Therein Mystery is artfulness,
And therein too a vision of peace is stored,
So that healing flows from it through our eyes.
~Edited and adapted excerpt
from May Sarton

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As the year draws to an end and winter and Christmas approach, “Shall we liken what has and is coming to pass to the web in a loom?  There have been and still are many weavers, who work into the pattern the experience of their lives. When one generation goes, another comes to take up the weft where it has been dropped. The pattern changes as the mind changes, yet never begins quite anew. At first, we are not sure that we discern the pattern, but at last we see that, unknown to the weavers themselves, something has taken shape before our eyes, and that they have made something very beautiful, something which compels our attempt at understanding.” ~Edited & adapted excerpt  by Earl W. Count

…the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. ~Numbers 6:26   ✝

**Both images via Pinterest

937. The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind. ~Albert Einstein

If you have a trust in and an expectation of your own solitude,
everything that you need to know will be revealed to you.
~John O’Donohue

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Certain springs are tapped only when we are alone. Women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves; that firm strand which will be the indispensable center of a whole web of human relationships. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

He(Jesus) said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” ~Mark 6:31  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

736. I was in love with the whole world and all that lived in its rainy arms. ~Louise Erdrich

My poetry was born
between the hill and the river.
It took its voice
 from the rain,
and like the timber,
it steeped itself in the forests.
~Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and
winner of the Nobel Prize in literature

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I expect there are many writers, like Neruda, as well as artists and musicians who have found a voice in the rain as it evokes strong emotions in the human heart. In some unfathomable way I even believe rain is wedded to the human soul. So it is that I am drawn into its web and mystery whenever it blesses this arid and often drought-ridden land where I live. I’m not only intoxicated by the sounds and sights of it but also the whole other level of interest it creates in the garden and other earthly places.

Like billowing clouds,
Like the incessant gurgle of the brook
The longing of the spirit can never be stilled.
~ St. Hildegard von Bingen

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The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands… ~Deuteronomy 28:12   ✝

**Upper collage created by Natalie from her photo archives; lower collage created from images via Pinterest

726. All of earth is crammed with heaven and every bush aflame with God, but only those who see take off their shoes. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird,
could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself.
When you look at it or hold it & let it be
without imposing a word of mental label on it,
a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you.
Its essence silently communicates itself to you
and reflects your own essence back to you.
~Eckhart Tolle

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Some time in March here in this part of the world the garden begins its ascent out of winter’s “vale of grief.” By the time March has gone, the flowering quince has already quit, the daffodils have departed, the tulips have been toppled, the crocus have concluded their blooming, and the hellebores have halted their show. April brings more delights, but after it has gone, the foxgloves have fallen by the wayside, the peonies have been pummeled by the rain, and the hyacinth have handed over their pink and blue scepters. And somewhere amid all that other splendor, the jasmine climbed, the penstemons’ purple bells appeared, and wisteria fell from on high while white bridal wreath spirea cascaded daintily down long, arching branches where bees and bright butterflies searched for flowery nectar. All the while, the crescendos of spring’s symphony were increasing, and the blankets of cold, laden with death were slowly but surely being consumed by spring’s warming nights and days. Then as the music of spring reached it frenzied rhythms, the melodious strains mounted garden walls and pushed past garden gates to fill busy streets where mankind pursues its harried madness. And there her music captured the inclined ears of some to draw them into her web where for eons she has recanted the magical mystery of life, ever hopeful and opulently abundant. So loudly does springtime declare the glory of God, in fact, that it’s hard to believe that anyone who is not deaf or blind could disclaim God’s existence for it’s His unmistakable voice that calls out from every stone, every leaf, every flower, every insect, every bird to the inheritors of Eden.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. ~Psalm 19:1   ✝

**All images via Pinterest are of species named Eden; collage created by Natalie