Joyful, joyful we adore Thee

“All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain, Call us to rejoice in Thee.”
(Henry van Dyke)

My heart is content. Having spent part of this beautiful afternoon outside under a crystal blue sky, warmed by the sun and caressed by a gentle breeze, I am rejoicing in the One who created it all. Although I raked a small mountain of leaves into the woods (you’d think I hadn’t raked at all last fall!), my top priority was strolling the grounds to see what I could find. I wasn’t disappointed, as my scouting efforts yielded all sorts of tiny treasures – trillium beginning to unfurl their leaves; May-apples, looking like miniature umbrellas, tightly closed, as they poke their way through the soil; a solitary flower on the Hepatica, with the promise of more to come; Tipularia leaves, their deep purple undersides a key identifier; Lenten roses sprinkled happily about the garden, their seeds having freely dispersed over the years.

Not only do the plants bring me joy in and of themselves, but many of them are linked to special people, gifts from their gardens. Now growing in mine, they remind me of the friends who graciously shared them with me and delightful times we’ve spent together immersed in various horticultural pursuits.

So much to savor on this spring-is-almost-here Sunday!  So much love poured out on me in the form of flowers and friends, by a Father willing and able to do far more than I can ask or imagine! And so, with the Psalmists and hymn writers, I proclaim, “How great Thou art!”

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