August 29, 2010

Gazing in the Garden

Your Inspiration...
Sometimes our souls need healing. Sometimes our bodies need healing. Sometimes both mind and body could use a shot of sunshine........

As we were strolling casually through the streets of Kennbunkport, shopping, or more window-shopping I would say...a quaint shop grabbed our attention and we decided to actually go in and browse. The most wonderful glass spheres were hanging in the window..shades of blue, green and lavender.

A witch ball is a hollow sphere of plain or stained glass hung in cottage windows in 18th century England to ward off evil spirits, witch's spells or ill fortune, though the Witch's Ball actually originated among cultures where witches were considered a blessing and these witches would usually "enchant" the balls to enhance their potency against evils. Later, they were often posted on top of a vase or suspended by a cord (as from the mantelpiece or rafters) for a decorative effect. Witch balls appeared in America in the 19th century and are often found in gardens under the name "gazing ball". However, "gazing balls" contain no strands within their interior.

According to folk tales, witch balls would entice evil spirits with their bright colors; the strands inside the ball would then capture the spirit and prevent it from escaping.

Witch balls sometimes measure as large as 7 inches (18 cm) in diameter. The witch ball is traditionally, but not always, green or blue in color and made from glass (others, however, are made of wood, grass, or twigs instead of glass). Some are decorated in enameled swirls and brilliant stripes of various colors. The gazing balls found in many of today's gardens are derived from the silvered witch balls that acted as convex mirrors, warding off evil by reflecting it away.

Interesting facts...we were totally unfamiliar with what a "witch ball" was. All we knew was that they were extremely fascinating and beautiful in their colors and simplicity.

I actually have a small blue gazing ball in my Maine garden. It was formerly in our Texas garden but it safely made the move with us. I have used a silver gazing ball as a centerpiece at New Year's only because it reflected the lights so beautifully. I grew up seeing gazing balls in most all southern gardens..funny..I never knew they originated as Witch Balls....glad to know they were keeping evil spirits away...

Which brings us into the garden and the gazing balls....
In front of the porch is a wild garden filled with snapdragons, lavender and pink roses, Lacey-top hydrangea, foxglove, and — “taa-daa” — the flower whose face seems to be the face of God — the sunflower — also graces us!

Although I am not a very good gardener, I am learning. I believe it is something good to do with your time....your energy..to make the world a more beautiful place to be. While sitting quietly, and carefully listening....to the birds fluttering to their feeding stations, feeling the sunshine on your shoulders.....troubles seem to soften...........

Quiet Sunday Blessings!

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