Author Archive: Julia

Snow helps

“I believe that snow helps strip away the things that don’t matter. It leaves us thinking of little else but the greatness of nature, the place of our souls within it, and the dazzling whiteness that lies ahead.” ― Charlie English If English is right about snow, it may help to explain why the final years of …

Continue reading

A poet in January

“When one reads a poet in January, it is as lovely as when one goes to walk in June.” — Jean Paul Friedrich Richter If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know how much I love walking, especially in mild weather. But I think Jean Paul was right about poetry and January, which …

Continue reading

Perceptibly nearer

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence…yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. The vast and shadowy stream of time sweeps on without break, but the …

Continue reading

Of reflection

“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” — Winston Churchill  Merry Christmas! Chances are, this will be a busy day for you, coming on the heels of a busy season. For most of my adult life, it was that way for me, anyway. I love the Christmas season, with all the festive activities and joyful sharing. But it can …

Continue reading

A little at a time

“I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year.” — Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)  Even more than last …

Continue reading

Such an honest thing

“What I like about experience is that it is such an honest thing. You may take any number of wrong turnings, but keep your eyes open and you will not be allowed to go very far before the warning signs appear. You may have deceived yourself, but experience is not trying to deceive you. The …

Continue reading

Knowing how to be

“…many of us seek community solely to escape the fear of being alone. Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” ― bell hooks The photo above was taken in 1972, during one …

Continue reading

A tree in a story

“Victor Frankl whispered in my ear all the same. He said to me I was a tree in a story about a forest, and that it was arrogant of me to believe any differently. And he told me the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree…I asked God to help …

Continue reading

We’re a parade

“Friends: we’re a parade – even by ourselves!” – Mary Anne Radmacher Pictured above are three people whose presence in my life is a tremendous blessing. Without going into the details, let’s just say that without friends and loved ones, life is unbearable. But with them, it can be a celebration, even in the midst …

Continue reading

The dog does

“No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as much as the dog does.” – Christopher Morley I really miss having a dog, and I hope to adopt one as soon as we are adjusted enough to have the time and energy for one. For a chatterbox such as I tend to be, …

Continue reading

Linger in the beautiful

“Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.” — Okakura Kakuzō Exactly five years ago tomorrow, I published the …

Continue reading

Always flowers

“There are always flowers for those that want to see them.” — Henri Matisse This quote appeared on the November page of a calendar. When I saw it I knew I wanted to feature it in a post sometime, because it captures the spirit of this blog. In the calendar photo, there was a picture …

Continue reading

Now, write

“Gather your most beautiful paper, your most flowing pen, your thoughts. Sit by a window flooded with sunlight, or sit in a garden; tuck yourself into a cozy nook. Remember. Feel. Yearn. And now, write.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach Read that quote again, and try to imagine someone sitting in that cozy nook with a …

Continue reading

For the whole day

“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” — Henry David Thoreau OK, I can just hear some of you thinking “Great quote – but how would YOU know about early-morning anything?” Good point. However, I’m quoting Thoreau, who supposedly knew it quite well. Still, I think there have been a few times …

Continue reading

Permanence and change

“October is a symphony of permanence and change.” ― B. W. Overstreet It’s comforting that some things remain the same. As the seasons remind us, there is a reassuring pattern in nature that helps us stay on track when everything around us seems to be in meltdown. The changes in my personal world, and in the …

Continue reading

A good calling

“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn’t mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It’s a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to …

Continue reading

My sentiments

Besides the Autumn poets sing A few prosaic days A little this side of the snow And that side of the Haze — . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Perhaps a squirrel may remain — My sentiments to share — Grant me, Oh Lord, a sunny …

Continue reading

Leisured coziness

“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured coziness.” ― P.G. Wodehouse Autumn is a wonderful season for tea lovers, and “leisured coziness” is a …

Continue reading

Vast and awesome

“Once we lose our fear of being tiny, we find ourselves on the threshold of a vast and awesome Universe…” – Carl Sagan It’s easy to forget how tiny we are in the great scheme of things, until something reminds us. Often, these reminders– disaster, illness, aging, death, or simply being treated rudely or with …

Continue reading

A mosaic

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” —Stanley Horowitz This quote captures the appeal of the year-end visual landscape, as dark lines edge and define the deepening colors, and the waning sunlight washes over everything with the impressionism of a watercolor. Autumn is a …

Continue reading

Just before you

“The best things in life are nearest:  Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.  Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the …

Continue reading

Sealed inside

“Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.” Brian Jacques …

Continue reading

Since I started

“I’m a writer by profession and it’s totally clear to me that since I started blogging, the amount I write has increased exponentially, my daily interactions with the views of others have never been so frequent, the diversity of voices I engage with is far higher than in the pre-Internet age—and all this has helped …

Continue reading

An enduring savor

“If I summon up those memories that have left me with an enduring savor, if I draw up the balance sheet of the hours in my life that have truly counted, surely I find only those that no wealth could have procured me.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Most likely, today will seem like just another …

Continue reading

Whoever you are

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on… Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.    — Mary Oliver …

Continue reading