Tag Archives: seasons

Under the giving snow

“Under the giving snow blossoms a daring spring.” — Terri Guillemets I find it hard to believe that as I’m writing this (on March 7, two weeks before publication) I STILL see snow on the ground outside!  It’s melting in places, but most of the grass is still covered with it, and those nasty-dirty drifts …

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The best of now

“No longer forward nor behind I look in hope or fear; But, grateful, take the good I find, The best of now and here.” ― John Greenleaf Whittier No matter what is going on in your life right now, this day holds many hidden gifts.  Which ones will you discover? One year ago today: Not …

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One of those March days

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” — Charles Dickens Today (two weeks before this is published) Michael commented that spring had been flirting with us.  That’s a perfect description of the past …

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Fling off thy sadness

Awake, thou wintry earth –Fling off thy sadness!Fair vernal flowers, laugh forthYour ancient gladness! — Thomas Blackburn As I write this, I keep glancing out my glass doors, and I see there is still snow on the ground.  But the sun is shining brightly, and the snow is melting, slowly but surely. It was raining …

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Made for kids

“Baseball was made for kids, and grown-ups only screw it up.”  — Bob Lemon Those of us who admire the complexity of baseball — or maybe only imagine that we do — might think Lemon has oversimplified things with this statement.  But he has far more authority on the subject than I do, and in …

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It takes courage

“It takes courage to be crocus-minded…Highly irregular. Knifing through hard-frozen ground and snow, sticking their necks out, because they believe in Spring and have something personal and emphatic to say about it.” — Jo Sorley Deciding to have faith and hope isn’t always easy, but it is a decision, and one that comes more naturally …

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The sun a spark

“The days are short The sun a spark Hung thin between The dark and dark.” — John Updike One thing I like about this time of year is the gradual lengthening of daylight hours.  It still turns dark far too early, several weeks away from the onset of Daylight Savings Time.  But I know that …

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Repainting the landscape

“Nature has many scenes to exhibit, and constantly draws a curtain over this part or that. She is constantly repainting the landscape and all surfaces, dressing up some scene for our entertainment. Lately we had a leafy wilderness; now bare twigs begin to prevail, and soon she will surprise us with a mantle of snow. …

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To be commanded

“Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.” — Francis Bacon This seeming paradox is one that every gardener knows well.  We can exert a strong influence over our gardens, if… If we observe the individual traits of our plants, our local soil, and our weather.  If we are regular and disciplined in tending them.  If …

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We hope it

“Our destiny often looks like a fruit-tree in winter. Who would think from its pitiable aspect that those rigid boughs, those rough twigs could next spring again be green, bloom, and even bear fruit? Yet we hope it, we know it.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe After the difficulties of an especially harsh year, I …

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Pretty, yes pretty!

“To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them.” ― Pierre-Auguste Renoir With that view of art, no wonder Renoir left us so many gorgeous works to enjoy.  I realize there is a …

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A white quilt

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” ― Lewis Carroll Snow can seem brutal when we have to shovel it, …

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Divine pleasures

“Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.” ― Thomas De Quincey Before Jeff’s surgery in November, when he was disappointed …

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Renewed day by day

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” — 2 Corinthians 4:16, NIV The barren winter landscape, even when accented with snow, is a stark and sometimes sad contrast to the lush flowering of just six months prior.  Yet underground, much is going …

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Remembering: Something in the autumn

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood — Touch of manner, hint of mood; And my heart is like a rhyme, With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.  — Bliss Carman Autumn reminds us of the brevity of life as the lush blossoms of summer fade …

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Autumn asks

“Autumn asks that we prepare for the future —that we be wise in the ways of garnering and keeping. But it also asks that we learn to let go—to acknowledge the beauty of sparseness.” — Bonaro W. Overstreet Maybe autumn has such widespread appeal because it embodies the continual dilemma facing all of us, almost …

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Drinking in the surroundings

“I was drinking in the surroundings: air so crisp you could snap it with your fingers and greens in every lush shade imaginable offset by autumnal flashes of red and yellow.” ― Wendy Delsol I had never heard of Wendy Delsol until I came across this quote, but she described exactly what I was doing the …

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Bright and intense and beautiful

“Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.” ― Siobhan Vivian That’s what I do on my walks; stockpile the colors and images and cool, smoke-scented …

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Wild with leaves

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” ― Humbert Wolfe The photo above was taken just a few months after we moved to Virginia, having lived in northern California for the past five years.  I was almost unbearably homesick for …

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Autumnal sunshine

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne “In autumn, don’t go to jewelers to see gold; go to the parks!” — Mehmet Murat ildan As our President would say, let me be clear.  Yesterday’s post was about rainy weather.  On a gloriously bright fall day, we simply MUST find …

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What the world gives you

“Use what you have, use what the world gives you. Use the first day of fall: bright flame before winter’s deadness; harvest; orange, gold, amber; cool nights and the smell of fire. Our tree-lined streets are set ablaze, our kitchens filled with the smells of nostalgia: apples bubbling into sauce, roasting squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, cider, …

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Such a beautiful day

“I cried at first…..and then, it was such a beautiful day, that I forgot to be unhappy.” — Frances Noyes Hart Have you ever walked outside in a gloomy mood, and been overtaken by the sheer beauty of the day? It’s happened to me many times, and the feeling of relief and joy that floods …

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A harmony in autumn

“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!” — Percy Bysshe Shelley If I was absolutely forced to choose a favorite season, it would be autumn.  Even its name is more …

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Inconceivable antiquity

“How cunningly nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew!” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Ah, but Ralph, you say “inconceivable antiquity” like it’s a bad thing!  Some of us would like to think that nature is all the more appealing because of her longevity.  Perhaps the flowers are not …

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Our ordinary days

“Summer weather, like being in love, is a philosopher’s stone which turns our ordinary days to gold. But not the whole day… For it is never the whole day, never all our life which is transformed in any happiness, but only the exquisite moments.” — Nan Fairbrother More than any other season, summer seems to …

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