Tag Archives: seasons

A garden and a library

“He who has a garden and a library wants for nothing.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero Several weeks ago one of our readers sent me this quote, and I immediately thought “That would make a great post for the blog.”  What makes the quote so appealing is that most people can have at least a small library and …

Continue reading

So rare

And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days…  — James Russell Lowell June has been a blur for us this year, as perhaps it has been for you.  We’ve been overwhelmed with hospitalizations, seemingly endless appointments, backlogged tasks indoors and out, and the yearly traffic snarls from summer …

Continue reading

Nature’s way

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”  — Robin Williams Surely by now, warm spring weather has started to arrive in even the chilliest parts of the northern hemisphere.  Better late than never! What can we do to celebrate springtime this week?   Take a walk, plan a picnic, visit a park.  Make some lemonade, bake some …

Continue reading

A playful utopia

“Baseball is a harbor, a seclusion from failure that really matters, a playful utopia in which virtuosity can be savored to the third decimal place of a batting average.”  — Mark Kramer “Baseball is reassuring.  It makes me feel as if the world is not going to blow up.”  — Sharon Olds To borrow the …

Continue reading

Like life

“Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness; know that, like life, things sometimes must fade before they can bloom again.” — Author unknown The cherry blossom trees of Washington DC are justly famous, but the ones I most enjoy are right outside the front door of our townhouse in Alexandria.  Until …

Continue reading

Poems by heart

“It is spring again.  The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” — Rainer Maria Rilke I don’t consider myself a poet, but I do like to write poetry as well as read it.  When writing poems I have to curtail the number of words I use so that every single one has an …

Continue reading

How happily we listen

“What can Spring say that other Springs have not already told us? And yet each year, how happily we listen!” — Joan Walsh Anglund Familiar yet always new, springtime lures us outdoors with warming sunshine, budding trees and bright blooms.  Whether your March  weather has been more like a lion or a lamb thus far, I …

Continue reading

When March is scarcely here

“A light exists in spring Not present on the year At any other period — When March is scarcely here.” — Emily Dickinson Along with a recent post about walking, I included a photograph of some trees in my neighborhood.  The photo above pictures those same trees during the all-too-brief period of their flowering, usually …

Continue reading

Life of ceaseless variety

“A forest is like the ocean, monotonous only to the ignorant.  It is a life of ceaseless variety.” — Benjamin Disraeli The giant redwoods first come to mind when someone mentions Muir Woods, but the park is actually teeming with diverse life forms, flora and fauna.  Much of it is hidden from sight, or seen …

Continue reading

A book of holy teaching

“If thy heart were right, then every creature would be a mirror of life and a book of holy teaching. There is no creature so small and abject, but it reflects the goodness of God.” — Thomas à Kempis Our backyard borders on a wooded lot that is part of the property, protected wetlands that cannot …

Continue reading

An impression of beauty and delight

“There is no spot of ground, however arid, bare or ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give an impression of beauty and delight.” — Gertrude Jekyll Among the things I love best about San Francisco are the unique garden spots tucked away seemingly throughout the city.  Though they lack the appealing open landscapes of more …

Continue reading

I still hear the sound

“The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.” — Basho At the beginning of February, it’s good to look forward to the coming of spring.  It has been awhile since I’ve seen this many flowers at one time, but thoughts of them linger and build anticipation that will have …

Continue reading

Winter lives

The “dead” of winter — Or so they say. But winter lives In her own way. She leaves her tracks, She shows us signs: Not brilliant blooms, But webs of lines. — Douglas Florian As I write this, there is snow on the ground outside and I have my space heater running near my feet.  …

Continue reading

Infinitely healing

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature– the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.”  — Rachel Carson Among the things I miss most about living in northern California is being able to see the beautiful green hills on a daily basis — but only for a …

Continue reading

The moment’s impermanence

“What solidity of sentiment it takes not to let an awareness of the moment’s impermanence dilute its richness, its sweetness, but purify it and saturate it with the utmost ‘fullness of being’.”― Maria Popova There’s a brief interval each year when many of the flowers, though fading, are still in bloom, and the weather is …

Continue reading

Any wonderful unexpected thing

“After the keen still days of September, the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth…The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the …

Continue reading

Punctual surprise

“Let a thing be but a sort of punctual surprise…let it be delicate, painted and gratuitous, hinting that the Creator is solely occupied with aesthetic considerations…” ― Hope Mirrlees Mirrlees has captured one of the things I so love about flowers. “Punctual surprise” is the perfect way to describe them. They come back every year …

Continue reading

Spring emerges

“As a child I used to think that spring happened suddenly.  Now I know that spring emerges gradually, as new as dawn—and as old.” – June Masters Bacher We had some unseasonably warm weather a few weeks back, and because of that (and OK, maybe because of what the ground hog said) I was expecting …

Continue reading

Life is there

And still the earth is cold and white, And mead and forest yet are bare; But there’s a something in the light That says the germ of life is there.           — Jane Goodwin Austin, “February,” c.1886 I searched through all my February photos and couldn’t find any that showed pretty flowery …

Continue reading

To see wonders

Upon a bank I sat, a child made seer Of one small primrose flowering in my mind. Better than wealth it is, I said, to find One small page of Truth’s manuscript made clear… …The years that pass Like tired soldiers nevermore have given Moments to see wonders in the grass. — Patrick Kavanagh This post …

Continue reading

Excitement and peace

“It was the sort of storm that rarely happened…and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the …

Continue reading

Flowers, always

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”― Claude Monet I was looking through my archives of January photos, and found this one from the first month of 2016. Jeff had brought me a dozen white roses for no particular reason, except that he knew I loved flowers, and I think he loved them nearly as much …

Continue reading

While time stands still

“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still.” — Rachel Cohn As I write this, snow is covering the ground for the second time in the past month. Two snows BEFORE Christmas? Unprecedented in the life of this southern woman. And very unusual for northern …

Continue reading

The grand finale

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”— Lauren Destefano The weather here is finally cooling off enough that we are getting some splendid fall color, though it was still over 70 degrees several …

Continue reading

Each must be the last

“Each golden day was cherished to the full, for one had the feeling that each must be the last. Tomorrow it would be winter.” ― Elizabeth Enright A great many of us have experienced an unusually warm autumn so far, though it seems the cold weather is creeping in. Eager for cooler temperatures, having had …

Continue reading