Tag Archives: seasons

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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In a garden

The kiss of the sun for pardon The song of the birds for mirth One is nearer God’s heart in the garden Than anywhere else on earth — Dorothy Gurney I don’t know what it is about Canada, whether it’s the climate or the eagerness for warm weather or the souls of its people, but …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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