April lushness

April lushness

I love spring days brimming over with hope and lushness, as our garden is now, and I love quotations which convey such tumbling abundance.   Here is one describing such a day in Hungary, and for continued plenitude, another one by the great wood carver David Esterly....
Like wine through water

Like wine through water

A lovely image of something – a dream or an idea – imbuing every part of your being. I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the...
Natural blessings

Natural blessings

A comprehensive – though incomplete – list of nature’s beauty and diversity.  So much to celebrate … The manifold diversity of beauty in sky and earth and sea; the abundance of light, and its miraculous loveliness, in sun and moon and stars;...
Secret nests

Secret nests

In a happy childhood, such secret nests can be a place of enchantment and magic, a place to escape the grown up world for a while.  I still like the idea of cosy places in nature or in a rambling old house; where you can take supplies of chocolate and biscuits, with...
Smell the autumn

Smell the autumn

After an extended Indian summer, the last few days we’ve seen early morning mists and a delicious freshness to dawn and dusk.  I always feel sorry when summer fades and then have a surprise at the recurring mellow beauty of its successor.  This year, as the...
Of acorn cups

Of acorn cups

A lovely preparation for the bride of a god, including cowslip-ruby bejewelled acorn cups.  Some stole the light from glow-worms’ tails, and wove it into a necklace, and others pulled the ruby spots from cowslip leaves, to set with jewels the acorn cups that...
A life-loving syllabus

A life-loving syllabus

What a teacher, this god who exhales perfumes and offers to impart his knowledge of nature’s flourishing.  And what a syllabus: “I am the genius of clouds and sunshine,” answered Frey; and as he spoke, the essences of a hundred perfumes were exhaled...
What makes a place secret?

What makes a place secret?

Like many children, the characters in Ransome’s books have a refreshing way of stripping things down to essentials.   ‘This isn’t a secret place,’ said the boy. ‘Any place is secret if nobody else is there.’  See another comment on the nature of secrets. ...
A clutch of bright berries

A clutch of bright berries

Otters seem to be the most nuannaarpoqian of animals and their eye is easily caught by bright objects.  Here a bunch of red berries does the trick, apparently leading to a form of horizontal meditation. Once, I remember, I went to look for him there and at first could...
The blue of the hyacinths

The blue of the hyacinths

The poet Rilke, writing to Elisabeth Ephrussi, told her to: ‘Look into the blue of the hyacinths.  And the spring!’  Well?  What are we waiting for?  Let’s go and find a hyacinth and then inhale its heady perfume! And meet their wild cousins, the...
Mind hoard

Mind hoard

I love the word ‘hoard’, in the sense of a bardic ‘word-hoard’, or here, a hoard of observations you stash in the cupboard of the imagination, a mind-hoard.  And I like the absolution from having to understand those bright-shining things you...
Song for a seal

Song for a seal

A marvelous moment shared by the poet Elizabeth Bishop, conveying a connection across species and elements, as a seal allows a human to sing for him, a common interest in music binding them across the water-land divide. One seal particularly I have seen here evening...
Delight in small things

Delight in small things

A personage who takes delight in small things he finds on the wayside – I loved this eclectic selection of things spotted, gathered up, carefully placed and then returned to.  Even in the open countryside he retained his passion for play-things, and would carry...
Life as miracle

Life as miracle

Attributed to Einstein, this gives us two clear-cut approaches to life.  Babies and small children seem more alive to the miraculous but a challenge for adults is that of both seeing the world as it is, tragedy and all, while maintaining that miraculous sense. Or, to...
Life as a reprieve

Life as a reprieve

In the day to day whoosh of things to do and deal with, we may be conscious of our time being limited on a daily or hourly basis, but often forget the bigger time limit, life itself.   The grandmother of the French artist Françoise Gilot reminds us that life is a...
This blue and golden world

This blue and golden world

A lyrical commitment to his own odyssey, self-promised the first time the author sailed past Ithaca.  He made it, a mere three or four decades and a war later.  How could he not, a ‘blue and golden world’ would exercise a strong hold on the soul (mine,...
The colour of poppies

The colour of poppies

A searching definition for the precise shade of California poppies, as recalled in Steinbeck’s East of Eden.  Not orange, you understand, but golden cream.And mixed with these were splashes of California poppies. These too are of a burning color – not...

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