Saturday 24 February 2024

All Things Nice . . .


She doesn't know that life can be
So very grim and hard,
That years can drag with weary feet,
Dull in a prison yard.
That dreams can lose their shining shape
And all their brightness fade
And love . . . ah love can perish too
In crumbling ruins laid.

She doesn't know . . . at seventeen
How swift the years will fly
Life stretches wide before her feet
Fair as a summer sky.
A thousand beckoning hills to climb
A thousand ways to roam
And all the roads of all the world
Leading away from home.

She doesn't know the happiness
The love and joy she seeks
Is deep within her tender heart
That peace and honor speaks
Above the darkest blackest night
In accents loud and clear
And one sweet voice is loud enough
For all the world to hear.

She doesn't know . . . at seventeen
How values change and grow,
That Age has peace and happiness
That Youth can never know.
She doesn't know the hills of home
Are fair and fresh and green
She only sees the far-off fields
And heights . . . at seventeen
~Edna Jacques, At Seventeen
Roses in December, 1944

That is a photograph that my first husband took of me at our high school, behind stage at a play that was being put on in 1972, called Promises Promises.  I never thought that I was pretty. I always thought that I was fat, or at least needed to lose weight.  I never saw myself as being anything but less than what I was. Standing there in my hotpants, I thought I knew all that there was to know about life. I was incredibly naive, but then again  . . .  weren't we all . . . at 17?

It would take a lifetime of challenges and growth to knock some sense into me.  They say youth is wasted on the young. Perhaps that is true.  Oh . . .  if only I could give some of the knowledge that I have gained through my sixty-eight years of life back to my seventeen year old self.  I wonder, would I have done things any differently?  Probably not.  But perhaps I might have appreciated myself a bit more than I did.

I've been thinking this morning about how kind we are to others.  How compassionate and understanding we can be in dealing with others.  How often we give others the benefit of the doubt, or show them love and kindness . . . support.  Give them grace.   Even strangers.  Isn't it about time we showered ourselves with the same, love, kindness and support?  Showed ourselves a bit of grace?  Can we not be more compassionate and patient with ourselves?  Surely we should be.  We all deserve a bit of self love. It is not selfish to show ourselves the same compassion and worth and support and love that we share with others.  Its not wrong and we are  definitely worthy. Today I hope you will show yourself a bit of grace.


 I love music. Music is necessary to life.  Think back to the time when wandering minstrels came to the dark great halls of medieval castles and sang to their lutes. Or, before that, when Greek chorus chanted under rave Athenian skies. The psalms of David in the bible were oven rendered to him by song and the strings of the musicians in his court.  Or even back when some people got the idea that music must be a sin because it gave so much joy.  I know that small songs have always been sung by women as they rocked their babies in old wooden cradles. I doubt whether any power on earth could keep folks from singing, if only in secret. It comes as naturally to us as breathing.

In some wondrous way music eases the heart, refreshes the spirit, lift the imagination. And it can fit any mood, grave or happy.  Just why the arrangements of sound striking the ear can do all this is a mystery I have never made plain to myself. Why are some songs as sad as tears, and some so sweet and light they are like spring flowers?    However, so it is.

They say that music calms the savage beast. I believe it is so.

I have music playing here in my little home most of the day. I put YouTube on and then choose the type of playlist I want to listen to. Usually it is praise music.  My life is all the sweeter because of it. When you have music playing you never quite really feel alone. At least I do not anyways.

I can remember when my children were teens I would sometimes what I called "singing mornings."  It drove them crazy I am sure  I would sing everything to them. "Time to get up."  "Your breakfast is ready."  "Don't forget your books."  haha  Thinking back on it now, it was probably quite annoying, but there is a part of me that hopes they think back a bit with fondness for a mother who wanted to fill their days with interest and with joy  . . .  and with song.


Reading aloud is another kind of music that my ear likes.  Sometimes I read poetry aloud to myself or to the cats. On Winter evenings, it is fine to read Edna St. Vincent Millay, or Shakespeare or Keats, or to just pick up a book at random and find a poem to read. Poetry can almost sound like music when properly read. And the sound should make its shape.  To feel truth deeply and convey it truly . . . there is the great art.

"There is a wind where the rose was,
Cold rain where sweet grass was,
And stars like sheep
Stream o'er the steep
Grey sky where the lark was."

How simple de la Mare sounds, and how the mood is evoked!  Or Yeats!

"We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time's waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years."

Read out loud and with expression, they are as beautiful as any song which is sung. Indeed are not most songs poetry?  The yearnings and beatings of the hearts which compose them? I think so.

The color of winter is pure and lovely, the long, darkly blue shadows, the purple stalks of the briery bushes, the glistening white of clean snow, the pale amber of shell ice where little brooks walk in summer.  Meadows latticed with the patterns of dark branches and skies latticed with the branches of great timeless trees that lift towards them in intricate patterns against their stillness.  Pewter . . . skies of pewter and lead that look ready to drop heavy loads upon us, hopefully in feather down flakes.

Already now I can see signs of winter breaking  . . . the sap is beginning to run. I see the pink and light green flush of buds forming on branches that once looked dead and dry, and the snow on the lawn begins to shrink with each day that passes, dull brown grass appearing at the edges.  March winds will soon put a run to all the snow. The snow that is left is not that pretty at this time of year anyways. It has lost it's charm and looks dirty, grey and smutty. We are happy to see it disappearing.

Oh I expect there will be  a few more days when the snow will fall, but they will be few and far between now. It will not be a snow that lasts or takes hold, and will probably hold some rain. It will also not bring with it the same charm and delight that it brought to us earlier in the season.  Gardening fingers are itching now to get into the soil, and our eyes are longing to gaze upon daffodils and tulips.  Some color to brighten the drab landscape. We are tired of the Winter now  . . . and long for the change, hope and color of Spring.

And with that I best wind this up. I am picking Eileen up at noon and have much to do before that happens.  I will leave you now with a thought to carry with you for the day  . . . 

.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. . Believe in yourself, learn, & never
stop wanting to build a better world.
~Mary McLeod Bethune.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •



In The Kitchen today  . . .  Glazed Strawberry & Rhubarb Breakfast Cake. Its simple really and oh so delicious!

I thank you for spending some time with me this morning. It means a lot to me. I hope you have a beautiful weekend!  Whatever you get up to, stay safe and happy and don't forget!

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And I do too!     


  1. Ah, to be 17 again ... well maybe, maybe not. Enjoy your time with Eileen, lots of memories to make. Cold again here, but sunny. Off to do Saturday jobs. Have a good day.

  2. A really manageable winter so far.. just a few high maintenance days.. J says mild next two weeks..we should have no snow by March 1rst should my meteorologist be correct.I look at youth around my family..different stages from 14 to 56 and think..ENJOY. You write..beautifully.

  3. You were pretty cute at seventeen. Look at that tiny waist. Enjoy Eileen's visit, you'll have such fun together. Love and hugs, Elaine (in Toronto)

  4. Music is wonderful indeed!! I agree that we do need to some self care too...often as moms especially there just is no time for that. And I was thinking too...those kids we see little of, or hear little from, make it easier then I suppose, spending the time we do with the others!! And maybe the ones who come more need us more too!! Enjoy Eileen!!
    Elizabeth xo

  5. Oh, what fun to have your Eileen for awhile…enjoy you two!
    That photo of you is pretty adorable and sweet.
    Happy week, V

  6. You were a little doll. And, I hope you will take your own advice. Grace, love it. Linda T

  7. I think you were very pretty in that picture. Ah, the things we told ourselves at 17. Enjoy your time with Eileen. Elaine


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