Carols of gladness ring from every tree.I had a blast from the past this morning as I was listening to the Pause for Thought slot on Radio 4’s Today programme. There was mention of the Book of Prayers and Hymns for Junior Schools that was in use from the old days up to the end of the 1960’s and there were a few quotations from some of the hymns like Morning has Broken which was my absolute favourite. The reader was explaining that a lot of the school hymns in those days were about the (spiritual) values of our environment. It was ironic that. growing up in London, I had never seen a country lane, a speedwell flower or a buttercup then, but the words must have struck something deep within my soul I guess.
Frances Anne Kemble
Frances Anne Kemble
Then he mentioned Glad that I live am I; this one was the big blast as I had forgotten all about it. But straightaway I was back there as a child again in the school assembly hall in my gymslip in my ( excellent) South London junior school. I loved music and I am sure that some of these childhood hymn singing sessions also helped to encourage my love of words and poetry.
If you are a certain age you may remember this one?
A Little Song Of Life
Glad that I live am I;
That the sky is blue;
Glad for the country lanes,
And the fall of dew.
After the sun the rain,
After the rain the sun;
This is the way of life,
Till the work be done.
All that we need to do,
Be we low or high,
Is to see that we grow Nearer the sky.
Lizette Woodworth Reese
Here is another he mentioned, anyone remember this?
Daisies are our silver
Daisies are our silver,
Buttercups our gold:
This is all the treasure
We can have or hold.
Raindrops are our diamonds
And the morning dew;
While for shining sapphires
We've the speedwell blue.
These shall be our emeralds–
Leaves so new and green;
Roses make the reddest Rubies ever seen.
God, who gave these treasures
To your children small,
Teach us how to love them
And grow like them all.
Make us bright as silver:
Make us good as gold;
Warm as summer roses
Let our hearts unfold.
Gay as leaves in April,
Clear as drops of dew–
God, who made the speedwell,
Keep us true to you.
Tune: Glenfinlas by K. G. Finlay.
Changing the subject now. I have just finished an excellent book: No Time for Goodbye by Lynwood Barclay. It is our book group choice for October and we are meeting tonight to discuss it. It’s in the Bestseller lists and I am not surprised. (It was a Richard and Judy choice too, not that I always like all of their choices). I will say no more because I think if you say too much about a book it (a) puts an unconscious pressure on you to enjoy it or else….. and that sometimes is resisted and therefore doesn’t work and (b) it sometimes spoils the story line if you have any idea what might come up. All I will say is it was a book I just had to finish. So just go, read.
A few blessings?
The dipper is around most mornings, fishing from the river bank.
The Indian Summer has arrived and it is heaven.
I sat by the riverbank, right by our ‘newly positioned’ bridge yesterday afternoon, relaxing with the abovementioned book. Finn our lurcher and Kitty the collie laid next to me, Finn on the bridge and Kitty at my feet. When they weren’t sunning themselves they kept going for a paddle in the river - even they thought it was summer.
The sheep have gone from the field and I took the dogs in there for a run this morning.
The crab apple tree over the far side is loaded with crab apples. (my very own Magic Apple Tree, now there’s another gem of a book I recommend).
Here is a photo M took just now.
The tree is very, very old. I think it has magical powers; it speaks to me.
It keeps company with a little hawthorn. The crab apple is covered in apples.
The thorn is loaded with haws.
Bulbs and flowers. Something to look forward to.
I have planted tulips of many colours outside my kitchen window and crocus under our laburnum tree. I have daffodils to plant next, around the trees, I try and plant a few more of the ‘Welsh flower’ each year. I will buy some more natural bluebells soon, as they are very special to me. It is good to have flowers to look forward to.
Something else to look forward to? ….I have ordered a book from Amazon, second hand but good as new. One that will take me to another place, somewhere my paternal roots are, somewhere I love, a place near heaven in fact.
A Place near Heaven by Damien Enright. A story of a year in West Cork.
Last but not least …………..Sunshine…………. Shhhhhhh……….. it is still here………………..
Bye for now,
Hang on............just before you go
PS Does anyone know the artist or the name of this picture? I am desperate to find out.