Artist

Alexander Averin

Monday, 13 October 2008

Gladness




Dear Diary,

Carols of gladness ring from every tree.
Frances Anne Kemble

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.

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.




More blessings?

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,
Cait.

Hang on............just before you go

PS Does anyone know the artist or the name of this picture? I am desperate to find out.


13 comments:

willow said...

Yes! It's Lady Clare by John William Waterhouse. It is based on "The Lady Clare" by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Gosh, so much to take in.

Morning Has Broken was one of my favourite too. I used to love singing it at primary school.

The lovely warm weather is such a blessing in itself I feel. I love autumn and could sit outside all day on days like these just watching the world go by.

CJ xx

Kaycie said...

I have bulb to plant -- pink tulips and white narcissus -- but the nights are still too warm. And I can't decide where to plant them. In the front yard under the blackjack oak, where they'll look beautiful from the street? Or in the back yard, around the evergreen and the little oak, where I can see them through the large windows in the kitchen and living room?

Lovely blog, Cait. I love "Lady Clare".

Dresden Plate said...

How brilliant that someone knows your painting Cait, wonderful.
I so loved reading the words of the hymns, having sung them as a child, often, in our little village school.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such a wonderful post! Lovely poems, lovely photographs, lovely paintings...that's a Waterhouse, by the way, but I 'm not sure of the name.. lovely thoughts, AND book reviews!! Such a treat to visit here and I'm now off to look up your suggested reading!

Happy Monday, Cait!

Pili pala said...

Dear Cait I do love your blogg. I'm singing "Simple Gifts" and "O Taste and See" with the choir next week. They're lovely songs with a clear simple message.
I'm hoping to plant my daffs tomorrow,creating a liitle bit of Wales here in France. Thanks Cait xx

Frances said...

Cait, this posting of yours has taken me to so many places, and I have enjoyed every single journey.

In my childhood, our schools did not bestow any poetry upon us. We children must have just been set free as little wild things, to find what we found, wherever we might have found it. We also were given no musical introductions.

Glad that Willow has named the painting. Well done!

As usual, there is much more in your post for me to comment upon, than I have strength to comment with right now.

xo

mountainear said...

Lovely seasonal pictures - and thank you to Willow for identifying Lady Clare.

We sang 'Glad that I Live am I' and 'Daisies are our Silver' at primary school - don't remember either at my more sophisticated secondary school. I must be of a certain age.

Pipany said...

Oh such a lovely blog cait.

I heard the Radio 4 Thought for the Day too and was so surtprised to hear Daisies are our Silver as I haven't heard/thought about it since I was at school.

Your pictures are just wonderful and I agree with your blessings - the sunshine has hidden for a moment here, but even the misty dank day feels good somehow. The berries are amazing in colour this year. I wonder if this heralds a hard winter or if that is an untrue folklore? xx

bradan said...

Those hymns were my favourites too, Cait. And the mention of the trees also takes me back - we had a crab apple in our garden and our hedges were the hawthorn.

I am planting more daffodils here too, in honour of my bit of Welsh blood. xx

Hannah Velten said...

At our primary school you could choose a hymn to sing in assembly when it was your birthday - the girls always chose 'Morning has Broken' and the boys chose 'Onward Christian soldiers!'...Mootia x

CAMILLA said...

Everything so beautiful Cait,

I cannot believe I have missed this post.

I remember singing wondeful hymns at school, lovely book reviews Cait, thank you for this.

Good to know that the painting can now be revealed by artist, I was wondering if it was a Pre-Raphaelite.

xx

xx

ed said...

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