"Above all, Mr. Gilbert White is a man of system. Naturalist, physico-theologist. He lives in inches and ounces and hours and degrees. Matter flows in upon him. New information crowds in every day. He examines the forest sand through a microscope--smooth from collision, a yellow color. Watches the weather glass closely. Supine is the man who fails to put out his thermometer.
Weather on March 20, 1780, the day I was first set loose in Selborne? Dark, moist, and mild. Fifty degrees. Southwest wind. Full moon. Crocuses in high bloom. A matter of record.
Mr. Gilbert White chronicles rain and snow and barometric pressure. As if they were baptisms and burials and marriage s in the parish register--the death of Anne Wheeler, age twenty-four, last year, or the union of William Trimming and Elizabeth Bartholomew. The burial, just a few days ago of Mary Burbey, age sixteen, of this parish, "by me, Gil White curate." Sixteen years and gone. A mayfly's life.
The human year 1751, Mr. Gilbert White records, 'was one of the wettest Years in the memory of Man.' He is able to report that the 24th of August, 1764 was 'the fourth most beautiful harvest-day that ever was seen.' Glass very high.
'Those that had the most patience will have by much the best corn,' he declares, like the parson he is.
He identifies four hundred and thirty-nine local plants. Traveler's joy, twayblade, eye-bright cow wheat, go-to-bed-at-noon. Knee-holly, or butcher's broom. Knows the common tongue for plants and the learned one too. Which birds possess a local name--the sit-ye-down. And which don't--Regulus non cristatus. " Verlyn Klinkenborg
No idea how Mr. Gray Tree-frog hitched a ride on my watering can. It lives on my bookshelf. I released him to the Junipers but it was so wonderful to get to hang out!
Three large pink deer. Not seeing things - it was just the way the sunrise was hitting the ridge of the neighbor across the road...his orchard pink with blossom in front. They walked single file along the stone wall. We've seen them up there early mornings many times but this is the first time this spring.
Sonnet Written Walking Under the Mess Some Magnolia Made
By Jay Deshpande
Even with my nose up here at six foot something I know
The color brown is sweet: this putrescence
Embarrasses no one: the petals treacly vessels jangling
Overhead yesterday have taken a hint and gone down into
The real grit of things: where better than the sidewalk
To speak achingly: I could go on: I’d say love makes us
Amenable to certain minor probable disasters: but what
I mean by love is spring: overeager and almost enough
To make me wake up and like the insides of my mouth
A little more: the petals talking vivid now: they say
Finish your work and come back to us: we want to be
Nearest: we know which of our atoms were once in you: you
Who are a flower-machine: who are a blossom for meaning:
The scent of sweeter senders: the slobberiest part of the kiss:
Ode To The Onion by Pablo Neruda
your beauty formed
petal by petal,
crystal scales expanded you
and in the secrecy of the dark earth
your belly grew round with dew.
Under the earth
and when your clumsy
green stem appeared,
and your leaves were born
in the garden,
the earth heaped up her power
showing your naked transparency,
and as the remote sea
in lifting the breasts of Aphrodite
duplicating the magnolia,
so did the earth
clear as a planet
round rose of water,
of the poor.
You make us cry without hurting us.
I have praised everything that exists,
but to me, onion, you are
more beautiful than a bird
of dazzling feathers,
heavenly globe, platinum goblet,
of the snowy anemone
and the fragrance of the earth lives
in your crystalline nature.
"So to us in wartime, cut off from mental distractions by restrictions and blackouts, and cowering in a cellar with a gas mask under threat of imminent death, comes in the stronger fear and sits down beside us.
'What,' he demands, rather disagreeably, 'do you make of all this? Is there anything you value more than life, or are you making a virtue of necessity? What do you believe?" Is your faith a comfort to you under the present circumstances?'
At this point, before he has time to sidetrack the argument and entangle us in irrelevancies, we shall do well to reply boldly that a faith is not primarily a comfort, but a truth about ourselves. What we in fact believe is not necessarily the theory we most desire or admire. It is the thing that, consciously or unconsciously, we take for granted and act on. Thus, it is useless to say that we believe in the friendly treatment of minorities if, in practice, we habitually bully the office clerk; our actions clearly show that we believe nothing of the sort. Only when we know what we truly believe can we decide whether it is comforting. If we are comforted by something we do not really believe, then we had better think again. " Dorothy Sayers
The Green Wishes
"From now on, every sunny day is more than a break in the clouds that come swooping across the continent on winter schedule. Every day, of course, is another day toward spring: but when the sun shines it prompts greener thoughts than were possible a month ago. For one thing, it is a higher and warmer sun, but mostly it is the response of the human heart.
February zero is just as cold as zero in January, and February snow often is deeper than January snow. But the sight of the sun all through a steadily lengthening February day gives that day a dimension beyond mathematical calculation. You don't pay so much attention to the calendar or even the clock. You know the inner feeling of change, the sense of the seasons passing. - Hal Borland
A wee explanation: this website was created as a way to amplify the daily surprise of seeing glory in one small life. The notebook entries represented here are all selected from things actually lived and noted on paper in an effort to live the full life British educator Charlotte Mason so ably championed.
Book Of Centuries
Book Of Firsts