Saturday, July 04, 2020

Miss Marple, Bookish Sayings, and A Rare Sighting

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

" Books are good company, in sad times and happy times,
for books are people—people who have managed to stay alive
by hiding between the covers of a book. "
    E.B. WHITE

I have disappeared down Agatha Christie's Miss Marple rabbit hole. You may recall I mentioned Nemesis in a recent post chatting about books where gardens weave in and out of the story. I have watched the movie Nemesis with actress Joan Hickson as Miss Marple so many times over the years that I can probably recite lines from it.

As with many books turned into movies, a book holds lovely and/or entertaining passages that don't often transfer well into motion picture. In some cases, scenes are shortened or left out; even characters are adapted, all to make the narrative transfer better to the screen. Which is why it has been lovely to read the book the way Ms Christie wrote and intended it.

Having finished Nemesis, I have now started 'The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side'. I'm at the place in the story where village do-gooder Heather Badcock has fallen victim to murder. And, Miss Marple's doctor, upon seeing her pink cheeks and bright eyes, recognizes that his quiet, elderly patient has begun to unravel the puzzle of St. Mary Mead's latest homicide. Miss Marple's nephew, Chief-Inspector Dermot Craddock from Scotland Yard has just been to visit and promises to stay to tea the next time he stops in. 

* * *

It was cool and overcast early this morning -- a perfect day to read a mystery novel indoors. But now I see the sun's peeped out while my attention has been keyboard-focused. And it's turned quite lovely. Happy thought indeed. For there is nothing quite like being out on a summer day reading one's book, all the while listening to the birds chatter or inhaling the scent of roses and mock orange and lavender that wafts on the breeze. 

Before I sign off, let me share a handful of my latest garden pics, paired with a few bookish sayings, as well as the rare sighting of yours truly.

" No man can be called friendless who
has God and the companionship of good books. "

" Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that
dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. "

" Detective stories keep alive a view of the world which ought to be true.
Of course people read them for fun ... But underneath they feed a hunger
for justice ... you offer to divert them, and you show them by stealth the
orderly world in which we should all try to be living. "

" Ah, there's nothing like tea in the afternoon. When the
British Empire collapses, historians will find that it had
made but two invaluable contributions to civilization—
this tea ritual and the detective novel. "

" Cosies are comfortable especially on those days when we want
to curl up with a good book. We won't be scared or horrified
by the gory details, but we will be challenged by a first-rate puzzle
to solve. And at the end of the book we will feel good because
the crime has been solved and justice prevails. "

" Read the best books first, or you may not
have a chance to read them at all "

" Reading never wears me out. "

* * *

Wishing you a beautiful day.

Heart Hugs,

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

What's Blooming Today

" Almost any garden, if you see it at just
the right moment, can be confused with paradise. "

The morning is fresh and drenched in bird chatter, and the single hansa rose on my desk fills my study with that deep satisfying rose scent. Sure wish I could share it with you. I went to sleep last night when the deep northwest sky along the horizon boasted wide ribbons of apricot and peach. I wake up and it is still there. Has it been all night while I slumbered? I do love how these long summer days wrap themselves around the night sky. Visiting the North in summer is on my bucket list. Not this summer but one day.  

We take our moments in the sun when we can these days. Thankfully there are a few of them. I deadheaded pansies, geraniums, dahlias and roses when everything was still dripping from the last downpour. The promise of sunshine for today has been revoked, and we are in for more showers. I might hum that old English nursery rhyme....

Rain rain go away
Come again another day   

Peace Rose Perfection

" What's in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet. "

Darling Buds of Mock Orange

" Everything that slows us down and forces patience,
everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature,
is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace. "

Ivory Silk Lilac in Bridal Bloom

"Every garden-maker should be an artist along (her) own lines.
That is the only possible way to create a garden."

Mock Orange Against Summer Sky

"Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint,
and the soil and sky as canvas.

Delphinium Blue

" Perhaps, after all, our best thoughts come when we are alone.
It is good to listen, not to voices but to the wind blowing,
to the brook running cool over polished stones, to bees drowsy
with the weight of pollen. If we attend to the music
of the earth, we reach serenity. And then, in some
unexplained way, we share it with others.

* * *

Wishing you a beautiful day.

Heart Hugs,

© Images by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

Friday, June 26, 2020

Refreshment In A Patch of Nature

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

" Nature is the art of God. "

English author Jane Austen once said that 'to sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon the verdant green hills is the most perfect refreshment.' Oh yes, I totally agree and understand her sentiment, for we saw fields just like the ones above when we visited England a few summers ago. A person is drawn to its tranquility. When I sit in our backyard surrounded by all the green of grass and tree and plant, I feel the same quietude; something settles deep on the inside and breathes out a great sigh of contentment - now this is life as it ought to be. For in that moment everything is right in the world, and the soul is at rest.

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

"How beautiful peonies are. That long border
of them—so proud and yet so beautifully fragile."

Yesterday afternoon I had a chance to sit in my own little bit of nature in the front garden. I took along my mystery novel Nemesis by Agatha Christie, but with the sun warm on my arms and the wind little more than a gentle zephyr in the trees, I believe I nodded off, just like dear Miss Marple, as she rested in some lovely old garden during her Famous House and Garden tour. 

Gentle noises in the neighbourhood made my head pop up. Young fellows were heading out for a bike ride, some folks were out in their yard, and one willowy teen, who appeared to be conscripted to edge the lawn, was halfhearted in her attempt. In no great hurry, every once in a while she'd drop her edging tool and whip out her smartphone for a quick scroll. Deeply relaxed in my rattan chair, I smiled; I could certainly relate to her lack of deep interest for any great effort on such a languid afternoon. I notice the peonies are opening—a snap of colour amongst the green. And my, how graceful and elegant are those tall grasses as they sway in the breeze, bending forwards and backwards. I cannot decide if they are ballerinas or aerobic instructors; either way they are mesmerizing to watch.

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

" In all things of nature there is
something of the marvelous. "

In recent weeks, I have experienced a whole new appreciation for nature as I watched winter fade into spring into summer. And, with our lives lived so close to home, I seem to be much more in tune with what is going on in my own yard and garden. Paying closer attention to the unfolding of new blossoms on the Ivory silk lilac or buds forming on the delphiniums. And what a jolt of joy to catch a small bumblebee buzzing early in the morning in something purple. It has been good for my soul. A real godsend in these upside down times.

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

Lately, I have also been thinking about those words found in Psalm 23: 'The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want; He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters; He restores my soul...'. When my soul needs tending, these refreshing words are one of my go-to places. To me, it gives such a wonderful picture - the Shepherd leading a weary soul to a place of peace and beauty. For he knows just how restorative a patch of earth and a bit of water can be to our well being. We instinctively gravitate to the restfulness of green grass, a meadow or pasture where wildflowers grow. Who hasn't laid on the grass as a child, either face down staring at a blade where maybe an ant crawls up, or gazing up at a summer sky, searching for horses and poodles in the puffy clouds.

Image by Janyka Mitchell from Pixabay

"When life overwhelms us with all its demands
and problems, we can find moments of tranquility
and happiness by looking at nature. A beautiful landscape can
invigorate our souls and restore our energies, making us
realize that happiness lies in simple pleasures."

Not everyone is able to sit in a garden or beside a quiet stream, or lay down in a field of wild flowers, but it is possible to create a sense of it in some small way. Finding our own bit of nature—even a pot of herbs on a balcony or a single blossom in a vase, a landscape painting on our wall—can give us a space where our eyes can alight, where our thoughts can rest a moment. Nature surely goes a long way in this restoring process, and for those of us who follow Him, we know it is the Shepherd of our souls who adds the touch of the divine that ultimately restores our souls to wholeness. 

* * *

Wishing you a beautiful weekend.
May your days be verdant and restful.

Heart Hugs,