Saturday, June 04, 2016

Jumping Into June With Poetry and Books

Last evening summer arrived in my heart. Oh yes, we've had numerous lovely days thus far -- warm, blue skied days; grey, rainy ones; magnificent late-in-the-evening sunsets. But it was last evening when the feeling of summer truly arrived in my heart. And, with it came this yearning on the inside to celebrate in some way...

TO pay homage to golden light streaming through the window lighting up my desk.

TO catch that dewy mix of earth, leaves and moisture wafting on the breeze.

TO let myself feel mesmerized when the lace curtains billow: poof in--poof out, poof in--poof out, poof in--poof out.

TO breathe in the aroma of grass in the neighbour's yard, newly cut.

TO find a favourite passage -- some lines of poetry or scene from a favourite book that echoes the summery feeling with me. Any of the Anne books by L.M. Montgomery would certainly do.


A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining,
the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.
~ James Dent

* * * * *

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.
~ Celia Thaxter

* * * * *

One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.
~ Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

* * * * *

Rest is not idleness,
and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day,
listening to the murmur of water,
or watching the clouds float across the blue sky,
is by no means waste of time.
~ John Lubbock, "Recreation," The Use of Life, 1894

* * * * *

It was June, and the world smelled of roses.
The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.
~ Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib, 1941

* * * * *

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon;
to me those have always been the two most beautiful words
in the English language.
~ Henry James

* * * * *

The luxury of all summer's sweet sensation
is to be found when one lies at length in the warm, fragrant grass,
soaked with sunshine, aware of regions of blossoming clover
and of a high heaven filled with the hum of innumerous bees.
~ Harriet E. Prescott, The Atlantic Monthly, August 1865

* * * * *

Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes,
and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.
A few of those days and you can become drunk
with the belief that all’s right with the world.
~ Ada Louise Huxtable


Foxgloves and Hedgehog Days, Secrets in a Country Garden, by Daniel Blajan. This is a non-fiction book that many years ago when we'd have company, I would read a chapter or two after coffee and dessert. It created such a mellow, languid feeling for reader and listener both as we heard about the author's garden adventures. Perfect for long summer evenings.

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle (book and film series). I love the June, July, August section. Where you feel the heat radiating from the hills of Provence, where Le Poolman comes to clean Le Pool. And Peter and Annie's courtyard is constantly filled with aromas of Italian cooking, laughter, wine glasses clinking ...

Anne of Avonlea, L.M. Montgomery. Lots of lovely summery scenes in this second book of the Anne series.

Pilgrim's Inn, by Elizabeth Goudge. Story set in England's Hampshire coast. A family finds an enchanting old inn that changes their lives.

Voices in Summer, by Rosamunde Pilcher. Enjoy the long summer days on the coast of Cornwall, England along with Laura Haverstock, a young woman and newlywed, who stays with her husband's uncle and aunt in an old Elizabethan manor while she convalesces.

An Island Garden, by Celia Thaxter. A charming book first published in 1894 written by the author about her garden on Appledore, USA.

Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, by Edith Holden. The entries Miss Holden made during the Spring and Summer months are delightful to read and examine during this time of year.

Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh. There's a scene in the movie based on this book where the two young friends (played by Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews) take a drive from Oxford out into the English countryside. They stop along the side of the road, sit under a big old oak tree and eat fresh strawberries and some special wine. The scene whenever I see it makes me homesick for something. It's summer as it should be in that brief moment of time.

Summer by Susan Branch. Great seasonal recipes, whimsical artwork, poetry, and favourite stories by a favourite author and watercolourist.

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham. For people who like messing about in a boat on the river or picking berries in the hedgerows or sharing tea and scones with special friends, this makes a great summer read.

Three Men In A Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome. Not in the pile of books in the photo, but how can I leave this one out? This book describes a 'comic expedition up the Thames to Oxford'. I first read it years ago and it's just as humorous any time I read it. It's even more entertaining when you share the story by reading it aloud to someone.

You can probably tell I'm getting ready for our trip to England, most of the books I've got in that list above are related to that lovely country in some way. Yup, I'm dreaming English air ... pretty soon hubby and I will be breathing it. Not to mention eating crumpets, drinking tea with the Queen (wink), visiting gardens famous and not so famous, and sharing photos here whenever possible. A few weeks to go ...
And now, it's time to slip away ... just as the summer afternoon slipped away like those huge fluffy clouds floating with purpose past my window way up in the blue sky.

Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places,


  1. This makes me want to curl up outside with a good book :)... absolutely beautiful.

  2. I CAN tell how excited you are to be so close to your travels abroad!
    You have prepared yourself well. I can't wait to see England through your eyes.
    Your description of Three Men in a Boat reminded me of the book I finished this afternoon - The Enchanted April. I'm pretty sure I read at least 1/4 of it to my husband. SO funny...

  3. Ooooooo...I am SO excited for you, Brenda!! You are sure to have a grand time visiting England with your sweetheart!

    As for me, I think I'll pick up one of the books you mentioned. I have several of them on my bookshelves. (On second thought...I will have to delve into some boxes to find one. The lion's share of our books are yet unpacked as some bookshelves are on the to-do list for our new home.)

    Happy summer and happy travels!!

  4. What a lovely post. Your joy in the coming of summer and the excitement building up to your travels shines from your words. You have chosen some lovely books and quotes for summer:)

  5. Some of my favourite books there.
    I'm sure the Queen would be delighted to welcome you!

  6. A lovely post Brenda and I know your trip to England is going to be fabulous. I'm going to look for the book by Blajan.

  7. I'm not a fan of summer, but I do love those quotes and the books. I would love to spend one summer in an ideal place, where the temperatures are moderate.

    Happy trip planning.

  8. Summer is a great time to give a rose to someone you really care about and also share some heart-warming poetry.Have a splendid summer!
    For inspirational

  9. didn't june come quickly? thanks for sharing the summer poems...

  10. Dear Brenda your words about summer resonate with me. It is truly a lovely time of the year with June being the best. Some of your book list I have read and enjoyed- some I am going to check out. I just love to read in the afternoon outdoors and sip on some fresh lemonade. What a wonderful adventure you and hubby are about to embark on. Thanks for sharing such a lovely post. Have a blessed day. Hugs!

  11. I hope that you have a wonderful time on your English Adventure!!! xx

  12. A summer afternoon spent reading a good book is surely one of the best things in life! Thank you for sharing your book list - I have put several on my reading list. Two are already there - 'An Island Garden' and 'A Year in Provence'. It is good to know that they are worth reading! The quotes are wonderful. 'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Wall is a wonderful true story of overcoming a difficult childhood that I have on my bookshelf. I can't imagine how giddy you must be thinking of your upcoming trip to England! I am so excited for you and can't wait to see your posts. I love your description of the curtains blowing in and out. One lovely thing about summer (among many). I hope you have a beautiful week, Brenda. Hugs xo Karen

  13. Ah, the scent of freshly-cut grass! One of my faves!

    Not poetry, but from the pen of our treasured Lucy Maud Montgomery..."I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June."

    I have to admit to being a bit envious of your upcoming trip. Just last night, I was at a church meeting and the icebreaker question was "Talk about your dream and time being no object." My trip was a copy of Susan Branch's...a "crossing" to England, then traversing the English countryside for all its worth. I hope to make it there one day, but for now, I will have to be satisfied with sharing snippets of your trip.

    County Diary of an Edwardian Lady has long been one of my faves. Such a beautiful book.


  14. I've read and loved so many books on your list, Brenda, and made a note of the ones I've missed. Have you come across To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis? It is a bit different, a fantasy book, but delightful and a homage of Three Men in a Boat.

    1. Amalia, I don't know that book by Connie Willis, but now that you've brought it to my attention, I'll be scouting it out. Thank you! xo

  15. One of my favorite books ever is The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher. I tried to find your suggestion - Voices in Summer, by Rosamunde Pilcher {kindle edition} at my library. Low and behold they have no Rosamunde Pilcher books available. Guess I'll have to find a "real copy" to read. Thanks for the suggestion.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo