Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Have a Seat

Isn't this the most inviting little nook?  I spotted it in a garden in England and am in love with its appealing freshness -- that chair nestled in its leafy green wall.  I would love to have a chair in that shade of green.  I would sit on it with a good book and daydream, looking up to gaze at the beauty around me.  Maybe reading "Elizabeth And Her German Garden" by Elizabeth Von Armin.  

This is one of my favorite passages from that book:

"I am always happy (out of doors be it understood, for indoors there are servants and furniture), but in quite different ways, and my spring happiness bears no resemblance to my summer or autumn happiness, though it is not more intense, and there were days last winter when I danced for sheer joy out in my frost-bound garden in spite of my years and children.  But I did it behind a bush, having due regard for the decencies.

There are so many bird-cherries round me, great trees with branches sweeping the grass, and they are so wreathed just now with white blossoms and tenderest green that the garden looks like a wedding.  I never saw such masses of them; they seem to fill the place.  Even across a little stream that bounds the garden on the east, and right in the middle of the cornfield beyond, there is an immense one, a picture of grace and glory against the cold blue of the spring sky.

My garden is surrounded by cornfields and meadows, and beyond are great stretches of sandy heath and pine forests, and where the forests leave off the bare heath begins again; but the forests are beautiful in their lofty, pink-stemmed vastness, far overhead the crowns of softest gray-green, and underfoot a bright green whortleberry carpet, and everywhere the breathless silence; and the bare heaths are beautiful too, for one can see across them into eternity almost, and to go out on to them with one's face towards the setting sun is like going in the very presence of God."

Surrey, England

Do you ever want to dance for joy as you anticipate the promise of a creative and productive day?  Or maybe you have had a vision or inspiration, hitting you like a thunderbolt, and you are bursting with ideas for enhancing your life?

Oh Elizabeth, I love your "spring happiness" and that you danced for sheer joy behind the bush.  You are one of the delightful dreamers I love to read about; your joy and excitement about transforming a wilderness into a garden is expressed in joyous passages such as the one above.  

Elizabeth Von Armin's idyllic garden was a sanctuary for her.  It was where she went to be alone and clear her head. We all need to find our nook, our retreat, our special place in our house or garden -- a place to meditate, to dream, to plan and to read. These are the simple pleasures and moments of reflection that refresh and rejuvenate us. They may lead us to our muse, to a new source of inspiration.  They often lead to great ideas: a new plant for the garden, a new dream for our lives, a solution to a nagging problem, a new approach to our days, even a new blog post! Taking our coffee outside in the morning and spending some time in reflection, seeing the first blossoms of spring can give us a little thrill and suddenly we are smiling.  Suddenly we know the day is going to be all right.  These are the beautiful moments that allow us to live and breathe.  These are the moments that take us to the border of the next big step, or even that little step that will make all the difference to the rest.  

Elizabeth Von Armin's "spring happiness" is contagious.  A new season can point us in fresh and exciting creative directions.  Happy Spring!


  1. Happy Spring Sunday!

    What a beautiful chair and garden setting! I could not agree with you more, I could sit there for hours with a good book.

    This passage is beautiful and frankly you are so right, we all do need our own little space in the world to call our own. A place, to dream, think, reflect, and be alone with ourselves.

    Thank you for giving us all a little food for thought and encouraging a little dance in the garden to create a spring in our step!

    Have a fabulous day, Elizabeth

  2. What perfect photographs for the first day of spring! I'm definitely looking forward to eating dinner outside again, even if our landscaping isn't quite as impressive!

  3. Happy Spring to you Sunday! What a delightful post, I love the idea of dancing for joy, I think we should all make a little more room for that in our lives. I'm settling in for a cosy half hour to catch up on your posts that I have missed while being in a fug of work and little else.

  4. Sunday, The chair among the leaves does look like the perfect spot to sit and read or ponder. I loved reading the passage. So much to think about. I do think we should dance with joy often. Hope your first day of spring is wonderful. Bonnie

  5. Elizabeth, I am glad I encouraged a little dance in the garden to celebrate spring! I love how you put that!

    Lauren, I agree with you about looking forward to eating dinner outside again. That will feel so good!

    Sarah, it's so nice to hear from you and I'm glad you got a vacation in the Cotswolds to balance all your hard work.

    Bonnie, I hope your first day of spring was wonderful!

    xx Sunday

  6. We just came in from eating our dinner out on our deck for the first time this year, Sunday. Your post is like desert and I'd love to take my current read and sit upon this chair for a spell and read. "Elizabeth and her German Garden" is sitting not six feet from me right now. Sure wish I hadn't waited so long to read my book for book group.

  7. What a perfect shade of green.

  8. Such a nice chair! Perfect for the garden.

  9. that beautiful landscape ... conveys so much freshness and peace ... much freedom and warmth within a few pictures ... as I would like to be there and escape the city ..
    excellent article .. very interesting and super good pictures ...
    greetings ..