Tag Archives: Henry Ward Beecher

June in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia–Beth Trissel

*Lovely images by daughter Elise Trissel.

Abraham Darby

“A profusion of pink roses bending ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring.”  ~The Collected Later Poems of William Carlos Williams

“Can we conceive what humanity would be if it did not know the flowers?”  ~Maurice Maeterlinck “Flowers really do intoxicate me.”  ~Vita Sackville-West

“Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals.  Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock.”  ~Henry Ward Beecher, Star Papers: A Discourse of Flowers

wild ox eye daisies“The poet’s darling.”  ~William Wordsworth, “To the Daisy”

“The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms.  Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him.”  ~Auguste Rodin

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”  ~John Muir, 1913, in L.M. Wolfe, ed., John Muir, John of the Mountains:  The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, 1938

poppies“Summer set lip to earth’s bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there.”
~Francis Thompson, “The Poppy,” 1891

“Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.”  ~Standing Bear

“Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.”  ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”  ~e.e. cummings

wild wood's phlox“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”  ~John Muir

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” ~Jane Austen

“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.  This is not done by jostling in the street.”  ~William Blake

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”  ~William Shakespeare

Abraham Darby Roses, Ox Eye Daisies, Shirley Poppies,  wild Phlox

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”~ Audrey Hepburn

A little inspiration for this Sunday with daughter Elise’s pics of our garden.

“Belief creates the actual fact.”
William James

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
Theodore Roosevelt

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
Norman Vincent Peale

“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.”
Thomas Merton

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”
Henry Ward Beecher

“Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them.”
Vincent McNabb

“The power of imagination makes us infinite.”
John Muir

“Just what future the Designer of the universe has provided for the souls of men I do not know, I cannot prove. But I find that the whole order of Nature confirms my confidence that, if it is not like our noblest hopes and dreams, it will transcend them. ”
Henry Norris Russell

“The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.”
Leo Buscaglia

“The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money. ”
Thomas Jefferson

” You change your life by changing your heart.”
Max Lucado

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”
Nido Qubein

“As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit. ”
Emmanuel Teney

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.”
Khalil Gibran

The Glorious Month of June

And since all this loveliness can not be Heaven,
I know in my heart it is June.
~Abba Goold Woolson (1838–1921)
Ah June, among the fairest of all months.  Here in the valley, June came in like July with hot humid temps and we await thunderstorms for needed rain.  Yesterday, Memorial Day, my home-from-college daughter Elise and I worked far too hard in the vegetable garden, but we’d gotten behind and were under a flash flood watch.  Not a drop fell from the searing sky, OK, maybe one or two.  Not even enough to dampen my nose.
If I predicted the weather with such reckless abandon as the weather people do, I would lose all credibility, but still they go on prognosticating.  And we listen. I prefer to read the signs in nature and often do so with accurate results.  Last winter was a hard one which I foretold after observing several entirely black woolly bears–those fuzzy little caterpillars are more accurate in telling the weather than anyone.  Normally woolly bears are ringed with reddish-brown and black bands, the brown denoting milder winter weather and the black harder.  And in late summer I noted the unusually high assembly of swifts gathering at our farm pond earlier in the season than usual.  Then they all flew away.  Getting the H—out of Dodge.  It wondered me why, as the Pennsylvania Dutch say.  Bad winter coming, I concluded.  And I was right.
Another indication of winter snows are the number of foggy mornings in August.  Each one signifies a snowfall.  We had a number of those misty mornings when the white haze hangs over the pond, and I can just see the blue heron at the edge.  The hills up above the meadow are veiled and the Alleghenies shrouded in white.  Then the sun comes out, the fog lifts, all sparkles in the dew, and I chalk up another snowfall.
But I digress,  back to June.  On the Sunday before Memorial Day, our family took a drive up into the breathtakingly beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains along the Parkway and had lunch at the Big Meadows Lodge.  Glorious.  Mountain laurel was in in bloom and many other wildflowers.  Butterflies fluttered about, though not nearly as many as you see later in the season.  It feels as though you’re on top of the world up there.  That knob is the epicenter of the universe.
If you’ve never visited the Blue Ridge Mountains and toured the Parkway, you’ve missed out on an amazing experience.   The Park maintains trails varying from short walks to arduous hikes for the more athletic, many with ferny streams tumbling along.  I adore the sound of a mountain stream.   There are lovely places to dine like the splendid lodge.  Rustic in a welcoming, homey way with an enormous stone fireplace. The windows look out over spectacular vistas.    An ideal vacation spot for families or simply stop by for an excellent meal.
For more on the Big Meadows Lodge click here:
Big Meadows also has a fascinating museum depicting the life of the mountain people and nature displays, plus a wonderful nature based gift shop, perfect for families.  On a nice day, a stroll through the grassy meadows is enjoyable without being overly wearing.  Deer sightings are common.  Bear much less frequent, but it happens.  We once saw a mother with two cubs and spotted others from time to time.  These are the normally docile black bears.  Caution is to be observed, but attacks from black bear are rare.  One time, a bobcat sprang across the road and paused momentarily.  Shy creatures, it fled.   We’ve spotted wild turkey.  The abundance of birds in the Park makes it a haven for bird lovers.  I’ve never seen so many varieties.  The woods resound with their calls.  If you’re a horseback rider, the Park maintains idyllic trails, and the same for bikers…
Some areas of the park are home to living history exhibits of life from the past that include a preserved old log cabin, craftsmen at their looms, farm animals in log pens, a mountain garden…hands on stuff for children.  If you’re up for a dip in an icy stream, or swimming hole, they have those too.  I’ve opted to dabble my toes.  And there are waterfalls of all sizes.  I love the smaller one called Dark Hollow Falls at Milam’s Gap.  It’s small enough that the more adventurous, including kids, slide down into the pool beneath.  You can even tickle trout, should that appeal to you.  It holds no charm for me, but some of the men in our family have braved frigid pools and done just that.

When I’m in the mountains my spirit soars.  The beauty of the valley and surrounding mountains, my absorption in nature and passion for the past, has an enormous influence on my writing.

“After a debauch of thundershower, the weather takes the pledge and signs it with a rainbow.”
~Thomas Bailey Aldrich
“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments – there are consequences.”
~ Robert G. Ingersoll
“Speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee.”
~The Bible

“Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile, some have a sad expression, some are pensive and diffident, others again are plain, honest and upright.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

*I totally agree with this poetic observation about flowers.

“When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze.” ~ Thomas Carlyle

“By nature’s kindly disposition, most questions which it is beyond man’s power to answer do not occur to him at all.” ~ George Santayana

“The bluebird carries the sky on his back.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

*I absolutely love blue birds.  The Shenandoah Valley is blessed with an abundance of them.  They flash blue in the sunlight and are quite busy little birds.

“There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before. “~ Robert Lynd  *To this I add, so could Native Americans.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

~John Muir

*Several of these pics were taken by my mother and husband. The rest are royalty free images from i-stock of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

True Love

‘Hope is like a harebell trembling from its birth. Love is like a rose the joy of all the earth, Faith is like a lily lifted high and white, Love is like a lovely rose the world’s delight. Harebells and sweet lilies show a thornless growth, But the rose with all its thorns excels them BOTH.’ ~ Christina Rossetti

“Sweet flowers alone can say what passion fears revealing.” ~ Thomas Moore~

“You don’t marry someone you can live with – you marry the person who you cannot live without.”~ unknown

“Know that I love you Tristan. Wherever you go, whatever you see. I will always be with you.”  Tristan and Isolde

“Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.”

“Love cures people – both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.”
~Dr. Karl Menninger

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.”
~Ingrid Bergman

“My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.” ~ Juliet to Romeo

“O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright.
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop‘s ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.” ~
Romeo speaking of Juliet

“One fairer than my love? The all-seeing sun
Ne’er saw her match since first the world begun.”
~ Romeo

“I know not how to tell thee who I am. My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself, because it’s an enemy to thee.” ~ Romeo

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand

To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”
—Romeo in his first words to Juliet while taking her hand

But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.” ~ Romeo when he sees Juliet on the balcony

O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard.
Being in night, all this is but a dream,
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.” ~ ROMEO

“See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!”
—Romeo watching Juliet at her window

“With love’s light wings did I o’er-perch these walls; For stony limits cannot hold love out, And what love can do that dares love attempt.”
~Romeo, when Juliet asks how he managed to get over the high wall to Capulet‘s garden

“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.” ~Juliet

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet.” ~Juliet

“This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath, May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.” – Juliet

“He jests at scars that never felt a wound.”
—Romeo, after his friend Mercutio scoffs at him for being in love

“Is love a tender thing? It is too rough,
Too rude, too boist’rous; and it pricks like thorn.” ~ Romeo

“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.” ~ Romeo

“Good Night, Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.” ~ Juliet

“Give me my Romeo, and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”

~ Juliet as she waits for Romeo to come to her on their wedding night

“Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.” Juliet, trying to delay Romeo’s departure after their secret wedding night.

“Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day

Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain-tops.”

*That first wedding morning was the last time they saw each other alive.  Sadly, this is a tragedy and you know where we’re going.  Sigh.

“Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!”
—Romeo, thinking Juliet is dead, bids his farewell to her with a kiss.

*Poor Romeo–in hiding since he murdered Juliet’s cousin who killed his best friend–didn’t get that vital letter apprising him of her pretend death to escape a forced marriage at her parent’s hands and be with him.  And when Juliet wakes up in the creepy family crypt, the cowardly friar ran off and left her to discover Romeo slumped beside her poisoned, which leads to her tragic end at the point of his dagger.

As you can see, I’m a huge Romeo and Juliet fan, and never will there be a more perfect Juliet than Olivia Hussey.   Such a profoundly beautiful and tragic romance.  All the what if’s and if only’s prompted me to revise the ending to that timeless classic in my mind many times.

The 1968 production of Romeo and Juliet is partly  responsible for my having written two light paranormal romances with a reincarnation theme in which the hero and heroine get another chance.  The impact of that film on me was profound.  I was only slightly younger than Juliet’s tender age and badly wanted her and Romeo to be together, to have a second chance. Maybe they did.   Only Shakespeare can say.  Either way, wherever they are and the many couples like them, I hope they’re together in the next world.

As the play concludes, these immortal lines are uttered:

“A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
—Prince Escalus

“I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.”
~Henry Ward Beecher

“True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen.”

~La Rochefoucauld

“Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?” ~ Christopher Marlowe

“Tell me whom you love and I will tell you who you are.” ~ Houssaye

“A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love.”

“There is no remedy for love but to love more.”

“Some love lasts a lifetime. True love lasts forever.” ~ Unknown

“Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor… Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”
~Mother Theresa

“Love is like the wild rose-briar;

Friendship like the holly-tree.

The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms,

But which will bloom most constantly?” ~ Emily Bronte

Trailer below for my light paranormal romance Somewhere My Love below, published in 2008 by

The Wild Rose Press.