|Bloodroot ~ one of our first spring wildflowers|
The first poem, and the one I have been thinking of sharing all month, is called Gifts from the Wildwood and is by South Carolina poet Archibald Rutledge.
Gifts from the Wildwood
I know not how to capture
This fragrant wildwood's rapture,
The magic of these dells
Where silent beauty dwells,
Where noble strength and power
in oak and pine tree tower.
But when from these I come,
I hope to carry home
Some spirit not yet had
To keep me strong and glad,
Something from oak and pine
To be forever mine;
When from these woods I part,
Some wildflower in my heart.
~ Archibald Rutledge
It is from the last line of this poem that Jamie Langston Turner took the title for her wonderful book, Some Wildflower in My Heart. If you have never read this book, I recommend it very highly. I do not enjoy most Christian fiction; much of it is far too shallow, and my reading time is so limited that I will not waste it starting books and not finishing them. But Jamie Turner's writing is different. Each of her books actually has a different voice, yet there is a common thread ~ I guess I would summarize it as the impact we as believers can have in the lives of others if we are truly living as God would have us to. If you do read Some Wildflower in My Heart, don't be put off by the scholarly tone of Margaret Tuttle, who is telling the story. She uses large words, slightly formal language, and refers often to books she has read. But when you get into the story and learn about Margaret's background, you realize why she speaks and writes as she does. It's a story well worth reading, and Birdie Freeman, whose story Margaret is telling, is an example for all of us to emulate.
Jamie Turner's other books (I believe there are seven more) are also excellent and I highly recommend them. They can be read as a series, for most share some of the same characters, but they also stand alone very well.
I've gone off track a bit, but wanted to share how this excellent writer has edified me. The poem above, Gifts from the Wildwood, figures in the story of Birdie Freeman and Margaret. I loved the poem and found that it really spoke to me, as I have found so often that spending time in the woods or by the water is comforting and healing.
A few weeks ago my daughter mentioned how she and her family took a "mental health day" and went for a hike in the woods adjoining their property. That sounded appealing to Mr. T and myself, so we asked them to let us know the next time they planned a hike. A couple of Saturdays ago, we were able to find a few hours to join them. Below are some scenes from the day:
|Josiah is standing inside a cellar hole from an old house or barn. Imagine building that by hand!|
|Mr. T and our son-in-law figured there had to be a well near the cellar hole somewhere. They went looking and found it!|
|One of the waterfalls we saw|
|Taking a break by one of the waterfall areas|
|The sky was gloriously blue!|
|More of the treetops|
|And yet more falling water|
As we made our way through the woods at the start of the hike (there was a bit of light-duty bushwhacking before we came onto a logging road), I was pleased that I could recognize some different types of moss and plants to share with the kids. It reminded me so much of my father-in-law, whose knowledge of the woods greatly exceeded that of anyone I've ever known. He kept a wildflower list every year as he observed the various flowers coming into bloom. He also loved waterfalls and cellar holes and he would have so enjoyed that hike. He was also a locally known poet, and the following lines are from his poem Spring Fever:
When I see the geese returning
Once again I have a yearning
To walk again some old familiar trail
There to seek some early flower
On some sunny bank or bower,
Or where the brook meanders through the vale.
Find some cellar long forsaken
That the years have overtaken,
Or walk along beside some old stone walls;
Maybe watch the sunlight flashing
Where the noisy brook is splashing,
And madly dashing o'er the rocky falls.
The above are two of the five stanzas of the poem, and the second could have been describing the hike we took. He had surely been on many similar ones. April 30 would have been his 101st birthday. He is the one who dug up the original bloodroot plant (last year's blooms pictured at the top of the post) and brought it to my daughter to plant. And it always brings sweet memories when "his" flowers appear in the wildflower garden every spring.
(I am sharing today with Sandi's No Place Like Home and Bernideen’s Tea Time, Cottage and Garden Blog Party.)