Measuring My Days

April 2008
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“Though I am growing old, I maintain that the best part is yet to come - the time when one may see things more dispassionately and know oneself and others more truly, and perhaps be able to do more, and in religion rest centered in a very few simple truths. I do not want to ignore the other side, that one will not be able to see so well, or walk so far, or read so much. But there may be more peace within, more communion with God, more real light instead of distraction about many things, better relations with others, fewer mistakes.”  Henry Jowett in a letter to a friend.


            First Spring Robin by Bonnie Burks Gray


“A man must get away now and then. I go out there and walk and look at the trees and sky. I listen to the sounds of loneliness. I sit on a rock or stump and say to myself, “Who are you, Sandburg? Where have you been and where are you going?”

 Carl Sandburg


“We need silence to stay in touch with ourselves, who we are and most profoundly want to be. And we need silence, time apart, on behalf of our relationships with others. This may sound strange, but it is in quiet that we can become sensitive again to the needs of those dearest to us, whereas in the noise and hurry of the occupied mind we lose touch with the better side of our souls.”  Gilbert Bowen


Once more lovely April steps on stage and I am blessedly here to witness her show another year!  Perhaps it was Jesse Stuart who first made me fall in love with April via his poetry born in the Kentucky hills.  He wrote a poem titled Hold April that later became the title of a book of his poetry:

Hold on to April; never let her pass!

Another year before she comes again

To bring us wind as clean as polished glass

And apple blossoms in soft, silver rain.

Hold April when there’s music in the air,

When life is resurrected like a dream,

When wild birds sing up flights of windy stair

And bees love alder blossoms by the stream.

Hold April’s face close yours and look afar,

Hold April in your arms in dear romance;

While holding her look to the sun and star

And with her in her faerie dreamland dance.

Do not let April go but hold her tight,

Month of eternal beauty and delight.


From my study window the distant Blue Ridge Mountains soar gloriously on the eastern horizon and they find me counting my blessings again at another winter’s passing.  Ample rains have turned our valley green once more.  The jonquils and narcissus I sunk into the good earth last fall are laughing in April’s warm sunshine, reminding me of another Jesse Stuart poem:  Why Ever Grieve? 


Why ever grieve for blighted bloom and leaf – When winter fought the Spring to keep her crown;

His second coming was a time so brief,

But long enough to sow his death-seeds down.

Why ever grieve for all this bitter strife

Since spring returns with certainty and pride

To frozen Earth with promise of new life

With nature her assistant and her guide.

The flowers that Winter killed will grow again

And cloaks of green adorn each naked tree

With Nature’s healing sun and soothing rain.

With wordless blueprints from eternity.



Everything that I understand, I understand  only because I love.  -                         Leo Tolstoy