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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What is this life, if full of care.......


    What is this life if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.

    No time to stand beneath the boughs
    And stare as long as sheep or cows.

    No time to see, when woods we pass,
    Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

    No time to see, in broad daylight,
    Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

    No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
    And watch her feet, how they can dance.

    No time to wait till her mouth can
    Enrich that smile her eyes began.

    A poor life this if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.

    W.H. Davies

This is one of my favourite poems. Most mornings, weather permitting, I sit on the stone steps in the garden with my first cup of tea of the day. It's the best time of the day, before lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, car alarms and a host of other noises can be heard. If you sit quietly, within the space of about ten minutes, the creatures round about you come to accept you as part of the garden scenery. All at the same time my company included bees, a robin, a baby dunnock, a great-tit, a blue tit and several field mice, all almost within touching distance.

I seem to be the source of fascination for one of the adult mice (I'm assuming it's the same one who does it). He has a vantage point for viewing me, under the Geranium Johnson's Blue on the wall beside the steps where I sit. It's only about a foot away. He peers out at me for ages and only scampers away if I make a movement. Maybe he's wondering what kind of creature is this that appears at the same time as the crumbs of bread and seed!

As much as I appreciate the company of people, I'm so glad that the world is inhabited by other species, and the garden is a mini-world full of creatures with which we share a quiet acceptance.

Update on Billy and Martin's garden
The hedges are trimmed, there is now a lawn of sorts (though it's all lumps and bumps!), it's fenced off, a few flowers have been planted as well as about 100 onion sets and there is a well-dug patch ready for potatoes to go in. And the best bit is, Billy and Martin are now able to reach their washing line to peg out their long johns!

A little sadness.....
It occurred to me this Summer that I have lost my sense of smell. I'm unable to smell the Sweet Peas, the Lilies, the Roses and all the other scented flowers in the garden. I had a respiratory infection earlier in the year so that could be the cause, in which case (hopefully), the loss will be temporary. I'm hesitant in going to the doctor about it as I'm not keen on the idea of having a tube shoved up my nose (nasal endoscopy)! I know there are far, far worse disabilities in life, but for a gardener.......... well, I was so looking forward to enjoying the scent of those Sweet Peas.


  1. What a lovely poem Lesley.
    Like you, seeing and sensing nature first thing in the morning can be a real soul lifter. Good to hear that your little side project is coming along to! I fear our English summer will be at an end in maybe 5 weeks!! Or sooner if we believe English weather forecasters!

  2. Hi Gf. :) Glad you liked the poem. W.H.Davies wrote many poems about nature.

    I'd get on quicker with Billy and Martin's garden if they stopped the constant barrage of cups of tea! :O)

    Oh the weather.... yes, apparently this weekend is going to be wet. I know when the garden season is just about over.... when my eBay plant sales grind to a halt some time in September! :O) That's when items mysteriously start to go missing from our house and appear on eBay! lol

  3. Hi Lesley,

    I truly appreciate the poem you shared. It's very timely to me now. I will have time to stand and stare.

    Don't worry about your sense of smell but the best thing to do is see a doctor. It's just temporary but a he can hasten your recovery, before all those sweet peas are gone after summer...(I am just assuming this, though, because I don't know much about your weather.) LOL!

  4. Hello Ss. :) Yes, it's wonderful how revitalising it can be just to do absolutely nothing for a little while. :D

    There's one word for the British weather, Ss, and that is 'unpredictable'. lol But we can't complain because we've had a mix of sun and rain, which is just the way I like it.

    Still apprehensive about going to the doctor. Maybe I'll wait for next season's Sweet Peas! :O)