Archives For Seasons

 

Bringing the Seasons Ever Inward
 
A Review of 

Embracing The Seasons: Memories of a Country Garden
Gunilla Norris

Paperback: BlueBridge, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]
 
 
Reviewed by Michelle Wilbert
 
 
 
It is rare, in my experience, for the introduction to a book to include passages that inspire me to underline them and tuck them in my “Commonplace Book” for later reflection, but such was the case as I began to read this achingly compelling book by psychotherapist, meditation teacher and writer, Gunilla Norris.   The opening paragraphs do a typically admirable job of introducing  “a soulful journey through a country garden and the surrounding land with its stone walls, its brooks,  its hemlocks and maples, its flowers and shrubs and its various living beings…” but it does something more—it articulates why this journal of observation of natural phenomena is a portal to understanding self and others, our placement in the world of things and the importance of engaging our curiosity about the natural world as an essential—and readily available– spiritual discipline.  This is a book about human intimacy with creation focused on the intersection of the natural world with our human endeavors and relationships.  The author understands well the hard work of relationship and of intimacy in particular and begins her narrative by challenging our most human and persistent folly: that we are in control or should be in control or anything or anyone dovetailing with her observation that control and intimacy cannot coexist:

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Songs of the Summer Days
George MacDonald

I.

A glory on the chamber wall!
A glory in the brain!
Triumphant floods of glory fall
On heath, and wold, and plain.

Earth lieth still in hopeless bliss;
She has, and seeks no more;
Forgets that days come after this,
Forgets the days before.

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A Something in a Summer’s Day
Emily Dickinson

A something in a summer’s day,
As slow her flambeaux burn away,
Which solemnizes me.

A something in a summer’s noon,—
An azure depth, a wordless tune,
Transcending ecstasy.

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May
Hilaire Belloc

This is the laughing-eyed amongst them all:
My lady’s month. A season of young things.
She rules the light with harmony, and brings

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An appropriate poem from another noted speaker at the Festival of Faith and Writing, Luci Shaw.

From her book:

The Green Earth: Poems of Creation.

Luci Shaw.

Hardback: Eerdmans, 2002.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle
]

Read our review of Luci’s recent book of poetry, Harvesting Fog





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Spring Pools
Robert Frost

These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver, Continue Reading…

 

A Winter Evening
Alexander Pushkin


Sable clouds by tempest driven,
Snowflakes whirling in the gales,
Hark–it sounds like grim wolves howling,
Hark–now like a child it wails!
Creeping through the rustling straw thatch,
Rattling on the mortared walls,
Like some weary wanderer knocking–
On the lowly pane it falls.

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“An Old Man’s Winter Night”
Robert Frost

All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.

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“Pray to what earth
does this sweet cold belong”
Henry David Thoreau

Pray to what earth does this sweet cold belong,
Which asks no duties and no conscience?

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To Autumn
William Blake.

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou mayst rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

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