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Jean Hersey

  • January is the month for dreaming.

  • A flower is a daisy chain, a graduation, a valentine; a flower is New Year's Eve and an orchid in your hair; a flower is a single geranium blooming in a tin can on a murky city fire-escape; an acre of roses at the Botanical Gardens; and the first gold crocus of spring! ... a flower is a birth, a wedding, a leaving of this life.

  • Flowers speak to us if we listen. Appreciating the blossom in hand or pausing in the garden to admire the beauty quiets our outer selves till we hear something new, something we did not hear before — the still, small voice of Nature herself.

  • June is the gateway to summer ...

  • July is hollyhocks and hammocks, fireworks and vacations, hot and steamy weather, cool and refreshing swims, beach picnics, and vegetables all out of the garden — first sweet corn on the cob dripping with butter, first tomatoes dead ripe and sunwarm, string beans, squash, crisp cucumbers. July can also be hard and shiny, brassy and sharp. Some days are like copper pennies in the sunlight.

  • I love planting bulbs. It is making promises with tomorrow, believing in next year and the future.

  • My prayer for the new year is that I may have the courage and the stamina to let Life happen to me, to accept its joys and successes, and to take in stride the learning that stretches us and the growing pains. Perhaps, to put it simply, my wish for the New Year is: may we love more, live more, laugh more. And so may you!

  • In March winter is holding back and spring is pulling forward. Something holds and something pulls inside of us too.

  • When you plant early, you bring spring early.

  • Lilacs are May in essence.

  • In July everybody you telephone is somewhere else — either on the beach or on vacation, and half the time you're somewhere else too.

  • August is ripening grain in the fields blowing hot and sunny, the scent of tree-ripened peaches, of hot buttered sweet corn on the cob. Vivid dahlias fling huge tousled blossoms through gardens and joe-pye-weed dusts the meadow purple.

  • September is a sweep of dusky, purple asters, a sumac branch swinging a fringe of scarlet leaves, and the bittersweet scene of wild grapes when I walk down the lane to the mailbox. September is a golden month of mellow sunlight and still clear days. ... Small creatures in the grass, as if realizing their days are numbered, cram the night air with sound. Everywhere goldenrod is full out.

  • October arrives in a swirl of fragrant blue leaf smoke, the sweetness of slightly frosted MacIntosh apples, and little hard acorns falling. We are in the midst of cool crisp days, purple mists, and Nature recklessly tossing her whole palette of dazzling tones through fields and woodlands.

  • November is chill, frosted mornings with a silver sun rising behind the trees, red cardinals at the feeders, and squirrels running scallops along the tops of the gray stone walls.

  • Some days confidence shrinks to the size of a pea, and the backbone feels like a feather. We want to be somewhere else, and don't know where — want to be someone else and don't know who.

  • A new year is a gift, a small piece of infinity, to do with as we will.

Jean Hersey, U.S. writer

(1902 - 1997)