Hyacinths to feed thy soul


If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft And from thy slender store Two loaves alone to thee are left, Sell one, and with the dole, Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

– Saadi, Persian poet hyacinth2 I’m curled up in the corner of my living room couch so my nose is about 2 feet away from these flowers as I type, reluctant to miss out on their heady scent while it’s mine to enjoy.  I still remember the first time I smelled a hyacinth.  It was a bright, vivid pink and I was attracted by the sturdy stalk covered with cheerful flowers.  I leaned in for closer inspection and as the distinct fragrance flooded my senses for the first time, Saadi’s poem swiftly came to mind.  Years later, I find myself responding the same way each time I spot them blooming in the yard.  I close my eyes, breathe deeply and think, “Yes.  To feed thy soul.”


It is true that my soul needs nourishment as surely as my body does.  I am grateful for simple joys and beauties that accomplish it.  Sometimes the feast comes in fresh flowers.  Lately it’s also come in sunsets, new appreciation for the nearby mountain range, the curve of my daughter’s cheek, the chirping of birds, prayer, children’s picture books, color. I realize it’s all built into life beautifully by my Heavenly Father who perfectly understands the need – a feast there for the taking if I have eyes to see.  Which reminds me of another favorite verse…

Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common brush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning Wishing you a day that feeds your soul in simple, wholesome ways, and eyes to see all that God is doing in your life.


Peonies and Honeysuckle


Do you have things you’ve always wanted to master but haven’t yet?  I remember as a girl hearing about an older cousin of mine who was learning how to arrange flowers and having my heart skip a beat as I thought “I want to do that!”  Well, I haven’t accomplished it yet, but do enjoy pictures of fresh flower arrangements and playing with the flowers I grow at home.  I have big dreams.


I enjoyed the article “Flower Arranging Made Easy” in my June issue of Country Living magazine.  The arrangements spotlighted caught my eye because they were different, a little more bold and perhaps a bit wild in comparison with many that I see.


When I saw honeysuckle used in one of them it occurred to me that I could cut some of my own and experiment.  Thus began a happy 30 minutes of cutting and arranging the last of my peonies and the first of my honeysuckle to see what might happen.



I love the way they look together!  The scent of honeysuckle in the house was dreamy and it was a rewarding creative experience.  It also made me want to read The Flower Recipe Book.


How about you?  Are you a novice at something you’d love to master?

Hugs, Jennifer

15 Days of Happiness :: Paint Something

With the change of every season, I often feel tempted to go shopping for pretty new home accessories.  Stores and catalogs are transformed by seasonal color and designs that make the coming season feel even more exciting and beautiful.   They plan it that way, and while I believe it’s fine to update things now and then, I also know that if we update our fashion at the rate the retailers hope we will, the result will bring pleasure at first, but will end up robbing us of happiness in the end.   There is nothing wrong with liking pretty things; the fault comes in buying too many of them.  Falling prey to retail therapy brings more stuff into our already cluttered homes, gives us more to store/maintain/care for, and usually ends up being a roadblock to our long term dreams by pinching us financially.

One of my strategies to benefit from the gorgeous advertising without sacrificing my goals is to paint something.  It’s usually the color that sucks me in, and I’m particularly vulnerable to the colors of spring when they hit the stores.  My favorite pictures this year came from the Wisteria catalog that arrived in my mailbox covered with every shade of blue – my favorite.


Wanting something new, and wanting it to be blue, I decided to “shop my house.”  In the basement I remembered a votive candle holder that my sister gave me 3 (yes, three!) years ago.  The plan was to paint it all along, but I never got around to it.  I  used paint I had on hand from another project and got started.  My candle holder looked like this:


Pretty, but not me, especially with the metal inserts.  I decided to simply paint over all of it, and a few coats later I had this:


I also decided to put it to use with flowers instead of candles.


This project allowed me to be creative, to use something I already had, to display the flowers from my yard indoors, to save my money, and still feel like I had something new and exciting to enjoy.



Isn’t it wonderful what a little paint can do!  Perhaps you’ve got something you can update, too.  Making home more beautiful – and doing it with self-discipline – is a happy thing!

Have a great day!

Jennifer *This post is part of a short series on happiness.  You can find the complete list of posts in the series here .  To read the previous post, click here .  For the next post, click here.

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