What a lovely thing a rose is!... Our highest assurance of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.
The Gentle GardenerI'd like to leave but daffodils to mark my little way,To leave but tulips red and white behind me as I stray;I'd like to pass away from earth and feel I'd left behindBut roses and forget-me-nots for all who come to find.I'd like to sow the barren spots with all the flowers of earth,To leave a path where those who come should find but gentle mirth;And when at last I'm called upon to join the heavenly throngI'd like to feel along my way I'd left no sign of wrong.And yet the cares are many and the hours of toil are few;There is not time enough on earth for all I'd like to do;But, having lived and having toiled, I'd like the world to findSome little touch of beauty that my soul had left behind.
I was surrounded by friends, my work was immense, and pleasures were abundant. Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil. Overall, I was happiest to be alone; for it was then I was most aware of what I possessed. Free to look out over the rooftops of the city. Happy to be alone in the company of friends, the company of lovers and strangers. Everything, I decided, in this life, was pure pleasure.