Gently Wakened

Oh, how I enjoy being gently wakened by a soft breeze and a sound river of birdsong just as the sun is rising! Our Creator knit us together in our mothers’ wombs and He knows us better than we know ourselves. He delights in bringing this treat of peace and pleasure for our senses before us each morning. How superior is this to the “alarm”! How grateful I am to be safe and secure from all alarms as I am leaning on the everlasting arms!

Accompanying image: Song Thrush, John Gould, Birds of Great Britain (1862-73).

“The Earth Laughs in Flowers”

The Judas Tree, 1909.
The Judas Tree, 1908-1909

In celebration of all that blossoms in May, I’m posting paintings by the American Impressionist Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939) alongside “flowery” quotes from Emerson, O’Keefe, Okakura and Heine along with a Tennyson poem punctuated by a listening larkspur and a whispering lily.

“The earth laughs in flowers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” – Georgia O’Keefe

“In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends.” – Kakuzo Okakura

“Perfumes are the feelings of flowers.” – Heinrich Heine

The Pink Parasol, 1913.
The Pink Parasol, 1913

“There has fallen a splendid tear

From the passion-flower at the gate.

She is coming, my dove, my dear;

She is coming, my life, my fate.

The red rose cries, ‘She is near, she is near;’

And the white rose weeps, ‘She is late;’

The larkspur listens, ‘I hear, I hear;’

And the lily whispers, ‘I wait.’

Life in the Garden, 1910-1912.
Life in the Garden, 1910-1912
Lady in a Garden, 1912
Lady in a Garden, 1912

She is coming, my own, my sweet;

Were it ever so airy a tread,

My heart would hear her and beat,

Were it earth in an earthy bed;

My dust would hear her and beat,

Had I lain for a century dead,

Would start and tremble under her feet,

And blossom in purple and red.”

— Alfred Lord Tennyson


Self-Portrait, 1901
Self-Portrait, Frieseke, 1901
Hollyhocks, c. 1912-1913
Hollyhocks, c. 1912-1913
The Garden Parasol, c. 1910
The Garden Parasol, c. 1910

Featured Image: “Garden in June,” 1911

{{PD-1923}} – Artwork created before 1923 and in the public domain because the copyright has expired.