Fragrance Quote November 21st 2011 from Life in Prairie Land By Eliza W. Farnham

Life in Prairie Land
By Eliza W. Farnham

About three miles from our village is an orchard, which has been cultivated these many years by the widow of the original proprietor. It is the only one in the vicinity, and the old lady's name is therefore well known. And though no two words could be more unlike in orthography and sound than her own name and that of the fruit she sold, yet to me the former was always synonymous with apples. You could not hear or speak it without having your mouth water for the delicious fruit with which it thus became associated. The old lady was much patronized by our villagers and the settlers on adjacent farms. She lived quite neatly in a half-framed house, which you had to circumvent in order to enter it, there being three doors in the rear, but none on the roadward-side. (I avoid saying front, to be exact in the use of words.) The grounds contiguous to the house had at certain seasons of the year rare beauty and richness. A stream of some magnitude swept in a crescent form around the orchard-clad hill, on which it stood. Across the road this hill sloped downward to the stream in a smooth green lawn, dotted with trees. On either hand from the house and skirting the bank of the stream in front of it, was a dense grove of the peach, the apple, and wild-crab apple-trees. About the first of June these were in full bloom, and no perfume of Araby could excel their sweetness, no floral display, their beauty. As you approached the spot after sunset, when the light dews just moistened the blooming boughs, and the evening winds swept over them, the whole air was laden with their fragrance; and when you gained the summit of the hill and looked down upon the nodding clusters of blossoms, set, as it were, in the tender green of the forest trees towering above them, nothing could be conceived more beautiful. Many a pleasant twilight ride have we enjoyed, lingering through the paths of this blossoming wilderness, inhaling its delicious odors, and gazing on its unequaled beauty. I remember one evening, when the sounds of bells seemed coming up from the grove below our path to greet us : they advanced slowly ; and we almost stopped in admiration of the gorgeous sunset above and the wealth of the foliage lavished around. Presently the sounds became more distinct, and a large Pennsylvania wagon with a top of snowy whiteness emerged from the green wood. It was an emigrant family —a group of the happiest faces and the cleanest persons one often finds among them. This was a favorite camping ground,—and we lingered watching them till their supper fires shone in the advancing darkness, and then reluctantly turned our horses' heads homeward. How I envied those people !—to lie down there, bathed in the calm, pure air of a June night, the dropping petals strewing their place of rest, the clear brooklet murmuring to their sleep ; who could submit patiently to imprisonment within four walls, as dull then as if nature were not doing her best in grove, plain, and sky to induce us to leave them!