Fragrant Quote of August 22th, 2012-My woodland intimates By Mrs. Effie (Molt) Bignell

Credit for Mondlicht Image


How strange do even every-day, familiar woodland paths appear, when entered during the hours of the night! To the forest's midnight utterance may be applied what has been said of the voice of the pines: "It whispers to us of things we have never said and never can say—things that lie deeper than words, deeper than thought. Blessed are our ears if we hear, for the message is not to be understood by every comer, nor indeed by any except at happy moments. In this temple all hearing is given by inspiration, for which reason the language of [the forest] is inarticulate, as Jesus spoke in parables." *

At last I hear a faint murmur; the slightest of rustlings among the dead leaves that cling to the boughs of this old beech. Of all the summer trees of the grove only the oaks and the beeches still keep some of their foliage. The latter trees are
"very slow in unfolding their leaves" and " extremely loath to part with them; for that matter the beeches often hold their faded, ghostly, brownwhite leaves through the winter."

In sunset lights this old tree takes on a delicate pink flush, not unlike the faint bloom one sometimes sees on aged checks; but in the starlight the dead leaves have an almost spectral appearance.

Here you see the dim, faint outline of a bare tree from near whose base long, slender brier shoots rise. When I first saw the brier it was covered with leaf and bloom, and one long, fragrant, graceful arm—its skeleton still clings to the leafless maple—carried flowers far up the trunk of the tree, even into its very branches. Thus was hidden a great scar which days of Autumn despoiling bring to view; for a lightning dart once smote the beautiful tree and seamed its strong trunk. Then it was that the sweetbrier crept into the wounded heart and shared with it her leaf and bloom and fragrance. After many days much of the old vigor returned to the stricken tree and the wound was healed; but the scar remains.

Tree and brier sleep together now, but when the spring comes they will awake to old joys and new gladness. For again little lovers will hold their trysts among the branches of the maple; again will gentle winds caress it, and the warm sun kiss it, and soft showers bathe its leaves and moisten its roots; and once more the sweetbrier arms will conceal the scarred trunk, and the wounded tree shall blossom as the rose.