established, and with a very devoted wife.
brought me some flowers and a curious orchid from Panama
. Yesterday and to-day have had most exquisite sittings in front of my house in the warm sunshine; very closely wrapped up by the dear care of my daughters.”
These sittings were on what she called her boulevard, a grassy space in front of the house, bordering on the road, and taking the full strength of the morning sun. Here, with the tall screen of cedars behind her, and a nut tree spreading its golden canopy over her head, she would sit for hours, drinking in the sweet air that was like no other to her.
A companion picture to this is that of the twilight hour, when she would sit alone in the long parlor, looking out on the sunset.
Black against the glowing sky rose the pines of the tiny forgotten graveyard, where long-ago neighbors slept, with the white rose tree drooping over the little child's grave; a spot of tender and melancholy beauty.
All about were the fields she loved, fragrant with clover and wormwood, vocal with time-keeping crickets.
Here she would sit for an hour, meditating, or repeating to herself the Odes of Horace, or some familiar hymn.
Horace was one of her best friends, all her life long.
She knew many of the Odes by heart, and was constantly memorizing new ones.
They filled and brightened many a sleepless or weary hour.
Here, when the children came back from their walk, they would find her, quiet and serene, but ready instantly to break into laughter