I was often praised for saying “ just the right word,” and I usually did this with a strong feeling that it ought to be said.”
Early in June, just as she was preparing for the summer flitting, she had a bad fall, breaking a rib. This delayed the move for a week, no more, the bone knitting easily.
She was soon happy among her green trees, her birds singing around her.
The memories of this last summer come flocking in, themselves like bright birds.
She was so well, so joyous, giving her lilies with such full hands; it was a golden time.
As the body failed, the mind — or so it seemed to us — grew ever clearer, the veil that shrouds the spirit ever more transparent.
She “saw things hidden.”
One day a summer neighbor came, bringing her son, a handsome, athletic fellow, smartly dressed, a fine figure of gilded youth.
She looked at him a good deal: presently she said suddenly,--
“You write poetry!”
The lad turned crimson: his mother looked dumfounded.
It proved that he had lately written a prize poem, and that literature was the goal of his ambition.
Another day she found a philosopher hidden in what seemed to the rest of the family merely “a callow boy in pretty white duck clothes.”
So she plucked out the heart of each man's mystery, but so tenderly that it was yielded gladly, young and old alike feeling themselves understood.
Among the visitors of this summer none was more welcome than her great-grandson, Christopher Birckhead