The garden trees are busy with the shower That fell ere sunset; now methmks they talk.
Lowly and sweetly as befits the hoar.
One to another down the grassy walk-Hark! the laburnum from his opening flower This cheery creeper greets in whisper light. While the grim fir, rejoicing in the night.
Hoarse mutters to the murmuring sycamore.
What shall I deem their converse? Would they hail.
The wild gray light that fronts yon massive cloud. Or the half bow rising like pillared fire? Or are they sighing faintly for desire.
That with May dawn their leaves may be o'er-nowed.
And dews about their feet may never fail?
BEFRESHING, indeed, are the long storms that succeed these burning days; and it is a joy to see the thirsty grass and plants drinking in life with every drop. I am convinced that the true way to render yourself indifferent to inclement weather in the country is to plant trees. No rain can ever hurt them, and, when they are freshly set out, each shower is a satisfaction to their owner, for it seems as if they could be seen to grow under its kindly influence, and thus a day or week of hard rain, instead of a weariness, becomes a positive delight. I am not sure that this would bring compensation to the young for having to forego their active pleasures, but the more I become interested in gardening the more I am convinced that it is the appropriate pleasure for middle life and old age.
Youth hates to wait for anything, and wishes to realize its dreams so soon as they are conceived; but as we advance in years we take a sober satisfaction in waiting a little for our pleasures, and also we like something that can recur, and that is interminable. Most other delights once experienced are exhausted, but gardening grows by what it feeds on. It is the same, and yet never the same; it can be forever renewed; it can be indefinitely extended; it is within the reach of all dwellers in the country, where home amusements are most needed. It can be compassed by the slenderest purse, and it will give a man a chance to spend a fortune if he so desire. It has its agreeable economies, and its fascinating extravagances. It can be made to satisfy the most orderly dispositions, and also return beauty and grace from careless and wild arrangements. It can be utilitarian and lucrative, it can be merely aesthetic and ornamental, or all four, just as the fancy takes you. In fact it may be briefly characterized as happiness for the million, with no patent on it-Added to all these charms is its wholesomeness, its absorbing character, and, best of all, a certain humanness about the occupation that brings one into pleasant relations with all sorts of people, and affords one a topic of conversation and a meeting-ground, even where he is limited to the most unpromising companions. The village crone forgets her gossip when you talk to her about her Rose bushes, or her last new Geranium slip; the farmer waxes eloquent over the merits of a new potato, or a way of protecting melons, and you find yourself always interested and instructed, instead of bored, since almost any one you meet in the country can tell you something you are glad to know; or else he is eager to learn what you are doing yourself, which is a sure way to afford you entertainment, since every man is happy when allowed to ride his own hobby. All of which has a connection with rain, however little obvious it may be, since the moral of my discourse is, that when one becomes not only resigned to rain but glad of it, he has taken a step toward true philosophy.