APRIL 26, 1945
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I had to go around so actively with executors and appraisers all day yesterday, that I almost forgot to stop and really enjoy the country. Many years ago I learned that nature had more to give, from the healing point of view, than any human being. As I awoke very early this morning and heard the first birds twittering around my porch, I realized what a great joy the fresh green leaves and the return of the birds in the springtime always are. This season lifts the spirit, no matter how busy one may be. Those few minutes in the early morning are sure to bring to mind the words of the psalmist: "Lift up thine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help."
We walked tonight up to the top of the hill back of my cottage and saw the sun go down. It appeared so flamingly through the trees that I thought a house was on fire. Then, as we came home, the rain began to fall very gently—that soft spring rain which gives you the feeling you can almost see things grow. My lilies-of-the-valley are just young green shoots coming up out of the ground; but in the garden of the big house, where they are better protected, flowers are beginning to show. The lilacs are out, and as we walked through the woods two white dogwood trees gleamed, almost in full bloom. Yes, the world does live again. Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality.
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Miss Thompson still sits with clothesbaskets of mail surrounding her. When we discovered today that her ration books had been mailed to her, although she has not yet received them, we decided they were probably among the few thousand unopened letters. It is miraculous to me that she is able to find most of the really important mail. For instance, letters announcing what trains people will arrive on, or what I must do to get fuel oil for my cottage these chilly nights, all seem to be found in spite of the confusion.
One of my friends whom I have not seen for some time—Mrs. Eliza Keates Young, who lives in the small rural community of Milton, just across the river from us—sent me a verse which may be a comfort to a great many whose dear ones are meeting death in the war. It reads:
"They are not dead who live in lives they leave behind:
In those whom they have blessed they live a life again."
So many mothers and wives write me that life has ceased to have a meaning since the man they loved so dearly has left this world. But that little verse should make us work to make our lives something which the warrior would feel worthy of his sacrifice.