The Consolation of Flowers

Life has its sorrows—and its solace.

Woman in the garden

It is something to have flower-fields and beauties to remember amid the enveloping universal darkness of the world. For the utmost griefs of beings, races, and continents come and pass, but the beauty of a poppy-petal on an alpine fell, the child of a day at the mercy of wind or hail, that has its hour and passes also, continues immortally recurring through the ages, outliving the crash of kingdoms and civilizations, and their evanescent agonies. More and more deeply do flowers give consolation in the wreckage of life, and the heart of the gardener can never be wholly sad so long as the impregnable beauty of life goes on being born of the earth to which we all return. The sprouting little Crocus in spring is more king of eternity than the Kaisers; and the faith of a flower moves the mountains of the world. Observe the wisdom of Candide, then, and cultivate your gardens. For there alone will your own joys and muscles delve you distraction, while the dust-storm of mortal folly drives harmless down the road outside; and the ache of your own heart for the things you have lost from sight becomes anodyned and enlightened in the joy of your heart over those things that we all possess inviolate forever.


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