Beautiful Lawn Quotes

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To see human beings in agony, to see them covered in blood and to hear their death groans, makes people humble. It makes their spirits delicate, bright, peaceful. It's never at such times that we become cruel or bloodthirsty. No, it's on a beautiful spring afternoon like this that people suddenly become cruel. It's at a moment like this, don't you think, while one's vaguely watching the sun as it peeps through the leaves of the trees above a well-mown lawn? Every possible nightmare in the world, every possible nightmare in history, has come into being like this.
Yukio Mishima (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion)
My Love wakes in a puddle of sunlight. Her hands asleep beside her. Her hair draped on the lawn like a mantle of cloth. I give her my life for our love is whole I sing her beauty in my soul.
Roman Payne
The sky was electric blue above the trees but the yard felt dark. Stephanie went to the edge of the lawn and sat her forehead on her knees. The grass and soil were still warm from the day. She wanted to cry but she couldn't. The feeling was too deep.
Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
...she bid me to look out on the lawn at the leper girls who were running on lame feet, playing croquet with crippled hands. "There is beauty," she said, "in the least beautiful of things.
Alan Brennert (Moloka'i (Moloka'i, #1))
The window gave onto a view of dove-gray roofs and balconies, each one containing the same cracked flowerpot and sleeping feline. It was as if the entire city of Paris had agreed to abide by a single understated taste. Each neighbor was doing his or her own to keep up standards, which was difficult because the French ideal wasn't clearly delineated like the neatness and greenness of American lawns, but more of a picturesque disrepair. It took courage to let things fall apart so beautifully.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot)
I am not a religious man. I have not attended a service for many years. But I do believe in God. My own practice of religion, you could say, it a nonpractice. I personally feel that it's just as worthy on a weekend to rake the lawns of an elderly neighbor or to climb a mountain and marvel at the beauty of this land we live in as it is to sing hosannas or go to Mass. In other words, I think every many finds his own church- and not all of them have four walls - Judge Haig (Page 399)
Jodi Picoult (Change of Heart)
She wakes in a puddle of sunlight. Her hands asleep beside her. Her hair draped on the lawn like a mantle of cloth. I give her my troth for our love is whole; her breath is my wine, her scent is my soul.
Roman Payne
My Love wakes in a puddle of sunlight. Her hands asleep beside her. Her hair draped on the lawn like a mantle of cloth. I give her my troth, for our love is whole I sing her beauty in my soul
Roman Payne
Amy was looking around the sanctum in awe. "It's...beautiful!" The girl was modest and thoughtful. How bizarre. So rarely did Ian see these qualities in others–especially during the quest for the 39 Clues. Naturally, he had been taught to avoid these behaviors at all costs and never to consort with anyone who possessed them. They were distasteful–FLO, as Papa would say. For Losers Only. And Kabras never lost. Yet she fascinated him. Her joy in running up Alistair's tiny lawn, her awe at this piddling cubbyhole–it didn't seem possible to gain so much happiness from so little. This gave him a curious feeling he'd never quite experienced. Something like indigestion but quite a bit more pleasant. Ah well. Blame it on the ripped trousers, he thought. Humiliation softened the soul.
Peter Lerangis (The Sword Thief (The 39 Clues, #3))
Though men in their hundreds of thousands had tried their hardest to disfigure that little corner of the earth where they had crowded themselves together, paving the ground with stones so that nothing could grow, weeding out every blade of vegetation, filling the air with the fumes of coal and gas, cutting down trees and driving away every beast and every bird -- spring, however, was still spring, even in the town. The sun shone warm, the grass, wherever it had not been scraped away, revived and showed green not only on the narrow strips of lawn on the boulevards but between the paving-stones as well, and the birches, the poplars and the wild cherry-trees were unfolding their sticky, fragrant leaves, and the swelling buds were bursting on the lime trees; the jackdaws, the sparrows and the pigeons were cheerfully getting their nests ready for the spring, and the flies, warmed by the sunshine, buzzed gaily along the walls. All were happy -- plants, birds, insects and children. But grown-up people -- adult men and women -- never left off cheating and tormenting themselves and one another. It was not this spring morning which they considered sacred and important, not the beauty of God's world, given to all creatures to enjoy -- a beauty which inclines the heart to peace, to harmony and to love. No, what they considered sacred and important were their own devices for wielding power over each other.
Leo Tolstoy (Resurrection)
Mother, of course, takes a lot of exercise, walks and so on. And every morning she puts on a pair of black silk drawers and a sweater and makes indelicate gestures on the lawn. That's called Building the Body Beautiful. She's mad about it.
Nancy Mitford (Christmas Pudding (Mitford, Nancy))
Her eye fell everywhere on lawns and plantations of the freshest green; and the trees, though not fully clothed, were in that delightful state when farther beauty is known to be at hand, and when, while much is actually given to the sight, more yet remains for the imagination.
Jane Austen
The sky is fucking with me. It's one of those militantly perfect spring days, the kind that seems to be trying just a little too hard, the kind you want to smack in the face, and the sky is bluer than it has any right to be, really, an obnoxious, overbearing blue that implies that staying home is a crime against humanity. Like I've got anywhere to go. The neighborhood is alive with gardeners mowing lawns and trimming hedges, the mechanized hiss of twirling sprinklers and for those just joining us, it's a beautiful day and Hailey is dead and I have nothing to do, nowhere to be.
Jonathan Tropper (How to Talk to a Widower)
The peace of Manderley. The quietude and the grace. Whoever lived within its walls, whatever trouble there was and strife, however much uneasiness and pain, no matter what tears were shed, what sorrows borne, the peace of Manderley could not be broken or the loveliness destroyed. The flowers that died would bloom again another year, the same birds build their nests, the same trees blossom. That old quiet moss smell would linger in the air, and the bees would come, and crickets, the herons build their nests in the deep dark woods. The butterflies would dance their merry jug across the lawns, and spiders spin foggy webs, and small startled rabbits who had no business to come trespassing poke their faces through the crowded shrubs. There would be lilac, and honeysuckle still, and the white magnolia buds unfolding slow and tight beneath the dining-room window. No one would ever hurt Manderley. It would lie always in its hollow like an enchanted thing, guarded by the woods, safe, secure, while the sea broke and ran and came again in the little shingle bays below.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
Beautiful lives women live—women do. In very breathing they draw meat and drink from some beautiful attenuation of unreality in which the shades and shapes of facts—of birth and bereavement, of suffering and bewilderment and despair—move with the substanceless decorum of lawn party charades, perfect in gesture and without significance or any ability to hurt.
William Faulkner (Absalom! Absalom!)
IT'S MORNING, TIME to get up, so get up, Arturo, and look for a job. Get out there and look for what you'll never find. You're a thief and you're a crab-killer and a lover of women in clothes closets. You'll never find a job! Every morning I got up feeling like that. Now I've got to find a job, damn it to hell. I ate breakfast, put a book under my arm, pencils in my pocket, and started out. Down the stairs I went, down the street, sometimes hot and sometimes cold, sometimes foggy and sometimes clear. It never mattered, with a book under my arm, looking for a job. What job, Arturo? Ho ho! A job for you? Think of what you are, my boy! A crab-killer. A thief. You look at naked women in clothes closets. And you expect to get a job! How funny! But there he goes, the idiot, with a big book. Where the devil are you going, Arturo? Why do you go up this street and not that? Why go east - why not go west? Answer me, you thief! Who'll give you a job, you swine - who? But there's a park across town, Arturo. It's called Banning Park. There are a lot of beautiful eucalyptus trees in it, and green lawns. What a place to read! Go there, Arturo. Read Nietzsche. Read Schopenhauer. Get into the company of the mighty. A job? fooey! Go sit under a eucalyptus tree reading a book looking for a job.
John Fante (The Road to Los Angeles (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #2))
Julian," she said huskily, "you were right the other morning. You know me so well. I'm not made for illicit affaires, all that sneaking around to avoid discovery." In the dark, her hands crept up to his shoulders, then his face. Her finger teased through his hair. "Why should we hide at all? Let all London see us together. I don't care what anyone says or thinks. I love you, and I want the world to know." He wanted to weep. For joy, for frustration. She was so brave, his beautiful Lily, and the situation was so damned unfair. It wasn't her fault that she made these heartrending declarations at a moment when their lives were probably in danger and he couldn't possibly reciprocate. That fault was his, for choosing to live the way he had and making the decisions he'd made. He didn't deserve her, didn't deserve her love. He most certainly didn't merit those warm brushes of her lips against his skin. But damned if he could bring himself to stop them. "We're in love, Julian. Isn't it wonderful?" "No," he murmured as she kissed him again. "It's not wonderful. It's a disaster." Her lips grazed his jaw, then his throat. "I can feel you speaking, and I know you're probably making some valiant protest. But you know I can't hear those words. Your body is making an altogether different argument, and I'm listening to it." Her fingers crept inside his waistcoat, splaying over the thin lawn of his shirt. "Take your heart, for example." Yes, take it. Take it and keep it, always.
Tessa Dare (Three Nights with a Scoundrel (Stud Club, #3))
Look', she said. It's going to be a beautiful sunset. Shall we stay out and watch it?' 'All right,' I said, and we stayed there on the lawn for quite awhile, arms around each other's waists, first watching the bright colors come up in the sky, then watching them fade to ashes of gray.
Stephen King (The Green Mile)
Now it is thus with time in Elfland: in the eternal beauty that dreams in that honied air nothing stirs or fades or dies, nothing seeks its happiness in movement or change or a new thing, but has its ecstasy in the perpetual contemplation of all the beauty that has ever been, and which always glows over those enchanted lawns as intense as when first created by incantation or song.
Lord Dunsany (The King of Elfland's Daughter)
It is no disparagement to the garden to say it will not fence and weed itself, nor prune its own fruit trees, nor roll and cut its own lawns...It will remain a garden only if someone does all these things to it...If you want to see the difference between [the garden's] contribution and the gardener's, put the commonest weed it grows side by side with his hoes rakes, shears, and a packet of weed killer; you have put beauty, energy, and fecundity beside dead, steril things. Just so, our 'decency and common sense' show grey and deathlike beside the geniality of love.
C.S. Lewis (Four Loves)
The river loved to tell everybody (everybody being the sky, the wind, the few trees that grew around there, birds, deer and even the stars if you can believe that) what a great river it was. "I come roaring from the earth and return roaring to the earth. I am the master of my waters. I am the mother and father of myself. I don't need a single drop of rain. Look at my smooth strong white muscles. I am my own future!
Richard Brautigan (Revenge of the Lawn / The Abortion / So the Wind Won't Blow it All Away)
One unexpected bonus of motherhood is the visual beauty. I am enchanted by the sights of my children, the tones of skin, the clear eyes, the grace, the curve of a hand and cheek, to see them racing across the back lawn in a certain slant of light.
Jaroldeen Edwards (Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner: Personal Discoveries of a Mother of Twelve)
You have broken my heart. Just as well. Now I am learning to rise above all that, learning the thin life, waking up simply to praise everything in this world that is strong and beautiful always—the trees, the rocks, the fields, the news from heaven, the laughter that comes back all the same. Just as well. Time to read books, rake the lawn in peace, sweep the floor, scour the faces of the pans, anything. And I have been so diligent it is almost over, I am growing myself as strong as rock, as a tree which, if I put my arms around it, does not lean away.
Mary Oliver (Thirst)
I’m about two seconds from pulling you into the bathroom and forcing you onto your knees, so if you blow up at me or flip out about the dress or ring or the flooded lawn now, you will only convince me you need a dick in your mouth, and you’ll completely derail the agenda for our wedding day: pictures, dancing, food, dancing, cake, long hard fucking. Watch what you say next, Ryan.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Beginning (Beautiful Bastard, #3.5))
Turn that worthless lawn into a beautiful garden of food whose seeds are stories sown, whose foods are living origins. Grow a garden on the flat roof of your apartment building, raise bees on the roof of your garage, grow onions in the iris bed, plant fruit and nut trees that bear, don't plant 'ornamentals', and for God's sake don't complain about the ripe fruit staining your carpet and your driveway; rip out the carpet, trade food to someone who raises sheep for wool, learn to weave carpets that can be washed, tear out your driveway, plant the nine kinds of sacred berries of your ancestors, raise chickens and feed them from your garden, use your fruit in the grandest of ways, grow grapevines, make dolmas, wine, invite your fascist neighbors over to feast, get to know their ancestral grief that made them prefer a narrow mind, start gardening together, turn both your griefs into food; instead of converting them, convert their garage into a wine, root, honey, and cheese cellar--who knows, peace might break out, but if not you still have all that beautiful food to feed the rest and the sense of humor the Holy gave you to know you're not worthless because you can feed both the people and the Holy with your two little able fists.
Martin Prechtel (The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic: The Parallel Lives of People as Plants: Keeping the Seeds Alive)
What was it then? What did it mean? Could things thrust their hands up and grip one; could the blade cut; the fist grasp? Was there no safety? No learning by heart of the ways of the world? No guide, no shelter, but all was miracle, and leaping from the pinnacle of the tower into the air? Could it be, even for elderly people, that this was life?—startling, unexpected, unknown? For one moment she felt that if they both got up, here, now on the lawn, and demanded an explanation, why it was so short, why was it so inexplicable, said it with violence, as two fully equipped human beings from whom nothing should be hid might speak, then, beauty would roll itself up; the space would fill; those empty flourishes would form into shape; if they shouted loud enough Mrs. Ramsay would return. “Mrs. Ramsay!” she said aloud, “Mrs. Ramsay!” The tears ran down her face.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Let's think about living some day in a world made of friendship, with hearts beating with duty and feeling, and people and animals and trees and birds and lawns. We'll have a morality never written in a book. A morality that looks in surprise at what we do now and what we'll do in the future, what we think now and what we will think. Then we'll have a longer friendship, Bug-eyes. Then, don't worry. My friend Panço will agree. He won't talk about church morality. He'll tell his children about the extraordinary beauty of friendship.
Sait Faik Abasıyanık
She had been looking all round her again—at the lawn, the great trees, the reedy, silvery Thames, the beautiful old house; and while engaged in this survey she had made room in it for her companions; a comprehensiveness of observation easily conceivable on the part of a young woman who was evidently both intelligent and excited. She had seated herself and had put away the little dog; her white hands, in her lap, were folded upon her black dress; her head was erect, her eye lighted, her flexible figure turned itself easily this way and that, in sympathy with the alertness with which she evidently caught impressions. Her impressions were numerous, and they were all reflected in a clear, still smile. "I've never seen anything so beautiful as this.
Henry James (The Portrait of a Lady)
The mountain panorama was the backdrop to every photo taken here, the backdrop to everything. At first Ursula had thought it beautiful, now she was beginning to find its magnificence oppressive. The great icy crags and the rushing waterfalls, the endless pine trees--nature and myth fused to form the Germanic sublimated soul. German Romanticism, it seemed to Ursula, was write large and mystical, the English Lakes seemed tame by comparison. And the English soul, if it resided anywhere, was surely in some unheroic back garden--a patch of lawn, a bed of roses, a row of runner beans.
Kate Atkinson (Life After Life (Todd Family #1))
Who isn't interesting enough to help -- what forgotten woman sits in a lawn chair in her yard with a can of soda pressed to her thigh, and the radio blaring the death toll of Texans, who were victims of a record heat wave? Whose inner voice sits quiet like an obedient dog and never says, go go go. I want to go places I've never been Because I haven't failed there yet. So you can understand a little better, How a disgruntled waitress might pack her dog And a few belongings and head for a town She dreamed of, searching for something to break The spell of monotonous, morbid night speak.
Ali Liebegott (The Beautifully Worthless)
Sylvie aced the classes she was interested in but got C's or D's in everything else. Julia had operated her determination like a lawn mower and mowed through high school with the next step in her sights.
Ann Napolitano (Hello Beautiful)
Life was good. The sun setting on a sweet summer's day, the smell of freshly mowed lawns, the sounds of children playing-- A house across the river, on the Jersey-side. A beautiful wife and a baby girl. The American Dream come true. [Honey, I'm home!] But dreams have a nasty habit of going bad when you're not looking. --- Max Payne 1
Sam Lake
Golden hour, magic hour, l’heure bleue. Evenings when the beauty of the changing sky made us both go still and dreamy. Sunlight falling at an angle across the lawn so that it touched our elevated feet, then moved up our bodies like a long slow blessing.
Sigrid Nunez (What Are You Going Through)
She looked now at the drawing-room step. She saw, through William’s eyes, the shape of a woman, peaceful and silent, with downcast eyes. She sat musing, pondering (she was in grey that day, Lily thought). Her eyes were bent. She would never lift them. . . . [N]o, she thought, one could say nothing to nobody. The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again; then one became like most middle-aged people, cautious, furtive, with wrinkles between the eyes and a look of perpetual apprehension. For how could one express in words these emotions of the body? Express that emptiness there? (She was looking at the drawing-room steps; they looked extraordinarily empty.) It was one’s body feeling, not one’s mind. The physical sensations that went with the bare look of the steps had become suddenly extremely unpleasant. To want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have – to want and want – how that wrung the heart, and wrung again and again! Oh, Mrs. Ramsay! she called out silently, to that essence which sat by the boat, that abstract one made of her, that woman in grey, as if to abuse her for having gone, and then having gone, come back again. It had seemed so safe, thinking of her. Ghost, air, nothingness, a thing you could play with easily and safely at any time of day or night, she had been that, and then suddenly she put her hand out and wrung the heart thus. Suddenly, the empty drawing-room steps, the frill of the chair inside, the puppy tumbling on the terrace, the whole wave and whisper of the garden became like curves and arabesques flourishing round a centre of complete emptiness. . . . A curious notion came to her that he did after all hear the things she could not say. . . . She looked at her picture. That would have been his answer, presumably – how “you” and “I” and “she” pass and vanish; nothing stays; all changes; but not words, not paint. Yet it would be hung in the attics, she thought; it would be rolled up and flung under a sofa; yet even so, even of a picture like that, it was true. One might say, even of this scrawl, not of that actual picture, perhaps, but of what it attempted, that it “remained for ever,” she was going to say, or, for the words spoken sounded even to herself, too boastful, to hint, wordlessly; when, looking at the picture, she was surprised to find that she could not see it. Her eyes were full of a hot liquid (she did not think of tears at first) which, without disturbing the firmness of her lips, made the air thick, rolled down her cheeks. She had perfect control of herself – Oh, yes! – in every other way. Was she crying then for Mrs. Ramsay, without being aware of any unhappiness? She addressed old Mr. Carmichael again. What was it then? What did it mean? Could things thrust their hands up and grip one; could the blade cut; the fist grasp? Was there no safety? No learning by heart of the ways of the world? No guide, no shelter, but all was miracle, and leaping from the pinnacle of a tower into the air? Could it be, even for elderly people, that this was life? – startling, unexpected, unknown? For one moment she felt that if they both got up, here, now on the lawn, and demanded an explanation, why was it so short, why was it so inexplicable, said it with violence, as two fully equipped human beings from whom nothing should be hid might speak, then, beauty would roll itself up; the space would fill; those empty flourishes would form into shape; if they shouted loud enough Mrs. Ramsay would return. “Mrs. Ramsay!” she said aloud, “Mrs. Ramsay!” The tears ran down her face.
Virginia Woolf
I took a stroll in the curious old-world garden which flanked the house. Rows of very ancient yew trees cut into strange designs girded it round. Inside was a beautiful stretch of lawn with an old sundial in the middle, the whole effect so soothing and restful that it was welcome to my somewhat jangled nerves.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Holmes, #7))
Look how beautiful the green lawns of the park are in the misty evening light, unmuddied, smooth, alive, no holes, no bodies, no barbed wire, no explosions. Such a simple thing to be grateful for. No wrongness. Can no wrongness be enough to make rightness? God, no wrongness. No wrongness would be fucking marvellous.
Louisa Young (My Dear I Wanted to Tell You (My Dear I Wanted to Tell You, #1))
When you think of Eden, don’t think of a public park with a lawn, a play set, and a flowerbed or two, where God hands Adam a lawnmower and says, Keep it tidy, will ya? Think of a violent, untamed wilderness teeming with beauty, but no infrastructure, no roads, no bridges, no cities, no civilization, and God says, Go make a world. Adam wasn’t a landscape-maintenance employee. He was an explorer, a cartographer, a gardener, a designer, an architect, a builder, an urban planner, a city-maker.
John Mark Comer (Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human.)
Nocturnal birds gathered on the lawns like pious parishioners to eat noisily, their doomed prey screaming wildly into the dark.
Leslye Walton (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)
At night nocturnal birds gathered on the lawns to eat noisily, the screams of their prey sounding much like my own mother in hard labor.
Leslye Walton (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)
her eyes fallen on the same shrubs in the lawn, and observed the same beautiful
Jane Austen (Emma)
She looked up to see a lovely enclosure of trees, wild cherry, fir, and willow with long golden catkins and slender, pointed green fronds swaying gracefully in the breeze. And in the center of the green cathedral of trees and surrounded by wildly untended hedges and what had once been a beautiful lawn, was one of the most picturesque cottages she had ever seen.
Michael Talbot (The Bog)
It wasn’t until later, when I moved in with him and stood outside on our patchy imperfect lawn, that I remembered what had been circling in me: I am beautiful. I am full of love. I am dying.
Ada Limon (Bright Dead Things)
Inside, the grounds were surprisingly large. There were vast expanses of lawn that I assumed would be beautiful in spring, although they were currently buried under a foot of snow. And beyond the buildings stood a large, pristine swath of forest, untouched since the days when our forefathers had decided a fetid, malaria-ridden swamp on the Potomac River was the perfect place to build our nation’s capital.
Stuart Gibbs (Spy School)
When she was dying, it was impossible to see forward to the next minute. What was happening — for whole weeks — was all that was happening and happening and happening. Months before that, I got the dumb soup wrong. How awful. It was all she wanted and I had gotten it wrong. Then, in the airless days when it was really happening, we started to power panic that we didn’t know enough. What should we do with your ashes? Water or dirt. Water or dirt. Once, she asked to just be thrown into the river where we used to go, still alive, but not living anymore. After it was done, I couldn’t go back to my life. You understand, right? It wasn’t the same. I couldn’t tell if I loved myself more or less. It wasn’t until later, when I moved in with him and stood outside on our patchy imperfect lawn, that I remembered what had been circling in me: I am beautiful. I am full of love. I am dying.
Ada Limon
[The Edwardian era] was a time of booming trade, of great prosperity and wealth in which the pageant of London Society took place year after year in a setting of traditional dignity and beauty. The great houses—Devonshire, Dorchester, Grosvenor, Stafford and Lansdowne House—had not yet been converted into museums, hotels and flats, and there we danced through the long summer nights till dawn. The great country-houses still flourished in their glory, and on their lawns in the green shade of trees the art of human intercourse was exquisitely practised by men and women not yet enslaved by household cares and chores who still had time to read, to talk, to listen and to think.
Violet Bonham Carter (Winston Churchill: An Intimate Portrait)
The breakdown of the neighborhoods also meant the end of what was essentially an extended family....With the breakdown of the extended family, too much pressure was put on the single family. Mom had no one to stay with Granny, who couldn't be depended on to set the house on fire while Mom was off grocery shopping. The people in the neighborhood weren't there to keep an idle eye out for the fourteen-year-old kid who was the local idiot, and treated with affection as well as tormented....So we came up with the idea of putting everybody in separate places. We lock them up in prisons, mental hospitals, geriatric housing projects, old-age homes, nursery schools, cheap suburbs that keep women and the kids of f the streets, expensive suburbs where everybody has their own yard and a front lawn that is tended by a gardener so all the front lawns look alike and nobody uses them anyway....the faster we lock them up, the higher up goes the crime rate, the suicide rate, the rate of mental breakdown. The way it's going, there'll be more of them than us pretty soon. Then you'll have to start asking questions about the percentage of the population that's not locked up, those that claim that the other fifty-five per cent is crazy, criminal, or senile. WE have to find some other way....So I started imagining....Suppose we built houses in a circle, or a square, or whatever, connected houses of varying sizes, but beautiful, simple. And outside, behind the houses, all the space usually given over to front and back lawns, would be common too. And there could be vegetable gardens, and fields and woods for the kids to play in. There's be problems about somebody picking the tomatoes somebody else planted, or the roses, or the kids trampling through the pea patch, but the fifty groups or individuals who lived in the houses would have complete charge and complete responsibility for what went on in their little enclave. At the other side of the houses, facing the, would be a little community center. It would have a community laundry -- why does everybody have to own a washing machine?-- and some playrooms and a little cafe and a communal kitchen. The cafe would be an outdoor one, with sliding glass panels to close it in in winter, like the ones in Paris. This wouldn't be a full commune: everybody would have their own way of earning a living, everybody would retain their own income, and the dwellings would be priced according to size. Each would have a little kitchen, in case people wanted to eat alone, a good-sized living space, but not enormous, because the community center would be there. Maybe the community center would be beautiful, lush even. With playrooms for the kids and the adults, and sitting rooms with books. But everyone in the community, from the smallest walking child, would have a job in it.
Marilyn French (The Women's Room)
Today there is a pleasant very light haze over the whole sky, and the sea has a misleadingly docile silvered look, as if the substantial wavelets were determined to stroke the rocks as hard as they could without showing any trace of foam. It is a compact radiant complacent sort of sea, very beautiful. There ought to be seals, the waves themselves are almost seals today, but still I scan the water in vain with my long-distance glasses. Enormous yellow-beaked gulls perch on the rocks and stare at me with brilliant glass eyes. A shadow-cormorant skims the glycerine sea. The rocks are thronged with butterflies. The temperature remains high. I wash my clothes and dry them on the lawn. I have been swimming every day and feel very fit and salty. Still no move from Lizzie, but I am not worried. I feel happy in my silence. If the gods have some treat in store for Lizzie and me, good. If not, also good. I feel innocent and free. Perhaps it is all that swimming.
Iris Murdoch (The Sea, the Sea)
She slid her free hand over his shoulder, soft breasts crushing against his chest. All his blood rushed down to his groin, taking with it the last vestiges of his rational thought. He locked his arms around her, pulling her so close he could feel each gentle breath as an exquisite stroke on his cock. Raw desire coursed through his veins as his hands skimmed over the sweet softness of her curves. "Someone is watching us through the window," she murmured, her breath warm on his cheek. "All the more reason to put on a good show." With one hand on her nape, he tipped back her head and covered her mouth with his own. A moan escaped her lips, filling his head with thoughts of tangled sheets, banging headboards, sweat-slicked skin, and the realization of a fantasy that had consumed him night after sleepless night since she'd turned sixteen and he'd realized she wasn't a little girl anymore. He parted her lips with the gentle slide of his tongue, touching, tasting, savoring, pausing between heady sips to let her essence dance over his taste buds. With every breath he inhaled the fresh scent of wildflowers in a rain-soaked meadow, the grassy lawn where they'd played catch in the summer sun. He'd known she was smart and fun and beautiful. But this kiss. These feelings. The throbbing heat of desire. It was all completely new.
Sara Desai (The Dating Plan (Marriage Game, #2))
The grass is always greener…wherever you water and mow. No matter how big or how small, take care of the things you currently have. See to it that your marriage, your children, your job and the blessings you have been entrusted with get plenty of water and sunshine. Pull the inevitable weeds that pop up, keep that lawn of life manicured and trimmed; don’t forget the edging. Add seeds of growth where you find deficiencies, nurture the flowers that bloom and rejoice in the sight of the healthy beauty that lies within your very own fence line.
Jason Versey (A Walk with Prudence)
Then, all of a sudden, those pea-green lawns where the first scarlet poppies were flowering, those canary-yellow fields which striped the tawny hills sloping down to a sea full of azure glints, all seemed so trivial to me, so banal, so false, so much in contrast with Ayl's person, with Ayl's world, with Ayl's idea of beauty, that I realized her place could never have been out here. And I realized, with grief and fear, that I had remained out here, that I would never again be able to escape those gilded and silvered gleams, those little clouds that turned from pale blue to pink, those green leaves that yellowed every autumn, and that Ayl's perfect world was lost forever, so lost I couldn't even imagine it any more, and nothing was left that could remind me of it, even remotely, nothing except perhaps that cold wall of gray stone.
Italo Calvino (Cosmicomics)
There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings. The town lay in the midst of a checkerboard of prosperous farms, with fields of grain and hillsides of orchards where, in spring, white clouds of bloom drifted above the green fields. In autumn, oak and maple and birch set up a blaze of color that flamed and flickered across a backdrop of pines. Then foxes barked in the hills and deer silently crossed the fields, half hidden in the mists of the fall mornings. Along the roads, laurel, viburnum, and alder, great ferns and wildflowers delighted the traveler's eye through much of the year. Even in winter the roadsides were places of beauty, where countless birds came to feed on the berries and on the seed heads of the dried weeds rising above the snow. The countryside was, in fact, famous for the abundance and variety of its bird life, and when the flood of migrants was pouring through in spring and fall people traveled from great distances to observe them. Others came to fish the streams, which flowed clear and cold out of the hills and contained shady pools where trout lay. So it had been from the days many years ago when the first settlers raised their homes, sank their wells, and built their barns. Then a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change. Some evil spell had settled on the community: mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens, the cattle, and sheep sickened and died. Everywhere was a shadow of death. The farmers spoke of much illness among their families. In the town the doctors had become more and more puzzled by new kinds of sickness appearing among their patients. There had been sudden and unexplained deaths, not only among adults but even among children whoe would be stricken suddently while at play and die within a few hours. There was a strange stillness. The birds, for example--where had they gone? Many people spoke of them, puzzled and disturbed. The feeding stations in the backyards were deserted. The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violently and could not fly. It was a spring without voices. On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of other bird voices there was no sound; only silence lay over the fields and woods and marsh. On the farms the hens brooded, but no chicks hatched. The farmers complained that they were unable to raise any pigs--the litters were small and the young survived only a few days. The apple trees were coming into bloom but no bees droned among the blossoms, so there was no pollination and there would be no fruit. The roadsides, once so attractive, were now lined with browned and withered vegetation as though swept by fire. These, too, were silent, deserted by all living things. Even the streams were not lifeless. Anglers no longer visited them, for all the fish had died. In the gutters under the eaves and between the shingles of the roofs, a white granular powder still showed a few patches; some weeks before it had fallen like snow upon the roofs and the lawns, the fields and streams. No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of life in this stricken world. The people had done it to themselves.
Rachel Carson
The trees in wind, the streetlights on, the click and flash of cigarettes being smoked on the lawn, and just a little kiss before we say goodnight. It spins like a wheel inside you: green-yellow, green-blue, green beautiful green. It's simple: it isn't over, it's just begun. It's green. It's still green.
Richard Siken (Crush)
Outside, I shivered in a landscape of greys and silvers, the stone walls and cobbles looming pale in the wintry air. The only true color was an amber penumbra shimmering around the moon. Beyond the silvered slope of overgrown lawn, the mass of black trees moved to and fro in the breeze, with a strange undulation like waving sea fronds.
Martine Bailey (A Taste for Nightshade)
I immersed myself in my relationship with my husband, in little ways at first. Dutch would come home from his morning workout and I’d bring him coffee as he stepped out of the shower. He’d slip into a crisp white shirt and dark slacks and run a little goop through his hair, and I’d eye him in the mirror with desire and a sultry smile that he couldn’t miss. He’d head to work and I’d put a love note in his bag—just a line about how proud I was of him. How beautiful he was. How happy I was as his wife. He’d come home and cook dinner and instead of camping out in front of the TV while he fussed in the kitchen, I’d keep him company at the kitchen table and we’d talk about our days, about our future, about whatever came to mind. After dinner, he’d clear the table and I’d do the dishes, making sure to compliment him on the meal. On those weekends when he’d head outside to mow the lawn, I’d bring him an ice-cold beer. And, in those times when Dutch was in the mood and maybe I wasn’t, well, I got in the mood and we had fun. As the weeks passed and I kept discovering little ways to open myself up to him, the most amazing thing happened. I found myself falling madly, deeply, passionately, head-over-heels in love with my husband. I’d loved him as much as I thought I could love anybody before I’d married him, but in treating him like my own personal Superman, I discovered how much of a superhero he actually was. How giving he was. How generous. How kind, caring, and considerate. How passionate. How loving. How genuinely good. And whatever wounds had never fully healed from my childhood finally, at long last, formed scar tissue. It was like being able to take a full breath of air for the first time in my life. It was transformative. And it likely would save our marriage, because, at some point, all that withholding would’ve turned a loving man bitter. On some level I think I’d known that and yet I’d needed my sister to point it out to me and help me change. Sometimes it’s good to have people in your life that know you better than you know yourself.
Victoria Laurie (Sense of Deception (Psychic Eye Mystery, #13))
The morning has turned lavishly beautiful. The autumn sun gave the greens of the fields an impossible, mythic radiance and transformed the back roads into light-muddled paths where a goblin with a fiddle, or a pretty maiden with a basket, could be waiting around every game and-bramble bend. Cal is in no mood to appreciate any of it. He feels like this specific beauty is central to the illusion that lulled him in stupidity, turned him into the peasant gazing slack-jawed at his hand full of gold coins till they melt into dead leaves in front of his eyes. If all this had happened in some depressing suburban clot of tract homes and ruler-measured lawns, he would have kept his wits about him.
Tana French (The Searcher)
All yesterday it poured, and all night long I could not sleep; the rain unceasing beat Upon the shingled roof like a weird song, Upon the grass like running children’s feet. And down the mountains by the dark cloud kissed, Like a strange shape in filmy veiling dressed, Slid slowly, silently, the wraith-like mist, And nestled soft against the earth’s wet breast. But lo, there was a miracle at dawn! The still air stirred at touch of the faint breeze, The sun a sheet of gold bequeathed the lawn, The songsters twittered in the rustling trees. And all things were transfigured in the day, But me whom radiant beauty could not move; For you, more wonderful, were far away, And I was blind with hunger for your love
Claude McKay
If TV sitcoms idealized the American suburbs of the 1960s, the works of the artistic elite disparaged them ceaselessly, then and now. The songs of Pete Seeger, novels like Revolutionary Road, the stories of John Cheever, movies like Pleasantville and American Beauty, television series like Mad Men: in all of them, that long-ago land of lawns and houses is depicted as a country of stultifying conformity and cultural emptiness, sexual hypocrisy, alcoholism, and spiritual despair. Privilege murders the senses there, the creatives tell us. Gender roles strangle freedom. Family life turns the heart of adventure to ashes. There’s bigotry and gossip and dangerous liaisons behind every closed door. Oh, the soul, the human soul! In the suburbs of fiction, she is forever dying. But
Andrew Klavan (The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ)
Just like in the movies I watched on community television, a beautiful collection of elevated houses parades both sides of the street, each with their respective porches and separated by green lawns. Trees and gardens, cut to perfection, adorn the front of each home. Some have a flag of stars and stripes planted in the ground, and the street is empty except for a dog roaming down the block.
Mariana Palova (The Lord of the Sabbath (Nation of the Beasts, #1))
Looking at personal issues is like pulling just the top of the weeds out of your lawn: they pop right back up. You may have some relief from the trouble of the day, but the root is still there, totally untouched. But having experiences, even if they clear up problems or offer beautiful insights, is very different than finding the root of who you are. If you don’t get to the root, you just get another weed.
Adyashanti (Emptiness Dancing)
Susan Baker and the Anne Shirley of other days saw her coming, as they sat on the big veranda at Ingleside, enjoying the charm of the cat's light, the sweetness of sleepy robins whistling among the twilit maples, and the dance of a gusty group of daffodils blowing against the old, mellow, red brick wall of the lawn. Anne was sitting on the steps, her hands clasped over her knee, looking, in the kind dusk, as girlish as a mother of many has any right to be; and the beautiful gray-green eyes, gazing down the harbour road, were as full of unquenchable sparkle and dream as ever. Behind her, in the hammock, Rilla Blythe was curled up, a fat, roly-poly little creature of six years, the youngest of the Ingleside children. She had curly red hair and hazel eyes that were now buttoned up after the funny, wrinkled fashion in which Rilla always
L.M. Montgomery (Rainbow Valley (Anne of Green Gables #7))
I have bragged a lot about you here, don't let me down. Okay." I exhaled and looked at her with expectant eyes. "Okay." she came closer than required. I could almost feel her body right next to mine."Watch out. I am going to be your worst nightmare." She smiled crookedly. Freak!! there goes my heartbeat again. I struggled to fight back the wave of emotions that crowded up my heart. The moon was up in the sky, we were standing and talking where my father had proposed my mom. The breeze was light, gently swaying her hair. She was bathing in the streaming moonlight. Her gaze was on me, intense and unavoidable. I prayed not to do anything stupid, like kissing her. "Ocea-" "Orpheus, I am kidding." She cut in. Thank god she stepped away. I realized I let my breath ease away. "This is a beautiful lawn!" She exclaimed. "What do you play here? Baseball?
Scarlett Brukett (Shimmers & Shrouds (Abstruse, #1))
She looked away from him, her expression suddenly contemplative, the edges of her teeth catching at the plush curve of her lower lip. Just as Gideon thought she was going to refuse him, she reached out impulsively, her warm fingers catching at his. He held her hand as if he cradled a fragile bird in his palm, and drew her close enough that he could smell the hint of rose water in her hair. Her body was slim, sweetly curved, her uncorseted waist soft beneath his fingers. Despite the undeniable romance of the moment, Gideon felt a most unromantic stirring of lust as his body reacted with typical mare awareness to the nearness of a desirable female. He eased his partner into a slow waltz, guiding her expertly across the uneven flagstones. "I've seen fairies dancing on the lawn before," he said, "when I get deep enough in a bottle of brandy. But I've never actually danced with one before.
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0))
Just at that moment, Lucilla happened to cross the lawn at a distance. At sight of her, I could not, as I pointed to her, forbear exclaiming in the words of Sir John's favorite poet, There doth beauty dwell, There most conspicuous, e'en in outward shape, Where dawns the high expression of a mind. "This is very fine," said Sir John, sarcastically. "I admire all you young enthusiastic philosophers, with your intellectual refinement. You pretend to be captivated only with _mind_. I observe, however, that previous to your raptures, you always take care to get this mind lodged in a fair and youthful form. This mental beauty is always prudently enshrined in some elegant corporeal frame, before it is worshiped. I should be glad to see some of these intellectual adorers in love with the mind of an old or ugly woman. I never heard any of you fall into ecstasies in descanting on the mind of your grandmother.
Hannah More (Coelebs in Search of a Wife)
You know, I’m just a regular guy. I mow my lawn, shovel snow from the driveway, and change the oil in our vehicles. I do the grocery shopping and cook most of our dinners. I’m like any other man in America. Only I got lucky—I have a beautiful son and an activity we can do together, despite his disability. It’s been an incredible journey. I’m not a hero. I’m just a father. And all I did was tie on a pair of running shoes and push my son in his wheelchair.
Dick Hoyt (Devoted: The Story of a Father's Love for His Son)
Jeremy Bentham startled the world many years ago by stating in effect that if the amount of pleasure obtained from each be equal there is nothing to choose between poetry and push-pin. Since few people now know what push-pin is, I may explain that it is a child's game in which one player tries to push his pin across that of another player, and if he succeeds and then is able by pressing down on the two pins with the ball of his thumb to lift them off the table he wins possession of his opponent's pin. [...] The indignant retort to Bentham's statement was that spiritual pleasures are obviously higher than physical pleasures. But who say so? Those who prefer spiritual pleasures. They are in a miserable minority, as they acknowledge when they declare that the gift of aesthetic appreciation is a very rare one. The vast majority of men are, as we know, both by necessity and choice preoccupied with material considerations. Their pleasures are material. They look askance at those who spent their lives in the pursuit of art. That is why they have attached a depreciatory sense to the word aesthete, which means merely one who has a special appreciation of beauty. How are we going to show that they are wrong? How are we going to show that there is something to choose between poetry and push-pin? I surmise that Bentham chose push-pin for its pleasant alliteration with poetry. Let us speak of lawn tennis. It is a popular game which many of us can play with pleasure. It needs skill and judgement, a good eye and a cool head. If I get the same amount of pleasure out of playing it as you get by looking at Titian's 'Entombment of Christ' in the Louvre, by listening to Beethoven's 'Eroica' or by reading Eliot's 'Ash Wednesday', how are you going to prove that your pleasure is better and more refined than mine? Only, I should say, by manifesting that this gift you have of aesthetic appreciation has a moral effect on your character.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Vagrant Mood: Six Essays)
The lawn gently sloped to a winding stream, so clear as perfectly to reflect the beautiful scenery of heaven, now glowing with the gold and purple of the setting sun; from the opposite bank of the stream rose a stupendous mountain, diversified with little verdant hills and dales, and skirted with a wild shrubbery, the blossoms of which perfumed the air with the most balmy fragrance. Lord Mortimer prevailed upon Amanda to sit down upon a rustic bench, beneath the spreading branches of an oak, enwreathed with ivy; here they had not sat long ere the silence which reigned around was suddenly interrupted by strains, at once low, solemn and melodious, that seemed to creep along the water, till they had reached the place where they sat; and then, as if a Naiad of the stream had left her rushy couch to do them homage, they swelled by degrees into full melody, which the mountain echoes alternately revived and heightened. It appeared like enchantment to Amanda, and her eyes, turned to lord Mortimer, seemed to say it was to his magic it was owing.
Regina Maria Roche (The Children of the Abbey)
Barbara and I had arrived early, so I got to admire everyone’s entrance. We were seated at tables around a dance floor that had been set up on the lawn behind the house. Barbara and I shared a table with Deborah Kerr and her husband. Deborah, a lovely English redhead, had been brought to Hollywood to play opposite Clark Gable in The Hucksters. Louis B. Mayer needed a cool, refined beauty to replace the enormously popular redhead, Greer Garson, who had married a wealthy oil magnate and retired from the screen in the mid-fifties. Deborah, like her predecessor, had an ultra-ladylike air about her that was misleading. In fact, she was quick, sharp, and very funny. She and Barbara got along like old school chums. Jimmy Stewart was also there with his wife. It was the first time I’d seen him since we’d worked for Hitchcock. It was a treat talking to him, and I felt closer to him than I ever did on the set of Rope. He was so genuinely happy for my success in Strangers on a Train that I was quite moved. Clark Gable arrived late, and it was a star entrance to remember. He stopped for a moment at the top of the steps that led down to the garden. He was alone, tanned, and wearing a white suit. He radiated charisma. He really was the King. The party was elegant. Hot Polynesian hors d’oeuvres were passed around during drinks. Dinner was very French, with consommé madrilène as a first course followed by cold poached salmon and asparagus hollandaise. During dessert, a lemon soufflé, and coffee, the cocktail pianist by the pool, who had been playing through dinner, was discreetly augmented by a rhythm section, and they became a small combo for dancing. The dance floor was set up on the lawn near an open bar, and the whole garden glowed with colored paper lanterns. Later in the evening, I managed a subdued jitterbug with Deborah Kerr, who was much livelier than her cool on-screen image. She had not yet done From Here to Eternity, in which she and Burt Lancaster steamed up the screen with their love scene in the surf. I was, of course, extremely impressed to be there with Hollywood royalty that evening, but as far as parties go, I realized that I had a lot more fun at Gene Kelly’s open houses.
Farley Granger (Include Me Out: My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway)
And she, she did not see that she should know anything. Was not her beauty enough? Had not a lover come at last to those lawns that shone by the palace only told of in song, and rescued her from her uncompanioned fate and from that perpetual calm? Was it not enough that he had come? Must she needs understand the curious things folk did? Must she never dance in the road, never speak to goats, never laugh at funerals, never sing at night? Why! What was joy for if it must be hidden? Must merriment bow to dulness in these strange fields she had come to?
Lord Dunsany (The King of Elfland's Daughter)
She was a gardener of the ruthless type, and went for any small green thing that incautiously showed a timid spike above the earth, suspecting it of being a weed. She had had a slight difference with the professional gardener who had hitherto worked for her on three afternoons during the week, and had told him that his services were no longer required. She meant to do her gardening herself this year, and was confident that a profusion of beautiful flowers and a plethora of delicious vegetables would be the result. At the end of her garden path was a barrow of rich manure, which she proposed, when she had finished the slaughter of the innocents, to dig into the depopulated beds. On the other side of her paling her neighbour Georgie Pillson was rolling his strip of lawn, on which during the summer he often played croquet on a small scale. Occasionally they shouted remarks to each other, but as they got more and more out of breath with their exertions the remarks got fewer. Mrs. Quantock's last question had been "What do you do with slugs, Georgie?" and Georgie had panted out, "Pretend you don't see them.
E.F. Benson (Lucia in London (The Mapp & Lucia Novels, #3))
Shaking his head, Lord St. Vincent watched the retriever scamper across the lawn. "I owe you a new hat," he told Pandora. "That one will return in shreds." "I don't mind. Ajax is still a pup." "The dog is inbred," he said flatly. "He doesn't retrieve or obey commands, he tries to dig holes in carpets, and as far as I can tell, he's incapable of walking in a straight line." Pandora grinned. "I rarely walk in a straight line," she confessed. "I'm too distractible to keep to one direction- I keep veering this way and that, to make certain I'm not missing something. So whenever I set out for a new place, I always end up back where I started." Lord St. Vincent turned to face her fully, the beautiful cool blue of his eyes intent and searching. "Where do you want to go?" The question caused Pandora to blink in surprise. She'd just been making a few silly comments, the kind no one ever paid attention to. "It doesn't matter," she said prosaically. "Since I walk in circles, I'll never reach my destination." His gaze lingered over her face. "You could make the circles bigger." The remark was perceptive and playful at the same time, as if he somehow understood how her mind worked. Or perhaps he was mocking her.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
In December the first frosts came with the full moon, and then my nights of vigil held a quality harder to bear. There was a sort of beauty to them, cold and clear, that caught at the heart and made me stare in wonder. From my windows the long lawns dipped to the meadows, and the meadows to the sea, and all of them were white with frost, and white too under the moon. The trees that fringed the lawns were black and still. Rabbits came out and pricked about the grass, then scattered to their burrows; and suddenly, from the hush and stillness, I heard that high sharp bark of a vixen, with the little sob that follows it, eerie, unmistakable, unlike any other call that comes by night, and out of the woods I saw the lean low body creep and run out upon the lawn, and hide again where the trees would cover it. Later I heard the call again, away in the distance, in the open park, and now the full moon topped the trees and held the sky, and nothing stirred on the lawns beneath my window. I wondered if Rachel slept, in the blue bedroom; or if, like me, she left her curtains wide. The clock that had driven me to bed at ten struck one, struck two, and I thought that here about me was a wealth of beauty that we might have shared.
Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
Now Izzy tried to imagine going back to life as it had been before: life in their beautiful, perfectly ordered, abundantly furnished house, where the grass was always cut and the leaves were always raked and there was never, ever any garbage in sight; in their beautiful, perfectly ordered neighborhood where every lawn had a tree and the streets curved so that no one went too fast and every house harmonized with the next; in their beautiful, perfectly ordered city, where everyone got along and everyone followed the rules and everything had to be beautiful and perfect on the outside, no matter what mess lay within.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
I do love Oregon." My gaze wanders over the quiet, natural beauty surrounding us, which isn't limited to just this garden. "Being near the river, and the ocean, and the rocky mountains, and all this nature ... the weather." He chuckles. "I've never met anyone who actually loves rain. It's kind of weird. But cool, too," he adds quickly, as if afraid to offend me. "I just don't get it." I shrug. "It's not so much that I love rain. I just have a healthy respect for what if does. People hate it, but the world needs rain. It washes away dirt, dilutes the toxins in the air, feeds drought. It keeps everything around us alive." "Well, I have a healthy respect for what the sun does," he counters with a smile." "I'd rather have the sun after a good, hard rainfall." He just shakes his head at me but he's smiling. "The good with the bad?" "Isn't that life?" He frowns. "Why do I sense a metaphor behind that?" "Maybe there is a metaphor behind that." One I can't very well explain to him without describing the kinds of things I see every day in my life. The underbelly of society - where twisted morals reign and predators lurk, preying on the lost, the broken, the weak, the innocent. Where a thirteen-year-old sells her body rather than live under the same roof as her abusive parents, where punks gang-rape a drunk girl and then post pictures of it all over the internet so the world can relive it with her. Where a junkie mom's drug addiction is readily fed while her children sit back and watch. Where a father is murdered bacause he made the mistake of wanting a van for his family. In that world, it seems like it's raining all the time. A cold, hard rain that seeps into clothes, chills bones, and makes people feel utterly wretched. Many times, I see people on the worst day of their lives, when they feel like they're drowing. I don't enjoy seeing people suffer. I just know that if they make good choices, and accept the right help, they'll come out of it all the stronger for it. What I do enjoy comes after. Three months later, when I see that thirteen-year-old former prostitute pushing a mower across the front lawn of her foster home, a quiet smile on her face. Eight months later, when I see the girl who was raped walking home from school with a guy who wants nothing from her but to make her laugh. Two years later, when I see the junkie mom clean and sober and loading a shopping cart for the kids that the State finally gave back to her. Those people have seen the sun again after the harshest rain, and they appreciate it so much more.
K.A. Tucker (Becoming Rain (Burying Water, #2))
This long letter is because I'm writing before breakfast. Oh, the beautiful vine leaves! The house is covered with a vine. I looked out earlier, and Mrs. Wilcox was already in the garden. No wonder she sometimes looks tired. She was watching the large red poppies come out. Then she walked off the lawn to the meadow, whose corner to the right I can just see. Trail, trail, went her long dress over the sopping grass, and she came back with her hands full of the hay that was cut yesterday - I suppose for rabbits or something, as she kept on smelling it. The air here is delicious. Later on I heard the noise of croquet balls, and looked out again, and it was Charles Wilcox practising; they are keen on all games. Presently he started sneezing and had to stop. Then I hear more clicketing, and it is Mr. Wilcox practising, and then, "a-tissue, a-tissue": he has to stop too. Then Evie comes out, and does some calisthenic exercises on a machine that is tacked to a greengage-tree - they put everything to use - and then she says "a-tissue," and in she goes. And finally Mrs. Wilcox reappears, trail, trail, still smelling hay and looking at the flowers. I inflict all this on you because once you said that life is sometimes life and sometimes only a drama, and one must learn to distinguish t'other from which, and up to now I have always put that down as "Meg's clever nonsense.
E.M. Forster (Howards End)
What is that statue?" I asked. "A Civil War general--probably Lee's," Amzie said. "What else is on the courthouse lawn?" The statue stood on one side of the entrance and a beautiful tree on the other. "What kind of tree is that?" I asked. "I don't know for sure," Amzie replied, "but I think it's an oak. Big, ain't it? Strong, too. Been there a long time." For a moment he sat still and full of thoughts. "Let's look around town," I said. "Wait," he replied. "You just gave me a thought. There's a picture of the South if I ever saw one. That Southern general and that tree. One is the dead past and the other the living present. This South is sure caught in between--between life and death.
Bayard Rustin (Down the line)
How I picture it: A scar is a story about pain, injury, healing. Years, too, are scars we wear. I remember their stories. The year everything changed. Kindergarten, fourth grade. The year of the pinecone, the postcard, the notebook. The year of waking in the night, sweating, heart racing. The year of being the only adult in the house, one baseball bat by the front door and another one under the bed. Or the year the divorce was finalized. First grade, fifth grade. Two houses, two beds, two Christmases, two birthdays. The year of where are your rain boots, they must be at Dad’s house. The year of who signed the permission slip? The year of learning to mow the lawn. The year of fixing the lawn mower, unclogging the toilets. The year I was tattooed with lemons. The year of sleeping with the dog instead of a husband. (The dog snores more quietly. The dog takes up less space.) The year of tweeting a note-to-self every day to keep myself moving. The year I kept moving. The year of sitting up at night, forgetting whether the kids were asleep in their beds or not. The year of waking in the morning and having to remember whether they were with me. The year I feared I would lose the house, and the year I did not lose the house. The year I wanted to cut a hole in the air and climb inside, and the year I didn’t want that at all. The year I decided not to disappear. The year I decided not to be small. The year I lived.
Maggie Smith (You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir)
The daughter wants to turn the past on its back like a turtle or a roach, leaving those legs walking futilely through air cheering on those starved and paralyzed years. The mother put her makeup on, got ready for work, while cigarettes burned down, one by one in the chipped, red ashtray. The daughter stood beside the blaring alarm clock and shook the mother's sleeping body who worked sixteen hours a day and called the daughter and son from pay phones between jobs. When the mother found the daughter on the lawn of the mental hospital playing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star on her harmonica the mother couldn't believe it, because she was gone the years that led to it. When they finally came together, they came together as guilty mother and guilty daughter and found there was nothing there to trade.
Ali Liebegott (The Beautifully Worthless)
At the lawn's edge, a grand set of graystone stairs led into Lady Ashbury’s rose garden. Pink blooms hugged the trellises, alive with the warm drone of diligent bees hovering about their yellow hearts. I passed beneath the arbor, unlatched the kissing gate and started down the Long Walk: a stretch of gray cobblestones set amongst a carpet of white alyssum. Halfway along, tall hornbeam hedges gave way to the miniature yew that bordered the Egeskov Garden. I blinked as a couple of topiaries came to life, then smiled at myself and the pair of indignant ducks that had wandered up from the lake and now stood regarding me with shiny black eyes. At the end of the Egeskov Garden was the second kissing gate, the forgotten sister (for there is always a forgotten sister), victim of the wiry jasmine tendrils. On the other side lay the Icarus fountain, and beyond, at the lake’s edge, the boathouse.
Kate Morton (The House at Riverton)
In the courtyard, jasmine sugared the air, great white sprays tumbling from the top of a wooden arbor at the side of the lawn. Huge goldfish swam slowly near the surface of the pool, listing their plump bodies backwards and forwards to court the afternoon sun. It was heavenly, but I didn't stick around; a distant band of trees was calling to me and I wove my way towards it, through the meadow dusted with buttercups, self-sown amid the long grass. Although it wasn't quite summer, the day was warm, the air dry, and by the time I reached the trees my hairline was laced with perspiration. I spread the rug in a patch of dappled light and kicked off my shoes. Somewhere nearby a shallow brook chattered over stones and butterflies sailed the breeze. The blanket smelled reassuringly of laundry flakes and squashed leaves, and when I sat down the tall meadow grasses enclosed me so I felt utterly alone.
Kate Morton (The Distant Hours)
I am Nikolai Wroth.” Why did that name sound so familiar? She squinted up at him. “You are a friend of my aunts?” she said, her voice sounding faint. “With one. And it seems only one.” A short laugh with no humor. “Myst is my wife.” “Myst married?” Was that where she’d been? No, no way. “That’s funny.” “The jest’s on me, I’m afraid.” As they reached the manor, he bellowed, “Annika, call off the goddamn wraiths and let me in.” Emma stared up at the sky, seeing swirling red swaths of ragged cloth circling the house. Occasionally she spied a gaunt, skeletal face, but it would change to beauty if you met its eyes. The price for their protection was hair from each of the Valkyrie within. The wraiths wove each lock into a massive braid, and when it grew long enough, they bent all living Valkyrie to their will for a time. “Myst hasn’t returned yet,” someone called from the house. “But you know that, or else you’d both be naked and fornicating on the front lawn.” “The night’s young. Give us time.” To himself, he murmured, “And it was a field a mile away.” “Don’t you have an appointment to go to, vampire?” Emma stiffened. Vampire? But his eyes weren’t red. “Did you follow me?” “No, I was awaiting Myst’s return from shopping and sensed you trace into the woods.” A vampire waiting for Myst? He’d said she was his wife. She sucked in a breath. “You’re the general, aren’t you,” she whispered. “The one Myst had to be pried from.” She thought the corners of his lips quirked. “Is that what you heard?” At her solemn nod, he said, “It was mutual, I assure you.” He glanced away down the drive, as if willing Myst to return, and said almost to himself, “How much lingerie can one female need . . . ?” Suddenly Annika was shrieking, running for her, vowing to kill him ever so slowly. Amazingly, his body was still relaxed. “If you do not cease trying to take off my head, Annika, we will have words.” “What have you done to her?” she cried. “Obviously, I clawed her, bloodied her, and burned her, and now, oddly, I offer her up to you.
Kresley Cole (A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #1))
Did you ever notice how very fickle males are?” she asked the horse. “And how very foolish females are about them?” she added, aware of how inexplicably deflated she felt. She realized as well that she was being completely irrational-she had not intended to come here, had not wanted him to be waiting, and now she felt almost like crying because he wasn’t! Giving the ribbons of her bonnet an impatient jerk, she untied them. Pulling the bonnet off, she pushed the back door of the cottage open, stepped inside-and froze in shock! Standing at the opposite side of the small room, his back to her, was Ian Thornton. His dark head was slightly bent as he gazed at the cheery little fire crackling in the fireplace, his hands shoved into the back waistband of his gray riding breeches, his booted foot upon the grate. He’d taken off his jacket, and beneath his soft lawn shirt his muscles flexed as he withdrew his right hand and shoved it through the side of his hair. Elizabeth’s gaze took in the sheer male beauty of his wide, masculine shoulders, his broad back and narrow waist. Something in the somber way he was standing-added to the fact that he’d waited more than two hours for her-made her doubt her earlier conviction that he hadn’t truly cared whether she came or not. And that was before she glanced sideways and saw the table. Her heart turned over when she saw the trouble he’d taken: A cream linen tablecloth covered with crude china, obviously borrowed from Charise’s house. In the center of the table a candle was lit, and a half-empty bottle of wine stood beside a platter of cold meat and cheese. In all her life Elizabeth had never known that a man could actually arrange a luncheon and set a table. Women did that. Women and servants. Not men who were so handsome they made one’s pulse race. It seemed she’d been standing there for several minutes, not mere seconds, when he stiffened suddenly, as if sensing her presence. He turned, and his harsh face softened with a wry smile: “You aren’t very punctual.” “I didn’t intend to come,” Elizabeth admitted, fighting to recover her balance and ignore the tug of his eyes and voice. “I got caught in the rain on my way to the village.” “You’re wet.” “I know.” “Come over by the fire.” When she continued to watch him warily, he took his foot off the grate and walked over to her. Elizabeth stood rooted to the floor, while all of Lucinda’s dark warnings about being alone with a man rushed through her mind. “What do you want?” she asked him breathlessly, feeling dwarfed by his towering height. “Your jacket.” “No-I think I’d like to keep it on.” “Off,” he insisted quietly. “It’s wet.” “Now see here!” she burst out backing toward the open door, clutching the edges of her jacket. “Elizabeth,” he said with reassuring calm, “I gave you my word you’d be safe if you came today.” Elizabeth briefly closed her eyes and nodded, “I know. I also know I shouldn’t be here. I really ought to leave. I should, shouldn’t I?” Opening her eyes again, she looked beseechingly into his-the seduced asking the seducer for advice. “Under the circumstances, I don’t think I’m the one you ought to ask.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I flipped through one story after another until finally I came to a story about a fig tree. This fig grew on a green lawn between the house of a Jewish man and a convent, and the Jewish man and a beautiful dark nun kept meeting at the tree to pick the ripe figs, until one day they saw an egg hatching in a bird's nest on a branch of the tree, and as they watched the little bird peck its way out of the egg, they touched the backs of their hands together, and then the nun didn't come out to pick figs with the Jewish man any more but a mean-faced Catholic kitchen maid came to pick them instead and counted up the figs the man picked after they were both through to be sure he hadn't picked any more than she had, and the man was furious. I thought it was a lovely story, especially the part about the fig tree in winter under the snow and then the fig tree in spring with all the green fruit. I felt sorry when I came to the last page. I wanted to crawl in between those black lines of print the way you crawl through a fence, and go to sleep under that beautiful big green fig tree.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own had a vision that someday young women would have access to the rich forbidden libraries of the men’s colleges, their sunken lawns, their vellum, the claret light. She believed that would give young women a mental freedom that must have seemed all the sweeter from where she imagined it: the wrong side of the beadle’s staff that had driven her away from the library because she was female. Now young women have pushed past the staff that barred Woolf’s way. Striding across the grassy quadrangles that she could only write about, they are halted by an immaterial barrier she did not foresee. Their minds are proving well able; their bodies selfdestruct. When she envisaged a future for young women in the universities, Woolf’s prescience faltered only from insufficient cynicism. Without it one could hardly conceive of the modern solution of the recently allmale schools and colleges to the problem of women: They admitted their minds, and let their bodies go. Young women learned that they could not live inside those gates and also inside their bodies.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Mow a neighbor's lawn. • Give your spouse a back rub. • Write a check for a local charity. • Compliment a coworker. • Bake a pie for someone. • Slip a $20 bill into the pocket of a needy friend. • Laugh out loud often and share your smile generously. • Buy gift certificates and give them away anonymously. hildren and gardens go naturally together. Children are observers, and they learn so much more when they can see what they're learning. And when Mom or Grandma and kids work together, gardening is a great way to build relationships. There's something about digging and weeding that makes sharing confidences so much easier. And it's a great lesson for kids that work can be meaningful. That it brings tangible rewards-fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers. Best of all, the children help you learn too. They freshen your wonder. And when they pass on the learning and wonder to their own children, you've helped start a lasting and living legacy. Sur simple ingredients can make a meal memorable. First, the care you take in setting the table establishes the tone or atmosphere. Second is the food. That always
Emilie Barnes (365 Things Every Woman Should Know)
Dear Dandelions, I am part of you. Adults hate you all when you spread in their garden beds or manicured lawns, but in my eyes, you all are beautiful. Just like you, I’ve been through many stages in my life. Many people have come and gone, but you all have always been here. I do not know if you know, but your milky white puffballs have been my umbrella through trying times. When it rains in life, I always find myself making a wish on a dandelion. When I feel like things are way over my head, you all have been my parachute, and I might not land softy, but I always land steadily. I might not always know my future, but after I make a wish on the dandelion's furry sphere that resembles a white globe, I have hope that my future will be filled with peace and joy. The one thing I crave in life is peace. For once, while I lie under the tree filled with so much wisdom, I have finally found a measure of peace. It is an amazing feeling. I wonder what peace feels like? I will continue to wait. I’ve waited this long. Until then, I am willing to accept knowing what a portion of this peace feels like. Waiting for the seeds to emerge in my life.
Charlena E. Jackson (Pinwheels and Dandelions)
Starting with a Statement •What a beautiful day.What’s your favorite season of the year? •I was truly touched by that movie.How did you like it? Why? •This is a wonderful restaurant.What is your favorite restaurant? Why? •What a great conference! Tell me about the sessions you attended. •I was absent last week.What did I miss? •That was an interesting program after lunch.What did you think? •Presidential campaigns seem to start immediately after the inauguration.What do you think of the campaign process? •I am so frustrated with getting this business off the ground.Do you have any ideas? •I am excited about our new mayor.How do you think her administration will be different from her predecessor’s? •Your lawn always looks so green.What is your secret? •We’ve been working together for months now.I’d like to get to know you better.Tell me about some of your outside interests. •You worked pretty hard on that stair stepper.What other equipment do you use? •You always wear such attractive clothes.What are your favorite stores? •What a beautiful home.How do you manage to run a house with four children? •I read in the newspaper that our governor has taken another trip overseas.What do you think of all his travel?
Debra Fine (The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills and Leave a Positive Impression!)
Congress displayed contempt for the city's residents, yet it retained a fondness for buildings and parks. In 1900, the centennial of the federal government's move to Washington, many congressmen expressed frustration that the proud nation did not have a capital to rival London, Paris, and Berlin. The following year, Senator James McMillan of Michigan, chairman of the Senate District Committee, recruited architects Daniel Burnham and Charles McKim, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., and sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to propose a park system. The team, thereafter known as the McMillan Commission, emerged with a bold proposal in the City Beautiful tradition, based on the White City of Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition. Their plan reaffirmed L'Enfant's avenues as the best guide for the city's growth and emphasized the majesty of government by calling for symmetrical compositions of horizontal, neoclassical buildings of marble and white granite sitting amid wide lawns and reflecting pools. Eventually, the plan resulted in the remaking of the Mall as an open lawn, the construction of the Lincoln Memorial and Memorial Bridge across the Potomac, and the building of Burnham's Union Station. Commissioned in 1903, when the state of the art in automobiles and airplanes was represented by the curved-dash Olds and the Wright Flyer, the station served as a vast and gorgeous granite monument to rail transportation.
Zachary M. Schrag (The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro (Creating the North American Landscape))
Splatters of mud stained Rothbury's fine lawn shirt, which clung slickly to the broad expanse of his back like a second skin. Having rolled up his sleeves at the onset of his task, his muscled arms were now streaked with mud and rain as were the tall boots and tight black breeches that hugged the sinewy muscles of his long, undoubtedly strong legs. Her admiring gaze alighted upon his golden-brown hair, which now looked more brown than golden as it was wet with perspiration and mist. A few locks lay plastered to his neck in wispy whorls. Charlotte suddenly felt overly warm. Seeing him... wet... somehow embarrassed her. It felt dark, intimate. Truly, if it weren't for the mud- and clothes- she rather thought this would be what he looked like after a bath. A shiver ran down her arms as her eyes drifted to the dewy trails of rain droplets that ran over his slightly bristled jaw and neck, disappearing in the nest of his loosely tied cravat. And then her hungry gaze raised... and connected with Rothbury's. All thoughts flew straight out of her head. Looking at her from over his shoulder, he straightened, his smile twisting with arrogance. Despite the chill in the air, her cheeks felt as if they were on fire. How long had he been watching her in-depth perusal? Long enough, she supposed, if the heated gleam in his eyes was any indication at all. She blinked, shaking her head hurriedly, hoping by that action she was silently telling him, "No, I definitely was not looking at you." He answered her gesture by nodding slowly, telling her he knew exactly what she had been doing and that he had caught her in the act. She gave her head another insistent shake. Still looking at her from over his shoulder, he sauntered back to the carriage, his smile broadening. He lifted his shoulder as if to say, "I don't care. Look all you want." She shook her head again, tightly. He winked. She gulped. And then he set back to work with the other men to free the carriage.
Olivia Parker (To Wed a Wicked Earl (Devine & Friends, #2))
We’re talking now of late August evenings in Minnesota. That world consists of the din of lawn mower blades turning in raucous slicing circles like buzzards over prey, the throb of a racing boat’s outboard motor on the Lake. Garden hoses run with cool water and wash over the last flowers of the year before the autumn turns all the green to brown. In the afternoons, children run through sprinklers on the lawn and men burn piles of last autumn’s leaves. Mothers prepare suppers and read novels under the shade of summer hats, carefully watching over their children from afar. All is safe and good in the summer. But Thom Algonquin can no longer hear the lawn mowers humming, boat motors churning, the hoses splashing or the children playing. He doesn’t smell the leaves burning or help his mother prepare supper. Thom Algonquin is seven years old and he has walked too far into the woods near his home on Lake Superior. He hears nothing save the sound of sunlight and trees, birds, and his own feet pattering along atop the underbrush. He is not so sure he can hear these things exactly though. It has now become clear to him that he has gone too far, too deep into the old woods. He is accustomed to going a little farther than his mother allowed, but he has walked miles past that line now. Though his heart races he does not scream or run or cry. He looks around for home but each direction is identical to the others. He remembers his Cub Scout manual saying that moss grows on the northern side of tree trunks because there is less sunlight. But the aspen trees have no moss on them at all, and the big white oaks have moss on every side of their trunks. He holds his breath and listens. He hears his heart beat, and somewhere behind that, he hears water, waves and lapping tides. The Lake. He can always find home from the Lake. His father told him to simply keep the water on his left hand and walk until he is home, should he ever get lost. Thom moves toward the sound of water. He walks quickly but doesn’t run, doesn’t panic. If he runs he will know that something is wrong and that he is scared. He does not want to know these things, does not want them to become real, so he walks quickly but calmly.
Spencer K.M. Brown (Hold Fast)
To the Highland Girl of Inversneyde SWEET Highland Girl, a very shower Of beauty is thy earthly dower! Twice seven consenting years have shed Their utmost bounty on thy head: And these gray rocks, this household lawn, These trees—a veil just half withdrawn, This fall of water that doth make A murmur near the silent lake, This little bay, a quiet road That holds in shelter thy abode; In truth together ye do seem Like something fashion’d in a dream; Such forms as from their covert peep When earthly cares are laid asleep! But O fair Creature! in the light Of common day, so heavenly bright I bless Thee, Vision as thou art, I bless thee with a human heart: God shield thee to thy latest years! I neither know thee nor thy peers: And yet my eyes are fill’d with tears. With earnest feeling I shall pray For thee when I am far away; For never saw I mien or face In which more plainly I could trace Benignity and home-bred sense Ripening in perfect innocence. Here scatter’d, like a random seed, Remote from men, Thou dost not need The embarrass’d look of shy distress, And maidenly shamefacédness: Thou wear’st upon thy forehead clear The freedom of a mountaineer: A face with gladness overspread, Soft smiles, by human kindness bred; And seemliness complete, that sways Thy courtesies, about thee plays; With no restraint, but such as springs From quick and eager visitings Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach Of thy few words of English speech: A bondage sweetly brook’d, a strife That gives thy gestures grace and life! So have I, not unmoved in mind, Seen birds of tempest-loving kind, Thus beating up against the wind. What hand but would a garland cull For thee who art so beautiful? O happy pleasure! here to dwell Beside thee in some heathy dell; Adopt your homely ways, and dress, A shepherd, thou a shepherdess! But I could frame a wish for thee More like a grave reality: Thou art to me but as a wave Of the wild sea: and I would have Some claim upon thee, if I could, Though but of common neighbourhood. What joy to hear thee, and to see! Thy elder brother I would be, Thy father, anything to thee. Now thanks to Heaven! that of its grace Hath led me to this lonely place: Joy have I had; and going hence I bear away my recompense. In spots like these it is we prize Our memory, feel that she hath eyes: Then why should I be loth to stir? I feel this place was made for her; To give new pleasure like the past, Continued long as life shall last. Nor am I loth, though pleased at heart, Sweet Highland Girl! from thee to part; For I, methinks, till I grow old As fair before me shall behold As I do now, the cabin small, The lake, the bay, the waterfall; And Thee, the spirit of them all
William Wordsworth
Rose barely poured herself a cup of hot, mouth-watering chocolate, when she saw Grey and Archer walking across the lawn. Archer was impeccable as always, but Grey was a mess. His clothes were the same he’d worn the night before, and obviously slept in. His shirt, open at the throat, revealed a glimpse of tanned flesh that made her heart twitch and her gingers itch to touch him. His hair was mussed, and stubble covered his cheeks and jaw, except where prohibited by his scar. In short, he looked absolutely beautiful-a fallen angel. The only thing that made him remotely human was that scar, and she could easily tell herself he got that from battling the archangel Gabriel before being thrown out of heaven. She squinted as she realize Grey held something against his chest-something that moved. Was that a puppy? She jumped to her feet, and skipped down the few steps that took her down to the lawn. Lifting the skirts of her yellow morning gown, she hurried to meet them. “Good morning!” she cried. “What have you there?” Archer smiled in greeting, but Rose barely noticed. Her gaze was riveted on the man looking at her with an expression so hopeful it neigh on broke her heart. “I brought you something,” he said, his voice low and strangely rough. “A gift.” And then he held out his arms and offered her the sweetest face she’d ever seen. “Oh!” What an idiot she must seem, her eyes welling with tears over a dog, but she didn’t care. She let the tears come and slip down her cheeks as she took the warm, silky animal into her own arms, burying her face against its fur. “Grey, thank you!” “He’s too young to be away from his mother yet, but he’s yours if you want hm.” “Of course I want him! He’s beautiful.” He ran a hand through the thick tangle of his hair. “I didn’t know that you’d never had a dog before.” Rose cast a glance at Archer, who shrugged. “Telling my secrets are you, Lord Archer?” What else had he revealed? Grey’s brother shot her a sincere glance. “Only that one, Lady Rose. I did not think you would mind.” “And I don’t.” Turning her attention back to the squirming puppy in her arms, Rose was rewarded with a lick to the chin. “He’ll need to go back to the stables in a few minutes,” Grey told her. “But you can see him whenever you like.” With her free hand, Rose reached out and took one of Grey’s. His fingers were so big and strong next to hers. She squeezed and then let go, letting him know with a touch just how much his gift meant to her. “I love him. Thank you so very much.” “What are you going to name him?” he asked. Rose tore her gaze away from the pleasure in his, lest she do something stupid like kiss him in front of his brother. Instead, she cast a small, secretive smile at Archer. “Heathcliff,” she replied. “His name is Heathcliff.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
In 1853, Haussmann began the incredible transformation of Paris, reconfiguring the city into 20 manageable arrondissements, all linked with grand, gas-lit boulevards and new arteries of running water to feed large public parks and beautiful gardens influenced greatly by London’s Kew Gardens. In every quarter, the indefatigable prefect, in concert with engineer Jean-Charles Alphand, refurbished neglected estates such as Parc Monceau and the Jardin du Luxembourg, and transformed royal hunting enclaves into new parks such as enormous Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes. They added romantic Parc des Buttes Chaumont and Parc Montsouris in areas that were formerly inhospitable quarries, as well as dozens of smaller neighborhood gardens that Alphand described as "green and flowering salons." Thanks to hothouses that sprang up in Paris, inspired by England’s prefabricated cast iron and glass factory buildings and huge exhibition halls such as the Crystal Palace, exotic blooms became readily available for small Parisian gardens. For example, nineteenth-century metal and glass conservatories added by Charles Rohault de Fleury to the Jardin des Plantes, Louis XIII’s 1626 royal botanical garden for medicinal plants, provided ideal conditions for orchids, tulips, and other plant species from around the globe. Other steel structures, such as Victor Baltard’s 12 metal and glass market stalls at Les Halles in the 1850s, also heralded the coming of Paris’s most enduring symbol, Gustave Eiffel’s 1889 Universal Exposition tower, and the installation of steel viaducts for trains to all parts of France. Word of this new Paris brought about emulative City Beautiful movements in most European capitals, and in the United States, Bois de Boulogne and Parc des Buttes Chaumont became models for Frederick Law Olmsted’s Central Park in New York. Meanwhile, for Parisians fascinated by the lakes, cascades, grottoes, lawns, flowerbeds, and trees that transformed their city from just another ancient capital into a lyrical, magical garden city, the new Paris became a textbook for cross-pollinating garden ideas at any scale. Royal gardens and exotic public pleasure grounds of the Second Empire became springboards for gardens such as Bernard Tschumi’s vast, conceptual Parc de La Villette, with its modern follies, and “wild” jardins en mouvement at the Fondation Cartier and the Musée du Quai Branly. In turn, allées of trees in some classic formal gardens were allowed to grow freely or were interleaved with wildflower meadows and wild grasses for their unsung beauty. Private gardens hidden behind hôtel particulier walls, gardens in spacious suburbs, city courtyards, and minuscule rooftop terraces, became expressions of old and very new gardens that synthesized nature, art, and outdoors living.
Zahid Sardar (In & Out of Paris: Gardens of Secret Delights)
mansion. The place had been beautiful once, I’d bet—all Victorian gardens and turrets, wide sweeping porches and an expansive front lawn. But now it gave me a chill every time I passed it, and I headed away, my lungs screaming. A group of boys on bikes pedaled past me in the other direction, cackling and hooting about whatever boys Dan’s age cackled and hooted about. I ignored them but glanced over my shoulder to see them drop their bikes outside the gates of the dilapidated mansion. They were up to no good, I could feel it, and since I thought I recognized a couple of them as Dan’s friends,
Delancey Stewart (Falling into Forever (Singletree #5))
ANTHROPOCENE PASTORAL BY Catherine Pierce In the beginning, the ending was beautiful. Early spring everywhere, the trees furred Pink and white, lawns the sharp green That meant new. The sky so blue it looked Manufactured. Robins. We’d heard The cherry blossoms wouldn’t blossom This year, but what was one epic blooming When even the desert was an explosion Of verbena? When coyotes slept deep in orange Poppies. One New Year’s Day we woke To daffodils, wisteria, onion grass wafting Through the open windows. Near the end, We were eyeletted. We were cottoned. We were sundressed and barefoot. At least It’s starting gentle, we said. An absurd comfort, We knew, a placebo. But we were built like that. Built to say at least. Built to reach for the heat Of skin on skin even when we were already hot, Built to love the purpling desert in the twilight, Built to marvel over the pink bursting dogwoods, To hold tight to every pleasure even as we Rocked together toward the graying, even as We held each other, warmth to warmth, And said, sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry while petals Sifted softly to the ground all around us.
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis)
Greenville, South Carolina, in 1955 was the most beautiful place in the world. Black walnut trees dropped their green-black fuzzy bulbs on Aunt Ruth’s matted lawn, past where their knotty roots rose up out of the ground like the elbows and knees of dirty children suntanned dark and covered with scars. Weeping willows marched across the yard, following every wandering stream and ditch, their long whiplike fronds making tents that sheltered sweet-smelling beds of clover.
Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina)
Nancy and Helen changed into pastel cotton dresses, put away the few belongings they had brought, then headed for the inn. As they walked across the lawn, they passed gardeners who were pruning trees and cultivating flower beds edged with pansies. “It’s perfectly beautiful here,” Helen remarked. The girls went to the front of the inn, a two-story clapboard building with a one-level wing on either side. All around it were lilac trees and other flowering bushes. Nancy and Helen mounted the wide steps and entered the center hall. Its paneled walls, old staircase, and beautiful cut-glass chandelier made them feel as though they had stepped back into an earlier century.
Carolyn Keene (The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew, #4))
Five minutes later Nancy pulled into the double garage and hurried across the lawn to the kitchen door of the Drews’ large red-brick house. The building stood well back from the street, and was surrounded by tall, beautiful trees.
Carolyn Keene (The Secret of The Old Clock (Nancy Drew Mystery, #1))
There was music; there was always music, and we were running over some beautiful green lawn, running toward the sun.
V.C. Andrews (Twilight's Child (Cutler, #3))
The day is beautiful; a sharp blue sky is dotted with wispy white clouds, all commas and curlicues. Hummingbirds hover down to investigate the screens, then zip back out across the bright open lawns. There’s music in the distance; the Google brass band is practicing an algorithmically generated waltz.
Robin Sloan (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1))
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Everything Micah couldn’t carry on his back was discarded. The phone was disconnected, the apartment abandoned. Home became a ’69 Chevy pickup. By night, he slept in a sleeping bag in the back. By day, he hired himself out to mow lawns and move furniture. Every hour in between, he ran. If he couldn’t have Melinda, he’d settle for exhaustion. “I’d get up at four-thirty in the morning, run twenty miles, and it would be a beautiful thing,” Micah said. “Then I’d work all day and want to feel that way again. So I’d go home, drink a beer, eat some beans, and run some more.
Christopher McDougall (Born to Run)
Too many people believe that dead trees must be removed to allow for beautiful lawns and landscapes. Since my conversion, however, dead trees create beautiful landscapes...They're buffet tables, lookouts, and condominiums.
Eli Knapp
Morwen kept a good pace over the green lawn, but she paused in the side garden, where the sorrel tree's feathery leaves had turned a brilliant scarlet. A great white hydrangea made a backdrop for clumps of lobelia and lilyturf.
Louisa Morgan (A Secret History of Witches)
Few people would argue that Stony Cross Park was one of the most beautiful places in England. The Hampshire estate sustained an infinite variety of terrain from near-impenetrable forests to brilliantly flowered wet meadows and bogs to the stalwart honey-colored stone manor on a bluff over looking the Itchen river. Life flourished everywhere, pale shoots springing from the carpet of decayed leaves at the foot of fissured oaks and cedar, stands of bluebells glowing in the darker parts of the forest. Red grasshoppers vaulted through meadows filled with wild primrose and lady's-smock, while translucent blue damselflies hovered over the intricately cut white petals of bog bean flowers. It smelled like spring, the air saturated with the scent of sweet box hedge and tender green lawn.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
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could just make out a tiny hill, with the ant-size figure of Sisyphus struggling to move his boulder to the top. And I saw worse tortures, too—things I don’t want to describe. The line coming from the right side of the judgment pavilion was much better. This one led down toward a small valley surrounded by walls—a gated community, which seemed to be the only happy part of the Underworld. Beyond the security gate were neighborhoods of beautiful houses from every time period in history, Roman villas and medieval castles and Victorian mansions. Silver and gold flowers bloomed on the lawns. The grass rippled in rainbow colors. I could hear laughter and smell barbecue cooking. Elysium. In the middle of that valley was a glittering blue lake, with three small islands like a vacation resort in the Bahamas. The Isles of the Blest, for people who had chosen to
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
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It was a beautiful fall day at the soccer fields when I met Stacy for the first time. The game had just begun when she arrived carrying homemade pumpkin spice muffins with cream cheese frosting for everyone, photos of the jack-o’-lantern she had elaborately carved earlier that morning into the shape of a witch stirring a bubbling cauldron with the rising steam spelling out the word “Boo,” enough material and glue for each of the siblings not playing soccer to make adorable “easy no-sew” bat wings as a fun craft to fill their time, as well as little gift bags for every mother full of Halloween-themed wine charms and sleep masks that were embroidered with “Sleeping for a spell.” Besides her generous gifts, she also looked terrific. She was wearing the perfect fall outfit with just the right number of layers and textures and cool boots. Her hair was beautifully twisted into a loose braid casually thrown over one shoulder. While everyone sat in their lawn chair and screamed at their kid to “attack the ball,” Stacy ran up and down the sidelines taking (no doubt fabulous) photos of her son and overseeing the siblings’ craft bonanza. At this point I should also mention, in case you don’t feel bad enough about yourself, that Stacy has a full-time job outside the home. Like a really important one. I’m not sure what she does exactly, but from the thirty seconds that she slowed down long enough to talk to me, I learned that she works fifty hours a week or so and travels around the country every few days and then comes home and makes her kids pancakes in the shape of clovers for breakfast, because it’s International Clover Day or some shit like that.
Jen Mann (People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges)
Dutton describes a process of westernization of the perceptions that has to happen before the West is beautiful to us. You have to get over the color green; you have to quit associating beauty with gardens and lawns; you have to get used to an inhuman scale; you have to understand geological time.
Wallace Stegner (Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs)
But, oh, how marvelous it was to come home to dear shabby Cambridge, to uneven brick sidewalks, to untrimmed gardens, to lawns covered with leaves, to young people walking hand in hand in absurd clothing, to dear Judy and the pussies! We are all a little old and worn, but we are happy. And Nelson, when I drove up under a pale bright sky, looked like Heaven. I saw it freshly, saw the beauty of wooden clapboard painted white, of old brick, of my own battered and dying maples, as a shining marvel, a treasure that lifts the mind and the heart and brings everyone who sees it back to what quality is.
May Sarton (Journal of a Solitude)
Even though we lived in the Garden State, it was more important to display a beautiful lawn to our neighbors than to boast a bounty of healthy vegetables. I never saw one vegetable garden in my neighborhood nor in any of my friends’, until I planted one.
Donna Maltz (Living Like The Future Matters: The Evolution of a Soil to Soul Entrepreneur)
most of my first two years in office, Trump was apparently complimentary of my presidency, telling Bloomberg that “overall I believe he’s done a very good job”; but maybe because I didn’t watch much television, I found it hard to take him too seriously. The New York developers and business leaders I knew uniformly described him as all hype, someone who’d left a trail of bankruptcy filings, breached contracts, stiffed employees, and sketchy financing arrangements in his wake, and whose business now in large part consisted of licensing his name to properties he neither owned nor managed. In fact, my closest contact with Trump had come midway through 2010, during the Deepwater Horizon crisis, when he’d called Axe out of the blue to suggest that I put him in charge of plugging the well. When informed that the well was almost sealed, Trump had shifted gears, noting that we’d recently held a state dinner under a tent on the South Lawn and telling Axe that he’d be willing to build “a beautiful ballroom” on White House grounds—an offer that was politely declined.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Despite an icy northeast wind huffing across the bay I sneak out after dark, after my mother falls asleep clutching her leather Bible, and I hike up the rutted road to the frosted meadow to stand in mist, my shoes in muck, and toss my echo against the moss-covered fieldstone corners of the burned-out church where Sunday nights in summer for years Father Thomas, that mad handsome priest, would gather us girls in the basement to dye the rose cotton linen cut-outs that the deacon’s daughter, a thin beauty with short white hair and long trim nails, would stitch by hand each folded edge then steam-iron flat so full of starch, stiffening fabric petals, which we silly Sunday school girls curled with quick sharp pulls of a scissor blade, forming clusters of curved petals the younger children assembled with Krazy glue and fuzzy green wire, sometimes adding tissue paper leaves, all of us gladly laboring like factory workers rather than have to color with crayon stubs the robe of Christ again, Christ with his empty hands inviting us to dine, Christ with a shepherd's staff signaling to another flock of puffy lambs, or naked Christ with a drooping head crowned with blackened thorns, and Lord how we laughed later when we went door to door in groups, visiting the old parishioners, the sick and bittersweet, all the near dead, and we dropped our bikes on the perfect lawns of dull neighbors, agnostics we suspected, hawking our handmade linen roses for a donation, bragging how each petal was hand-cut from a pattern drawn by Father Thomas himself, that mad handsome priest, who personally told the Monsignor to go fornicate himself, saying he was a disgruntled altar boy calling home from a phone booth outside a pub in North Dublin, while I sat half-dressed, sniffing incense, giddy and drunk with sacrament wine stains on my panties, whispering my oath of unholy love while wiggling uncomfortably on the mad priest's lap, but God he was beautiful with a fine chiseled chin and perfect teeth and a smile that would melt the Madonna, and God he was kind with a slow gentle touch, never harsh or too quick, and Christ how that crafty devil could draw, imitate a rose petal in perfect outline, his sharp pencil slanted just so, the tip barely touching so that he could sketch and drink, and cough without jerking, without ruining the work, or tearing the tissue paper, thin as a membrane, which like a clean skin arrived fresh each Saturday delivered by the dry cleaners, tucked into the crisp black vestment, wrapped around shirt cardboard, pinned to protect the high collar.
Bob Thurber (Nothing But Trouble)
His face always got soft with wonder when he felt the life within his wife’s womb. “This kid’s on the move.” Mariah sat up straight and worked her fingers against her lower back again. “He can move out any time now.” “Your back hurts, huh? Come here.” She offered no resistance as he sat on the grass and drew her to sit between his legs. “Lean back and let me do that for you.” “We’re sitting right out on the front lawn,” she reminded him as she dropped her head back against his shoulder. His hands felt so much better on her back than her own did. “So what? We’re dressed.” Then he lowered his voice near her ear. “I’m only imaging we’re not.” “You’re fantasizing about giving a back rub to a naked hippo?” “Your stomach is beautiful, just like the rest of you, but I have a feeling it’s getting kind of heavy for you.” In sympathy, he kissed the corner of her forehead. “I wish I could carry it for you when you get tired like this.” “The baby carrier from Dad will fit you nicely.” Seth responded with a cheeky cluck. “There’s only one thing that came from Dad that fits me nicely.” “Seth…” She drawled his name, and he laughed. “You sound more like a wife all the time.
Kathleen Eagle ('Til There Was You)
Galadir went to meet Morwen, across the lawn. Under sunlight, the Prince was extraordinarily beautiful. His skin was smooth and almost golden. And his eyes ... It was as if they had absorbed the light rays. They were pure honey.
Chiara Cilli
That you are happy, that Monsieur Pontmercy has Cosette, that youth espouses mourning, that there are about you, my children, lilacs and nightingales, that your life is a beautiful lawn in the sunshine, that all the enchantments of heaven fill your souls, and now, that I who am good for nothing, that I die; surely all this is well.
Victor Hugo
DILEMMA: You got a new puppy, and now your once beautifully green lawn has bare brown patches all over it from dog pee. SOLUTION: Pour some beer on the problem areas, making sure the foam’s covering all the naked spots. The grass will be greener in no time.
Lisa Katayama (Urawaza: Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks from Japan)
The contrast was startling: the beauty of the ridges against the poverty of the people who lived between them. There were some pretty homes with neat lawns and white picket fences, but the neighbors were usually not as prosperous.
John Grisham (Gray Mountain)
One of the drawbacks about adventures is that when you come to the most beautiful places you are often too anxious and hurried to appreciate them; so that Arvis (though she remembered them years later) had only a vague impression of gray lawns, quietly bubbling fountains, and the long black shadows of cypress trees.
C.S. Lewis (The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5))
A veritable pack of dogs—led by a fat, fluffy papillon—roamed the front lawn.
K.M. Shea (Beauty and the Beast (Timeless Fairy Tales, #1))
The next day we sat in Geir’s bedroom and wrote a love letter to Anne Lisbet. His parents’ house was identical to ours, it had exactly the same rooms, facing in exactly the same directions, but it was still unendingly different, because for them functionality reigned supreme, chairs were above all else comfortable to sit in, not attractive to look at, and the vacuumed, almost mathematically scrupulous, cleanliness that characterized our rooms was utterly absent in their house, with tables and the floor strewn with whatever they happened to be using at that moment. In a way, their lifestyle was integrated into the house. I suppose ours was, too, it was just that ours was different. For Geir’s father, sole control of his tools was unthinkable, quite the contrary, part of the point of how he brought up Geir and Gro was to involve them as much as possible in whatever he was doing. They had a workbench downstairs, where they hammered and planed, glued and sanded, and if we felt like making a soap-box cart, for example, or a go-kart, as we called it, he was our first port of call. Their garden wasn’t beautiful or symmetrical as ours had become after all the hours Dad had spent in it, but more haphazard, created on the functionality principle whereby the compost heap occupied a large space, despite its unappealing exterior, and likewise the stark, rather weed-like potato plants growing in a big patch behind the house where we had a ruler-straight lawn and curved beds of rhododendrons.
Karl Ove Knausgård (Min kamp 3 (Min kamp, #3))
she maintained exquisite poise throughout her life, opposed injustice wherever she found it, and commanded everyone’s esteem and attention—especially mine. She was at once tough and beautiful. She could make you feel infinitely welcome but also let you know when you’d pushed her too far. She was impeccably mannered, but she loved to see a whole mess of neighbors, their kids, and random pets tearing across the lawn. To me, she was the epitome of southern w
Reese Witherspoon (Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits)
Our animal instincts can be compared with weeds that grow naturally but often harm the useful crops. Our human qualities are like the beautiful lawn or the fields of paddy. They don’t grow naturally but need human effort for growth. They bring pleasure to the world.
Awdhesh Singh (31 Ways to Happiness)
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tonight the backyard is brutal in its twilit emptiness & I have put my lips on the glass of his face again so I won't be lonely & I have dressed to please him because it's too quiet here my hand alive in the cage of his an actual dandelion in the grass beside his sandal the mosquitoes grazing our ankles we should go inside he says as the pitchblack comes on again like arsenic over the glowing lawn
Deborah Landau (The Last Usable Hour (Lannan Literary Selections))
It’s Alex. He stands at the entry and looks straight at me. He’s not wearing a jacket or cravat, just a snowy-white shirt left loosened at the collar. It’s the most relaxed I’ve ever seen him. For a long time, we just stare at one another. There’s an invisible barrier between us, and I don’t think he’ll break it. But then he does. “Might I join you?” “By all means.” I gesture to the lawn as if I’m Vanna White, and he walks over and takes a seat beside me. For a second, I think he’s going to say something about my clothes. He stares for a long moment, his lips slightly parted, but then he just closes them and doesn’t say a word. He’s finally figured out I’m always doing the unexpected. I lie back down and stare into the sky. “It’s a beautiful view, if you lie back. If, you know, that’s proper or whatever.” I silently curse myself for reminding him of etiquette, because we both know this doesn’t fall under Things A Duke Can Do With A Girl He’s Not Married To. He smirks, those perfectly full lips curling up on one side, but does as I say and lies down beside me. As soon as his arm brushes mine, my heart beats triple time. His fingers find mine and he interlaces them, until we’re holding and staring upward. I fight the urge to glance at our hands to see if the moment is real. I close my eyes and lose myself in the feeling of his bare skin on mine for the first time. He brushes my finger with the pad of his thumb, little circles that make my skin tingle and jump. I can’t believe all those times and all those pairs of gloves, and finally, it’s just him. “Did you enjoy yourself tonight?” I open my eyes. “Yes,” I say, barely above a whisper. I’m afraid to break the moment. It’s too perfect. “You looked beautiful,” he says. I smile. “You did too,” I say, and then cringe. “I mean, handsome.
Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice)
We must not think that action alone is successful Christ-following. In God’s eyes, the motives behind our actions are of paramount importance. You can want a godly family or a successful career or a low handicap or a beautiful lawn, but if you want them for yourself and not the glory of God, it’s a fail.
James MacDonald (Act Like Men: 40 Days to Biblical Manhood)
Things fall apart, the center does not hold.” And things were falling apart right now, falling apart at the seams, and perhaps were already beyond repair. Life and all things related to humanity were so fragile. They had created an artificial world, artificial and temporary, and all things man-made were destined from the start to return to the ways of God. His own small vegetable garden taught him that; his lawn taught him that. Without his constant and tireless care, barring his human intervention, the weeds would grow up and choke out the tasty tomatoes and beautiful flowers of his life. They would return to the ways of God. It had always been so, and from the beginning of time, man had been locked in an eternal and hopeless struggle against nature and nature’s ways – God’s ways. And the world had become so small, just one tiny vegetable garden, but the weeds had taken over, and, no matter how fast the gardeners pulled, the weeds just kept popping back up. Their roots ran too deep, and they threatened to choke out anything that caused beauty and caring to dominate the world. It was the way of all things – the history of the world, of all humanity.
Skip Coryell (We Hold These Truths)
At one time areas along the roadways [in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park] were carefully cut and trimmed, creating a lawnlike appearance. When a new superintendent was appointed, he ordered this practice stopped, which engendered a good deal of complain from visitors. The roadsides had been so attractive, they said, so neat, and now they had a rough and ungainly appearance. On this small but significant point the superintendent was adamant, however, and for exactly the right reason. Visitors to the park were reacting to a conventional, familiar, and deeply ingrained image of beauty - the trimmed and landscaped lawn. The goal should not be to stimulate that familiar response, but to confront the visitor with the less familiar setting of an unmanaged landscape. The mild shock of a scene to which there is no patterned response, and the engendering of an untutored personal response, is precisely what national park management should seek, even in such seemingly small details.
Joseph L. Sax (Mountains Without Handrails: Reflections on the National Parks)
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It's everywhere and yet nowhere In the eyes of a child In your smile, even if it's mild It's in the imperceptible dew of the dawn It's in the ambience of a freshly cut lawn. Yet how selfish I would be if I would be talking about it only in the sight sense second love Voices in which I can dove Forever and never come out It's not only what beauty is about And yet a shame on all of us We still chose that face As the only place to admire beauty
Mallika Chawla
Ten shockingly arty events What arty types like to call a ‘creative tension’ exists in art and music, about working right at the limits of public taste. Plus, there’s money to be made there. Here’s ten examples reflecting both motivations. Painting: Manet’s Breakfast on the Lawn, featuring a group of sophisticated French aristocrats picnicking outside, shocked the art world back in 1862 because one of the young lady guests is stark naked! Painting: Balthus’s Guitar Lesson (1934), depicting a teacher fondling the private parts of a nude pupil, caused predictable uproar. The artist claimed this was part of his strategy to ‘make people more aware’. Music: Jump to 1969 when Jimi Hendrix performed his own interpretation of the American National Anthem at the hippy festival Woodstock, shocking the mainstream US. Film: In 1974 censors deemed Night Porter, a film about a love affair between an ex-Nazi SS commander and his beautiful young prisoner (featuring flashbacks to concentration camp romps and lots of sexy scenes in bed with Nazi apparel), out of bounds. Installation: In December 1993 the 50-metre-high obelisk in the Place Concorde in the centre of Paris was covered in a giant fluorescent red condom by a group called ActUp. Publishing: In 1989 Salman Rushdie’s novel Satanic Verses outraged Islamic authorities for its irreverent treatment of Islam. In 2005 cartoons making political points about Islam featuring the prophet Mohammed likewise resulted in riots in many Muslim cities around the world, with several people killed. Installation: In 1992 the soon-to-be extremely rich English artist Damien Hirst exhibited a 7-metre-long shark in a giant box of formaldehyde in a London art gallery – the first of a series of dead things in preservative. Sculpture: In 1999 Sotheby’s in London sold a urinoir or toilet-bowl-thing by Marcel Duchamp as art for more than a million pounds ($1,762,000) to a Greek collector. He must have lost his marbles! Painting: Also in 1999 The Holy Virgin Mary, a painting by Chris Ofili representing the Christian icon as a rather crude figure constructed out of elephant dung, caused a storm. Curiously, it was banned in Australia because (like Damien Hirst’s shark) the artist was being funded by people (the Saatchis) who stood to benefit financially from controversy. Sculpture: In 2008 Gunther von Hagens, also known as Dr Death, exhibited in several European cities a collection of skinned corpses mounted in grotesque postures that he insists should count as art.
Martin Cohen (Philosophy For Dummies, UK Edition)
When he turned the handle of the gate, he stood, transfixed, as it opened like the cover of a book onto a scene that seemed too perfect to be real. An effusive garden grew between the flagstone path and the house, foxgloves waving brightly in the breeze, daisies and violets chattering over the edges of the paving stones. The jasmine that covered the garden wall continued its spread across the front of the house, surrounding the multipaned windows to tangle with the voracious red flowers of the honeysuckle creeper as it clambered over the roof of the entry alcove. The garden was alive with insects and birds, which made the house seem still and silent, like a Sleeping Beauty house. Leonard had felt, as he took his first step onto the path, as if he were walking back through time; he could almost see Radcliffe and his friends with their paints and easels set up on the lawn beyond the blackberry bramble...
Kate Morton (The Clockmaker's Daughter)
While lawn is often an unnecessary element in many gardens, it is actually an important design element to consider for a garden with free-range chickens. Chickens and organically maintained lawns will have a good symbiotic relationship if they are managed well. Chickens graze on the grass blades as a choice food source for greens, which can also be collected and dried for food. Chickens will keep the lawn mowed, so to speak, because they will make the lawn a frequent stop in their daily foraging. Chickens will search out and eat insects in lawns, and leave behind their manure, which is an excellent fertilizer for lawns. The height of your lawn is critical: the blades need to be long enough to photosynthesize in order to be healthy and grow—3 inches is ideal; and chickens prefer a certain height of grass blade—5 to 6 inches is too tall for them to graze, and letting them graze below 2 inches can damage the grass. So for chicken foraging, it is best to keep your lawn about 3 to 4 inches, which may be a bit longer than you are used to cutting it, but the turf will be healthier and withstand the chicken’s grazing better.
Jessi Bloom (Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard)
Consider growing an eco-friendly lawn, instead of the conventional, perfect lawn, to keep your hens and soil their healthiest. Ecological seed mixes, which you can get at your local retail nursery or feed store, contain a variety of plant types, many of which might be considered weeds to a gardener who prefers a perfect monocrop of grass blades, but are an excellent, diverse source of greens for chickens to forage. An eco-lawn requires less maintenance such as mowing, and requires fewer resources like water and fertilizers. Clover, one of the most important plants found in eco-seed mixes, fixes nitrogen naturally in the soil and eliminates the need for fertilizers.
Jessi Bloom (Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard)
Clover (Trifolium species) has been called one of the best all-around feeds for animals because of the high nutrient value. And it also is a legume, so it fixes nitrogen in the soil naturally. Clover is also an important nectar source for bees and a host of other pollinating insects. There are several types of clovers, including white Dutch clover (Trifolium repens), which is low growing and requires less mowing than a conventional lawn, making it a great addition to eco-turf seed mixes. Clover is also good to use in seed mixtures with grain as a companion plant because it loosens subsoils and makes more nutrients available
Jessi Bloom (Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard)
The two men drag Janice’s half-dissected body out to the front porch and drop her on the wild lawn. She disappears beneath a sea of unploughed yellow strands and broom straw. The sky has a milky hue, Vince realises that he can no longer appreciate the beauty in anything except violence…
Chris Kelso (The Dregs Trilogy)
Arthur, arming himself with his good sword, sallied out to the lawn in front of the Landamman's dwelling, amid the magic dawn of a beautiful harvest morning in the Swiss mountains. The sun was just about to kiss the top of the most gigantic of that race of Titans, though the long shadows still lay on the rough grass, which crisped under the young man's feet with a strong intimation of frost.
Walter Scott (Anne of Geierstein)
The Lilly in a Christal You have beheld a smiling Rose When Virgins hands have drawn O’r it a Cobweb-Lawne: And here, you see, this Lilly shows, Tomb’d in a Christal stone, More faire in this transparent case, Then when it grew alone; And had but single grace. You see how Creame but naked is; Nor daunces in the eye Without a Strawberrie: Or some fine tincture, like to this, Which draws the sight thereto, More by that wantoning with it; Then when the paler hieu No mixture did admit. You see how Amber through the streams More gently stroaks the sight, With some conceal’d delight; Then when he darts his radiant beams Into the boundless aire: Where either too much light his worth Doth all at once impaire, Or set it little forth. Put Purple Grapes, or Cherries in- To Glasse, and they will send More beauty to commend Them, from that cleane and sbutile skin, Then if they naked stood, And had no other pride at all, But their own flesh and blood, And tinctures natural. Thus Lillie, Rose, Grape, Cherry, Creame And Straw-berry do stir More love, when they transfer A weak, a soft, a broken beame; Then if they sho’d discover At fulltheir proper excellence; Without some Scean cast over, To juggle with the sense. Thus let this Christal’d Lillie be A Rule, how far to teach, Your nakednesse must reach: And that, no further, then we see Those glaring colours laid By Arts wise hand, but to this end They sho’d obey a shade; Lest they too far extend. So though y’are white as Swan, or Snow, And have the power to move A world of men to love: Yet, when your Lawns & Silks shal flow; And that white cloud divide Into a doubtful Twi-light; then, Then will your hidden Pride Raise greater fires in men.
Robert Welch Herrick (Selected Poems (Shearsman Classics))
Before they fade for ever from our sight, Sailing like ghostly ships into the night, Let there be one luxurious hour in which We pause awhile to contemplate the rich. Consider them once more before they pass Into a more fashionable class, Though it is true their loss shall be our gain, Weep, for we shall not see their like again. Let us be honest now, and testify That many of them pleased the outward eye, Their cars and yachts were lovely to behold, Beauty they bought, and colour, with their gold. And oh! Their houses, rising from the green Of peacocked lawns more smooth than velveteen. Palladian porticos, and warm pink towers Set in a scented sea of English flowers. Slandered so joyfully throughout the years, Unmourned they go, unwashed by any tears From eyes that once were strained to witness capers Cut for their benefit in weekly papers. Thus they depart into a strange new land, Speaking a tongue, they do not understand; So for a little moment, with regret, Let us remember them - and then forget. -Vale!
Virginia Graham (Consider the Years)
Cosette took both the old man’s hands in hers. ‘My God!’ said she, ‘your hands are still colder than before. Are you ill? Do you suffer?’ ‘I? No,’ replied Jean Valjean. ‘I am very well. Only …’ He paused. ‘Only what?’ ‘I am going to die presently.’ Cosette and Marius shuddered. ‘To die!’ exclaimed Marius. ‘Yes, but that is nothing,’ said Jean Valjean. He took breath, smiled and resumed: ‘Cosette, thou wert talking to me, go on, so thy little robin red-breast is dead? Speak, so that I may hear thy voice.’ Marius gazed at the old man in amazement. Cosette uttered a heartrending cry. ‘Father! my father! you will live. You are going to live. I insist upon your living, do you hear?’ Jean Valjean raised his head towards her with adoration. ‘Oh! yes, forbid me to die. Who knows? Perhaps I shall obey. I was on the verge of dying when you came. That stopped me, it seemed to me that I was born again.’ ‘You are full of strength and life,’ cried Marius. ‘Do you imagine that a person can die like this? You have had sorrow, you shall have no more. It is I who ask your forgiveness, and on my knees! You are going to live, and to live with us, and to live a long time. We take possession of you once more. There are two of us here who will henceforth have no Free eBooks at Planet 2439 other thought than your happiness.’ ‘You see,’ resumed Cosette, all bathed in tears, ‘that Marius says that you shall not die.’ Jean Valjean continued to smile. ‘Even if you were to take possession of me, Monsieur Pontmercy, would that make me other than I am? No, God has thought like you and myself, and he does not change his mind; it is useful for me to go. Death is a good arrangement. God knows better than we what we need. May you be happy, may Monsieur Pontmercy have Cosette, may youth wed the morning, may there be around you, my children, lilacs and nightingales; may your life be a beautiful, sunny lawn, may all the enchantments of heaven fill your souls, and now let me, who am good for nothing, die; it is certain that all this is right. Come, be reasonable, nothing is possible now, I am fully conscious that all is over. And then, last night, I drank that whole jug of water. How good thy husband is, Cosette! Thou art much better off with him than with me.
Victor Hugo
Education was still considered a privilege in England. At Oxford you took responsibility for your efforts and for your performance. No one coddled, and no one uproariously encouraged. British respect for the individual, both learner and teacher, reigned. If you wanted to learn, you applied yourself and did it. Grades were posted publicly by your name after exams. People failed regularly. These realities never ceased to bewilder those used to “democracy” without any of the responsibility. For me, however, my expectations were rattled in another way. I arrived anticipating to be snubbed by a culture of privilege, but when looked at from a British angle, I actually found North American students owned a far greater sense of entitlement when it came to a college education. I did not realize just how much expectations fetter—these “mind-forged manacles,”2 as Blake wrote. Oxford upholds something larger than self as a reference point, embedded in the deep respect for all that a community of learning entails. At my very first tutorial, for instance, an American student entered wearing a baseball cap on backward. The professor quietly asked him to remove it. The student froze, stunned. In the United States such a request would be fodder for a laundry list of wrongs done against the student, followed by threatening the teacher’s job and suing the university. But Oxford sits unruffled: if you don’t like it, you can simply leave. A handy formula since, of course, no one wants to leave. “No caps in my classroom,” the professor repeated, adding, “Men and women have died for your education.” Instead of being disgruntled, the student nodded thoughtfully as he removed his hat and joined us. With its expanses of beautiful architecture, quads (or walled lawns) spilling into lush gardens, mist rising from rivers, cows lowing in meadows, spires reaching high into skies, Oxford remained unapologetically absolute. And did I mention? Practically every college within the university has its own pub. Pubs, as I came to learn, represented far more for the Brits than merely a place where alcohol was served. They were important gathering places, overflowing with good conversation over comforting food: vital humming hubs of community in communication. So faced with a thousand-year-old institution, I learned to pick my battles. Rather than resist, for instance, the archaic book-ordering system in the Bodleian Library with technological mortification, I discovered the treasure in embracing its seeming quirkiness. Often, when the wrong book came up from the annals after my order, I found it to be right in some way after all. Oxford often works such. After one particularly serendipitous day of research, I asked Robert, the usual morning porter on duty at the Bodleian Library, about the lack of any kind of sophisticated security system, especially in one of the world’s most famous libraries. The Bodleian was not a loaning library, though you were allowed to work freely amid priceless artifacts. Individual college libraries entrusted you to simply sign a book out and then return it when you were done. “It’s funny; Americans ask me about that all the time,” Robert said as he stirred his tea. “But then again, they’re not used to having u in honour,” he said with a shrug.
Carolyn Weber (Surprised by Oxford)
At the plantation,” he said, ignoring me, “there is a large open space at the rear of the house. It was a small clearing at first, and over the years I have enlarged it and finally made a lawn of it, but the edge of the clearing runs up to the trees. In the evenings, quite often, deer come out of the forest to feed at the edges of the lawn. Now and then, though, I see a particular deer. It’s white, I suppose, but it looks as though it’s made of silver. I don’t know whether it comes only in the moonlight or whether it’s only that I cannot see it save by moonlight—but it is a sight of rare beauty.” His eyes had softened, and I could see that he wasn’t looking at the plaster ceiling overhead but at the white deer, coat shining in the moonlight.
Diana Gabaldon (The Fiery Cross / A Breath of Snow and Ashes / An Echo in the Bone / Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander #5-8))
The consulate garden was beautifully kept, the grass as green as an English lawn, sloping down to a thicket of fig trees, bananas, and papery red hibiscus flowers,
Rachel Joyce (Miss Benson's Beetle)
Three years she grew in sun and shower, Then Nature said, ‘A lovelier flower On earth was never sown: This child I to myself will take: She shall be mine, and I will make A lady of my own. * * * * * “‘She shall be sportive as the fawn, That wild with glee across the lawn Or up the mountain springs; And hers shall be the breathing balm, And hers the silence and the calm Of mute, insensate things. * * * * * “‘The stars of midnight shall be dear To her; and she shall lean her ear In many a secret place Where rivulets dance their wayward round, And beauty born of murmuring sound Shall pass into her face.
Charlotte M. Mason (The Original Home Schooling Series)
She could stand anything. Tara was worth it all. For a brief moment, it was mid-summer and the afternoon skies were blue and she lay drowsily in the thick clover of Tara's lawn, looking up at the billowing cloud castles, the fragrance of white blossoms in her nose and the pleasant humming of bees in her ears. Afternoon and hush and the far-off sounds of the wagons coming in from the spiraling red fields. Worth it all, worth more.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Even after a few years, the charm hadn't disappeared. I still enjoyed finding the first tulip of spring, seeing a buck race across my lawn, feeding cracked corn to birds, gathering kindling for the stove, walking on a blustery beach in December. I even enjoyed boarding up the windows in preparation for a hurricane or going out at night in a robe and pajamas to sweep falling snow off my car before it froze solid. I liked being exposed to the elements as I never was in New York. I think it's good to know the difference between what exists naturally and what is manmade. In cities we lose sight of these basic differences and, I believe, in the end, of ourselves.
Joyce Elbert (A Tale of Five Cities & Other Memoirs)
Soon we began to collect a little group of odd people who would drink with us every cocktail hour. Brigitte, who was a 22-year-old German, very beautiful, could have been on the cover of Stern magazine. Her boyfriend Volker was one of the most beautiful men I'd ever met - people said he looked like James Hunt, the English racecar driver. He was like Billy Budd. He was from Germany and had been a cowboy in Wyoming. Then there was Elford Elliot from England, who had something to do with producing garden gnomes. He was tripping on acid all the time and going out to Delos, this little island off Mykonos, chipping little pieces off the ancient ruins, which he then brought back in the pocket of his jumpsuit. Then there was Bryan, an IBM operator from Australia, who fancied himself as a kind of Oscar Wilde figure. I don't know why. The only story of his I remember was about some Australians who stole a garden gnome from the front lawn of a very elegant mansion and took it for a trip around the world. They would send postcards back to the owner saying things like, 'Having a lovely time in the Fiji Islands' and sign it, 'The Garden Gnome.' After six weeks, they brought the garden gnome back and left it on the lawn with little suitcases full of tiny clothing they'd knitted for it.
Spalding Gray (Sex and Death to the Age 14)