Suffragette Garden, Mobile Library and Thomas Hardy

29 Aug

1   We spent a pleasing hour or two choosing beautiful plants for my Suffragette Garden, a small plot in the front which we have just finished clearing. Everything growing in this space will be purple, white or green to honour my Great Granny who was a Suffragette. She was imprisoned in Holloway for her ‘misdeeds’ while fighting for the right for women to vote and we are very proud of her. I have had a Suffragette Garden wherever I have lived.

2   Driving home, we saw a Mobile Library van, stuffed with books and with such a pleasing slogan on the back, “The universe at your fingertips!”

The Mobile Library van travelling around Cornwall

3   The following poem by Thomas Hardy was read this morning at a Humanist Funeral we went to. It was a beautiful and very moving ceremony to celebrate the life, and to mark the untimely death, of the son of friends of ours. The same poem was chosen by my parents for their funerals so it has a particular place in my heart.

Afterwards by Thomas Hardy

When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
‘He was a man who used to notice such things’?

If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid’s soundless blink,
The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
‘To him this must have been a familiar sight.’

If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,
One may say, ‘He strove that such innocent creatures should come to no harm,
But he could do little for them; and now he is gone.’

If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at the door,
Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees
Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
‘He was one who had an eye for such mysteries’?

And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in the gloom
And a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings,
Till they rise again, as they were a new bell’s boom,
‘He hears it not now, but used to notice such things’

4      Just want to add – thinking of friends in the path of Isaac and hoping for everyone’s safety.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

23 responses to “Suffragette Garden, Mobile Library and Thomas Hardy

  1. El Guapo

    January 8, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Do people ever stop and ask about the garden?

    That’s a lovely poem!

    • mybeautfulthings

      January 8, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      It isn’t looking dramatic yet so, no, not yet. I’m hoping when all the bulbs are in flower and the shrubs have grown that it will look good.

      I’m glad you like the poem. I hope I’m one of those ‘who notices such things’ too. 🙂

  2. niasunset

    August 31, 2012 at 8:57 am

    This is great post, I loved and enjoyed. Thank you dear Sally, have a nice weekend, love, nia

    • mybeautfulthings

      August 31, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      Very glad you enjoyed this post, Nia. Have a good weekend 🙂

  3. Frances antoinette

    August 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Neat! A mobile moving van – I have not seen one before =)

    • mybeautfulthings

      August 31, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      Brilliant isn’t it? It takes the library books to all the villages. 🙂

  4. mixedupmeme

    August 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    You must carry your camera wherever you go. lol
    Do you know that when we are up and about…..I start looking for ‘beautiful things.’ I am not up and about too often but just reading your blog and how you find interesting things in not so interesting places has made me more aware.

    Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite authors. I haven’t read his books for years and years.

    We all can’t be great writers, but it would be nice if we could just write down a little bit about ourselves that we want remembered.

    I have been to too many services where something is said in the memorial………and I think………that doesn’t sound like such and such at all.

    Maybe I will write a silly poem about myself.

    Because for sure not many know my silly side. I guess that is what a blog is for. 🙂

    • mybeautfulthings

      August 31, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      My camera is with me night and day (almost) We have been known to return home when on a trip as I realise, to my horror, that I don’t have my camera with me!

      I love Thomas Hardy’s novels too. My favourite is ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ but I haven’t read him for ages either.

      I agree. It is actually very helpful to those left behind if there are some ideas about one’s funeral.

      Humanist ceremonies are very special. The Celebrant meets with the family for several hours and gets the family to talk about their memories, good and less good and then writes up a script which she takes back to the family for editing. The Ceremony is inevitably a very personal and moving tribute.

      I bet a silly poem will be much appreciated when the time comes… I love the silliness of your blog and feel privileged to be able to share in it. Thank you 🙂

  5. Stefan (maxima)

    August 30, 2012 at 9:37 am

    What a wonderful way !

  6. saymber

    August 30, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Love the message on the book mobile and the poem was lovely! Very moving indeed.

    • mybeautfulthings

      August 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Thank you. The whole ceremony was very moving as Humanist Ceremonies tend to be as they are unique and so personal. 🙂

  7. Cat Forsley

    August 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Just dropping off a smile gift
    which you already saw 🙂
    i really adore the way your mind works ——– i am fascinated …..:)
    much love xo

    • mybeautfulthings

      August 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you so much! That is very sweet of you! I hope my three things continue to interest you 🙂

      Love for a happy weekend x

      • Cat Forsley

        August 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm

        Of course – you had me with the words – and now the swans and giraffes and their eyelashes 🙂 a beautiful weekend to you too 🙂 xx

  8. Shelagh

    August 29, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    I am “saving” Hardy’s poem. It is wonderful. Thank you. I am going to a Quaker memorial service on Sunday, I think this would be very appropriate for my late shepherd friend.

    • mybeautfulthings

      August 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      It is very beautiful. I love the last lines of each verse in particular. I hope all is well for the Memorial Service.
      All the best to you.

  9. Don

    August 29, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    What a wonderful way to remember the life and significance of your Great Granny’s life. The poem is magnificent. That last verse is so poignant.

    • mybeautfulthings

      August 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      Isn’t it?The whole poem was so movingly read this morning.
      Thank you for your comment about my special garden. 🙂

  10. on thehomefrontandbeyond

    August 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    you have great roots and I am glad you celebrate them!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: