When In These Fresh Mornings I Go Into My Garden …

Star magnolia bloom in my backyard, March 2015.

Star magnolia bloom in my backyard, March 2015.

When in these fresh mornings I go into my garden before anyone is awake, I go for the time being into perfect happiness. In this hour divinely fresh and still, the fair face of every flower salutes me with a silent joy that fills me with infinite content; each gives me its color, its grace, its perfume, and enriches me with the consummation of its beauty.
—Celia Thaxter (1835–1894), from An Island Garden

Thaxter was a writer of poetry and stories—one of America’s favorite authors in the late nineteenth century. The daughter of a lighthouse keeper, she lived much of her life on islands off Maine and New Hampshire, including Appledore Island, where the Shoals Marine Laboratory offers tours of Thaxter’s island garden. You should definitely read more about her.