What is the meaning of 'gossip?' Doesn't it originate with sympathy, an interest in one's neighbor, degenerating into idle curiosity and love of tattling? Which is worse, this habit, or keeping one's self so absorbed intellectually as to forget the sufferings and cares of others, to lose sympathy through having too much to think about?
From the first opening of our eyes, it is the light that attracts us. We clutch aimlessly with our baby fingers at the gossamer-motes in the sunbeam, and we die reaching out after an ineffable blending of earthly and heavenly beauty which we shall never fully comprehend.
Some of us must wait for the best human gifts until we come to heavenly places. Our natural desire for musical utterance is perhaps a prophecy that in a perfect world we shall all know how to sing.
Every phase of our life belongs to us. The moon does not, except in appearance, lose her first thin, luminous curve, nor her silvery crescent, in rounding to her full. The woman is still both child and girl, in the completeness of womanly character.
A friend is a beloved mystery; dearest always because he is not ourself, and has something in him which it is impossible for us to fathom. If it were not so, friendship would lose its chief zest.
Everything in nature has its own intrinsic charm, as the work of its Creator's hand; but the chief beauty of the whole lies in its suggested relations to humanity. Things announce and wait for persons. The house would not have been thus beautifully built and furnished, except for an expected tenant.
When I heard that there were artists, I wished I could some time be one. If I could only make a rose bloom on paper, I thought I should be happy! Or if I could at last succeed in drawing the outline of winter-stripped boughs as I saw them against the sky, it seemed to me that I should be willing to spend years in trying.
God be thanked for the thinkers of good and noble thoughts! It wakes up all the best in ourselves, to come into close contact with others greater and better in every way than we are.
Labor, in itself, is neither elevating or otherwise. It is the laborer's privilege to ennoble his work by the aim with which he undertakes it, and by the enthusiasm and faithfulness he puts into it.
Like a plant that starts up in showers and sunshine and does not know which has best helped it to grow, it is difficult to say whether the hard things or the pleasant things did me the most good.
Let us not depreciate Earth. There is no atom in it but is alive and astir in the all-penetrating splendor of God. From the infinitesimal to the infinite, everything is striving to express the thought of His Presence with which it overflows.
The soul, cramped among the petty vexations of Earth, needs to keep its windows constantly open to the invigorating air of large and free ideas: and what thought is so grand as that of an ever-present God, in whom all that is vital in humanity breathes and grows?
The first real unhappiness I remember to have felt was when some one told me, one day, that I did not love God. I insisted, almost tearfully, that I did; but I was told that if I did truly love Him I should always be good. I knew I was not that, and the feeling of sudden orphanage came over me like a bewildering cloud.
Few parents are aware of the difficulties that beset the minds of the little philosophers and theologians who sit upon their knees or play at their feet; and many a parent could not comprehend the disturbance, if he were aware of it.
Girls especially are fond of exchanging confidences with those whom they think they can trust; it is one of the most charming traits of a simple, earnest-hearted girlhood, and they are the happiest women who never lose it entirely.
To different minds, poetry may present different phases. To me, the reverent faith of the people I lived among, and their faithful everyday living, was poetry; blossoms and trees and blue shies were poetry. God himself was poetry.
Whether rich or poor, a home is not a home unless the roots of love are ever striking deeper through the crust of the earthly and the conventional, into the very realities of being, not consciously always; seldom, perhaps; the simplicity of loving grows by living simply near nature and God.
A complete autobiography would indeed be a picture of the outer and inner universe photographed upon one little life's consciousness. For does not the whole world, seen and unseen, go to the making up of every human being?
No one can feel more gratefully the charm of noble scenery, or the refreshment of escape into the unspoiled solitudes of nature, than the laborer at some close in-door employment.
We were not meant to mask ourselves before our fellow-beings, but to be, through our human forms, true and clear utterances of the spirit within. Since God gave us these bodies, they must have been given us as guides to Him and revealers of Him.