Roland, Linda & G[eorge] Hansen
JOY, AFFECTION and CONTENTMENT--symbolizing CHILDHOOD, YOUTH and AGE--should grow and follow one the other. And so do these bulbs. Plant as soon as received. And if a child of Berkeley should have strayed to pastures covered with white garments in winter time, let him keep his bulbs planted in window boxes, with a bright look outside and in.
In this space the Children of Berkeley can note the day of planting and of flowering of the different kinds. And on the day of harvesting the bulbs they will do well to read the Thanksgiving sermon recorded in Deuteronomy XXVI.
It is rather out of place for us to be saving Thanksgiving-time. But the Children of the afflicted City have swarmed to us so abundantly that we run short of folders, though the issue was much increase of Let, therefore, please, this one serve for all of your House, and let the little Children, the "yet" Children do the planting. of the bulbs in the schools here.
Since you and Wanda know our little household, it shall not prove difficult for you to recognize us three as the characters of the verses as well as the Bible-quotations. Please, explain it thus to dear Helen, who, we trust, is all herself again.
I have been on poor behavior for several months past, and have caused the good mother much trouble and exertion of love. But I am "overcoming" again, and soon shall be in possession of my inheritance.
Thanksgiving and love from
"Except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Math. XVIII, 3.
A SONG OF WAYSIDE WEEDS
A thanksgiving from a happy home to the "Children of Berkley," that "our joy may be the joy of you all."
These bulblets, Children, came one day
From far-off sunny lands,
Where they were strewn as wayside weeds
From Nature's loving hands.
But think not little of their lot
Because of low estate-
The Gospel of the Mustard-seed
Should caution you to wait.
Plant one inch deep with ample space
In soil of any kind
In window-box or garden-bed,
Whatever best you find.
Give little water when they sprout,
Increase as they grow high,
And then you cease to water them,
When leaf and stem shall die.
Now dig them up and find reward
Before your joyous sight,
As every bulblet planted then,
Brings two and three to light.
Such is their way: The first to sprout
Brings stalks of goodly height,
And hoists thereon as banners green
Its leaves to wind and light.
The flower-stems with hundred blooms
Reach here and everywhere,
So that the plant looks all the world
Like Baby's curly hair.
But if they kink, and if they snarl,
They laugh at such annoy,
They bloom, and bloom, and ever bloom,
The YELLOW gold of JOY.
The second looks its sister grown
Precise and prim and neat,
Of ready will and energy,
Whatever she may meet.
And though the storms at times will tear
Her banners' velvet spread,
It only knows in ever-bloom
AFFECTION'S warmest RED.
The third boasts not of height of stalk;
Instead protects the ground
That gave it food, with spreading leaves,
The largest that are found.
The flowers, too, are double size
Though near the ground they stand
And smile with wise and open face
In PINK of sweet CONTENT.
One family all, and yet diverse,
They grow the whole world over,
As Shamrock here, Woodsorrel there,
Cuckoo-meat, Sleeping Clover.
To us they all are Oxalis,
The plants that love but light;
That close their eyes, and fold their leaves
Like sleepy birds at night.
The plants that brightly reappear
Like as they passed away,
And blooming greet us CHRISTMAS morn,
EASTER, THANKSGIVING DAY.
Oxalis Cernua: Buttercup.
Yellow: Joy: Childhood.
"Rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee."
DEUT. XXVI, 11.
Oxalis versicolor: Grand Duchess.
Pink: Contentment: Age.
"Not that I speak in respect of want, for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both soabound and so suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Red: Affection : Youth.
Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee, for whither thou goest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people and thy God."
RUTH I, 16.
Original letter dimensions: 15.5 x 47 cm.
Hansen, Linda; Hansen, George; and Hansen, Roland, "Letter from Roland, Linda & G[eorge] Hansen to [John Muir], 1906 Autumn." (1906). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 3613.
Reel 16, Image 0491
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Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters