Friday, July 6, 2007
Quote du jour/Sarah Orne Jewett
In The Country of the Pointed Firs, Sarah Orne Jewett writes of "the constant song sparrow." Well, it is indeed a constant in my spring and summer life. It is the song of my days. I have tried to take a picture of it, but haven't been able to get close enough so I'm offering one I found online. At my house, the song comes in through the open windows. The song sparrow sits at the top of the lilac right next to the vegetable garden and lifts its head and just sings. Then it will move over to the fence and sing some more. Sometimes it is in the top of the ancient crabapple and sometimes in the rosa rugosas. But it is always nearby, and is a constant summer companion. I love that word, constant. We don't hear it so much these days, but in old books a faithful friend would be described as "constant."
The dictionary says:
1. Continually occurring; persistent.
2. Regularly recurring: plagued by constant interruptions.
3. Unchanging in nature, value, or extent; invariable.
4. Steadfast in purpose, loyalty, or affection; faithful.
We tend to interpret it in the first meanings, rather than the last two which are so wonderful. Think what it means to be "steadfast" and "loyal." They may be the plainest, yet best virtues one can have. Just as the song sparrow may be thought of as a plain brown bird, its song is among the most lovely and ever-present. These sparrows sing their hearts out for us each and every day.