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.


  1. Nan, This reminds me of the old song, "His Eye is on the Sparrow". It has a lovely verse that says:

    I sing because I'm happy
    I sing because I'm free
    His eye is on the sparrow
    And I know He watches me

    Thanks for making me think today!

  2. P.S. I talked about audio books today on my blog. I love, love, love the book you are listening to right now. I'll have to remember to look for "comfort" reads from the youth fiction section as well.

  3. I love sparrows - they are just so cute and sweet. They remind me of God's goodness.

  4. This post is so very lovely!!
    Your heart shows through your writing of it!

  5. Nan - I've tagged you for a meme. Check out my blog for more information but don't feel obligated to participate.

  6. And you, dear Miss Nan, are a constant friend to me.


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