But it was spring—and she knew that there were trees!
She paused and watched a gardener removing some debris that had covered a flower bed. It was spring, and there were new shoots and this gardener was wise and tender in taking the old things away, that the new shoots might have air. Katie could see them there—and tender green of them, as he lifted the old things away that the growing things might come through. The gardener did not seem to feel he was cruel in taking the dead things away. As a good gardener, he would scout the idea of its being unkind to take them away just because they had been there so long. What did that matter, the wise gardener would scornfully demand, when there were growing things underneath pushing their way to the light?
And if he were given to philosophizing he might say that the kindest thing even to the dead things was to let the new things come through. Thus life would be kept, and all the life that had ever been upon the earth perpetuated, vindicated, glorified.
It seemed to Katie that what life needed was a saner gardener. Not a gardener who would smother new shoots with a lot of dead things telling how shoots should go.
She drew a deep breath, lifted her face to the sky, and knew. Knew that she herself had power to push through the dead things seeking to smother her. Knew that if she but pushed on they must fall away because it was life was pushing them away.
She walked on slowly, breathing deep.
And swinging along in the April twilight she had a sense of having already set her face toward a more spacious country. And of knowing that it had been inevitable all the time that she should go. The delay had been but the moment’s panic. Her life itself mattered more than what any group of people thought about her life.
Spring!—and new life upon the earth. It was that life itself, not the philosophy men had formulated for or against it, was pushing the dead things away. It was not even arrested by the fear of displacing something.
She had held herself back for so long that in the very admission that she longed to see him there was joy approaching the sweetness of seeing him. A long time she walked in the April twilight—knowing that it was spring—and that there was new life upon the earth.
Harry Prescott would be married within two weeks. It seemed nothing was so important as that she witness that ceremony. Dear Harry Prescott, who would be married on the banks of the Mississippi, close by a certain place where boats were mended.
It was hard for Katie to contain her delight in Wayne’s generosity when she found he had left his launch with Captain Prescott. “Now wasn’t that just sweet of father?” she exulted to Worth as they walked together down to the little boat house.
Worth was more dispassionate. “Y—es; but why wouldn’t he, Aunt Kate? Where would he take it?”