Miss Lavinia closed the door, and soothed the excited girl, talking to her for an hour, and in fact slept on the lounge, and did not return to her own room until morning. She was surprised at the storm in a clear sky, but not at the cause. Miss Lavinia was keenly observant, and from two years’ daily intercourse, she knew Sylvia’s nature thoroughly. For some reasons, she wished with all her heart that Sylvia was in love with Horace Bradford, and at the same time feared for it; but before the poor girl fell asleep, she was convinced that such was not the case, and that the trouble that was already rising well up from her horizon was something far more complicated.
THE SWEATING OF THE CORN
April 14. Every one who has led, even in a partial degree, the life outdoors, must recognize his kinship with the soil. It was the first recorded fact of race history embodied in the Old Testament allegory of the creation, and it would seem from the beginning that nations have been strong or weak, as they acknowledged or sought to suppress it.
I read a deeper meaning in my garden book as the boys’ human calendar runs parallel with it, and I can see month by month and day by day that it is truly the touch of Nature that makes kindred of us all—the throb of the human heart and not the touch of learning or the arts.
Everything grows restless as spring comes on—animate, and what is called inanimate, nature. March is the trying month of indecision, the tug-of-war between winter and spring, pulling us first one way and then the other, the victory often being, until the final moment, on the side of winter. Then comes a languid period of inaction, and a swift recovery. When the world finally throws off frost bondage, sun and the earth call, while humanity, indoors and out, in city tenement as well as in farmhouse, hears the voice, even though its words are meaningless, and grows restless.
Lavinia Dorman writes that she is feeling tired and low-spirited, the doctor has advised a tonic, and she misses the change of planting her back-yard garden. Down in the streets the tenement children are swarming in the sunny spots, and dancing to the hand-organs. I saw them early last week when I was in town for a few hours.
In one of the downtown parks the youngsters were fairly rolling in the dirt, and rubbing their cheeks on the scanty grass as they furtively scooped up handfuls of cement-like soil to make mud pies, in spite of the big policeman, who, I like to think, was sympathetically blind.
The same impulse stirs my boys, even though they have all outdoors around them. They have suddenly left their house toys and outdoor games alike to fairly burrow in the soil. The heap of beach sand and pebbles that was carted from the shore and left under an old shed for their amusement, has lost its charm. They go across the road and claw the fresh earth from an exposed bank, using fingers instead of their little rakes and spades, and decorate the moist brown “pies” they make with dandelion ornaments.