For a while now a little maroon leather backed book has sat on my bedside amongst the lavender and posies, eucalyptus oil and photographs that I need beside me to sleep.
The book is called The Fragrant Minute by one Wilhelmina Stitch, and on the very first page Wilhelmina declares her intention to make rhymes for our delight and goes on to fill page after page with what I call rhyming meditations on living a scrumptious, home-centred life, each designed to be read in under a minute, so why I have never thought to share it with you before is bewildering, because if I know you at all, I know you will treasure her words as much as I do…
Perhaps I wanted to keep dear Wilhelmina all to myself? Ahem…
Having decided instead to keep my rather selfish soul in check, I hereby share two of Ms.Stitch’s minute meditations, the first two of a series I am going to be posting over the next few weeks, so that in the hustle and bustle of life on the internet I can offer you a fragrant minute or two to stop and breathe… In the meantime I urge you to seek out a copy all of your own on Amazon or AbeBooks or browse the much shorter Gutenberg version and print a few of these lovely, gentle rhymes on to the back of a collection of vintage postcards to keep in a ribbon tied bundle on your own bedside. While some might dismiss The Fragrant Minute as floss, read between the lines and there is much wisdom to be treasured..
So without further ado, allow me to introduce Wilhelmina Stitch…
“Home-keeping hearts are the happiest” Twas thus I heard a woman say as I walked swiftly to the west when going to my work today. A lovely phrase, I thought with zest, repeating it beneath my breath, “Home-keeping hearts are happiest,” such magic words might vanquish death.
“Home-keeping hearts are happiest.” The words were like a little song that set my seething soul at rest and suddenly made me feel strong. By such a phrase one might feel blest, if weariness enwrapped one quite: “Home-keeping hearts are the happiest,” this golden phrase would bring delight.
But who shall put the final test? Who is to judge and who construe? “Home-keeping hearts are the happiest.” Not you for me or I for you. For lonely folks with bravest jest may sing as to their work they go: “Home-keeping hearts are the happiest” – within the heart the home-fires glow.
I scanned wise words in a book today; this was the message, they seemed to say: Keep moving ahead! You can’t stand still unless you are really very ill; for if you stop, like an unwound clock, you’re bound to suffer an a fearful shock, for something will happen to give you a shake, and say to your conscience, “Move on, awake.”
Keep moving ahead, or your soul will die, and beauty evade your heart and eye. No matter at all that your pace be slow so long as you upward, upward go, into a finer atmosphere, where ideals live and visions clear, and Goodness and Truth have taken firm stand and folks to folks stretch a loving hand.
For this be the measure of success, the measure of all life’s happiness: just how well we have moved ahead; or just how early our soul was dead!