May has come, with all her beauties of the sunshine, clothing nature with a glorious dress. Mother earth has laid off her brown mantle, and wears her cheerful robes of green. The trees and shrubs upon the lawn are decorated with their opening buds and flowers of varied tints. The peach and cherry are covered with blossoms of pink and white, and the pure music from a thousand of nature’s happy and cheering songsters, unite to awaken joy and thankfulness in our hearts.
May is indeed here, to cheer and bless us. Let us, all who can, go out of doors, and be cheerful, happy, and healthy, as we behold the charming beauties of nature. We may look up through the attractive glories of nature, to nature’s glorious God, and, as we read His love to man in nature, we may become cheerful, thankful, pure, and holy.
The feeble ones should press out into the sunshine as earnestly and naturally as do the shaded plants and vines. The pale and sickly grain-blade that has struggled up out of the earth in the cold of early spring, puts on the natural and healthy deep green after enjoying for a few days the health-and-life-giving rays of the sun. Go out into the light and warmth of the glorious sun, you pale and sickly ones, and share with vegetation its life-giving, healing power. Let what your ears hear of the music of the birds, and what your eyes see of the green grass, and shrubs, and trees, beautified with their fragrant blossoms, and God’s precious flowers of every hue, lift that leaden weight off your spirits, and cheer that sad heart, and smooth that troubled brow.
Mothers, encourage the children to go out into the air and sunshine. What if they do tan, and exchange the pale, sallow complexion for the healthful brown? Let them have health and happiness, which are the only foundation of real beauty. Lovely May is here. Enjoy her, all you who can, while she is with us. Read what Fanny B. Johnson, in Laws of Life, says under the caption,
Out of Doors
In behalf of our good mother nature, I hereby invite and entreat all her children within sound of my voice or sight of my pentraces to come out of doors, and take part in the grand entertainment which she has gotten up with wondrous skill, taste, and power. It is to continue through every day and night of the season, with infinite variations in panorama of swelling bud and bursting leaf and blossom, of springing grass and grain, in graceful, tasseled heads, and yellow, ripening sheaves, in ever-varying depths of blue in sky, and of green and brown in earth, in shifting cloud, in all moods of lake, and stream, and sea, in rosy mornings and brazen noons, and gold and purple evenings, and hushed and solemn nights, in moonbeam and starbeam, in soft airs and swelling gales and wrack of tempest, in all musical sounds, from buzz of tiniest insect-wings and songs of birds, to the booming of ocean, and burst of the thunder cloud, in the broad sunshine of field, and prairie, and desert, in shade of rock, and tree, and forest. Oh! There is no end to the variety of beauty, and sound, and odor. And we are all invited! Do let us go out, and feast and refresh our souls, and take in new life and inspirations. Something of it can be caught through glass windows and open doors, but only in such meager measure as to tantalize, rather than satisfy. The sweet influences of air, and earth, and sky, are shy of the inside of house roofs and walls. They will only exert themselves where there is free range in large space. Nature does not propose to bring them to us. We are to go out to her, and take them as she offers. So, do let us go. Yes, I know there is the shop, and the house-keeping, and the sewing, and the money-making generally. And it is always there, and always will be, and if we allow it, we will be forever bound down to it, soul as well as body; and this is the very reason why we should sometimes get away from it. Do come, all ye weary ones, whose lives are spent in service of others, either for love’s sake or for gain, come and for once be ministered unto. Mother nature will take you in her lap, will woo you with the breath of apple blossoms and clovers, will fan your cheek with perfume-laden airs, will soothe you to sleep with drowsy hum of bees, and murmur of streams, and rustle of myriad fluttering leaves, will waken you with joyous voices, will take away from your spirits the peevishness and littleness that is sure to gather in a narrow round of care, and put in their place something of her spirit of charity, and largeness, and harmony, and bring you into sympathy with the divine. There was never better chance for poverty-stricken, burden-bearing human beings to escape from their condition and indulge in luxuries furnished without money and without price. I promise you nature will show no favors on account of worldly distinctions. She will minister no more graciously to the queen of a realm than to her humblest menial, provided that menial be loyal to herself. But to those who look upon her with “lovers’ eyes” she must of necessity be partial. She shows them wondrous things in her pages, and reveals herself to them as she cannot to others.
None of us can afford to live without her inspirations. We may as well be brutes and done with it, and sink under the sod and stay there, as to try to live and take no part with God in His works and ways. If so be that our lives must be spent in household toil, we can take our work out of doors, and so get a great deal of good. Spread a comfortable [rug] or robe on the grass, and take out the little children and spend an afternoon. If there is no shade of tree near the door, build an arbor, or twist together the ends of lithe, tall birch, or other branches, and setting their base ends in the ground, plant around them madeira vines or morning glories, and in a few weeks, there will be found a pleasant screen from sun and observation. Let the poor invalids be taken out in chairs or on couches, or hung up in hammocks to get just as much as possible of the good things of the season. Alas! Alas! For the poor people who are shut up in stifled houses in cities, whose windows open only on damp courts, or dingy walls, or busy streets. God pity them, if we cannot help them, and make them feel His pity. But let us who live in the country take advantage of this spring-tide of life and be carried up to serener heights, that we may be let down to truer and nobler lives.
The Health Reformer, May 1, 1871.