Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lagniappe: "I do not know of a happier way to spend an afternoon..."

When we were not doing up jams and jellies, we were down in the brook, which is deep enough to swim in, and shallow enough, with a good sand bank, for the children to play on, so it was a vacation indeed. I do not know of a happier way to spend an afternoon than sitting in a shallow brook with babies paddling happily around. There were little crawfish on the bottom, little minnows darting between your fingers as you try to catch them, boat flies on the surface, and beautiful blue dragonflies flying just above the water. There were neither mosquitoes nor flies nor gnats. The sun-warmed waters of the brook made up for all the "pail baths" we had been taking through the heat. We washed the children's clothes before we went back to the house, and we picked Indian pipes and pennyroyal as we went back through the field.
Dorothy Day, On Pilgrimage
The lovely thing about this journal is that she writes down life as it happens so between thoughts about faith and deep subjects, worries about retreats and how to feed the poor, comes some beautiful writing about episodes like this "vacation." I feel as if I had gone along.


  1. That is a lovely passage. I wonder where she was at the time. She lived on Staten Island, which is where i live, and so I'm wondering if she had a local place in mind. It sounds like it could be a Staten Island locale. You know, she's buried at the same cemetery as my father. I should try to find her grave one day.

    1. She was visiting her daughter in the countryside. Not sure where...