Eager and early

by | Aug 9, 2014 | Uncategorized | 21 comments

 Spring has come early this year, despite snowy setbacks and chilly chivying.

 The magnolias are not worried. They are spreading their fragrance across the skies

 and their beauty through the air,

The little one is with me for the weekend, because the magnolias are not the only thing that is eager and early this spring.

 Last night the littlest one was born, unexpectedly, nearly four weeks before the due date. This morning I took the little one into the hospital, where we saw her baby sister for the first time.

 New life is so tender. This one is full of sleep. Tomorrow we might catch her awake and see her eyes. Every day will be more awake than the one before.

We come home and sort embroidery threads, into subtle colours, and bright ones, and colours that match the baby quilt I’m stitching. The little one has gathered this collection together because, she says, they are the colours of joy.

Did I know this tenderness was about to flood our lives? On my Facebook Books page, only a day or two before, I posted these words from my book ‘A Cup of Sunlight’:

Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all
living beings; 
Radiating kindness over the entire world.
—The Buddha
I wish you all loving kindness that fills your hearts and spreads across the skies with the fragrance of magnolias.


  1. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet – congratulations to one and all … Spring really is coming early to your family … so pleased all is well, you can share the new baby with her sister and capture joy and smiles … and perhaps blue eyes?

    Gorgeous photos .. magnolias are amazing … we’ve had a happy summer with lots of sun ..

    I love your poem .. “A cup of sunlight” – such a good idea ..

    Once again enjoy this new time with your new grand-daughter and your old one!!… cheers Hilary

  2. Juliet Batten

    Hilary, thank you for joining in the joy of spring and this new baby. I’m glad your summer is a sunny one. I’m behind with everything but will visit you soon.

  3. Cottage Tails

    ooh congratulations – how wonderful anew little girl. Would of caught you out with getting the quilt finished by arriving a bit early. Looking forward to seeing your quilt.

  4. Anne Ruffell

    This was such a beautiful post that it moved me to tears. I just love how the Little One looks like a magnolia bloom in her pink top. Being with my own daughter today has probably made me a little more emotional than usual. Such happy times!

  5. Juliet Batten

    *Leanne, I’m totally caught out. Hand sewing can’t be rushed.

    * Anne, oh that’s so lovely! having your beloved daughter with you must be extra special, with all that’s been going on for the Ruffells. Yes, the magnolia top was a piece of serendipity. Just back from another hospital visit and can’t stop smiling.

    Thank you Leanne and Anne.

  6. Marja

    Congratulations She is gorgeous and so much hair. All that new life which arrives colours our lives.
    I love spring and did noticed the blossom coming up everywhere.
    The little poem is beautiful

  7. Juliet Batten

    Thank you Marja. It’s an exciting spring this year.

  8. Penny O'Neill

    As soon as I saw your comment on my post, I hopped on over here, Juliet, excited for what I might read. Joy supreme is the birth of the littlest one and for all the beauty a new birth holds.

    Such a fine shock of hair on your sleeping beauty, and such an already tending and caring big sister. I love her comment of the “colors of joy” and the poem you capture here; ah, this is now being copied into my commonplace book, where words rest for the times I need them.

    Congratulations, love, and very best wishes. Penny

  9. Juliet Batten

    Penny, I knew you would love this one! You know about the joy that these little ones bring. We are all happy and relieved, for the baby was breech and a caesarian was needed. I love to think of the poem going into your commonplace book. I hope your little ones are all doing well.

  10. silkannthreades

    Oh, how precious, and what joy.( I didn’t know that joy had so many colours! But, indeed, it does, I can see that now.) Welcome to the newest little one. I also love the idea that we put special things in our COMMONplace books.

  11. Juliet Batten

    Gallivanta, thank you. Silken threads are your thing, I’m guessing. Commonplace is an amusing term for uncommon things, isn’t it?
    I’m running behind with everything; will visit you soon.

  12. Nadezda

    Buddha’s words are very wise, Juliet! I’m sure the blanket for new baby will be bright and nice.
    have a happy days!

  13. Juliet Batten

    They are beautiful words, aren’t they Nadezda? We are all very happy. thank you.

  14. Hotly Spiced

    Spring, the season of new birth, certainly has arrived early for you. Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter. She is precious! Being four weeks early, was she a small baby? Mine were never early – all overdue by more than a week xx

  15. Juliet Batten

    Charlie, she weighed 3.12 kg, which was quite surprising, given how early she was. They are now home from hospital, and settling in happily. Thank you; this is an exciting time and I’m behind with everything but hope to visit you again soon.

  16. Friko

    The little one looks like a magnolia blossom in the tree too.
    And the darling littlest one, another beloved hostage to fortune for a tender hearted grandma.

    Enjoy spring while it lasts.

  17. Juliet Batten

    Friko, yes she happened to be wearing the right pink!
    I held the littlest one yesterday and soothed her crying. So precious!

  18. Ruth P

    Such a beautiful early spring for you Juliet! This post conveys the energies of life that defeat rigid timetables and timelines: just as I love it!!
    Down here in Otago the end of winter has been showering us with sleet and snow showers in the last week, but the top of our very old almond tree is thick with fresh blossom – feels like real icing on our cake.

    Wishing you and your family warmest blessings this spring!

  19. Juliet Batten

    Ruth, what a poetic description of you Otago season! Thank you for your blessings; it’s a special time.

  20. Vicki Lane

    What a joyful and tender post! All blessings to the newest one and, indeed, to you and all of yours. Life and love are such gifs.

  21. Juliet Batten

    Vicki, thank you. It’s a joyful time, very special.


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