By Lorraine McMullen, Sandra Campbell
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Additional resources for Pioneering Women: Short Stories by Canadian Women, Beginnings to 1880
But when the long sweet days of another June returned, Charles and Clara passed one of the earliest days of their bridal in that old beech wood—and of all, who had now returned with them from that pleasant spot, none were then absent except Grace Morley—she had not yet forgotten the humiliations of the last pic-nic, for she had preferred Charles Castleton to all her admirers, and she wished not to witness Clara's happiness:—a happiness, which she felt might have been hers, had she early learned the task of selfdiscipline, and sought to cherish, as peculiarly became her sex, the kindly and gentle affections of her nature.
The wood-peckers were at their ceaseless work, hammering away at the pines and hemlocks—the red squirrels were out crossing my path in every direction, now stopping to regard me with furtive glance, now angrily erecting their beautiful feathery tails and darting up the stem of some rough barked tree, pausing from time to time in their ascent, to chatter forth some indignant remonstrance at my unseasonable intrusion on their privacy at such an hour—seldom, I ween, had lady fair been seen at dawn of day among the deep solitudes of these hemlock and cedar shades, through which I then winded my way.
On my re-entering the house, I found Jessy sitting beside the cradle—her hopes had risen with the new day. Her profound sleep had refreshed both body and mind, and she came to her labour of love with renewed spirits. She was anxious to get breakfast for me, but I preferred the reviving influence of the morning air to anything she could offer me, and promising to return in a few hours, I set forth on my solitary walk homeward. There is no season when gratitude seems more naturally to fill our hearts, than at early dawn—it is the renewal to us of our existence, we feel that we have been cared for and preserved, and we lift our hearts to Him, from whom all blessings flow.