The Promise of Spring

After a harsh New England winter (not unlike what we have just experienced, but without our modern conveniences!), the Alcotts looked forward to the joy and promise of Spring. In celebration of the season, we offer words of hope and encouragement from a young woman who changed her life with the stroke of her pen.

Robin and Nest.JPG (24583 bytes)


To The First Robin
by Louisa May Alcott, age 8

Welcome, welcome, little stranger,
Fear no harm, and fear no danger;
We are glad to see you here,
For you sing "Sweet Spring is near."

Now the white snow melts away;
Now the flowers blossom gay:
Come dear bird and build your nest,
For we love our robin best.

From the Journals of Louisa May Alcott, 1868
(just prior to the writing of Little Women)

After last winter’s hard experience, we cannot be too grateful. To-day my first hyacinth bloomed, white and sweet, -- a good omen, -- a little flag of truce, perhaps, from the enemies whom we have been fighting all these years. Perhaps we are to win after all, and conquer poverty, neglect, pain, and debt, and march on with flags flying into the new world with the new year.

My second hyacinth bloomed pale blue, like a timid hope, and I took the omen for a good one, as I am getting on, and have more than I can do of the work that I once went begging for. Enjoyed the little spring my little flower made for me, and Buzzy, my pet fly, moved into the sweet mansion from his hanging garden in the ivy pot.

Pink Hyacinth.JPG (19628 bytes)My third hyacinth bloomed this A.M., a lovely pink. So I found things snug, and had a busy day … Then I wrote my tales. On my doorstep I found a gentleman who asked if Miss A. lived here. … he handed me a letter out of which fell a $100 bill. With this bait Mr. Bonner lured me to write "one column of Advice to Young Women," as Mrs. Shaw and others were doing. If he had asked me for a Greek oration I would have said "yes." So I gave a receipt, and the very elegant agent bowed himself away, leaving my "’umble" bower full of perfume, and my soul of peace.

So the pink hyacinth was a true prophet, and I went to bed a happy millionaire, to dream of flannel petticoats for my blessed Mother, paper for Father, a new dress for May, and sleds for my boys.



More Wit and Wisdom from the Alcotts

January The New Year
February Valentine's Day
Black History Month
March Women's History Month
April The Promise of Spring
May / June Wedding Blessings, Wedded Bliss
July / August Nature and Gardens
September Education and Schools
October The Wisdom of Little Women
November Birthdays
December Christmas

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Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association