The Scent of Water

April 1, 2014

This is what my tea table often looks like when I'm alone. Lots of books piled around. One for reading, others for perusing and inspiration.

I just finished a book by Elizabeth Goudge entitled The Scent of Water. A wonderfully gentle and wise book, as are her other books, including one of my favorites, The Dean's Watch. It is about a woman who inherits a cottage in a small English village, and the discoveries she makes about her life and love there. 

When I have tea by myself, I am not alone. I am kept company by the characters in the books that I love. And, somehow, by the people who have passed on heirlooms to me that I lovingly and gratefully use.

This knowledge of not being alone, of being surrounded by "a cloud of witnesses" is humbling, and fills me with thanksgiving. 

I think I've shared this teacup before, but not the beautiful tablecloth. Who sat and embroidered this? What were her hopes and dreams? I'm grateful to her. And I'm grateful for the many authors who have been wise mentors in my life.

I'm thankful for whimsy and the promise of Spring.

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. (Song 2:12)

Linking with . . .


  1. What a lovely post! I love that you are surrounded by a 'cloud of witnesses'! I often think of those that have created lovely vintage linens and beautiful books, and who used the vintage things I own. Yes, they are truly a 'cloud of witnesses'. Thank you for visiting and for your sweet comments. I am a new follower of your lovely blog. xo Karen

  2. Deborah, your tea table when you are alone looks much like mine would. I too, gather up inspiring books to have around me, and I enjoy so much reading them. I do not feel alone either. Your table cloth is dear! The flowers are so colorful! I always wonder too, who sat and spent all that time creating it.

  3. Hi Deborah, I love reading a good book and I will write this book down and thanks for recommending it! I love the embroidery on the tablecloth it's beautiful! Have a wonderful evening.
    Julie at Julie's Lifestyle

  4. Oh my goodness! I have every book Elizabeth Goudge wrote and didn't know they are being reissued. I treasure and re-read each one. That's one of my favorites. Have your read The Dean's Watch? I love sitting and reading with a cup of tea for a break in the afternoon. Thanks for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

  5. Oh...just saw you mentioned The Dean's Watch...don't know how I missed it first reading thru, but I guess I was too excited to know you love her books as well, and they've been reissued.

  6. What a lovely post! I love your sentiments about heirlooms, especially. Thank you for the comments on The Dean's Watch. I have a girlfriend who would love a book like that and will make the recommendation to her. Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  7. Deborah, I share your passion for reading. And your love for beautiful heirlooms. The tablecloth is just stunning. I don't usually take time during the day to leisurely read, though. A lot of evenings I go to bed planning on reading for awhile, but often fall asleep before I get very far. Books, of course, are my first literary love, but I have to admit to enjoying magazines now and then. Do you get any subscriptions you would recommend?

    1. My all-time favorite has been Victoria magazine. When my children were little, I would sometimes think I'd like to jump into the pages, just like they jumped into the chalk drawing in Mary Poppins! It's a beautiful oasis. But it just occurred to me lately that some of my favorite blogs make me feel that way too! Thank you for stopping by. (A friend of mine loves Real Simple magazine. And I borrow my daughter's InStyle magazine!)

  8. This is a very lovely tablecloth. Long ago I used to do crewel work like this as a hobby. I'm a long time fan of Susan Branch--her cookbooks--her blog and her new book! I've heard much about Elizabeth Goudge, and have to look for the books you recommend in the library. Thank you for becoming a follower!~

  9. Ahh... that is what my table looks like when I am alone too. I have many special books I read and re-read, depending on the mood. They offer me inspiration, encouragement, and seem like friends after many years of familiarity. I have never heard of the author you shared but will be checking out her books right away. Happy and blessed spring !

  10. Books and tea, a terrific combination. I am presently reading a book for the third time. When I find "special" friends I read them again and again.

  11. I so enjoyed this lovely post. I
    love all My Grandmother's linens and I do like to use them too.I have Susan Branch's newest book,I also love the English countryside and would like the book-Denise

  12. Deborah, your tea table is delightful set with heirloom linens and wonderful books, not to mention your gorgeous teacup! I must look for this author at our book store. I'm always on the hunt for a lovely book to read. The English cottage one really intrigues me. Thank you so much for joining me for Tea Time and have a beautiful day.


  13. I have A Fine Romance always on my table. I had not heard of the Elizabeth Gouge book but it sounds wonderful and I will look for it on Amazon. I too collect (rescue) old Linens. I can never fathom how hand made things end up in garage sales no longer loved, when someone spent so much time on creating them. Love this post

  14. Deborah, what a sweet and charming teatime you have created! All the purples and berries remind me of spring's beautiful blooms: lilacs and tulips come to mind, some of my favourites. The embroidery on the heirloom linens is exquisite and such a lovely touch to this tea!

    Have a wonderful day!


  15. Love Elizabeth Goudge and The Dean's Watch is an all time favorite. Your books and tea table
    make your life rich. Thanks for sharing

  16. I love these books. I haven't ready any of Elizabeth's books so thank you for telling us about them. I carry Beatrix Potter's Journal and Susan Branch's book in my store. So glad you shared at Friends Sharing Tea!

  17. You really touched a chord in me. as I'm sure you did with many Blog Land neighbors. When a post makes me think, 'yes, that is exactly how I feel,' it is a wonderful thing. Suddenly the world feels like a friendlier place. Wishing you many blessing this week.

  18. Lovely photos of your special place for some time alone. I'm always on the look out for a good read. Thanks for your recommendations.
    Mary Alce

  19. Deborah, your page is like a breath of fresh air, so much beauty, all so true to your blog title.
    The books, the tea, that mesmerizing tablecloth, and yes, even the whimsy, I've enjoyed it all so much today. The Scent of Water sounds divine. I think I'll look for it next time I visit the bookstore.
    Have a lovely!

  20. PS-Thank you for adding the table to your sidebar. I've gone ahead and done the same.

  21. You inspire me! I surround myself with books, too and love to read. I don't have A Fine Romance but I know I would love it, too! It's fun to see what books you have close by! Hugs!

  22. Ok, now you've made me want a cup of tea! I always think you know a book is really good when you hate to finish it, and actually miss the characters. Thank you for sharing this at my History & Home link party - Dawn @ We Call It

  23. Such a sweet and heartfelt post Deborah. I tend to do the same in my living room. Books and magazines all over my coffee table. Love the pretty tablecloth. I am sure it was a priced piece to someone very special.


  24. From this post I see we also share a common interest in the same books and authors. I have Scented Water by my bedside...I just pulled out to re-read soon. And Susan's A Fine Romance, well that is always nearby.

    What fun....


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