In the early springtime of this year I was very much surprised by what I saw in a garden surrounding a mansion in San Francisco. As a result of the earthquake, three years before, some of the stones of this house had been thrown into the garden, and during the three years of its restoration, the garden has been filled with crates of stone, boxes of marble, scaffolding, and debris. I had occasion to pass this place nearly every day, and know that until the restoration was complete nothing was done to the garden except to clear its surface, and yet one day there were many daffodils in full bloom, a palm that had passed through the cleansing fires was giving evidence of life, and many of the original plants and shrubs were thriving.

Many of the empty lots in the ruined district bear luxurious growths of grass, and I have never seen elsewhere clover so tall and so luxuriant. We are so accustomed to the freshness, the fulness, and the fruitage of spring, summer, and autumn, after the seeming desolation of winter, that we take this procession as a matter of course, but are inclined to be surprised, as I was, to find manifestation of life after several years, although we are told that seeds which were buried with Egyptian mummies long centuries ago, will grow if planted, after lying fallow all that time.

November 27, 1909

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