‘Jane,’ said Willis, Sr. ‘specifically requested a painting of the spring crocus.’

‘What does spring crocus signify?’ I asked.

‘Youthful gladness,’ Willis, Sr. answered, his eyes fixed on the watercolor. ‘I believe Jane gave the Bowen to me for a reason. She hoped it would teach me that the  certainty of illness, pain, and death compels us to live with youthful gladness. It took me many years to learn the lesson.’

from the mystery Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch by Nancy Atherton

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