Saturday, April 21, 2012

Inspiration from S

Inspiration from the Scent of Water

"For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant."

These verses from the book of Job (chapter fourteen, verses seven to nine) are on the first page of British author Elizabeth Goudge's, The Scent of Water. One of my very favorite authors, she wrote this book in the 1960s.

It's clear that these verses were Elizabeth's inspiration for her title. They also aptly describes the rebirth each character experiences through the story. The themes of refreshment and renewal, of hope after hardship, are themselves inspiring for readers. On Goodreads, many reviewers speak of this as a "comfort" book, sharing how it touched them.

Here is a quote from the book that one shared; “….one of those moments when the goodness of God was so real to her that it was like taste and scent: the rough strong taste of honey in the comb and the scent of water. Her thoughts of God had a homeliness that at time seemed shocking, in spite of their power, which could rescue her from terror or evil with an ease that astonished her.”

Another reviewer said, "Even the religion is tolerable as it's not the Christianity with which I'm familiar, rather it's a luminous love that transforms everything into a distillation of joy."

The story begins with a woman moving into a country house in the that was left to her by an almost unknown cousin. This is drawn from the author's life, as she did the same. The charming English scenery, the quiet village, the carefully drawn characters were all things that made an impression on Elizabeth, leading her to write the Scent of Water, which has been called her most autobiographical novel.

Have you been inspired by moving to a new place? From a inspirational or spiritual quote? From a beautiful novel?


  1. This sounds like a soulfully delicious book!

  2. The first MS I wrote to completion sprang from a cross-country move I had to make with my parents the summer between my junior and senior year in high school. It ended up being my master's thesis 10 years later. Mostly, I get inspiration from visiting places, but I need the solid place to rest, relax, and write. If I'm constantly on the move, I don't get to relax because I'm always feeling like I'm in a state of disarray.

    1. I know the feeling - I can't get anything written until I'm settled, though I do a lot of thinking through.

  3. I like that she chose versus from Job.

    1. I've been rereading Job and there are such beautiful passages and great truths!


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