Can You Place This Quote?

Can You Place This Quote?

I received this email just after Christmas, and thought that I would ask the advice of other readers, as I am still uncertain as to the origins of the quote. Anyone else recognise it?

Recently I read a quote attributed to Elizabeth Goudge and I am
wondering which of her works it may have come from.
The quote is:

“She had long accepted the fact that happiness is like swallows in
spring. It may come and nest under your eaves or it may not.
You cannot command it. When  you expect to be happy, you are not, and
when you don’t expect to be happy, there is suddenly Easter in your
soul, though it be mid-winter.”

Thanks for any direction you can give me on the source of this quote.

Dear Sandi,
This got me scratching my head! At first I didn’t think it sounded like a Goudge quote at all and wondered if it came from the other E. Goudge, the American author, but then reread your email and saw that you actually said Elizabeth Goudge. Sooooo

After some cogitation, I wonder if it comes from “Scent of Water”?  I don’t recognise it and this is my favourite Goudge novel, but it does sound like something Mary would have said.

Unfortunately we were flooded twice this summer and all my books have been packed away for safety reasons while we renovate, so I can’t confirm this. I would be grateful if you could.



  1. My sister, who has recently begun to recover after a severe stroke, has asked me to help her find a Gouge quote, which includes the words ‘Value’ and ‘Context’. She says I sent it to her, though I have absolutely no memory of having done so!. The quotation, she says, was about what happens in life. She has lost it, and would dearly like it again.

    I have scoured the net, but cannot find it. PLEASE CAN SOMEONE HELP??

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