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In Life's Garden
Dixie Willson


Count your garden by the flowers,
Never by the leaves that fall—
Count your days by golden hours,
Don’t remember clouds at all.
Count your nights by stars, not shadows,
Count your life by smiles—not tears—
And with joy through all your lifetime,
Count your age by friends—not years.

This poem is in the public domain.


Lucille Reineger (Dixie) Willson (1890 – 1974) was an author and screenwriter. One of her brothers was Meredith Willson, composer of the hit musical, The Music Man. Dixie wrote many children’s books, short stories, and poems during the course of her life. Many variations of this poem can be found in print (supposedly it began life as a birthday card), and an array of purported authors—ranging from Bing Crosby’s wife, Dixie Lee, to John Lennon!—has been suggested through the years. Our research tends to make us believe that this is the original poem and that Dixie Willson is, indeed, the author.


Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
Love the last line.
Posted 01/29/2024 10:01 AM
I just turned 61 last week, and this is excellent advice! Now I just have to convince my joints that the years don't count!
Posted 01/29/2024 12:20 AM
So wonderful!
Posted 01/28/2024 07:29 PM
Lovely words to keep us positive.
Posted 01/28/2024 02:19 PM
She accents the positive!
Posted 01/28/2024 10:15 AM
Darrell Arnold:
I love the poetry--rhyme and meter --and the sweet sentiment. My whole life revolves around being positive and trying to infect others with the same attitude. And yet, at my age, many leaves fall --old friends passing on. One can't help but think of them, too.
Posted 01/28/2024 08:17 AM
Larry Schug:
Full of good advice and truth, but we also need to acknowledge and embrace the falling laves, clouds, shadows, tears and years. From her bio., I think Dixie new that. Oh well, it's got me thinking.
Posted 01/28/2024 08:01 AM

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