Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quote for Advent III: Candles in the Wood

From Pilgrim's Inn (The Herb of Grace), by Elizabeth Goudge: on a day of Christmas-season miracles, nanny Jill and the five-year-old-twins look for holly in the woods.
"Will there be candles lit again in the wood as it's nearly Christmas?" asked Jerry.
"No, dear," said Jill. "There are never candles in the wood. There are lighted candles on Christmas trees, and in people's eyes when they're happy, but not in woods."
"There were the first day we came. We saw them when we went away."
"The sunset behind the trees, perhaps," said Jill....
(Later in the chapter)
As she sat on the rock she was not consciously thinking any more of the mystery of that moment when she had thought she saw the shining hoofprints on the path; she was watching a nuthatch running like a little mouse up the trunk of the tree opposite her, listening for the tap of its beak, feasting her eyes upon the glow of the holly berries above; yet because of it she saw a little more deeply into the beauty of bird and berry, heard a music in the tappings that she would not have heard before. And so it would be for the rest of her life. 
The music of the nuthatch was lost in the music of small feet running, and the twins were with her again, incredibly dirty, leaves in their hair, mud on their faces and their reefer coats, but with very pink cheeks and candle eyes....At the door of the Herb of Grace they paused and looked back. It was nearly dark now, with the stars pricking through. The last fires of sunset were still flaming low in the west and  a thousand candles had been lit upon the trees that stretched their shade deep beyond deep in the dark wood.  ~~ Elizabeth Goudge, Pilgrim's Inn (The Herb of Grace)

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