It has been over a year since I posted anything on the website. The reasons for this, apart from the obvious lack of will, have ranged from the death of my mother, to moving from the home we had occupied for over thirty years and finding somewhere else to live, to the surge in interest that the Elizabeth Goudge Facebook group has generated, which has led me to wonder if the web site was an outmoded way of sharing our love and appreciation of Elizabeth Goudge’s work.
I still receive the occasional comment to respond to, but they are getting fewer. Perhaps a blog would be a better format? It has been 15 years since I first started the web site at the prompting of Sylvia Gower, who had worked tirelessly to get the Blue Plaque erected on Rose Cottage and then felt that she wanted to pass the baton of web sites and the future of keeping the flame of Elizabeth’s genius alive into younger hands.
Yesterday a friend came to visit, her first since we moved, and she, like me, loves books and the stories they tell. Not only those between the pages, in the typeset, but the tale of the book itself. She picked out from my shelves a couple of Elizabeth’s books, and a package containing three pamphlets she had written as greeting cards to peruse. A letter fell out. It was from the poet Anne Lewis-Smith who had for a while been a neighbour of Elizabeth’s on Dog Lane. Elizabeth venerated poets, not realising that her own work was highly poetic in nature. Anne Lewis-Smith left “Primrose Cottage” in 1980, moving to Pembrokeshire. She was kind enough to send me a letter that Elizabeth had sent her as it contained some of her thoughts on poetry. Anne Lewis Smith was just one of the poets Elizabeth knew, Ruth Pitter being another. Here is a extract from one of Anne’s poems, The Window.
There she sat
Alone in a room,
By the window,
Looking out at a tree,
Alone with her sadness,
With her despair,
She watched the birds
All together in their nest
(Extract from The Window by Anne Lewis-Smith)
This could have been written about Elizabeth Goudge and her constant struggle with depression and lack of self-worth. Harriet at the window in The Rosemary Tree.
I think I should stop doubting myself and just continue to share my thoughts, stories and admiration for Elizabeth Goudge, her life and work. I hope some of you chose to accompany me.