Archive for The Joy of the Snow

A Christmas Message from Elizabeth

” He slept deeply that night. a thing he had not done for months past, then woke at his usual early hour, dressed and made his meditation.  Then he left the house for the first service of Christmas Day.  As he closed the garden door behind him he stood in amazement, for he had stepped not into the expected darkness but into light.  It was neither of the sun nor the moon but of the snow. The sky was a cold clear green behind the dark mass of the Cathedral, the wind had dropped and the stillness was absolute. The snow was not deep but it covered the garden with light.  He moved forward a few steps and looked about him.  The roof of the Cathedral, every parapet and ledge, the roofs of the houses and the boughs of the trees all bore their glory of snow.  He walked through the garden in awe and joy, thinking of the myriad snowflakes under his feet, each one a cluster of beautiful shapes of stars and flowers and leaves, all too small to be seen by any eye except that of their Creator, yet each giving light.  That was why he always wanted a white Christmas.”
(The Dean’s Watch p321-322)

Light through stained glass

Although these thoughts are attributed to Adam Ayscough, I am sure the experience was one Elizabeth had one Christmas in Ely. She saw that pellucid sky, the quilt of snow, was stunned by light. Her gift is being able to take a deeper meaning from the experience and give it to us, a Christmas gift.

We wish all of you a Joyous Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

V. I. P. by Helen Collopy

V. I. P. by Helen Collopy

Since I was 14, She has exerted a profound influence on my life. I read Green Dolphin Country, then Island Magic and then The Herb of Grace. An only child of loved but anxious parents, living in stressful circumstances (just after the War) with two elderly, difficult Aunts, Elizabeth Goudge gave me an entry into a world of the imagination and the spiritual which has sustained me through adolescence to adulthood and now to grandmother-hood. At every stage of my life I have found comfort and encouragement in her books. I have all of them.

For the last 20 years I have been presenting special friends with The Joy of the Snow. From childhood to maturity-and beyond- this wonderful woman has been my friend. Recently at the Lyceum Club here in Melbourne, I saw that another member was to present a talk on Elizabeth Goudge; it was splendid and she had a display of First Editions. I was delighted to find I was one of many other devoted readers.

In my 10 visits to England (over a period of 32 years; my heart is there ) I have managed to visit nearly all her haunts but never, sadly to the Channel Islands.

It is Good Friday morning and I just happened to be whiling away the time on the internet when I discovered your website. Such occurrences are not coincidental.

Yours sincerely, Helen Collopy (nee Corry)

PS My daughter, born when I was 30, was baptized Marianne Therese. That her 2 elder brothers were called William and Timothy was a coincidence, though a lot of G. D Country readers have commented on it.

When I emailed you an hour or 2 ago, I omitted to say I live in, Australia—where the books of Elizabeth Goudge have always been much in demand. I picked up a p/b yesterday of Green Dolphin Country, just published by Capuchin Classics 2008, with a foreword by her distant relation, Eileen Goudge. (“It’s walking off the shelves” said the Bookseller )

Helen Collopy