” 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)
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.